Some years ago I was lucky to get to fish the Test on some of it's fabulous beats, treating customers to days out! This was a completely new kind of river to me, someone who was brought up on the Warwickshire Avon and Severn. I loved it.
So when I had a phone call from Martin suggesting a day on the Itchen I jumped at the chance. He arranged day tickets for the Lower Itchen Fishery above Gaters Mill for Joe, me and himself. As I had done previously on our trip to the Wye, I opted to take a leisurely drive down the day before rather than get up at some godforsaken hour on the day. After a hearty breakfast at a proper caff (didn't want the pre-packed rubbish the Travel Lodge offered) I was on the water by 7:30 and had a good mooch before Joe and Martin arrived.
When I changed from corn to maggots I started to attract the attentions of tiny parr.
As you can see from the photo, I'd packed away the traditional gear in favour of a 15' trotting rod. I scaled up from size 16s to a size 10 which carried a big chunk of Hovis's best. What chub could resist such a prized piece of processed white loaf? Well, these could. But as a consolation prize a 2.5lbs brownie decided it was time for a late lunch.