The first frosts have hardened the loose soil around the garden edges and the cool winds of the north have made numerous visits. Not only does this spell winter, but it spells the fry feeding bonanza on our lakes and reservoirs.
With the very hot and prolonged summer, I’m sure the the fry season will continue well into December. Last week, I headed for Pitsford Reservoir afloat on one of their fleet of boats. It was a cold morning with light easterly winds, almost perfect for fishing. As I tackled up, I could see the gulls hovering in the margins, plunging the scattering fry. I was then all fingers and thumbs as I tried to speed up threading my rods – never a good idea!
I tackled up with an #8 10′ foot EMG Enigma fly rod which is ideal for casting not only the most of delicate flies but the heavily weighted minkies and sodden floating deer hair fry. In fact, I set up two of these, one with an 40+ Di 3 Expert Airflo Fly Line, and one with an Airflo 40+ Expert Floating line. These lines allow me to cast out an Airflo 40+ long line to hit fish moving at distance whilst keeping the boat away from them and of course maximising coverage of the area in front of me. With the cool breeze reminding my ears winter is approaching, we set off for a long drift in the middle of the bowl area of the lake. Within 5 minutes I was in to my first hard fighting rainbow of about 3lb. It took a white minkie fished on the top dropper of the Di 3 set up. I fished a minkie booby on the point with two minkies up the line! Animal, I hear you cry, but this creates my own little shoal of fry for the hungry trout to attack without looking out of place.
I like to bring my fish to the net quickly and a 3lb fish is no exception. I always use Airflo Sightfree 10lb G3 fluorocarbon when fishing lures. It’s almost invisible, great for knots and incredibly strong!
Shortly after, an out of season brown trout followed, of about 3lb – which was carefully returned. A few tail nipping offers was all that was on offer for the next hour or so, until I saw a flock of seagulls bombing further down the lake. I headed in this direction and immediately my partner and I hit into 5 more fish, 4 rainbows and yet another brown for me. All these fell to the Di3 and white minkie or white minkie booby.With quite a few tail nipping offers coming, I decided to swap the Minkie Booby to a deer hair Floating Fry on the point. Wow! What a response!
My partner for the day and I took a further 10 fish, with many lost too – all but one taking the floating fry fished on the point of the Di3.
The method was to cast it out, give it three sharp pulls and allow it to settle on the surface for ten seconds or so. At this point, three did grab it off the top whilst the others came as we stripped it back with long pauses, in between 3 or 4 several fast pulls! The best was a little shy of 5lbs and I had a further 3 browns too which were all safely returned.
With the fry frenzy set to continue, I recommend you are armoured with Leaded Minkie, Minkie Booby, Humungus Heaven and Fry Frenzy Iain Barr World Champion Fly Packs.
Next month I am off to Palm Springs Salmon Lake in search of a40lb+ salmon! Read about my trip here!