Now, Hertfordshire was always going to be difficult !
But the internet, and patience prevailed, and whilst there may be other better waters such as the Chess which flows through Latimer and Rickmansworth, access is through members only clubs, except in the Recreation Ground in the latter…a daunting prospect, made no more attractive by Charles Rangely-Wilson in his ‘Accidental Angler’ TV series, when he sought an Inner M25 trout. But…through the website, www.flyfishingvenues.co.uk, I discovered –
September 2009 – the Ver.
Redbournbury Fishery, just north of St Albans, is in the narrow headwaters of this stream which flows into the Colne at Bricket Wood, just inside the M25, near to is junction with the M1.
The fishery is the retirement, labour of love of John Dunkley, who is creating an outdoorsman playground, offering rainbow, and coarse fishing in two lakes adjacent to the little Ver, and clay shooting.
The catch and release only, stream (littered in part with spent clays!) was stocked with browns, some twelve years ago, but not since. Narrow and heavily silted, and overgrown in the most part by long swaying grasses, it has to be waded and is best fished with light tackle and a short ro, mine, my favourite Loomis Trilogy. Casting accuracy is essential, and not easy on this wind blown flood plain. But there are fish there, but they are easily spooked, and my two juveniles fell to Cul du Canard (olive), in the riffle at the top end of the beat.
When John heard of my ‘Quest’, he refused payment, and asked only for a mention in the writing he felt sure, was likely. Nevertheless, I left a ‘note’ and a message that I had taken a couple of fish. Unfortunately, he took me literally, and an explanatory email winged its way to him quickly !
I wish John well with his determination to enliven this stream. It will need a lot of work to open it up and make it more fishable, and in stripping back the invading grasses and de-silting to encourage more weed growth and create breeding spots, he risks reducing flows dramatically, and a hot summer or two could wreck his ambitions. The WTT has advised him in the past, and they may be needed, again.