On this weblog smallwater specialist Stuart Smitham visits Halliford Mere trout fishery, located on the outskirts of West London. Learn on to search out out extra about this fascinating venue and the way the fishing was.
The place it began for us. I used to be posted to Hounslow in or round 1998 for public duties and by likelihood had heard of a small fishery, providing trout fishing on a Catch & Launch ticket. Located close to Heathrow Airport and close to the bustling M25 and M3 motorways, this venue was a gravel pit. It’s stones and gravel little doubt used to construct the encompassing street methods, that are actually a well-known characteristic in our everyday lives.
Some months in the past, I used to be chatting with my good buddy Michael Valler, when he talked about he needed to attempt one other trout fishery, so I put Halliford Mere ahead as a selection of vacation spot for a future day journey. I phoned the fishery on the 25th April and spoke to the proprietor/ supervisor Invoice who runs the fishery together with his brother Gerry. Additionally they run the very profitable restaurant which gained a Les Routiers award for Venue of the 12 months 2017. With a full a’la Carte menu and Seafood, you can be spoiled for selection.
With round 15 acres of fishing and utilising 4 lakes, this fishery has rather a lot to supply, for a slim £20 C&R ticket. Three of the lakes providing up and Perch & Trout fishing and Lake four is a predator lake with some very giant Pike lurking the depths. One factor is for certain, we’ll should work onerous to get a fish to the online at present, because the solar begins burning the low cloud away and the all too acquainted sound of jets streaking to sunnier climes. Having gleaned some information from Invoice on the earlier Tuesday, we arrive on Saturday having travelled the quick journey from Michael’s home.
Mrs Valler isn’t eager on us losing a few pounds at present, so she has put a snack bag collectively to feed a small Military. We now have a number of flies to attempt, in order we drive within the fishery we park up and go to satisfy Gerry within the restaurant and pay for our day tickets. There’s a chap on the primary lake, attempting to tempt fish which are on the fin, within the lake centre and so they’re having none of it. A few of these seem like lumps, plus there are brown buzzer coming off, proper now?
Gerry offers us the run down on the lakes and a few concept on depths we will anticipate, stating the primary lake is round 22 ft, so I get some concept chief size? We get to the automotive with fumbling fingers and hasty sort out ups. A few of the higher casting factors on the primary lake are already getting used, so we choose to get lost to Lake 2 for a sniff round. There’s an everyday right here who feeds us some information on what he fishes, then tells us concerning the 30lb Pike he misplaced on the primary lake the opposite week. Now a pike is one factor, however a 30lb pike is kind of one thing else. We begin a wander, to search out feeding fish and find yourself strolling previous the homes that again onto the primary lake and lake 2.
Ending up immediately reverse the chap we simply spoke to, Mick has the Airflo Super Dri Bandit, 10 ft of 7lb G3 tippet and a single black buzzer with a gold rib and purple tag. He’s additionally utilizing and airlock indictor, which float rather well and will be adjusted up or down the chief, with out affecting the leaders energy. Me, I go for Tremendous Dri Mend, which is a superb line for supporting heavy flies, being barely thicker and is Hello Vis within the sharp daylight. I’ve 14 ft of 7lb G3 and I put a dropper on, round 5 ft from the fly line tip. A #14 Black Mirage Cormie on the dropper and a Pearly inexperienced buzzer on level.
From our space on a spit, we will see fish shifting and smashing buzzers coming off on a wind ruffled section in the course of this water. Strive as we would, we get nothing so go for some enjoyable. There are fish shifting with a rod size of us, so Mick now places on a inexperienced beaded shammie and I’ve a purple beaded one to attempt to get a response. Mick makes a solid and begins shifting his lure in towards us. I go away mine static. Mick makes re-cast and begins speaking to me, when he misses a tough pull and begins cursing! I then miss a take too. Serves us each proper for not watching eh?
We proceed this for some time and see extra fish beginning to rise to buzzer. We make a daring transfer as much as Church Bay on Lake three, after getting some sizzling information from our buddy, however after we get there, there’s rather a lot weed and the banks aspect fringes are choked with weed, so we wander again to the primary lake. After just a few tentative casts into some very darkish deep holes, we will hear our bellies speaking, so a brew and a few scotch eggs are very welcome. Re-energised we begin a solid and peek across the backside of the primary lake close to the street in.
Mick now has an Olive Damsel knotted on with a silver Tungsten head and silli legs trailing off it. I’ve modified to 17ft of tippet and a single tanksie lure, in black and inexperienced with a black 4mm brass bead on the head. I can hear this whistling previous me as I solid, so I examine the place of my glasses earlier than beginning the retrieve. I’m fan casting in brief and medium size shoots and spot a faint shadow on proper heading for me. I cease retrieving and remorse it right away! A brown of round six kilos simply sidles by as I’m left pulling line in, to make a re-cast in entrance of this beast. Nothing?? We transfer to the alternative aspect of the Lodge and restaurant and another chaps are attempting to tempt the trout within the lake centre. These fish have seen a line or two earlier than and are out of my vary, as a result of we’ve got restricted again solid room with hedges and timber.
