Moorhen Trout Fishery rainbows becalmed.

December 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm

 With confidence boosted from a successful day at storm swept Meon Springs last week, friend Peter and I travelled a few miles further south to the village of Warnford and Moorhen Trout Fishery this week, to find a complete turn around in the weather had resulted in flat calm conditions.

Meeting up with Michael, another one of Peter’s cronies, we had the water to ourselves and to a man we opted for Bloodworm nymphs under indicator yarn. Crossing the wooden bridge to the island, I set my indicator to three feet, casting hard to the base of a tree along the carpark bank, where the roots offered some cover in the crystal clear water and waited for the yarn to disappear. The yarn rotated and bobbed. That was it. There were fish here, but they were choosy. Another cast and the line stopped on the drop with six inches to go. Hung up on a root? The line trembled, then two inches of leader dipped beneath the glass like surface. A lift of the rod. Nothing. This was as fussy as fishing real bloodworm with the pole on a winter canal.

The sound of a fish thrashing the surface, heralded Michael breaking his duck with a hard fighting rainbow from the open water. I moved round the island to face him and could see that he was fishing his bloodworm at 18 inches on a tight line and striking at any movement of the indicator. Keeping my original depth setting, I followed suit and spent a frustrating half hour missing the slightest of takes, briefly making contact a couple of times, while Michael landed another two fish.

For me a change of plan was needed and an old Moorhen favourite the Blue Flash Damsel nymph was substituted, with the leader greased within two feet of the damsel, instead of the indicator. My first cast was allowed to sink for ten seconds, before I began the slowest of retrieves, watching the leader for any pause. It held and I lifted into solid resistance. At last I was in and playing a determined, full tailed 2lb rainbow, able to follow it’s every move to the net in the clear water.

The hook, firmly set in the scissors of the rainbow’s jaw, belied the minimalist take. I’d used a barbless to aid hooking, but paid the price ten minutes later, when, after missing more takes, I was in again to a much bigger fish, which spun and dived trying to get rid of the hook embedded in the tip of it’s nose, shaking free just short of the net.

Michael was now at his four fish limit, while Peter, who had done a tour of the fishery, had not succeeded in landing a fish, despite several on and was having “one of those days”, his confidence evaporating, while suffering wind knots, or hooking the shrubbery. We’ve all been there! My frustrations continued, with follows almost to the bank, but at least I was having some response to my efforts and I knew it was only a matter of time, before one held on long enough. It happened, just as Peter, with relief, slipped the net under his first fish. A series of gentle plucks, as the fish nosed the long tail of the nymph, developed into a hold and the hook was set into a boiling rainbow, which did all it could to break free. As it came close, I could see that once again the hook was in the very tip of the hard jaw, but this time, despite it’s gyrations, safely slid it into the net, where relieved of it’s pressure, the hook dropped out.

This larger fish completed my two fish limit and after bagging them at the clubhouse, I walked round to give Peter moral support in his efforts to catch his second. Michael was already there and offered Peter one of his hand tied Blue Flash Damsels, which began to get tippy, tap takes from the off. We watched each pull and tap, until, yes, he was playing a fish. 

 Peter made short work of this fight and scooped his limit rainbow the net.

With this fish netted, it was time to retire to the clubhouse for Fishery Manager Wendy to get the cooking irons out to prepare a well earned lunch, while we looked back on a challenging session.