Last Sunday Dave Blackbourn and I visited a new beat on the River Onny at Craven Arms in the delightful Shropshire countryside. The beat is called ‘Stokesay’ after which a well know Border fly pattern is named.
Light southerly wind, some cloud and odd bits of sunshine and some warmer temperatures made the day look promising and so it turned out to be with fish caught in every pool primarily to the New Zealand style of fishing. Interestingly, Dave used the two patterns that he demonstrated recently for our Annual Comp. i.e the Humpy and the tiny brown bead head nymph. Both worked well with the size 22 nymph outscoring the dry. I used a similar combination with a size 20 PT nymph doing most of the damage.
This is a pretty beat with good access and mainly good wading. Some 3/4 mile of double bank all of which is fishable and bookable through the booking office system. It was interesting to note that during a small hatch of Olives, Robins and Wrens were seen to be taking fly on the wing as well as the usual Grey Wagtail. I was also severly scolded by a Nuthatch in one pool as I was presumably near some kind of nesting site!
Nice to be out on a Spring day and we will both return I am sure when things warm up even further. The picture below is of a lovely 14″ specimen that Dave had on his tiny nymph even thought the fish was rising steadily to surface flies.