Shifting up a peg, I can get a line out and miss what I believe was a fish. Then deliver again some weed about three-foot lengthy. With weed choked lake fringes on the high finish of the primary lake, we wander once more. As we stroll into what appears to be like like a secluded part on lake three, Mick heads for some extent and I make for some tree coated financial institution, that provides a possibility for difficult casting. I now have about 18 ft of tippet and a Yellow sizzling physique with a white tail. This little gold head works effectively and has a fluttering motion within the tail. Second solid to the far financial institution and I lock up, the see a small brown round 2.5lb spit the hook and provides me the fin. Gutted but prepared once more, I make one other solid to the identical spot. I watch the fly come again then see the flash, As an alternative of ready to really feel the hit, I line strike straight down chopping my line hand away. That’s when the rod tip involves life.
That was some take, so I ask Mick to pop just a few picks off whereas I play the sprightly Halliford Bow. After just a few snaps it streaks again down into the darkish water. I lengthen my solid and shoot about 40 ft of line beneath the timber. Success straight off and Mick comes over to see the hustle and bustle, as a hard-scrapping bow sparkles the water floor with a splashy head thrash.
Mick strikes forward of me and begins small casts into the margins. Most of my fish are deep however simply seen within the gloomy water. Mick misses a take and so do I. This little sizzling mattress space is fairly cool with a number of exercise. I miss a number of takes as a result of I’m watching Mick then glancing again and catching the pluck on the my fly.
We transfer to a degree which is a superb space for casting a protracted line. I begin joking with Mick about getting a smiley choose with a fish, when he locks up! He’s effectively happy and fights this fish onerous. Rod bent and smiling like a Cheshire cat, he simply releases the stress on the hook maintain barely. Simply sufficient for the feisty bow to slide the hook as Mick is able to internet it. Supremely gutted, Mick checks is rig then adjustments his chief to about 12 ft lengthy and casts out. I make a protracted solid with the hauling zone outdoors the tip ring. That’s over 60 ft of line out, then thump thump and my rod tip begins dancing. What successful that’s! I begin gaining line then lose it once more? I’m now pondering huge fish, so play it secure and acquire line slowly. The fish is coming in, so I reel within the line on the deck and acquire the higher hand. My line banding is taking pictures out and in of the water as we each attempt try the battles wits. Then it pops the water floor in a splashy scrap and I slide the online beneath. What a tussle and this fish is round 2.5lb so nothing huge, however a pleasant tail explains the fights all to obviously.
I relaxation on the peg as my toes are killing me! Earlier than anybody says something, I don’t have ft like a hobbit. As a result of the factors of the lakes are slanted, you find yourself pushing your ft into the entrance of your boots. Therefore me taking a relaxation Lol. I encourage Mick to look at his line, he’s fishing considered one of our fave flies, the techno cat. A Cats whisker with a purple bead head. Mick is utilizing the FTA methodology and makes a protracted pull, after some plucks and stops, then simply brings the fly again to the floor and misses a splashy comply with and take.
I inform Mick to make a protracted solid close to the reeded far financial institution. He’s about to start out a retrieve after I cease him. I inform him we don’t know the depth there, so let it sink few seconds extra, then make a pull. As quickly as he begins the pull, he will get hit and the fish spits the fly on the floor! Unbelievable or what? He makes one other solid simply to the suitable of his final solid and the banded begins juddering? Mick strikes and he’s in!!! Maintaining stress with no let up, I give Mick my internet as I’m taking pictures pics off like mad. He leans down and pushes the online out and this bow pops the hook!! You couldn’t write this might you?? Don’t reply that.
Because the afternoon begins ebbing away, we each realise that point will not be on our aspect. We now have to barter the M25 and M3 once more, however this time when everybody else is driving on it? We now have the final, final casts and stroll towards the lodge at 4pm. Catching Gerry on the lodge and Invoice who appears to be like very dapper in readiness for a night within the restaurant. We inform them concerning the Brown on the backside of the primary lake, then discover out that they haven’t stocked Brownies for just a few years, but we’ve seen two??
A superb day and one Mick will keep in mind because the day that might have been? I might have liked to see Mick with a fish in his palms, however that was to not be. From my perspective, a pleasant fishery with £20 for a C&R ticket. Darkish water vivid fly labored a allure for us. It did take some time to cotton onto the best methodology, nevertheless it was good enjoyable attempting totally different approaches and ways.
Tremendous Dri Mend got here by way of once more for me. It simply floats like a cork and shoots rather well, even with heavy flies. G3 got here up trumps! Zero breakages, even on the onerous pulls and lunges. Spectacular
So, in case your ever in London and caught for a spot to moist a line, give Invoice & Gerry a buzz. Take the Mrs and benefit from the night stroll after your meal. No matter you consider Halliford Mere, all I can do is offer you a flavour of what we loved on our day. Lets hope yours is, as fulfilling as ours.