Fine dry weather, Mayfly still hatching – the fish, relatively unresponsive. Full of food after a fortnight of bacchanalian feasting on tasty Mayflies the Brown Trout and Grayling lie mid-water or hug the bottom, physically and mentally digesting the excesses of the past few weeks. The odd fish rises, mostly small stuff, juveniles who never seem to tire of feeding, Mum and Dad sit on sabbatical from the hard stuff, turning their noses up at the tastiest Mayfly that passes their way. Give it a week and they will be up feeding again, the odd Olive and maybe a Sedge, but show them a Mayfly and they will turn away, the effects of surfeit and excess still fresh on the mind.
The June weed cut has been one of the heaviest I have known, with the river flow decreasing by the day. The weed that is left becomes more important than the weed that is cut. Enough must be left to hold up the water level with spaces cut for fish to lie. Half of this water is “bar cut” – bars of weed left to hold the water up, with space between the bars for fish to lie. Strip too much water out and the water would drop by up to a foot on the shallows, the fish would congregate in deeper holes and become concentrated, and reduce the number of fishable areas. The Mill Stream has now been reduced to a pond with all the water pushed down the main river.
The House Martins have turned up, a pair taking up their summer residence on top of the security light sensor in the stable yard. For unbeknown reason they have arrived eight to ten weeks after their normal arrival date and have missed out on a feast of fly life. No Swifts in the eaves of the Mill House as yet, although several were performing high-speed acrobatics over Longparish Cricket ground at the weekend.
I have come across three separate broods of Partridge this week, all French, but an indicator of the favourable conditions for raising chicks this year; with luck English Partridges will also be enjoying the same success with their broods.
Orchids are poking their heads up in the meadows, only early purples, but orchids all the same. The yellow of the alien invading monkey flower mixes with the Forget me Nots as the fringe starts to bloom and herald the start of summer proper.