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  1. Eventually started my Pike fishing last week. The river had dropped to an acceptable level, although it was quite coloured - it flows through meadowland so can pick up a lot of mud along the way. The section that I fish is about 1/2 mile upstream of the main river (R Wey) so it has had plenty of distance to colour up.

    Well, I chucked out (technical term for lure fishing) my lure, casting it to the far side and letting it swing round in the current. Allowed a slight pause to get it close to the river bed and started a retrieve along the near bank. Suddenly it stopped. Lift of the rod, no response back except an unyielding solid object down below. Further pull and rod bends over. Still no response. Started to pull a bit harder and 'object' below starts to yield, no great fight in this one and at last all returns to the surface. It's a very weedy stretch here and my river gardening skills have been honed to a fine degree, but attaching weed guards to all my Pike flies means I do not lose too many flies on the bottom.

    May return next week to try my new flashy lures. They really do look good underwater.

  2. Trout fishing to me, mainly ceases about the end of November. It gets a bit too cold, for me anyway and I often target Pike on my Club water in Surrey. I enjoy walking along the river bank casting a large lure into likely looking swims and watching for a reaction. I know there are Pike there because everyone else catches them! Others use spinners mainly, whilst I prefer the fly.

    However, I digress. I was out on the first of December at Duncton Mill Trout Fishery (West Sussex) chasing Trout. It was a warm day (15C), a bit breezy and very damp underfoot. The fishery is at the foot of the South Downs and when it rains (which it does quite often in this area) the water runs down the slope into the lakes.

    I had three Rainbows, one in the morning and two in the afternoon. They were nice fish, full of fight and bright bars of silver. But the fish that stands out was a Char. I caught it in the morning on a variation of a Pheasant tail nymph. It was a good fighter and apparently stocked last year. Char are an attractive fish, light brown along the back and light edges to the fins. They are a particular target at Duncton and I was fortunate to have found one.

  3. I was at the i-Fish fly fair at the weekend. It is an annual event organised by the Sussex branch of the Fly Dresser's Guild (FDG).  This one was held in the South of England showground that was filled with fly tyers, fly tying suppliers and other miscellaneous fishing organisations, like Fishing holidays and trout fisheries.

    I was looking for specific materials for which to tie some flies, so I had a lovely time at the fly tying suppliers, looking at the wealth of materials from luminous artificial fibres to the beauty of natural capes. I picked up a lovely Genetic Hen Furnace (from Chevron) for some Crunchers.

    It was good to observe the volunteer fly tyers, most from the FDG Branches and learn from their techniques. There are always diverse ways in which to tie a fly and one tyer's method may be different from one's own. There was a good range of International tyers, as well as our own professionals and all manner of wonderful creations were fashioned from fur and feather, with a few unnatural materials added.

    I also met up with fishing friends and we reminisced about our memories of fly tying and fishing. Ah, such memories increase with the re-telling! 

    There will be a repeat of the experience at next years' i-Fish on 27 November 2016 at the same venue.

  4. The weather has been unseasonably warm this year. I do not often go Trout fishing in November, but I was out recently with a friend at Frensham Trout Fishery, a favourite C&R venue in Surrey. The weather looked good, overcast and warm (15C), bit of rain predicted (lots about midday!), breeze to spread the flies and casts around, water temperature warm (12C) and good reports of fish being caught on natural flies.

    Another fisherman was catching fish on shrimps, with a touch of orange in the dressing, rather than the usual pink for Grayling. I tried my shrimps, but they failed to incite any response.

    Well, I went through my flybox and tried many natural flies, before finding the reliable bloodworm was successful. Had a solid take and a very fit 3lb Rainbow was firmly attached. Bent the rod a bit before safely released and the fish sank into the depths. Took a little while before I connected with another Rainbow, slightly smaller (2 1/2lb) that took a flashback PTN. This too gave a good fight, despite the small lake it lived in. It took the fly in the 'scissors' and again was safely released.

    My friend had one nice 3lb Rainbow on an Invicta (never saw any sedge hatching), which he kept and several other takes to the same, or similar fly. I do like catching fish on wet flies, just drawn under the surface. You see the take more easily and knowing that you have fooled a fish on a natural imitation is more pleasing, to my mind.