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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


01/06/2022 - A Few Hours On A Sussex Stream


Last year on a visit to Sussex last season, I was fortunate to be introduced to a gentleman, Roger his name, who had a mile of trout stream with a small weir pool, before my visit this year I sent him a letter asking if it would be possible to fish for a day. I got a call back within a couple of days, saying “Martin you are welcome anytime, also please join us for lunch on the day you visit”. On the appointed day I was like all fly fishers excited at fishing a new venue, pulling into the car park, Roger was waiting for me with his two labs, I could also see a small weir pool, looking across to the stream I could see a couple of wagtails catching flies as they hatched off, from a distance they looked like hawthorn flies with their long trailing legs.


I said to Roger “Must be a hatch coming off” he agreed. After a long lunch with lots of discussions on flies and tackle, Roger said “I have some business to deal with in Chichester, so you should go off fishing”. I made up an 8 foot weight 4 rod a small Ross reel with a floating line to which I attached a 12 foot leader with a 3lb tippet, my first choice of fly was an hawthorn, making my way to the waterside I noticed a chaffinch had joined the wagtails, there was also some nice flowing lengths of crowfoot a wonderful plant with its daisy like flowers later in the season.


Sitting on the bank I waited for a fish to show, within minutes three decent rises were observed, I picked one then watched the area, ten minutes later the fish showed again, as the fish showed for a third time I made a thirty foot cast upstream dropping the fly a few feet upstream of the feeding fish, then watched closely for a take, the fly drifted down and away no interest, I made two more casts, still no action and no more fish rising. it was time for a change. This time I chose a small Walker mayfly nymph which has proved very good in similar situations over many years. In the next twenty thirty minutes I had some exciting sport, My first fish was a trout of around fourteen inches, which had intercepted the nymph some inch or so under the surface. In the next three hours I had two more trout the best around sixteen inches all returned. The end of a very good session.



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Martin James Fishing
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