Yet again fortune smiled on this roving Piscator, as I was told by my host that he was shooting on the Saturday and whether I would mind spending the day fishing. Me fishing? Nahhh… I’d survive, I said, before asking for more details as to where I’d be fishing and what I’d be fishing for. Gloucestershire certainly does have some well known rivers and lakes but I was told that I’d be going over to the neighbours’ house to fish their lakes. I had a rod with me as my host has a small lake which is full of carp, and I normally go for a two or three hour stint in the early morning and catch plenty of them on a bloodworm or bread fly. Here, however, I was being sent further afield… but not that far…

Early next morning, having had my full blown English breakfast, I was driven over to the neighbours’ house, which to us mere mortals would better be termed a large country estate, where I met up with the Estate Manager. He suggested I start at the top lake, especially where the feeder stream enters the lake…

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He informed me that some of the browns that he had introduced some years back had grown to around 4lbs, and fought like stink. Off I sauntered into an English country garden, the likes of which are but few and a far cry from the banks of my beloved Wandle, 5 weight rod in one hand and an old net in the other. December, the leaves have already fallen and there is a starkness about. The air is just cold enough to chill one’s breath.

I walk along the bottom lake that has a wonderful boat house, which accommodates 5 or 6 beautifully crafted wooden canoes and rowing boats which, I believe, were imported from Canada. The lake has an island in the middle and is reputed to be full of carp and rainbows. The feeder stream passes through one of many follies that one can find in the garden.

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I walk past the house, a massive building by all accounts, fronted by huge Corinthian columns and as I do so, walk along the bank of the middle lake, which I’m told might have some fish but nobody was really sure. Would I cast into it to see if there was anything lurking in its depths.


I get to the top lake and put together my tackle. As there are no fish rising, I decide on a black GHRE, size 12, which I must confess is my first choice of nymph. I fish where the feeder stream comes in, infront of the reed bank, over the hemp agrimony, between the weed growth and along both banks, and I catch fish from all of them. Lovely fat brown trout, ranging from 2 to 3.5lbs. I’m having so much fun stalking these fish that time flies and before I know it, I am hastily returning to the house. I stop briefly at the middle lake, cast and catch another 3lb trout… before continuing towards the house and get there just as lunch is being served. Days like this don’t come round that often, especially not in this setting, so this day will simply go down as one of those few red letter days that one has etched in their mind for the remainder of their days. As for the fish… let’s just say that I lost count… The interesting thing is that the Wandle has these sort of fish in it, too. I’ve seen them. I’ve even managed to catch the odd one or two. Hopefully, they will be spawning now and just maybe, maybe, we Piscators can have such red letter days in the near future. Wouldn’t that be a memory to top them all…

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