September saw me heading to Slovakia for the European Championships with team England who were sponsored a pair of superb COSTA polarised glasses each.
It was 5 river venues with wild Grayling and wild Brown and Rainbow Trout. Some beats on two of the venues had stocked browns introduced due to lower numbers of wild fish. The 3 venues were the River Poprad, River Vah and River Bella. We fished in the beautiful surroundings of the Liptovsky region where wild bears roam!! One section of the Bella had bear alerts so we had to be cautious!
I have fished in the World and European teams now for 15 years and have to say that this region of Slovakia has the most prolific fishing I have ever come across. The River Vah in practice would produce anything from 20 – 50 fish in a 3hr practice session in the right conditions. The Poprad would produce 60-80 grayling an hour at least!! On the first day of practice we fished the Poprad, a small river only approx 10 yards wide at best. We fished for 3.5 hrs and had over 900 fish to the hand for the squad of 7! I fished single dry fly, changing every 10 fish and took 40 in under an hour. I watched as the others caught half as much again if not double on nymphs. I switched to nymphs and the catch rate soared astronomically. Small nymphs on a 16 – 18 and 2.5mm beads seemed best in the small often skinny river. A hint of colour, orange, red or pink certainly helped the catch rates.
The Vah is more of the typical river. Fast runs, deep holes, slow glides and long slow pools. We spent many days on this river in practice as 3 of the 5 sessions were on this river. Upper, Middle and Lower Vah sections.
7 days back to back fishing took it’s toll and the team had earned a much needed rest. team Jacuzzi’s and Saunas and killer pool sessions on the table offered the perfect tonic of rest and play. Not too much rest I hasten to say as the manager had us all tying flies for almost 14hrs that day, not that the team needed prompting. I roomed with Andrew Scott who was tying flies at 0530 every morning without fail! Good job I get up early for London every morning and am used to it!
The competition was upon us and the team were confident. A day of heavy rain and snow in the mountains before the competition days put some depth to the river and the dreaded colour. Despite this, we were ready!
As with all pegged events you have good and bad beats.This was one for me to forget! I drew 5 of the lowest scoring pegs in the competition with the best position being an 8th by the overall winners, a Chech republic angler. He had 22 from my beat on the lower Vah and I followed with 16 despite their techniques I call ‘hoovering the beat!’. I caught just 4 in the main flow of the river where he had obviously fished. On returning a fish to the controller I stumbled across a 2 foot or so deeper channel in some very shallow fast water. I managed to get 12 fish from this small bit of water that had obviously been missed as the 12 fish came in about 15 minutes.
I had a fast rip of water on the Bella and managed 13 with fellow angers around me fairing with 7-11. The top end beats all produced 30-40+ fish!
Day 1 saw England lying 6th well within striking distance. Andrew Scott got off to a flyer with a 1st and 2nd in his first two sessions netting 89 fish in the process!
Day 2 saw me get the one I had been waiting for, the Poprad. I avoided the lower beats again which had taken 50-70 fish in the first two sessions and drew the last peg on the stretch. It looked good but had only produced 8,3 and 11 fish so far. I took 11 matching the best to date.
It only went down hill as more poor beats followed and it didn’t fair too great for fellow team members. Andrew Scott drew another good beat and got a superb 2nd position but his luck run out with two average pegs which knocked him off a certain individual medal. He finished a very respectable individual 12th position. The team slipped to 11th.
The Czechs came out team winners with Spain taking the top individual. The Czechs fished small nymphs, often within a few feet of the margins to take the gold.
The rivers are starting to cool now and the grayling shoal so now is the time to contemplate some river fishing. It may be cooler but always carry some dries with you as even in the coldest of days fish will rise to any hatch that occurs during the warmest part of the day.
See Iain Barr fly sets available from Fishtec
With this hot weather beating down many fish are heading to the depths to keep cool. The smaller waters with limited depths are struggling as the temperatures soar and the fish simply stop feeding.
