Photograph by Steve Barnett

Sunday, 7 June 2020

One Fly Only Day All Day

No your faithful correspondent has not been trying his hand in one of those one fly only competitions.  Today was a day when it might have been possible to catch more fish by chopping and changing flies.  There were many different species of fly on the water today and there were fish prepared to eat them too.

Never mind that though, this is mayfly time.  Early on in the day there were some spent mayfly spinners (the "Spent Gnat") still left over from the previous day.  It made sense to put on a suitable fake, the Poly Prop Spent Gnat (PPSG) and catch one or two of the early risers.  Later, there were solitary mayfly spinners coming back and laying their eggs on the surface.  These kept some of the trout interested and those interested trout kept your blogger from changing his fly.  It turned out to be a one fly only day, all day.

Poly Prop Spent Gnat
Sport was slow and hard won.  This limestone spring-fed river is gin clear and scaring a little fish that then shoots off, passing the alarm through great long stretches of river is very easily done.  Certainly it was easy to do today.

The trick is to seek cover and preferably find cover near places where the fish have cover too.  Here is a place that for decades has been one such very useful place.  Not anymore, the elm, which used to provide cover for many fine fish, has died.   Dutch Elm disease seems to kill our elms just as they are about to change from shrubs to trees.  The British Isles have no biosecurity worth a damn.  It seems any invasive species is made welcome here by this lack.  The beautiful elms featured in the landscape paintings of John Constable are long gone, and there is little chance we will ever get them back...

The Elm's Aerial cover has gone for ever
It's not the end of the world though.  The fish have simply moved to new haunts and even allowed this angler to get away with being lazy today and having a "One Fly Only Day All Day" !!!

Regular Rod