On days when there has been little wind and some cloud cover the fish have been feeding avidly on the huge hatches of buzzers that have been in evidence. I have had a couple of guiding trips this week and thoroughly enjoyed both the company and the fishing.

On Monday I took my client to Cameley Lodge, which is not too far from Chew Valley. I don’t spend much time at smaller fisheries like Cameley, but with beginners it is often necessary to use this type of place. Cameley, which is run by John Harris, father of our up-and-coming young angler also called John, is an ideal venue for a short fishing trip. We could only spare about three hours and the two-fish afternoon ticket at £15 is good value. I saw some lovely trout in the lakes and my client did really well. We spent a short time working over the casting technique and then set to work on catching some of the fish we could see swimming around.

We opted to fish at the shallower end of the big lake to start with because the odd trout was showing on the surface; despite this fact it was a small nymph we used at first. It wasn’t too long before the first fish was expertly hooked and played to the net. As more rose it became time to try a small dry fly. Unfortunately nothing came up to this, so we moved on to one of the smaller ponds.

Many more fish were actively feeding on top here and soon one of them sipped in the dry fly we were using. It all happened quite slowly and in full view: it was great to pass this "learning" stage so early on in one’s fishing career. The trout caught was one of the smaller fish that John sometimes stocks for his corporate days; he had put up a notice stating if one of these was hooked it could be returned. Hence, I released this trout without even removing it from the water. Two more fish came up for the fly, but both were missed.

We stopped and had a bite of lunch after which, feeling refreshed, we fished on for another while. We were now back at the large lake and very soon Stephen caught a really good fish of just under three pounds. We then packed up. Several other anglers were fishing on Monday and, without exception, they were using "gold-heads": these flies seem to be almost compulsory these days on small stillwaters! For my client small nymphs and dries were fine and they require much less effort to fish effectively. I know I would rather be more relaxed if I were the one doing the fishing!

I had a trip to Chew on Friday and was able to fish this time as I had just one client in the boat. John wished to learn about various methods, areas and what times are best for trout fishing. We had some excellent sport. At first we pike fished and landed a couple, but saw many more as they followed the fly or slashed and missed. It certainly is good fun fishing for these "underwater wolves!" The best pike hooked was certainly over ten pounds, but this fish threw the hook as it leapt from the water.

As the evening approached we changed over to trout fishing and had three in double-quick time. All of the fish were cast at and took the fly instantly, two being rainbows between three and three and a half pounds, whilst the other was a ‘brownie’ of well over four pounds. In the evening there was a truly amazing rise of fish and, had John not pre-booked a meal in "The Live and Let Live", we would surely have had a boat-full. Instead, we went home pretty satisfied with the afternoon’s sport. John was one of the most enthusiastic fishermen I have worked with for a long time and I am certainly looking forward to guiding him again soon!

I have some dates still available if you are thinking of making a trip to the West Country. You can get hold of me at martin@troutguide.co.uk, or on 07747 843548. We are coming up for prime time – so don’t miss out!

Tight lines,

Martin Cottis