My latest trip was to Rutland Water. The water had turned a pungent green with minimal visibility. The record had just been smashed with a Brown of over 17lb caught up Rutland’s North Arm. We decided to head up the North in search of better fish.
We had thick low cloud cover and to my astonishment fish were moving through the middle of the north arm. I was armed with my Di 7 Airflo forty plus fly line to get to the cool depths but chose to pick up the rod with a floating line and pursued the rising fish. Nothing came and my partner started to pick fish up steadily on his Di7. 3-0 up and the banter started! It wasn’t long until I put a stop to his success and took him to the infamous North Arm weed beds.
Di7 and Buzzers
The water was badly tainted with green algae and it just didn’t seem appealing. We stuck it out for an hour on what I call dead certain drifts and nothing! We headed back to the North Arm Tower and I put 4 buzzers on a 16 foot leader on my Di7! I launched the full 40+ fly line in an increasing wind and held on. Just my 3rd cast and all locked up and the backing went flying out the rings!
I was in to a cracking fish which fought hard for almost 15 minutes before coming to the net. It weighed just shy of 6lb. It took the point fly at it’s deepest point and still came to the net feeling warm. 6 more quickly fell to the Buzzers ranging from stock fish to more resident specimens.
No hot summer day would be complete without a shot at the boils. These are in the middle of Rutlands main basin and there are approximately 12 of them. This is where the water is pumped in producing numerous amounts of oxygen bubbles and the fish congregate in big numbers on them. It can be embarrassingly easy or they can be empty. If one is not producing just move to the next one. Many anglers cast in and rip there flies through them but the best method is to simply throw it on to one of the edges and let it swing around and just keep your line tight.
Fish here tend to be fighting fit and with the currents caused they can give you one hell of a scrap. Make sure you fish an absolute minimum of 8lb G3 but I would opt for 10lb. A di 5 or Di 7 is best to cut through the fast flowing water. I have had great success with dries on boils too so if overcast try a team of Harry Potters which skim perfectly off them. Again, takes can be very fast and furious so don’t be shy using 8 or 10lb tippet on the dries.
Anglers should ring up their local small waters and check how it is fishing before venturing out in such heat.many are shallow and with little oxygen the fish just wont feed. Many small waters close during the hotter months of the year so check this too before venturing out I recently visited Thornwood Lakes in Essex and had some absolute superb fishing with fish in to double figures on dries, nymphs and lures, take your pick. 4 of us landed 96 on the day and I took the lakes best figures of 49! Despite being relatively shallow, it is the clearest small water I have ever fished and just like chalk stream clarity. It is spring fed keeping the lakes crystal clear and cool even through the hottest months.
IB Recommended Fly Packs
Diawl Bachs | Crunchers | Blobs
Boobys | Essential Small Water | Essential Dries
Rutland hosted the 26th Bob Church Classic this month and produced a fishing bonanza! 100 Anglers took part with a rod average of 11.12 which is a record for the competition by some way!
You could have picked your method and almost every bank held fish. I was paired with Patrick De Schutter from Belgium. I hadn’t practiced so decided to start with the 3ft Airflo Mini Tip fly line a blob on the point and 3 new buzzers up the line. This is a great combination with many fish likely to take the blob whilst dropping through. We headed for Whitwell Front with a handful of other boats fishing there too.
Despite losing a fish first cast, Patrick soon raced into a 3 – 0 lead using a the sixth sense Di5 with the new hang markers a Blob and a Booby. This wasn’t just me against Patrick, this was a Belgium World International versus an England World International so our country’s pride was at stake here!
My Di5 40+ emerged from my fishing tackle box. I prefer this line for pulling lures because of the angler which can be achieved by the intermediate running line. I put a Cats Whisker on the point due to the milky water colour, a size 12 Crisp Red Butt Buzzer just above it, a size 12 pearl goose cormorant just below a tequila blob on the top dropper. I took no chances with the leader material and opted for my tried and tested Airflo G3 in 10lb due to the low water clarity. In clearer water I would drop to 8 or even 6 when fishing nymphs.
