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I’ve been totally out fished this season by my young son affectionately known as Young Taleshe’s caught the most and the largest fish. Although I’ve been out a few more times and caught fish on most outings I don ‘t count the small perch, dace, roach and other sea fish in the tally.

Yesterday there was a small window of opportunity to head back down to the Itchen and to catch up with my old fishing companion Shaun. We’ve been fishing together for nearly three decades, mostly trout fishing and when time and conditions allowed spent the odd autumn day grayling fishing. It just so happened that we’d both taken the Monday off to do some general maintenance on our properties. Shaun was in the middle of fitting out his bathroom in his cottage near Bentley and I’ve been busy painting the the inside of the house, however the temptation of such a warm and clear day got the better of us so we downed tools and agreed to meet up mid morning for a couple of hours on the river.

The conditions were good although the river was still flowing quickly and with a bit of colour from some overnight rain. There was a slight breeze that put some ripple on the open water and to our surprise we were pretty well the only people out fishing. Most of the river on the spot we fish is lined by trees with the occasional stretch of open pasture that leads to the river where it is lined with bank-side vegetation. There are several small tributaries that run into the main river and it passes underneath a couple of bridges the there are some deep pools that hold fish.

We’d been fishing for a couple of hours and without success. The only other fisherman seen out on the river had caught a couple of small sea trout, a roach and a healthy sized perch. He was fishing an area of slack water in between some trees and having to cast to the far bank with a feeder full of maggots. Walking further downstream we came across a deep pool and started to fish. Casting out a small Avon float and suspended below were two red maggots. As the float bobbed its way in the swirling current it momentarily dipped either from snagging the bottom or from smaller fish chasing the bait. Time and time again I ran the float down the swim in search of a larger fish that were clearly their as they would tease us by surfacing causing a big swirl as they would take the odd fly from the surface, possibly a sea trout as they were clearly running the river in good numbers. After several casts in search of grayling the only taker was a small sea trout that upon being hooked jumped out of the water several times before gracefully gliding into the net, this was a pleasant way to end a day out and some consolation after having been witness to my sons achievements of Sunday.

A Lower Itchen Sea-trout.