Both rivers are aquifer fed chalkstreams. Because of different farming practices, the Andelle may take up colour after rain but this will often clear quite quickly. The Heronchelles always remains gin clear. As there is no significant abstraction, both river flows are excellent and remain at datum throughout the year. Some parts of the Andelle are high banked and wooded, whereas the Heronchelle is flat and level throughout, with good bankside cover.
Wild brown trout inhabit both rivers. The Andelle fish have butter coloured flanks, whereas the Heronchelle fish are heavily spotted. These fish are masters of camouflage and very difficult to spot at a distance.
For the Andelle, a 9 ft 4 wt rod is perfect and for the Heronchelle an 8 ft 8 inch (a Classic 88) 3 wt is ideal. Do not be tempted to use shorter rods, I have never wished for a shorter rod, smaller net or less backing! Rods should have a matt finish - shiny rods flash in the sun and scare fish.
Double taper lines (Rio LT) provide the essential presentation. Do not use braided loops, any advantage gained from the DT line is squandered with a heavy braided loop. It's just as easy to strip back the plastic coating from the last few inches of fly line to reveal the braided core. This can be formed into a small loop, whipped off with fine tying thread and coated with Loon knot sense (don't use super glue or varnish). 7.5 ft leaders, 5x to 7x tippets provide the final link to fly.
Ensure your Roll Cast, Switch Cast, Shepherds Crook and Steeple casts are smooth and effortless.
Concealment is of paramount importance. These fish are wild and wary; a shadow on the water or a careless tread on the bank will easily spook them. Dull russet and olive clothing is the order of the day. Beware light coloured hats, shirts and fly fishing vests. Wear a dark hat with a full brim to help break up the outline of head and shoulders.
Avoid casting over the water too much. Three or four, well presented casts over a feeding fish, visible fish or prospecting a lie are sufficient. Any more will merely spook the fish and clear the area of any potential takable fish. If not successful, rest the water and return after an hour or two.
A lot of fish favour lies under the bank beneath overhanging vegetation and under bankside cress beds. Cast to the nearside bank lies first.
After the mayfly hatch is over, natural flies are dominated by caddis and terrestrials; although there are varying hatches of upwinged flies. Ensure you carry a selection of chalkstream flies.
Flies specific to these waters are:
|Tricolore Malvoisine||Brambridge Caddis||Andelle Sedge|
|Andelle Spent Sedge||Heronchelles Hopper||Heronchelles Beetle|
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