Up here in the north of the UK the “ Mayfly” generally hatch in the first two weeks of June , As we are a couple of weeks behind the seasons down where the southern chalkstreams flow . Well I am pleased to say that it is that time of year again and the mayfly hatch is in full swing and this year it looks like being a good hatch . Some years the hatch is almost non existent or over so fast the fish do not get into feeding on them . Last Friday after work I got to one of the local streams to find clouds of spinners doing their amazing dance and big fat ladies like this out in good numbers . The trout were certainly taking them with enthusiasm. There is something pretty special about a warm summer evening on a wild stream with mayflies hatching.
The stream is only small and runs across farmland . and its pretty unkempt and even better its not stocked, it has a good head of wild brownies and a decent grayling population. The extent of vegetaion around the river , in the river and even blocking the river makes for fascinating fishing and also gives plenty of fish holding lies. Getting the fish out of them is an altogether different problem.
The mayfly pattern I use is dead simple and I have put it up on the blog once before so I won't bore you with it . basically a simple variation of an ethafoam body mayfly . All my flies fulfil a simple rule. easy and quick to tie, I lose a lot to bankside trees.
This picture is pretty typical of the stream although there are also some pools that would over top my chesties if I was to show to much bravado . Its a lovely little stream and I have fished it for quite some years . Long time blog readers may well recognise it . Its a very small club that controls it it is perfect .
The Wild brownies here are pretty but in a much more subdued way than the spate river fish I catch so often , more silver and less vivid spots mark them apart . But also and by comparison the stream is stocked and the stockies whilst been bigger do not possess the same glorius colours.
This is such a pretty stream though with thick ranunculas beds and heavy reed growth at the sides . Also and unlike most chalk streams wading is allowed and in many places is an absolute requirement due to the overgrown nature of the stream. It is this overgrown nature that is much of the attraction to me . I have fished some of the legendary southern chalk streams and for instance the Itchen whilst fascinating did not inspire me . Mown banks and pristine trimmed Bankside vegetation is a little sterile for my rough stream Northern upbringing .
Pretty isn't it....No mayfly though they don't like the hard bottom....