It was late morning before we decided to head south to the Surrey Hills and fish a small trout fishery called Robinswood.
This venue I have fished with my good friend and fishing companion Shaun Madle for over two decades, each time it has proved to be challenging and yesterday was no exception.
The bright sun managed to put this fish down into deeper pockets of water. Occasionally a fish would break the surface chasing hatching buzzers to the surface. There was a good hatch of olives and dark sedge flies but these wily trout were taking the smallest of flies in the surface film. It had taken me a good three hours to work out what was going on. Both my son Little Tales and me looked at each small lake trying to read the water and the hatching rise, opting to use small nymphs fished 18 inches or so below the surface but to no avail. Having changed the fly several times from a trusted pheasant tail to a small red-cheeked buzzer we finally tied on a small Cul De Canard olive hatching buzzer.
Having dropped down to the bottom lake where there was dappled sunlight we cast our lines towards the back of an outflow pipe from the top lake, the water still full of colour we let the fly drop and pull round with the current and towards some slack water. In a swirl of water we had hooked a small but perfect wild brown trout, its glimmering smoke silver under-body and distinctive dots on its flanks iridescent in the late afternoon sun.
We may not have caught the trout for supper that we had hoped for but this small but perfect wild brown trout was a better prize.
Maybe your stature as a fly fisherman isn’t determined by how big a trout you can catch, but by how small a trout you can catch without being disappointed. — John Gierach