Over the past few days there have been several tales to tell on talesbytheriverbank. The first of these tales goes back to last Thursday evening when I headed to Robinswood Fishery late in the afternoon to fish the evening rise on this complex of lakes fed by a stream that runs through this Surrey wooded valley at the back of Star Hill.
It takes about 45 minutes from SW14 to the fishery driving down the A31 and at 5.30 you end up hitting all the rush hour traffic that congests around the turnoff for Guildford and then Farnham/Aldershot so allow a good hour if heading out from London.
Rainbows from Robins Wood Fishery
As I pulled up in the car park by the fishing hut I could see Shaun’s Cherokee parked up so he was already of on the water. After signing in and paying my £25 for a 2 fish evening ticket I tackled up a Grey’s G series rod, recently found at a table sale for the sum of £15 and paired it up with a Hardy Ultralight Disc #6 reel. I purchased this reel off eBay last month, it came with a spare spool and good quality lines attached a real bargin when you consider the original purchase price.
Determining what fly to use took a while, I watch the water for some time and then decided to use an emerging hares ear pattern and fish it in the surface film as the fish seem to be taking just sub surface. There were several fish moving and only occassionally breaking the surface but would arch their backs like whales as the came up to the surface, a few fish would leap out completely but most fish would take a couple of inches below but cause a large ripple in doing so.
Caught on a emerger fine Robins Wood rainbow
After nearly an hour of casting to rising fish at about 40ft from the reeded bank I decided to cast close down in the margin to my right, as soon as the fly hit the water there was an eruption of water as the fish lurched at the fly,the fly taken firmly had set itself and a fight pursued for several minutes as the fish made off toward the middle of the lake and then turned full circle to swim in along the margin by the reeds, finally netted it was a clear 2.5lb rainbow. Within a half hour another fish took the same fly so I was up to my bag limit.
Path to the hut at Robinswood
Shaun had spent most of the evening to my far right and then across to the other side of the top lake were he took a fine fish on a small mayfly nymph. What we did deduce is that a buff coloured nymph seem to be order of the day. As the sun set behind the fishing hut we spoke of our next possible fishing trip and took the road home.
On Friday I was introduced to Richard Narewski a rod builder who shares a workshop with Bob a good friend of ours who is a boat builder, well a master craftsman would be more fitting to his supream skills with wood. It was an opportunity to see Bob at work where he is rebuilding a boat near Richmond Bridge. Richard has a small room off of the main worshop where he mends and builds rods. There, in the corner of the room were tops and butts of rods. Richard was looking at a catlogue of fitting from Hopkins & Holloway the Warwickshire based company that rod builders use for components to build or refurbish rods.
Richard Narewski in his rod building workshop
I took Richard three rods which were all in need of repair, a couple of Chapmans that needed a complete referb and a small Martinez & Bird fly rod that needed stripping down and re-wipping, new guides and re-varninshing, this rod I aquired for young Tales. After a lengthy chat about what needed to be done we decided to have a pint in the White Cross pub in Richmond and further discussions on fishing were had with the mention of the club called the Francis Francis Angling Club, more on that in another post.
On Saturday a call from Eddie then set out an early start on Sunday to fish a small backwater of the Thames controlled by the Feltham & Twickenham Piscatorial Society, when I say early it was a 5.30am start so late to some fishermen who had been on the water at first light.
A Ghost Carp in The Creek, a F&TPS water.
Upon reaching the water the fist fish I saw nestled in a shaded spot was a ghost carp, I’d never seen one before, well only pictures on the internet. It was a strange looking fish and in same ways didn’t look right, it did habe the dark shading around the eyes but the body wasn’t that deep. When I mentioned the sighting to another fisherman during the day he said it could have been an albino chub as one had been caught near there before.
Perching on a boot
As the morning got progressively hotter and fishing got progressively more difficult we moved on to the deeper pools of the backwater known as The Ceek. I had only caught small silver fish and a couple of perch.
8lb 10oz Thames Barbel from the F&TPS water.
A couple of other fisherman seen walking the banks had caught a 2.5lb Chub on cheese paste and until then nothing of any note had been taken during the morning until when we decided to head back to the start of the controlled water there was a sudden air of excitement when a young guy appeared from the undergrowth with a barbel in his landing net in search of his scales. The fish weighed in at 8lb 10oz, was in beautiful condition and underlined way so many of us find this sport/pastime so compelling.
A Creek Barbel
Shane with his Pike caught on The Creek
If that wasn’t enough whilst the weighing of the barbel was being done another comotion just a few yards away insued. There, rod in hand and with a big bend in it a large pick had taken a square of spiced sausage that was prepared for and cast out in search of a large chub. One the bait had hit the gin clear water and settled on the bottom from beneath an over hanging tree, a pike of about 7lb moved from within a half sunken branch to take the bait. To top that off we heard of sightings of two salmon from the junction pool, where one fish had leaped out of the water and the other lay calmly in a deep but clear pool, and if I’m right one was caught on maggot earlier last week in the same backwater but closer to the footbridge.
Tales not, but true stories from the riverbank….what ever next.