Today I was lucky enough to be invited for a day’s Mayfly fishing on the River Kennet on the Benham estate.  this wonderful piece of Britain has all the things you could ever want for a fantastic fishery , lots of different streams, wonderful countryside and abundant insect life. We arrived and fished the top beat first. The Mayfly hatch was sporadic, fish would rise for 10 minutes and then stop for 20 . There were spinners about all day, again in sporadic falls, sometimes one or two occasionally a few dozen but no consistency. The waters edge was alive with Damsel flies and Demoiselles, I saw at least 4 different species. By lunch time I’d snared two good browns and a lovely brassy chub

A good Kennet chub

The upper beat , Benham estate

After a lunch of cold meat and a couple of beers we started off on the Parliament Draft, a carrier off the main channel. Another lovely bit of water, quite tight and with a few difficult overhanging trees. I quickly took a very nice brown from the bridge pool on a Hairy Hotchkiss

A good Brown from the Parliament Draft

This was quickly followed by a couple of feisty rainbows both taken on spinner patterns!  We finally moved onto the main channel to seek the huge fish I’d lost last year. Sadly he wasn’t at home. Instead I amused myself with another four rainbows up to about 3lbs. in weight. I also added a tiny chub to the tally. By now quite exhausted having walked about 7 miles, we called it a day with around 20 fish between us. Clouds of dancing Mayflies were over the meadows, the spinner fall later on would have been spectacular.

Mayfly in transition

The last and biggest rainbow