Bat­tling the blues

Hol­bury Lane Lakes is un­der new man­age­ment but Peter Cock will is pleased they’re con­tin­u­ing their rep­u­ta­tion for qual­ity, hard-fighting blue trout...

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

Peter Cock­will is pleased that Hol­bury’s new man­age­ment still of­fer blue trout

IDON’T get to visit the Rom­sey area ver y of­ten but ever y time I turn into the en­trance for Hol­bur y Lane, it re­minds me so much of the f isher y I once man­aged. It’s partly be­cause this is ver y clearly a much-loved and cared-for wa­ter, with a loyal band of cus­tomers who ob­vi­ously feel at home. How else do you ex­plain that many of them turn up to f ish, talk about it, have a cof­fee, wan­der off, maybe catch a f ish, come back and talk some more and then make plans to come back again soon. Dor­jee Gho­rak is now the man­ager and it’s a gen­uine plea­sure to see how he is mak­ing his mark on this well-es­tab­lished com­plex of lakes. A fa­mil­iar char­ac­ter on south­ern f ish­eries, Dor­jee has ever y in­ten­tion of main­tain­ing the Hol­bur y rep­u­ta­tion as a wa­ter where there will al­ways be the chance to catch a blue rainbow along with some spe­cial browns and rain­bows that sup­ple­ment the high stock level.

Stalk­ing po­ten­tial

Fed by the Dun, a River Test trib­u­tar y, the chalk­stream wa­ter gives the lakes a lush en­vi­ron­ment, and sup­ports a wide di­ver­sit y of f ly life. The clear wa­ter will cer­tainly let you see the f ish, but it truly pays to be ver y care­ful if you like to be se­lec­tive be­cause there are all sorts of deep pock­ets, over­hang­ing trees, sneaky cor­ners and out of the way places. Trout that have maybe been

“Fed by the River Dun, the chalk­stream wa­ter gives the lakes a lush en­vi­ron­ment and sup­ports a wide di­ver­sity of fly life.”

pricked by a f ly or have seen too many f luff y gold­heads soon learn to keep out of the way and you just have to chill out with the cast­ing and make sure you spend more time look­ing. The last time I dropped in to see Dor­jee was with friends over from Guernsey. Kevin and Sarah Saun­ders take a cou­ple of hol­i­days in this area each year and have be­come reg­u­lar vis­i­tors to the f isher y. Their home wa­ter, the reser voir on Guernsey, is a tad big­ger than the Hol­bur y lakes, but it’s the wa­ter clarit y and Dor­jee’s zany hu­mour that they come to ex­pe­ri­ence each year. To­day is no dif­fer­ent as both Peter Gather­cole and I love to have a laugh and so long as it’s at my ex­pense then every­one seems happy!

Lovely blue trout

On this visit, we are able to see En­vi­ron­ment Agency sanc­tioned work in progress to im­prove ac­cess on the Dun for f ish to by pass the old mill pool and also to see the old grow­ing-on ponds be­ing re­built. This will be so use­ful for the f isher y to have rain­bows, blues and browns on site for trickle stock­ing. As per usual, it’s my job to catch for Peter’s cam­era and I re­ally feel that I’ve done my bit with a lovely 3lb 8oz blue out of the Is­land Lake, but of course he wants more ac­tion shots from the other lakes. Al­ways happy to oblige, we then take a good look around and I have to say that there’s so much to look at, with a big va­ri­ety of trees and meadow grasses along with all man­ner of wildlife. Spot­ting a kingf isher is a high­light on any f ish­ing day and up near the Long Lake where the

Dun passes by is an ex­cel­lent place to stand qui­etly and keep watch. It’s on this lake that Peter is busy pho­tograph­ing an­glers op­po­site us where the back­drop is per­fect, while I can’t re­sist keep­ing an eye on the wa­ter. Some­thing is go­ing on be­cause more and more fish are ris­ing and yet I can’t see to what. Logic says that it must be a spo­radic buzzer hatch. This is October with most hatches over and vir­tu­ally no dad­dies this year, but oc­ca­sional heav y un­der wa­ter swirls in­di­cate that it must be some­thing com­ing to the sur­face.

Change of tac­tics

My set-up on the nar­rower lakes, when I had been us­ing a size 12 weighted nymph to cast at sighted f ish, had been a 12-foot leader and f loat­ing line on a 5w t. But now I want a longer leader with a skinny Quill Buzzer. It’s an easy job to cut off the tippet sec­tion which is at­tached to a 2mm sil­ver ring and add a new piece to make the leader up to 15 feet. First cast and the leader slides away when the Buzzer had only sunk a foot. It’s lovely when you make a tac­ti­cal change and get it right im­me­di­ately. The de­cent thing to do then is to let Peter Gather­cole have my rod. He’s ac­tu­ally a bet­ter caster than me at turn­ing over a long leader and hap­pily it then takes him lots of casts to f in­ally get a take, which of course gives me lots of op­por­tu­nity for ‘com­ments’! His f ish turns out to be a real jumper of a rainbow at 3lb-plus, and, be­ing such a good sport, he gives me the job of mak­ing the f ish go into the right place so that a classy net­ting shot is in the bag.

Good com­pany

There’s a group of guys who come here known as the ‘Thurs­day Boys’, and they ver y clearly en­joy each other’s com­pany and it’s re­ally nice to share the f isher y with them. In ad­di­tion, I meet up with Peter Per­main who used to run a fish­ery called Felix Farm and it’s good to talk over the last time we met some 15 odd years ago. Un­less you are a real loner or a bit of a grump, it’s this sort of ca­ma­raderie that makes for a great day out and both Peter and I leave Hol­bur y with a good feel­ing that all is well for the fu­ture and Dor­jee will un­doubt­edly con­tinue its legacy. He is be­ing ver y ca­pa­bly helped at times by Di­eter Dent who is the long-ser ving in­struc­tor for Hol­bur y. Just make sure you book him for help when he’s not drag­ging cut tim­ber out of the lakes or help­ing with re­stock­ing. While we were here, a batch of blue and sandy rain­bows came in from Damer­ham Fisher y and they re­ally are lovely ‘ex­tras’ to any venue. Our dull and over­cast day wasn’t the best for look­ing into deeper ar­eas, and au­tumn’s leaves on the wa­ter re­ally do block light pen­e­tra­tion, but I did spot one of the big­ger browns which would have been at least 6lb. It cruised around quite openly for a few min­utes but I wasn’t quick enough to get a nymph into its path be­fore it spot­ted me and was gone. But I will be back.

“First cast and the leader slides away when the Buzzer had only sunk a foot. It’s lovely when you make a change and get it right im­me­di­ately.”

Peter Cock­will Peter Gather­cole

Some of Hol­bury’s ‘Thurs­day Boys’ have a chat. An­other qual­ity blue trout fell to Peter’s of­fer­ings.

De­cent blue trout are a fea­ture at Hol­bury and Peter was happy to take ad­van­tage.

PETER’SBUZZERSET-UP Float­ing line 15ft leader in to­tal 9ft ta­pered leader Mini ring 6ft tippet of 4lb fluoro­car­bon Skinny Quill Buzzer Dor­jee (left) is a well-known face on south­ern venues. Part of the EA im­prove­ment works at the fish­ery.

The Buzzer had sunk only one foot when it was eaten by a rainbow.

The iconic mon­u­ment at Hol­bury Lane.

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