Finally, after what seems like weeks of fly tying, equipment buying and weather watching, the 1st of April came along and I got to start my membership at Canterbury and district angling association. The CDAA have mostly big course fishing lakes but at the end of a short 10 min walk through beautiful countryside there’s a small 2/3 acre trout pond. And what a pond it is! The CDAA also have a good few miles of the river Stour with at least a mile of it reserved for special members and stocked with big browns. I went down there for a look and its a magical bit of English chalk stream with visible trout holding in the current. There is a 2 year waiting list for this stretch of heaven but, fingers crossed, I may get on there sooner.
The Trout Pond is a lovely little lake nestled in a clearing surrounded by trees next to the river Stour. As small still waters go it’s amazingly varied with islands, reed beds, bays, over hanging trees and platforms sticking out into the water giving you a full 270˚ of casting in some cases. I’ve fished small lakes that are pretty much the same all the way round but this lake is so interesting and varied that there feels like a million different places trout could be feeding.
On arrival at the lake the wind was howling and there was no sign of any fish on top so I stuck to my fluorocarbon leader and popped a bloodworm (ish) buzzer on the end. Not knowing the lake and how shallow/deep it was in different places it was hard to know where to start so I kept out the wind and tried near an island. It was a bit shallow in this spot and the fluorocarbon leader was talking the fly down very quickly and the fly kept getting caught on the bottom. After a while I went round to the windward side – which seems to collect the fish this time of the year – and found a new spot. After a few casts I noticed a ridge of choppy water along the middle of the lake had trout top and tailing so I tried to cast to them. Flurocarbon leaders are great for getting the fly down but not for surface fishing and the leader I had on was working so well the fly was down out of range too quickly so I changed rig for a copolymer leader and a very small black buzzer with a bright lime sparkly cheek. Second cast in to the ridge of choppy water and I was into a very hard fighting 3 lb trout. Another 20 minutes later and another similar fish took the buzzer.
Then all of a sudden it went a bit quiet so I moved spots. Fish were still showing on the surface but nothing would tempt them so I moved back to my original spot. By this time the wind had dropped and the lake was flat calm with not much movement going on. I experimented with a few flies I tied myself and so decided to try the ‘squirmy wormy’. While this seems to get the local Roach very excited it wasn’t doing much for the trout until I changed from a static retrieve to something a bit more lively and then bang!, another hard fighting 2.5 lb trout jumped on.
For my first trip here I had a great day with great fish and it felt like the decisions I’d made during the afternoon had resulted in fish. Lets hope for plenty more afternoons like this!