I was the lucky winner of one of the lots in the Wild Trout Trust auction. I bid on a few lots but the Stour was the one I wanted to win the most. I have been interested in visiting the Stour for a few years now after a number of people had told me such good things. The stretch I fished was really only a few meters wide in most places and suited my little 6' 10" 3wt perfectly.
I timed it in the hope of hitting the mayfly hatch and boy did luck go my way! I started fishing just after 1pm as the mayfly started coming off. The hatch got heavier and heavier and continued through the afternoon. It slowed a little for about 30 minutes mid afternoon and then the spinners started hitting the water. Duns coming off, spinners laying... it was mayhem. Early on the rises were sharp and powerful and required a stout 4.5lb tippett but by late afternoon most of the takes were extremely slow and subtle. It was almost painful watching the fish sidle up and ever so slowly close their mouths around the natural or my imitation.
What a day on the water! Text book stuff. One of the best days on the water I can remember in 30 years of hurling flies about. Thanks again Paul and friends, you guys have done an amazing job of rehabilitating this little piece of the Stour.
|hard fighting, red spotted brownies gulped adult mayfly patterns all afternoon...
|a bedraggled Mayfly emerger "Klinkhamer" style.
I tested 3 new adult mayfly patterns. one was a Klinkhamer style, the other 2 extended body things. I constantly changed between the 3 and the "Klinky" version was the clear winner. I was amazed how the frequency of takes shot up when this pattern was on the water. The extended body versions drew interest but not as much and a lot of the takes didn't convert to hook ups because the fish were grabbing the extended body so the hook didn't find purchase.
|A little wildy that sucked in the May emerger.
A lot of the fish were holding in open water but some were tucked into the narrowest, fastest channels in shallow water, hemmed in by ranunculus.