I paid my last visit of 2011 to Grafham Water for some fighting fit rainbows and I wasnt disappointed! There was a strong SW wind pushing in to the dam where I was fishing towards the bowl of the dam. I opted for one of my 40+ fly lines in an 8weight floater, to push out into the wind and my trusted Enigma #8, the perfect combo!
I fished a shortish leader for me of 14 foot with a single leaded grey and pearl minkie. Taking no prisoners and with such powerful fish about in Grafham I opted for the strong 10lb G3 fluorocarbon for my leader. The leaded fly and shorter leader ensured I got good turnover into the wind. An unleaded fly may just drop back against the wind causing poor presentation.
At this time of year, fishing can be very patchy and today was no exception. It was a slow start that exploded in to life! From just 1 offer in the opening 2 hours I landed 3 cracking rainbows in the next hour and missed 2 solid lock-ups! I was using the strong cross wind that was hitting the bank at 45 degrees to allow the minkie to almost drift back to the shore as I cast out. it often pays to use the wind when fishing, whether it is almost dead drifting a minkie or the common method of dead drifting buzzers around.
Either way allow the wind to do the work and just keep a tight line to your flies with out actually moving the flies. The takes hooked themselves as some extremely lively and very poweful rainbows were landed. As quick as it exploded into life it died again. In the remaining 3 hours I managed 1 more, dropped 3 and missed 1. After cleaning the fish there was the sign of plenty of shrimp in the fish which bodes well for a healthy 2012 season on Grafham with some over wintered specimens about in abundance!
Iain Barr larger Water Fly pack recommendations:-