I needed to get shots of brown trout mating activity for the book but, as with many of the shots for the book, the wildlife do not do things to order. The timing on my chosen rivers is late December through to end of January for the best chance of spotting them spawning. Craig of the Piscatorial Society reckons you can almost guarantee spawning activity the day after Boxing Day on the upper Test. This is not an ideal time to leave the family but I spent a day searching likely spots. The river level was very low and of course the weather did not perform so I had a wasted day as the trout decided to wait a bit.
I needed to find the redds the trout make in suitable clean gravel where there is also good flow. Several contacts suggested locations but after three 140 mile return trips I had spotted a few redds but no trout action.
Then Nick Gooderham came to the rescue as we were tipped off that there were redds viewable on the Bourne Rivulet. So in January 2019 Nick gained the permission from the owner and we walked the length of the stretch and right at the end came across a fabulous sight - several sizeable trout going about their mating activity. I think we were both blown away to see this so clearly in very shallow crystal clear water. The summer drought and very low water levels did me a favour as normally the trout activity would be underwater so getting decent images from the bank would be impossible. They would have come out murky even with a polarising filter. My luck was in today and the trout were thrashing around and breaking the surface in a bit of a frenzy, giving me some highly visible action shots. Nick and I felt privileged to see this. I have included a sequence of the action in the book.