If you have followed my facebook posts you will know I’m engaged in a species hunt with the Complete Fisher forum facebook page. So far I’ve not done very well but there seems to be little opposition this year. In an attempt to drive more entries I went out for a couple of hours today, armed with a 5wt, floating line and a handful of wet and dry flies. I started of in Sunbury on Thames but my chosen spot was packed with 5 bivvies and the heaviest group of anglers I’ve ever seen. They had clearly been there for at least 24 hours and the mess around was appalling, food waste , plastic bags etc etc Perhaps they will take it home with them. Anyway I was so disillusioned that I decided to go to the Desborough cut where i’d been told there was good head of big perch, one of my missing species. This is what I found in the car park

Rubbish at the Desborough cut

I walked the banks where i’d fished many times but not recently and found evidence of fires, trees cut down for firewood, beer cans and sweetcorn cans everywhere. The swims were badly overgrown and fly fishing was out of the question. A quick trip to the canal was the only option. I am very lucky to have such a selection of water within 5 miles of home. The Wey Navigation is one of the prettiest canals and not usually busy in mid week.

Where the Navigation meets the river Wey.

I fished along the canal for a while but apart from optimistic rises from inch long fry to my size 22 F Fly nothing was moving. At the confluence with the main river, I crossed the road and fishing in fornt of the posh houses. There were lots of small fish showing in 9 inches of water in the back eddy and a good sized shoal of 10″ chub under the bridge. I started on those first and spooked the whole shoal with the first cast. Undeterred I turned my attention to the other fish and quickly saw the F fly engulfed by a roach of all of 5 inches. I followed this up with 2 chublets, one of which was as pretty as a picture with orange fins and black tail so two more species added. I ended the morning at Coxes lock on the canal but there was nothing doing and lots of floating weed.

A roach on the fly

Small but beautifully marked Chub