I soon boated a fish to the blob and opted to move as the fish soon went off with boats turning in the shallow water where the fish were feeding. A quick move to Armley Wood up Rutlands North Arm saw one more fish come to the cats Whisker. A few drifts along the Finches produced no more fish so we moved to the end of Cardiac Hill where a boat had been sat anchored for some time.
It wasn’t long before the Di5 40+ got in to full action but the retrieve and hang was crucial. A very long slow pull with the arm fully extended to the front and then to the back allowing maximum distance in one movement with a brief figure of 8 after each set of 3 pulls. More important was the long ‘sweep and hang’ well away from the boat as we were only in 6-8 foot of water. I lifted the flies about 8 yards from the boat and hung them there for about 10 seconds proceeded with a very slow FO8. When doing this I was watching the line simply lift as the fish took before lifting in to them. This is where the intermediate running line and heavier sinking head came into play.
The Cat was taking most of the fish but within 30 or so minutes the takes to the cat dried up and switched to the buzzer and cormorant between the two attractor flies as they became wary. We had the short drift to ourselves and if we went a drift with out action we left it for 15 mins and returned only for them to start taking again. A good point to remember when fishing any spot! Fish soon become wary and will go off, if you don’t know for any more fish near by, move off and return after!
England romped to victory in this mini European Championships by 16 fish to 5 after I took 14 fish in a little under 2 hours. My partner decided to switch back to nymphs in a bid to claw back some Belgium pride. It is often thought that competition anglers keep things to themselves but I set up my partner with a leader and my own fly set up and attached it to the end of his line and he proceeded to take 12 more fish to finish with 15 with as many takes.
Winner was Leigh Pond with his boat partner Al Owen in 2nd. Both fished buzzers on indicators and mini tips and Lee’s 4 fished weighed 14lb 14oz on top of his 33lb time and fish bonus!! Despite a quick fire 14 fish to complete my 16 fish limit the 3rd time win eluded me as I finished 5th. The whole of Rutland fished superb and with the fish to almost solely turn to buzzers it is set to be a healthy June! Get your boats booked early!
IB Recommended Fly Packs for May/June :
Reservoir Buzzers | Black Buzzers | Crunchers | Diwal Bachs
I have never understood why many put there rods away come October or November. I took a trip to Grafham late November and caught the record 8 fish bag weight for 2012, 33lb 14oz.
The fly fishing was outstanding at the best fish was a 6lb 4oz Rainbow which I caught on my third cast on a new 2013 buzzer pattern. I was fishing a floating line with a buzzer, 2 cut throat crunchers or a sz 8 Killer Shrimp with a Candy Split Blob on the point. This is the same set up I used to win the Grafham Trophy for Team England September last year.
The fishing gear I used was my trusted i#8 Enigma fly rod, coupled with a #8 line and 8lb G3 fluorocarbon. It is imperative that you use fluorocarbon this time of year as the water is often crystal clear.
Fish like it slow this time of year and that day was no exception. They literally wanted it static! I was guiding for the day and my pal Paul Norris soon clocked on to this fact. We would cast it out and simply leave it alone for 20 seconds or so. We would then do 2 or 3 quick ‘flicks’ of the line like a fig of 8 and count to 20 or so again. It was a calm day and we were fishing relatively short lines as often fishing in 3-6 foot of water close to the sailing club shoreline between the yachts and The Seat. More often than not we would see our fly lines start to move before we saw anything at out finger tips. This is key if you want to catch more fish!
Although I stuck with the Blob and Nymph method, my partner tried a Minkie and caught a cracking Rainbow of 4lb 9oz, a personal best and first fish from Grafham after several visits with no joy. He landed 5 for 16lb and had plenty of other action on what has to be the 2nd best days fishing on Grafham I can remember. The best being 2 years back on Buzzers on the West Bank when it was almost a 3lb+ fish every other cast and there’s no better way to catch them than nymphing on a floater.
