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The Kennet at Denford

Early Sunday morning and John, Alex and myself are on the motorway towards Hungerford  to fish some of the Kennet’s carrier streams. Andy Wren will be hosting us for the day at Denford. The weather forecast looked ominous and true to form we find ourselves driving through the rain, me cursing on an empty stomach in the backseat.

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We get to the river at around 9am, meet and greet our host and another couple of fishermen and then we’re briefed and pointed in the right direction.

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Andy tells us that small sizes (14-20) work well. After a quick brew from the kelly kettle, tackling up and a wee dram, we head off downstream and start on the Kennet proper, but remain fishless before heading up the carriers. At times, some of these are only 2 to 3 feet wide. Most though are around 8 feet or so, lined with lush vegetation and the inevitable tree that so happens to provide the fish with shelter but as always hinders the anglers’ best attempts.

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The fish are wary of any movement, so grown men are reduced to crouching, crawling, creeping figures in the rain, which at this point starts to die out.  

Time as always evaporates when smitten by a river. Focus is on nothing else for the better part of three hours and is only broken by the take of a fish. John, downstream from me, lets out the occasional ‘yep’ as he hooks into a grayling. Apart from the grayling the odd out of season trout is also caught but carefully returned…

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We work our way along slowly until we see the smoke rising from the fishing hut where Andy is preparing our steak lunches. Upon arrival, we find everybody tucking into steak sandwiches, washed down with Argentine reds. Lunch is the opportunity to socialise and share some stories. Suffice to say that after whisky, sloe gin and copious amounts of wine some don’t make it back onto the river and instead while away the afternoon in discussion and laughter.

Those that do, enjoy some more sport and all too soon it’s time to head back to London. Yet another successful day and definitely a venue to visit again.

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