As if a four day trip to Scotland to fish the Tay wasn’t enough young Tales couldn’t wait to get back out on the water. With fine weather forecast we put a small amount of tackle in the back of the sliver arrow and headed south down the M3 to fish the River Itchen.

Driving along under a clear blue sky we arrived at our destination after just over an hour. We parked on the bridge across the river, tackled up and headed up the narrow path that had been clearly trodden by many. A touch of colour filled the river so it was difficult to see any fish.


Young Tales was set up with a short #4 Sportfish rod paired to a Heddon 300 reel, basically a copy of a Hardy Featherweight reel. Armed with a light tippet and a small haresear dry fly. Not long into the fishing he was into a small Gayling, this time he managed to net the fish in his own.

It was interesting to observe how he is mastering the sport and with each outting he demonstrates his ability to do things just right. His casting even gets comments from passers-by as they admire his finness.


With bright sunshine all day the fish were tucked away in the far margin and under any overhanging tree. By mid-afternoon the sport had died off a bit a few takes to out offerings. Observing the water there was a sudden commotion as several small squares of  bread floated downstream, the water erupted as fish came from the depths to take such offerings. An element of frustration could be seen on young Tales face. With a change of fly still nothing, for the next hour we moved few fish. I decided to lengthen the leader of my young companion and switch to a CDC olive emerger which started to get things moving. Within 20 minutes another couple of small Grayling put a smile back on his face.

The hours had passed all too quickly but a day in the sun by a Hampshire chalkstream can’t be beaten especially when graced by the odd dart of iridescent bright blue of a Kingfisher.

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