Dust down them resting fly rods and go fishing. Winter fishing is often superb, if like me, monitor the weather and choose good conditions. Next trip Farmoor 1 Reservoir where the sz 10 size limit of fly has been lifted and the Booby ban has also gone. See how I get on here first!
September is a big month for competitions including the Lexus European Championships which were held on Rutland Water.
To say the fishing was tough would be an understatement. Having fished the 2 day final I had just 6 takes and 2 follows in 16 hours fishing. A lot of anglers blame their flies, tactics or even fly fishing tackle, but it’s usually none of them, it’s all about finding the level and hoping the fish are there. Especially at this time of year.
In competitions you have to make some tough decisions, get it wrong and it can all be over but considering how tough it was I opted to target the bigger fish in the hope that if I got one they would be bigger than 2 of any stock fish that were caught. It paid big dividends as I landed a 30 year personal best on Rutland, a 8lb 2 1/4 oz Brown. On the first day I landed a magnificent 5lb 1oz Rainbow from the very same spot.
Although the fish had been feeding on fry it readily took a sz 10 Plain Cruncher fished on an Airflo mini tip in 3 foot of water! Fish this time of year are looking to pack on maximum weight for the lean timed ahead and become more of opportunists. As the water cools the fry move in and the trout follow. Corixa can be prolific this time of year so look for weed beds which will hold fry and corixa and the fish wont be far away.
Always ensure you keep on the move and look for signs like seaguls that indicate fry near the surface, possibly chased there by hungry trout beneath. Or simply look for the explosive thrash on the surface as the fry leap for safety. Many people confuse corixa feeders with fry feeders. The Corixa feeders tend to ‘push’ water for a few feet as it chases the darting corixa as opposed to an isolated explosion of attack for fry.
This time of year gives you the best chance of a grown on fish. Ensure you use strong fluorocarbon. I always use 10lb Sightfree G3 this time of year as it’s very strong and ultra clear in the clearing waters. There is no more powerful rod than the Enigma III so strap up with your 10lb G3, Enigma III and get fishing.
IB Reommended packs
Rutland has been tipping fine form with some cracking fish coming to the net! With water being pumped in right through May water levels have remained cold and the fish deep.
I have diverted to the Airflo Di7/8 Competitor line. This is made of a Di 8 Weight Forward section with a Di7 running line, probably the fastest sinking competition legal line available. It sinks like no other line and more importantly gets the flies down quick and keeps them there. They are a little heavier than your standard fly line so ensure your rod is powerful enough to handle it. I tend to always go one weight heavier on line choice for my #8 Enigma Rod but I use the 7/8 Di7/8 and it balances perfectly!
Despite being June, many of the better fish are still coming to the lures on Rutland as they stay deep due to colder than normal water temperatures. This has also hampered the usual hatch of large black buzzers which usually sees the lures redundant in June. The mini black Humungus Booby has been the stand out pattern for me with the Flash Cat Booby and Straggle Cat booby close behind. The sparkler booby and various cormorant boobs have also worked very well!
You need to get you flies down deep, fast and hold them there so I have been fishing a shorter leader than normal. I have been going down to 16 foot fishing 4 flies 4 feet apart. Humungus booby nearest the fly line, two black diawl bachs and a cat booby on the point. The water clarity hasn’t been great due to the excess water so I have been keeping the flies closer than normal.
The point booby should always have larger buoyant eyes to help suspend the two diawl bachs so you almost have a vertical line of flies lifted off the bottom. This gives you great coverage of different depths and helps you locate their feeding depths. If they consistently take the point booby then this will tell you they are not hard on the bottom so you can probably come up to a Di5 fly line to keep all the flies at the feeding depth for longer. To help them get down quicker ensure you keep a relatively slack line when dropping through the water column to allow the fly line to sink as it is designed on a ‘free fall’ basis.
