The continuing adventures of the Fluff Club, Episode 63*

vital

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Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
345
Location
South of England
“Roses are red

Violets are blue,

I’m schizophrenic

And so am I” - Bill Murray



A couple of days after Storm Bella blew through came the last Fluff Club outing of 2020, Meon Springs. We were here approximately a year ago, as well as episodes 10, 27, 34, 40 and 59. Once more into (Tier Four) Covid lockdown, I could think of plenty of worse places to be, even with the sleet, hail, rain and day temperature of just two degrees C. I hoped the six degrees drop had been sudden enough that the water would not have cooled that much, because trout can get lethargic when it’s below five degrees. Yesterday, the barometer couldn’t get any lower, the only way is up, baby! Cold fingers crossed, I rigged up a six weight with an intermediate, checked in through the lodge window with Greg, before squelching off along Whitewool. The fishery operates a loyalty card scheme: nine stamps on your card and you get a free fish; today, I could pay for two and take three.

The Inspector had arrived at 08.30 to find two guys had already bagged-up, indeed, before Whytee had even made a cast, Lumberjack was playing a fish. The Professor, up on Coomb, had one first throw. Whytee intended to trial a pink-winged mylar-bodied Cormorant variant, with a Lite-brite ‘thorax’ and a fluoro-orange thread head. Second cast … bingo! Fish were being caught all around the fishery, the Admiral and son Jeremy were in next with a double-up! The Inspector had commenced hostilities with a yellow, rubber-legged Daddy pattern which immediately produced follows from two or three fish, but wanting to slow things up somewhat he snipped it off his tippet before heading for the opposite bank. In less than an hour, the Professor filled his four-fish ticket on Coomb, using a BFD-inspired lure with a tungsten bead and lead underbody and plenty of bling; I’d say more of a leech than a damsel. Jackdaw would have approved. Also, as has become his custom, the Professor had dropped a few, the long distance release technique that had once been the Admiral’s forte! The water in Coomb was carrying a lot of chalk, and now that milkiness was starting to seep into Whitewool beneath the little road bridge.

The sleet began to fall harder, with some hail thrown in for good measure, and Whytee went to shelter in the small hut at the dam end. There were lots of fowl out on the water: a small flock of Goldeneye, a few Coots, Mallards, some farm ducks, two pairs of Dabchicks, two Swans, and five Greylag geese. Lumberjack netted his second then joined Whytee under shelter, socially distant, of course. On the far side, the Inspector lost one mid-fight, while the Admiral and son both landed their second fish from half way along the regular bank. The Professor had decided to go for a new ticket, re-joining the FBs on Whitewool.

The sleet turned back into rain, then stopped, at last. Whytee almost immediately banked a second Rainbow then headed for the lodge and a hot coffee. There, on the decking, was Keith, who used to run the fishery. It was great to catch up again, Keith was in good form, and regaled the Professor and Whytee, joined by Greg, with some great stories from times gone by. He gave up helping Malcolm at Manningford a while ago, not least because a truck ran him off the road when he was driving back home one dark evening.

Past mid-morning now and several anglers gone, the Admiral and son went down to try the C&R beats, joining two others. The two chaps who had bagged early doors had already given up on the C&R and driven away. The Inspector hooked another fish close to the interface of clear and chalk-water but it came off. Nevertheless, fishing the same area with a static buzzer he soon had his brace in the bag. Lumberjack had netted a third, and decided enough was enough. Whytee left the decking and wandered down near to the area vacated by the Inspector, second cast, and Bang! The free fish pulled hard, despite only being two pounds plus. Less than a dozen casts, in total, for three fish does not actually prove the trialled pattern was a good ‘un, given that the fishing had been ‘easy’. It’s inconclusive because all sorts of patterns had worked. The Professor banked seven fish with his ‘BFL’ and hooked more besides, the Inspector caught with buzzers, the Admiral and his son both used “big and black” as advised by Greg, for their four. The best fish caught by a Fluff Boy was two-and-a-half pounds, but quite a few of the fish caught had been sub-two, unusual for this fishery where I would expect the average fish to be between two and three.

I packed my gear away, bid the season’s best to the Inspector and Lumberjack, heading for home. I grabbed my camera for a brief walk around the fishery. Up on Coomb, mist was starting to rise from the surface, while the trees atop the valley that Meon Springs inhabits were already lost in either low cloud or mist. I found the Professor down near Whitewool’s dam, just as the Admiral and Jeremy came up from the C&R beats, “Nothing doing” was all they said before trudging off to settle up. The Professor had already added two to his total, and as I readied the camera his Hardy bent into a very satisfying curve before the trout was brought to the net. “Seven is enough” said the Professor, gathering his gear before turning toward the Lodge.

The very best for 2021 to all who read this. Stay safe!

Do naslednjega.



*in which the names of the participants are pseudonyms in an effort to be as inclusive to others as possible, in an attempt to attain the widest readership. I will be grateful for any comment the reader cares to make. Thank you.
 
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vital

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
345
Location
South of England
Its one of the few permitted activities provided you are outdoors, and sanitising after touching anything that you didn't bring from your own bubble, and as long as you have had no symptoms in the preceding seven days. To be clear though, the fishery is not in a Tier Four area and is not required to close.
 
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