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Ole Bjerke
The River Test                                                             Page 2
Ole Bjerke on Partridge stand

Ole on the Partridge stand, sitting after a long day at the British Fly Fair International.
This guy is always working; great dedication and a great host.

Our host “awesome” Ole on the Brockhill water just out of Redditch in Worcestershire

We arrived at our beat on the river around 9am and for the last part of our drive down from Redditch we drove in thick fog, a fog that unfortunately was to last all day long.   Not to be daunted, we set up our gear amongst anticipation and to talk over the chatter of Ring-neck Pheasants playing around in the wooded area behind us.
The river banks were partially cleared to allow ample room for your back cast and along the beat were benches to sit on.  These are not only for resting but to sit and watch, for it is interesting to note that that chalk streams run at more or less at a constant temperature for most of the year and it only drops a few degrees over the winter period.  Mayfly, mostly Baetids, can emerge most of the year but as you would expect, only in small numbers over the colder months.  Even in late October there were caddis coming off.

After a little explanation of the water, flies to use and spotting spawning trout right out in front of us, we split up to try our luck.  Ole and I went up from our semi-enclosed fishing hut.

Lunch time and what lunch it was; that’s me scratching my head in disbelief.  To my left is our guide, Terry Beale, his caterer/assistant with her back to us.  Ole’s other guests from Sweden are Niklaus left then Per and last on the right is Leif with the foggy River Test in the background.

A little instruction about the fishing and spawning trout

I crossed the river and only walked a very short distance before I spotted a school of Grayling and a very large Brown Trout tucked in against a bunch of weed.
I ran a weighted nymph past the pod of grayling a couple of times without a single reaction from those fish  That was until the fly drifted by that resting Brown, a flash and it was on, but not for very long because the huge fish simply headed for the weeds and it was all over.

To me fishing is not only about winning but the knowledge one learns from losing.

To be honest, I did not expect to hook into such a large fish so early in the day.  Standing there talking with Ole about my loss we had a call from Terry to come back down to a small, shallow spillway as he was into some Grayling and he had caught four in a very short period.

Terry Beale

Terry Beale releasing one of his Grayling

Heading back down and crossing the river again I was handed a very pink Shrimp pattern, ‘here, tie this on and cast up along that bank and let it drift over those clear spots amongst the weeds.  That’s where they are sitting.’

Well within a cast or two my bright pink bit of greasy wool we used as an indicator went under and I was into my first Grayling.

Thanks, Terry, my first Grayling.  It should be noted that we do not have Grayling in Australia.

I am not sure how many Grayling we took out of that section; collectively it must have been eight or ten fish. 

A little instruction from Terry helped a lot

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