Monday, June 11, 2012
The bottom jaw of a Klitchko
The Mayfly continues and despite the change in weather we have seen some very heavy falls of spinners. Heavy rain and wind made conditions tricky and we have just had the average rainfall for the month fall in a day sending the river over its banks for the first time in a long time and flattening a neighbouring field of flax but for over a week it has been raining spent mayfly from around 8pm onwards. Fish continue to feed hard and several more fish over four pound have been put on the bank, one a mean looking cock with the bottom jaw of a
Klitchko, there are also tales of larger fish hooked and lost, all to Mayfly patterns. Olives hatch from mid morning onwards and the number of Sedge is building along with the odd Alder fly but it is the Mayfly bounty that most fish hold out for. A small jack Pike fell to a large Wulff and several large Grayling have also been caught. Several of our visitors who fish elsewhere in the valley have reported instances of fish that have been bunched up and slow to rise.
This can happen here during times of low water and slow weed growth but it is also a tag that is being applied to the increasing numbers of Triploid fish that are now being stocked.
With the June weedcut imminent on this river, the scythe has been serviced and sharpened and put to use on the Itchen where the June weed cut starts a few days earlier. On the Dever there is little to be cut and it will be a short exercise in tidying and titivation but on the Itchen the Ranunculus has been in flower for over a week, the water has gone over the bank and there is plenty enough for bar cutting. The opposite bank is owned by someone else so there must
be a certain amount of cooperation between the two as to where the water goes. There was just under a day cutting which was a tad tricky in places for a first time through as the river bed has the odd surprise hole which I have mentally noted for next time. Plenty of fish have been caught from this single bank beat including a ropey looking Rainbow in the top pool with a farm escapee look about it. The Mayfly hatch has also been heavy although a little later than on the Dever. The proprietor fished late last week in the mayfly bonanza and was preparing to leave when a roadworks lorry turned up and out climbed two chaps in waders headlamps and spinning rods. The stretch is fairly isolated and was a place to keep an eye on twenty five years ago when I was seconded to what was then the National Rivers Authority for three months work experience. With the luxuriant weed growth I am not sure what damage they would have done with conventional spinning methods, and with so much road resurfacing carried now out at night I am surprised they got the time, off but with a registration number and the Traffic police depot for the A34 and M3 a mile away it shouldn’t be too difficult to push them elsewhere.
The first Orchids have put in an appearance, about twenty of the paler purple jobs (I need a better flower book) on one of the middle bends, I think there are another two types to come, a darker purple job of similar shape to its lighter version and one that is vivid purple and shaped like a policeman’s helmet, pictures to follow, when they pop up.
Recently this column has drawn the attention of anonymous comments, An honour, and briefly exciting, the chap didn't hold with our current stocking policy and didn't seem to be as busy or enjoying the weekend as much as I was. The tone became irritating as the one eyed thinking of some who prevail in certain quarters bubbled to the surface. With the language of Galafrei and all things Dr Who, the rhetoric rang heavy with “genetic purity, regeneration” and persistence of the enemy” In fishery management terms I was accused of being a dinosaur with the intelligence and ability for free thinking to match. This went on for much of the weekend, and if I’d known who I was talking to I would have happily continued the debate but no name was forthcoming and the Antiques Roadshow was on which seemed rather apt for a dinosaur such as myself so I signed off
Feel free to get in touch, I don't expect everyone to agree or like what I write, and I will do my best to answer any questions, but let’s have a name!