Friday, 3 January 2014

Extreme Fly Fishing: Rainbow Trout on New Years Day 2014

Not having had the chance to fish for several weeks I decided to get 2014 off to a good start by going fishing on New Year's Day.  The weather forecast predicted heavy rain and strong winds all day, but I followed Boyd K Packer's maxim of "Do it in spite of the weather". My main concern was finding somewhere where the water clarity was clear enough to let the fish see the fly.  Muddy brown water does not suit fly fishing!  So I went on the Albury Estates Fishery web site, noted that the info had been updated the day before and that it mentioned that the large lake at Vale End had been isolated from the Tillingbourne (river) to safeguard clarity during the recent floods.  The drive was exciting as there were various flooded sections but eventually I arrived there and found a new closed gate.  The instructions said swipe your membership card and I did.  To my surprise (my membership card is very old) the gate opened.  


This access gate is a relatively new feature and is there I imagine to inhibit poaching.  Having got through the gate I parked up as near to the fishing hut as I could as I wanted to set up in the dry.  Another couple of brave individuals turn up and we swapped ideas as we got ready.  The rain did not ease off and the wind experimented with all points of the compass.  I did't mind, I was in the fresh air with a rod in my hand and water in front of me.  I fished a small cats whisker on an intermediate line counting it down to explore different depths.  Eventually I was reward with a sustained pull and lifting the rod found myself connected to a good fish.  Knowing it, if landed, was destined for the dinner table I played it carefully as it's performance told me it was on tip top condition!  As I was on a two fish ticket I decided to make things a bit more challenging by moving location and changing the fly.  Guess what, I fished for another couple of hours working my way right round the lake and I didn't get another pull.  As the rain was getting heavier and the wind more contrary I decided to head for home knowing that I could use the ticket for the second trout on another visit.  I thoughly enjoyed my fishing at Albury.  I regard it as a well run fishery for the following reasons:-
  • The fish are raised in their own fish farm and are in excellent condition.
  • Careful records are kept of catch returns so stocking can be appropriate
  • The waters are well maintained and pretty
  • Access and parking is good
  • The ticket system seems fair and works well
  • Tony Hern, the manager is a splendid fellow and his team are always friendly and helpful
  • It is a good place to teach fly fishing and novices have a good chance of getting a fish
  • The internet site is informative and kept up to date
At nearly 2lb 8oz it was a nice fish, you can see how wet I got fortunately underneath I was dry!

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