The best retrieve has been a quick fast figure of eight, followed by a long pause and repeat until near the boat. Many fish have been coming on the hang, this is when the flies and line are almost vertical below you and at this point lift the rod as slow as possible until parallel to the water and start the slowest of figure of eights. When you see the top dropper booby below the surface stop retrieving altogether and watch for the booby to move as the fish grabs one of the lower flies.
Best areas have been X and W buoy along Normanton and Whitwell to the Dam. Some very big fish are coming out along the Finches and Tim Appletons as they are at Gibbets Gorse and the Bird Hides up the South.
Recommended fly packs
Airflo tackle consultant, Iain Barr, describes how to get as deep as possible on one of the UK’s most prolific trout waters. Using the correct fishing tackle will get your flies as deep and as quick as possible into the fish’s feeding zone.
Rutland Water has got off to a flyer and fish like the one below are very common at the moment. In fact, it’s one of the best starts to a season for a very long time in terms of the quality and number of over wintered fish coming out. In most bags, I have caught more over wintered fish that stocked fish by fishing just a little further out from the shore than normal for this time of year.
But, being in the deeper water you need to get down and dirty as the fish are hard on the bottom, the unseasonably cold weathers has kept water temperatures low and the addition of stagnant water which continues to be pumped in keeps it cool. Ideal feeding conditions! The water which has been pumped in has also made the water clarity fairly poor with about 3 foot visibility in places but this has in no way stopped the feeding frenzy! I have been using the new Di 7 Airflo forty plus fly line and I have to say its one of the most productive lines I have used for a long time. With just one false cast the head flies out and hits the backing. I’ve been teaming it up with my favourite Enigma #8 fly fishing rod which handles all lines from floaters to the heaviest sinkers on the market. This is the most perfectly balanced of kit going, fact! My boat partner for the day borrowed it and instantly gained an extra 12-15 yards and is now purchasing identical kit, #8/9 Di 7 and #8 Airflo Enigma fly rod.
Due to the water colour and temperature, I’ve been using a short leader 12 foot and two boobies, with just 3/4 foot to the first dropper and 8 foot to the point fly. I have been using Black Boobys to help them stand out in the murky water. White and Pink being the first colours to disappear through the light spectrum, usually opting for the opposite end of the scale will help. When things get a little tough, I have also been fishing a 16 foot leader with two black diawl bachs in the middle which is what this fish took about 100 yards off Gibbets bank near the golf course on the South Shore. Although this fish took a nymph the majority are still taking the boobys, I don’t think the fish can actually see the nymphs so well but spacing the boobies further apart makes a big difference when fishing for pressured fish. With the water still being so cold the fish haven’t yet switched onto the nymphs, but when they do Rutland is going to explode especially when the water clears!
It’s important to get the flies as deep as possible and hang the flies at the boat. Almost all the fish are coming as you lift the flies from the bottom just in front of the boat so ensure the slowest of lifts and retrieves but don’t forget to hang them! If on a leisure day try anchoring with two Boobys and figure of eight retrieve keeping the flies close to the bottom. There are literally big fish coming off all over the reservoir but try about 100 yards off for the slabs and they are coming from almost anywhere!
Best of luck and tight lines!!.
Recommended Iain Barr fly sets:
Rutland Heavy Buzzers
Diawl Bachs #10
With an icey blast hitting the UK I still ventured out to do some well earned fly fishing on Farmoor 2 Reservoir in Oxfordshire. Despite the cold I wasnt disappointed. With ice jamming the line in the rings of the rod, feet feeling like lumps of ice, I was catching fish!
The fish were lying in very deep water, over 30 feet, so I needed the right kit to get there! With my favourite Enigma MIII #8 rod, I tackled up a #9 Di 7 Airflo 40+ fly line. you may note the line rating is one above the #8 rated rod. This helps load the rod very quickly and the whole 40 yard line is launched with one false cast, its amazing! I was using 10lb Airflo G3 fluorocarbon. No need to be shy on tippet material when fishing this deep with Boobys and the weight of the water at such depths and a full line out, anything lighter may break, especially on an aggressive take.
