Thursday 14 February 2013


 Decided to take myself off for a few hours to my local reservoir this afternoon. I did have my fly rod in the car but decided instead to have a look see first. As you do.
It holds some good fish and I normally try from the dam wall which can be difficult due to the fact that the wind always seems to be blowing in your face. This does tend to turn your leader and tippet into looking like a tree house rope after a while, but it can be worth the extra effort.

I set off for a gingerly stroll around the 2 mile expanse of water hoping to catch sight of the resident Osprey as well as Pochard, Grebe and Tufted ducks that are also regularly spotted here.

I hadn't gone more than 500 yards when I took note of a distinctive silhouette perched upon a post by the floating walkway.

Was it............?
I thought to bring binoculars which gave me a better visual advantage than the pocket sized digital camera I had to take a photo or two with. But it did give me a chance to zoom in, crop and enhance when I got back in the warm.
My suspicions were correct and it was the Osprey resting after a feed. Sorry about quality  but it's best I could do under the circumstances.

It made my day and I hadn't yet fished. I pushed on beaming a smile to myself as I trudged along the dam wall, picking a few swan quills up that had collected there on the way.

Halfway along the dam I witnessed a pair of shoveller's. Further on still I believe a pintail but it was too brief a glimpse to be sure. cut short by a stumble, a cuss and resulted with me muddier than a gamekeepers dog. By the time I corrected myself and brushed the worst of it off the could be pintail was now but a mere pinprick on the horizon!

Pintail! See it?   Me neither....bugger!

Sure footed and steady I plodded on and reached the wooded copse thinned out from a harsh winter. I took a rest in the birdwatching hut where there's a logbook for notable birds of distinction. In among Tuesday afternoon's entries was one sighting of....a Pintail. So maybe, just maybe. Pride restored. Unusual, as it usually precedes a fall! Ha!

The last few hundred yards of the circuit opened up from the copse to reveal a stunning view of the reservoir beneath the foot of the Sussex downs and revealed a lone angler trying his luck. We exchanged a few pleasantries in which he remarked it was nice to have the whole place to fish by himself. We were interupted by the call of a hen harrier as she worked the hedgerows beside us and for me at least, marked a call to time. 
On days like these there is more to take with you than a few trout. I left the lone angler to find out for himself.