What a delight to be traveling back down to Winchester for our December fly trip. A kind invitation to fish just south of the city on some beautiful grayling water, that also yields up some high quality brownie sport through the summer.
For December, we were blessed with southwesterlies and cloud, so the 12c temperatures were great for the time of year, and we got hatches from mid-morning onwards.
We set up the catering corps on the roadbridge, whereupon bacon rolls briefing took place. Ian McKenzie had kindly donated some special flies for us, with a few more ideas coming from the guides with us on the day.
The river was in fine conditon, running clear, and plenty of grayling showing and feeding. Through the day, we also saw a number of browns, one sea trout was returned, and several salmon were jumping too.
Spotting fish moving in a fast clear stream, with not a huge amount of depth called for two approaches. Dries, casting to rising fish, maybe making fish come up to take the fly,or perhaps more reliablly, probing the depths with a weighted nymph. To hold a fly in this current, a tungsten headed pattern is perfect, or, plenty of turns of lead incorporated into your favoured dressing. The smaller the fly, the more likely you are to get a response! For those confident enough not to get casting glitches with a team, then a dropper was the order of the day; otherwise, a single fly worked through the current was applied.
Lunch was sumptuous, Steve supplied a fine curry, whilst hot dogs were on hand for the less brave.
James Cole, a member of the water appeared during afternoon fishing, and gave great assistance with spotting fish and some casting help, pleased to be able to help our cause on the day, once fortified with a helping of curry!
Light fades quickly at this time of year, and by 16.30, we could hardly see a thing, but all agreed it had been a cracking day out in great company, in such a beautiful part of the country.
For January, we have three spaces to fill on another Itchen trip, this time to the Fulling Mill stretch at Kingsworthy. RSVP to Tony plz. Happy Christmas everybody!