Iain Barr on Rutland

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

Iain Barr Essential Boobys

Iain Barr Diawl Bachs

Iain Barr Crazy Cats

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Iain Barr

About Iain Barr

A name synonymous with competition fly fishing excellence, Iain Barr has fished for England over 28 times across World, European, Loch Style, Small Waters and Rivers, proving his flies the world over. Iain’s World Champions Choice offers a definitive range of the very patterns he’s used to catch literally thousands of trout. If it’s fly fishing know-how you’re after, Iain is your go-to source.

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