Well, went out for a fish yesterday. I went with a colleague of my wife's and he took me to one of the many stillwater fisheries in the area (West Mere I think it was called). For those who've never fished in England, you need a rod licence (3.50 pounds for a 24 hour ticket) but then you also have pay to access the water (15.00 pounds at this place). To fish some of the rivers can be quite a bit more. In Scotland the regulations are different, and as I understand it, the fees do not run as high. Not sure about Wales?

Anyway, there were lots of fish, some very recent stockers with very badly damaged fins and such. However, there were lots of better looking fish as well. I was using the flies I tied here with the wool I dyed in the various plant materials. I took one early on with a variation on a Waterhen Bloa (body yellow, dubbed with dandelion dyed wool, hackle blue/grey pigeon feather), so I guess a Pigeon Bloa? Anyway, it was a nice brown, maybe 1.5 lbs?

After that, had a few missed strikes but no hookups for a few hours. There was a hatch of mayflies, and I got one spinner off the water and it was a large olive bodied thing (Green Drake?). All my flies were size 14, much smaller, but I did have various olives tied up. There were some smaller insects as well. Anyway, Kevin took a similar sized brown on an Invicta. As the dusk settled in, the fish started rising consistently, not madly, but constantly.

I tried some various retrieves, slow, quick, jerky, and had a team of 3 flies, some winged some hackled. Finally, hooked up a very vigorous rainbow, but he busted me off on the hit. Oh well.

Anyway, it was nice to get out on the water. There were a few people around, but it wasn't crowded. The weather was very pleasant, some fish to hand despite it being a difficult day (very few fish were caught), and the scenery around the lake was pretty.

- Jeff