Change to the Nymph Fishing Rules
The perfect day on a Southern Chalkstream as imagined by every fly fishing enthusiast goes something like this;
A warm June morning, a soft upstream breeze dries the wings of the myriad of hatching flies that have struggled to the surface to complete their life cycle. Trout compete with Swallows to feast on them for as long as the hatch lasts.
A fat, lazy trout lying in gin clear water intercepts up-winged flies as they hatch in profusion in beautiful unspoilt surroundings. The perfect cast with an impeccably tied representation of the natural insect floats over the fish without any hint of drag to alarm it. The fish rises slowly, gives the fly a cautious once over and then opens its mouth. The strike is timed to perfection and the fish is hooked.
This is the ideal scenario but sometimes nature conspires to make conditions less than perfect. Heavy rain, a cold North wind or a heatwave can suppress fly hatches and make the fish sluggish and not inclined to look to the surface for a meal. This is when the Upstream Nymph can save the day.
Done properly, it can be as skillful and rewarding as fishing the dry. The fish must still be visible and happy ,not alerted to the anglers approach. The nymph has to be a fair representation of the natural, and it must sink to the depth the fish is at by careful choice of weight and upstream “lead”. If all goes well, the Trout moves to intercept the trundling bug, he opens his mouth, a flash of white and the strike is made. All very exciting and a far cry from dredging the pools with a multi beaded creation that is more suited to Lake fishing.
With this in mind we have decided to allow the Upstream Nymph method to be used from May 1st, it should only be considered when the fish cannot be seen rising or cannot be tempted up. Fly hatches are sporadic, they do not happen all through the day. Sometimes there may be a window of opportunity that lasts 20 minutes, make the most of it.
The history of Dry Fly Fishing was made here at Leckford in the 1800’s. The pioneers of the sport travelled down from Northumberland to fish the Mayfly, such was the appeal of catching Trout with a floating fly. We want you to enjoy the whole Chalkstream experience and catching fish is part of that, so use the nymph if you need to but please do it properly. 200 years of fishermen have been trying to deceive fish into taking their fur and feather impressions, enjoy being a part of this.