The weather in July was extreme, the hottest month ever recorded including 38.7 degrees on 25 July. Nearly two inches of rain fell, spread over 10 days but the hot nights kept the water temperature in the rainbow lakes high. The fishing was difficult and the trout were only active in the early morning and late afternoon/evening.
During the first week of July members caught 42 trout from the lakes including a fish of 4lbs 4ozs from Little Springs. A few mayfly could be seen along the river but the trout had ample food on the river bed and had no need to chase flies on the surface. A kick sample was taken from the new riffle above Rotherbridge which showed plenty of shrimps, olive and stonefly nymphs.
In the second week of July the water temperature in the rainbow lakes reached 22 degrees and the trout were difficult to tempt, 9 fish were caught. The water temperature at Little Bognor, where the lakes are spring fed, was 17 degrees and the fish rose well for buzzers. Nine fish were caught from the river including a grayling. Nymphs fished deep in the late evening accounted for several trout.
Heavy weekend rain in the third week of July saw the river rise and then drop back to its normal summer level. The majority of the lake caught trout came from Little Bognor. The water temperature in the rainbow lakes increased to 25 degrees. The trout in the river were quite spooky, a careful approach and a well presented fly was essential. Ten fish were caught during the week on a variety of dry flies and nymphs.
Towards the end of the month 17 trout were caught from the lakes, all except one from Little Bognor. The successful flies were Pheasant Tail Nymph, buzzers and Adams. There were 10 trout caught from the river and the fish were rising for dry flies at dusk. In the last week of July and a few days into August, members visited the lakes on 47 occasions and caught 29 trout, all from Little Bognor. The river was fished on 23 occasions and a total of 11 trout were caught mainly from Beat E, the Fish Pass.
If the hot, humid and thundery weather continues through August the best fishing will be found at Little Bognor and the river. Flying ants were swarming on Thursday and it would be good to have a couple of imitations in your fly box. Crane flies will hatch from the water meadows along the river and there will be hatches of sedge in the evenings.