At last a full day on the river for what seems like the first time in ages. The weather was pretty decent broken cloud but plenty of long periods of sun in between the odd shower here and there at the start of the session. I was fishing the Hartford stretch this time and arrived on the water about 11.30am armed with a gold head on the point and a black and peacock spider on the dropper.
After setting up I was most surprised to find the water still fairly coloured and still a little bit high. I worked my way down to the bank and started fishing just below the big weir. There was not a single rise to be seen so maybe the choice of gold head was the right one if they were sitting a bit deeper?
Not a touch in the first run but in the next small pool that has a wall along the far bank I had a couple of gentle tentative takes so maybe I was indeed on the right track….then nothing for another 20 minutes .. a slow start.. so I changed up to an olive gold head with a bit of glitter in the tail and a CDC hackle.. yes it is as ugly as it sounds!!..
In to the next pool just in line with the hedge repairs that have been made and right at the end of this pool as I was retrieving my fly .. bang.. fish on.. and he felt like a decent one, a scrappy fight midstream with a couple of short runs and he came to the net a nice fish of around 14” was taken for the pot.
On my way down stream now near the garden pool working the flies as they came across the stream seemed to be just the technique for this olive monstrosity as I landed 2 brownies in quick succession and had another 2 savage takes all in the space of 5 minutes.
Now at the garden pool I stuck on something more natural looking for the slow water (maybe a bad move in hindsight?), I ran right through this pool with a PTN and not a touch. Hhmmmmm out the other side in to the streamier runs and on went a gold head GRHE with a small badger hackle and back amongst the fish .. another couple of brownies came to hand both of around the 6” mark but welcome all the same.
Now it was time to work back upstream so .. despite the lack of fish showing I decided to give the dry a go … and after about an hour with no success back on the wet.. not really surprising I guess, coloured water, bright conditions, not ideal for the dry fly.
Not far from the car now I worked the pool I had the bigger fish from, now with an olive gold head on the point, about half way down this run a solid take and a nice plump 7” came to hand.. a nice finish to a decent day, I must have had half a dozen smallish brownies alongside the bigger one, green seemed to be the colour they wanted in the slightly coloured water. Enough was enough though and I set off home at around 4pm.
I have to say that out of the two stretches of water I think I much prefer the farm stretch , there is more exploring to be done on that water as well as I think I have only fished about half of it and nothing beyond where the path comes down from the visitor centre at Plessey woods. Maybe that could be my next trip out I think !