I wanted to keep my flies as deep as possible for as long as possible and there is no better way to do this than casting as much of the Di7 as you can and fish two boobys. I wanted to fish a variation of Boobys, so opted for a straggle Cat Booby and a Cut Throat Cruncher Booby. The Cut Throat Cruncher was a revelation in 2011! I fished a leader shorter than normal. only 13 feet, with 5 foot to the first dropper and 8 to the point. This keeps my flies relatively close to the bottom.
Several casts in I miss a typical booby take. Tap, Tap, BANG!! When fishing boobys you may feel ‘interest’ in your flies but wait for it all to lock up before striking. Having spoke to the rangers at farmoor, they advised we fished at least 60-80 yards from the bank where the natural clay lake bed begins. here the bloodworm are plentiful and this is where the fish were.
A very numb Pete Gathercole lifted the anchor and we dropped the anchor some 100 yards out which would be alien on most places this time of year. We weren’t disappointed. I was soon in to fish after letting the boobys drop for a timed 60 seconds with the very slowest of retrieves and long pauses in between. Both the Straggle Cat Booby and Cruncher Booby take fish. I kept changing the Boobys and the fish kept coming, a Blue Eyed Cat Booby, Black and White Humungus Boobys all took fish. They seemed to come at range at the end of the cast or almost vertical beneath the boat as the flies came up off the bottom. This proved the fish were lying almost on the lake bed!
We watched grebes diving and coming up with small fish so dedided to drift 200-300 yards from the bank and I continued to pick up fighting fit rainbows. What was amazing was that we were in 35+ feet of water, along way off shore and around no features and we continued to catch fish with plenty of offers too. The place must be stuffed with fish as this certainly wasn’t the hot spot. The hot spot was on the far shore with the wind pushing in. But, with frozen feet, ice jamming the rings and finger tips only warmed by a pulling trout, it was too cold even for a double world champion!!
Keep your flies as deep as possible in these conditions and fish as slow as possible, a team of boobys on just 13 foot of leader is perfect. The fishing in this cold snap can be fantsatic so wrap up warm and venture out.
Iain Barr Fly Selection Choice
January saw the launch of the new Airflo World Bank Masters fly fishing competition. With heats to be fished across the UK on up to 20 venues, the competition is heating up fast, with many positions already being filled up it promises to be a massive competition.
Qualifying Heat Rules
- This is an individual bank fly fishing competition
- Teams may choose to enter and fish as individuals
- Multiple entries are allowed and there are no limits to the numbers of heats you can fish
- All heats and the final will be fished with barbless or debarbed hooks. Random checks will take place at the heats.
- Fishery rules to apply on the day at the heats. Please contact your chosen fishery(s) for the match rules for the day as they may vary
- Any fishery heat operating Catch and Release will be encouraged to score with 2 points for the first fish on every peg and 1 point thereafter with a maximum of 5 fish per peg. Qualifiers will come from those with the most accumulated point total
- Where fisheries operate a catch and dispatch day ticket, the qualifiers will be decided on weight or a combination thereof if C&R is permitted after the bag total is reached
- A fish is only considered caught when landed clearly in the net and lifted clear of the water. The utmost respect of the fish is paramount and anyone considered not abiding by this rule may have points for that fish disqualified
- Flies must be positioned at least 50cm apart
- Sight indicators are permitted where fisheries allow
- Entry Fees to be paid to the organiser, (this does not include your fishing fees)
- Fishing fees to be paid to the fishery on the day
- Final to be held at Elinor, Northamptonshire on May 20th, 2012
- 105 anglers will fish the final with a pro-rata percentage from each heat reaching the final
- There will be 5 wild cards reaching the final which will be drawn from non-qualifiers after all qualifying heats are complete
- Prizes: 1st Place £2000. Other prizes: UK Holiday with Fishing, large tackle prizes, a days Guided Salmon Fishing and many more including tagged fish & wild card spot prizes
The organizers decision is final and the organizer has the right to amend rules, cancel or move a heat if insufficient entries permit a fair competition or weather forces a heat to be cancelled.
