I was actually doing the trading in the morning and was only able to see occasional minutes of the Royal Wedding, but actually quite enjoyed what I saw - all that pomp and pagentry, Britain is quite good at that kind of thing. The people of TV and radio all seemed to think that the dress was great (do such things matter?). I was particularly impressed by Pippa, the maid of honour, who also looked lovely.
But soon after lunch, Jerome is back on the trading having taken his kids to a street party for the wedding, and I can go fishing for the afternoon / evening. A new venue today, Barnes' Lake at Standlake, only a couple of miles from home and billed as a "sporting venue" - i.e. one in which you can't fish with lures. Nymphs and dry flies only. My neighbour, Roy, had mentioned this venue in the past, but today was my first trip. I must say I really like the fact that it is only two miles away.
I met the owner at the little lodge - a spritely 70 odd year old who spent most of the rest of the day riding round the lakes on his Quad bike. As we talked, several dozen fish either rose or jumped in the lake by the lodge. However this was also flat calm and I went off to the larger lake at the back where I was promised a bit of breeze.
The main problem at the venue was the very close proximity of bank side vegetation - various trees and bushes. This proved a little challenging for distance casting. Also for the first hour or two there were no fish showing in the bigger lake. But then a slight change prior to a tiny rain shower, and I caught a couple of fish in quick succession - really hard fighting fish of about 2lbs each. Then something rather strange - a really savage take that nearly ripped the line from my hand but resulted in the leader snapping. Not had that happen for years using 6lb fluorocarbon. But having set up a new leader, the same thing then happened again two casts later in the same spot. I would like to think it was a huge fish.
Before I could have another go for it, the wind picked up and I found casting directly into it to be pretty impossible, so a move round to the bay at the far end and some shelter. There is nothing like having a slight tail wind to improve one's casting. Half a dozen casts later I caught a small brown trout of maybe 3/4 lbs. Then with the wind dropping again, it was back to the windier spot where I managed to raise three fish to the dry hopper fly I was using and have another 3 takes on the nymph, yet couldn't hook any of them.
The evening produced a decent enough rise and I managed another another half dozen takes on either the nymph or the dry, yet hooked only one more fish, another rainbow. Lots of fish jumping during the evening, including some very nice sized fish that looked over 5 lbs. A final chat to the owner, who instructs me how to lock up the lodge and fasten the gate before leaving me to it for the last few casts. Very exciting fishing as it got darker, with plenty of fish moving, but not taking my flies.
I should think this venue will definitely see a fair few visits from me this year. It is so nice to have somewhere so good and so close.