I was lucky enough to be invited to a days Fly Fishing on the Test down in Stockbridge this week. My Uncle, a very keen fisherman, is part of a syndicate so has the opportunity to invite guests on his days, so he very kindly invited me along for the day.
I do fly fish, but always on lakes and using wet fly, but have never used dry flies on a crystal clear river – especially not the Test – so I was a little nervous of what to expect and if I would actually manage to catch anything.
As we arrived, I was met with the most beautiful scene of the “beat” we would be fishing on, and more importantly fish rising to the fly.
We soon tackled up – I had a rod and reel, but needed the correct leaders and fly to suit the conditions and off we set – after cleaning our boots in disinfectant, (a new pest has been brought into the country by foreign visitors – a small shrimp which eats fish from within – which would devastate this fishery should it ever get into the waters).
After a quick cast or two, we saw a large rise down stream and “stalked” towards the feeding fish. Once down stream of it, all you ned to do is cast your fly about a meter or so above and hope the fish takes it. After a few casts, still nothing and then I managed to drop it just in the right place and BANG! This fish took the fly with huge force – it caught me a bit off guard as lake trout don’t bite like this!
After a few minutes of fighting – and boy these fish fight – I managed to tire it out enough to slip a landing net under it and it was mine! My First river Test Trout – a fine Brown Trout about 3.5 pounds – simply magic!!
If I never caught another fish that day I would have been delighted, however we just kept watching, stalking and catching. I lost a huge fish (always is though when you lose one!) but this fought to hard and ran up and down the river, but eventually managed to snap my line – I did see it an it was truly a big fish.
My Uncle Rodney had the biggest fish of the day, but it simply did not matter – it was just great to spend a day in good company, sitting, chatting and fishing – I also took the camera too so I could capture a few moments in time – then have a wonderful lunch and relax.
Sometimes, just doing the simple things like this makes you realise what life should be about – enjoying the countryside, chatting and laughing and just having fun. fishing is about this and it does not matter if you catch anything or not – its about just being there.
Rodney has invited me back again in July with my great friend Coen Vermaak from South Africa who is visiting us for a while – I know he will enjoy this as well – so I am looking forward to another fantastic day on the Test!
Here are a few shots from the day – enjoy!