Confirmed Venues - CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM
- Blackdyke 25/02/12 Complete. See competition results
- Ellerdine 03/03/12
- Exe Valley 03/03/12 Complete. See competition results
- Exe Valley 04/03/12 Complete. See competition results
- Palm Springs 04/03/12
- Seighford Lakes 10/03/12
- Chatton 11/03/12
- Aldin Grange 18/03/12
- Elinor 25/03/12
- Innis 07/04/12
- Higham Lakes 28/04/12
- Bank House Farm 29/04/12
- Stocks 05/05/12
- Stonebridge 06/05/12
- Farmoor – 06/05/12
- New Haylie 04/03/12 Complete. See competition results
- Selmuir 18/03/12
- Lochter 25/03/12
- Glen Of Rothes 01/04/12
- Bangour 15/04/12
- Markle 18/04/12
- Orchill 29/04/12
- Straid 03/03/12 – Complete. See competition results
- Woodford 18/03/12
- Moorbrook lodge 21/04/12
- Movilla 31/03/12
- Tree Tops Fishery 15/04/12
- Garnffrwd 22/04/12
To view the results of each round please see – Airflo World Bank Masters Results
January saw the launch of the new Airflo World Bank Masterf competition. With heats across the UK that are filling fast, it promises to be a a massive competition. Cash prizes, holidays and more prizes to be won. See www.iainbarrflyfishing.co.uk for more details.
I took a trip to Ellerdine fishery in Shropshire on the 11th and wasnt disappointed! Ellerdine offers a lake for all with it’s on site 5 lakes to choose from!
Most of the lakes are relatively shallow, averaging 6-8 foot, with the larger lake being 16 feet at it’s deepest. I opted for a 90 degree corner with the light winds pushing in on what was a mild sunny day in Shropshire.
I enjoy the fight from fish when not competing so took my Airflo Streamtec #4/5 which couples for a great small water rod as well superb for the river. Takes can be very subtle during winter months as the fish slow down so I fished a non-stretch airflo floating fly line to pick up the slightest of takes.#5
It didnt take long before my line started to slowly draw away and I landed my first of a 30+ fish haul. When fishing any small water I always start with a SunBurst Blob and two buzzers. I opted for a my original flexi blob as I had one handy in my patch from my last outing.
Remember to stay low at these kind of waters as they tend to slope off close to the shore and fish will not be lurking far out! The line slid away and I was into my first fine Ellerdine trout of about 2lb. It was rapid fire after that with about 10 following in the next hour or so. With the fish still pulling, I was keen to see the other 4 lakes on offer and made my way around them all.
They offer variations and no matter how strong the wind and from what direction you will always find a sheltered spot and almost flat calm somewhere! Superb! I decided not to take the comfort factor and chose again to fish in to the wind and across in a 90 degree corner on the largest of the lakes.
I had switched to a Neon Damsel which will catch on every water you will ever fish. It didn’t take long again until I was in to action but as quick as they were taking the fly they stopped! The lake switched off as bending rods around the lake ceased for everyone. Time for one of Ed’s finest bacon butties!
Refreshed and revitalised I went in search of one of Ellerdines many doubles which had been caught the previous few days. I picked up one here, one there and decided to return to where I started my day. Whereas in the morning I had caught nothing substantial, best of about 3lb, in my last throw of the dice I caught a further dozen with just 3 under 4lb! A great fly this time of the year is the Dancer and I fished my white and yellow uv version on the floating fly line. 12 fish came in the last hour and a half including a cracking 6lb fish and several around the 5lb mark. The double had eluded me although one of 9lb and 8lb were caught and safely returned.
Treat yourself to a trip there where you will receive a very warm welcome from this friendly run fishery.
Iain Barr small water Winter Fly Pack recommendations:-