While sitting at home in front of the computer trying to catch up with my studies, I get a text message. It’s R who is attending a wedding along the Thames but from the text his mind is clearly elsewhere. In it he asks if I’d fancy a little adventure to seek out some spotties from some relatively unknown, unfished chalkstreams… and adds that the rivers he has in mind are in one of the home counties.
Now… do elephants wear tutus? Quick as my non-nimble technophobic fingers would type, I replied and started thinking about what I would need to take with me – an aspect of fishing that is highly underrated, as I for one very much enjoy loading up jackets, unloading them, filling a packpack, emptying it, reloading… you get the drift!
To the sound of screeching wheels outside my house, the essay is flung aside (again!) and we leave SW London for a mini adventure. Tackled up we scout out our first river indian style, crouching, diving behind bushes, kneeling, crawling, blending in with the natural surroundings as best one can… and obviously still spooking fish left, right and centre!
Interestingly the mayfly hatches have started and on this particular river a good hatch at that! R had originally contacted me as he had witnessed a great hatch at the wedding along the Thames. My painstaking preparation had not included mayfly patterns but luckily R had planned better than I. The river was four feet wide and lined with reeds and to make matters worse the wind was blowing a gale.
However, we soon came across some cracking trout, which although not plentiful were of a good size for a river this narrow. Some were even kind enough to indulge us, others not so and eluded us…
The lesson learnt that day was that trout are to be found in some of the most improbable places and a lot closer to home than one thinks. A quick visit to a local fish and chip shop brought a memorable day to an end!