April saw me competing in my first competition of the 2011 season. I was on Rutland which had been on top form albeit the fish were patchy. Fly Fishing in April usually requires several approaches, deep line fishing with lures and deep nymph fishing.
I opted to use my favourite fly fishing tackle. Two rods set up as it was practice, my favourite Enigma MIII and a new prototype to be launched this summer. Oh My God, what a rod this is. It is arguably one of the most powerful rods I have ever laid my hands on. It’s light weight, medium to fast action and launches the whole 40+ Xtreme fly line with one false cast!! It subdues the fish quickly yet is delicate enough to avoid breakages. Watch this space on this one!! Practice went very well, catching 19 on a mixture of the Xtreme 40+ Di 7 and Airflo Clear Tip and Buzzers.
I headed up the North Arm on match morning with my Xtreme 40+ Di 7 with one of my favourite early season approaches, a booby on the point, two buzzers in the middle and blob on the top dropper. The lures will bring the fish in and if not tempted they often take the more natural buzzers in the middle. This was no exception as my first cast locked up on a claret stealth buzzer!
A couple of casts later and the Black Humungus booby was engulfed quickly followed by another. With a little over 40 mins fishing my limit of 8 fish was reached. 5 to the booby, 1 to the buzzer and 2 to the blob. However, on the practice the buzzers took the majority.
Almost all my fish were coming to the hang which is a critical part of the retrieve. I started the ‘lift’ of the flies about 7 to 8 yards away from the boat with the very slowest of lifts and hangs and watched the line lift before hitting in to the fish. Watching the line gives you a split second advantage than waiting for the pull and will certainly increase your catch rate.
My 40 minute limit matched with the new prototype rod, 10lb G3 and combination of lures and buzzers secured me 1st place. Long may it continue!
May brings a fantastic month for nymph fishing so be sure to see Mas blog here! Tight lines! Iain
Iain Barr recommends the following fly selections for April / May