It was a peaceful Sunday morning as I negotiated the winding country lanes of the Quantock Hills on my way to Hawkridge Reservoir near the Village of Spaxton a few miles from Bridgewater.
Countryside illuminated by the early morning sunshine seemed to ooze tranquillity and timelessness. This seemed particularly poignant as I listened to the news on Radio 4. The terror of conflict in Israel, death and destruction on the dawn of a new war that will undoubtedly bring much sadness and breed yet more hatred.
I arrived at Hawkridge the mirror calm surface pimpled with rising trout. Herons stood fishing on the far bank.
I was with Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club on their annual meeting with South West Fishing For Life. https://www.southwestfishingforlife.org.uk
The organisation has been running for over fourteen years and provides free fly fishing sessions for people who have one thing in common – breast cancer.
This friendly meeting always results in plenty of smiles as we share boats and try to tempt a few trout.
Members of the two groups slowly assembled beside the lake all eagerly eyeing the lake and its surface still dimpled with rising trout. On the far bank a couple of roe deer bounded into view disturbed by an angler approaching the far shoreline.
The draw was made at just after 10.00am and participants eagerly set off to various parts of the lake. My boat partner sadly failed to show leaving me soul occupancy of the boat a fate of hand that proved fruitful from a fishing perspective.
Loitering close to the dam end of the lake I drifted about for a while searching the water with a floating line and a team of flies. By now the fish had stopped rising as the unseasonably warm October sunshine illuminated the surroundings. After an hour with just one chance, I decided that the fish must be down in the water. As I wound in to change the lines over I felt a strong pull. A good sized rainbow appeared shaking its head to successfully rid itself of the hook.
I persisted with the change to a sinking line and allowed the boat to drift to rest against the buoys near the dam. A few fish were rising and I cast parallel to the buoys close to where a fish had showed. The line zipped tight and a spirited tussle followed before a pleasing rainbow was netted. An exciting hours sport followed as I hooked several trout some of which came off before I completed my five fish limit shortly after 1.00pm. The fish were all tempted using a blue flash damsel and generally took within seconds of the fly hitting the water. The fish were tightly shoaled and I had been lucky as I feel sure I would have headed to the far end of the lake if my boat partner had showed.
The morning session ended at 2.00pm and we all assembled back at the lodge for the presentation of prizes. I was slightly embarrassed to receive the top boat man’s award for my five fish haul that totalled 13lb. Peter Mullins took the SWFFL prize with a 2lb 12oz rainbow.
Sally Pizii had once again done a splendid job of organising the event.
I headed for home after a great morning’s sport and tuned into Radio 2’ and sounds of the seventies. The rest of the Wistlandpound Club headed back out onto the water. David Eldred completed his five fish bag to win the competition with 14lb.
The club result was : –
1st David Eldred. Five trout – 14lb
2nd – Wayne Thomas – Five trout 13lb
3rd – Colin Combe – three trout
4th – Roy Pink – Two trout