The Super-Dri Xceed performs at Rutland Water

As new stock of the Super-Dry fly line range finally rolls out of the warehouse and anglers are putting them to the test, it’s great to see that the technology behind these lines are performing as we expected and the Super-Dri family is gaining some respect among floating line fishermen.

Kieron Jenkins, our Online Marketing Manager spent two days fishing at Rutland Water testing our floating fly lines in search of some of Rutland’s specimen trout.

Reports have been saying Rutland Water has been fishing it’s socks off with plenty of good size fish being stocked, caught and returned back to the water – practically throughout the whole lake. Most fly fishermen would have seen by various sources that large brown trout caught from Rutlands north arm just a few weeks ago, if that alone wasn’t enough to tempt me im unsure what is!

I arrived at Rutland water around 9am Saturday morning to a gentle ripple and high, thick cloud. “Ideal conditions for surface feeding fish!” said one of the rangers. The temperature was fairly high after a few days of standard Autumn weather, so I chose to fish a team of dry flies from the off. From past experience it can take some time for fish to switch onto dries, especially now we enter the cooler months of the year.

My line of choice for this particular session was a WF7 Super-Dri Xceed, a fly line which has been developed to create high line speed, perfect for quickly covering rising fish or casting into a strong headwind, keeping your loops razor sharp and your flies turning over each cast.

Motoring from the jetty to the top of the north arm it was like driving into dry fly heaven. A gentle ripple and perfect light to spot your dry flies, the kind of thing anglers dreams are made of. This time of year you would be silly not to tie on a daddy long legs pattern, any sort of heat and a gentle wind will always get the daddies tumbling along the water surface.My cast consisted of two amber dry flies, one a sedge pattern and a bits pattern on the middle dropper, with a foam daddy on the point. For dries, tippet materal is always Airflo’s Ultra Strong Co-polymer, it sits low in the surface film but isn’t so heavy to drag the flies beneath the surface.

Due to the lake being low for bank-side maintenance, the top of the north arm is choked with weed – most, a foot or so below the surface. As we motored close to the bank in the shallow water the motion and sound of the boat spooked three or four fish sitting close to the surface, one, we actually watched swim along side of the boat as it tried to bolt away. A good sign for a dry fly fisherman!

Parking the boat on the edge of the weed beds with some visible weed below the boat I took the time to degrees my leader to ensure there was zero flash from the nylon. Second cast I spotted a fish push water, not even breaking the surface around 20 yards down wind, the perfect opportunity to test the casting ability of the Xceed. Stripping a few extra yards of line from my fishing reel, I cast the flies with perfect turn over at the fish now around 2 yards closer than previous. As the flies landed gently on the water, a head emerged and engulfed my middle dropper. With a standard floating line it’s a challenge to hook a fish at distance, the drag from the surface slows down your reaction time and can sometimes lead to missed fish, but the way the Super-Dri range seems to repel water, I could set the hook almost instantaneously to the strike.

The fish took off well in the shallow water, lunging for the submerged weed and getting the nylon caught in the string like matter. Some side-strain was all it took to drag it free from the weed and the fight continued. What I love about Rutland and especially the north arm, is that you never know what you’re going to hook into, it could be a run of the mill stocky, or a fully overwintered torpedo. I was fortunate enough to slip the net under this fish, a beautiful mended stocked fish of which I estimated just over three pounds in weight and in perfect condition for this time of year, a great start to the day and the ideal opportunity to test the Super-dri Xceed.

Kieron Rutland Rainbow

Kieron Rutland Rainbow

 

Fly Fishing in Hot Weather

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.

Rising 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.

IB Buzzer

The Boils

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.

Small Waters

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

Anglian Water Airflo Fly Fishing International

Now all the regional finals have been fished we have a full list of teams who have qualified for the Anglian Water Airflo International 2012. Teams from all around Europe have competed, all for the chance of being crowned AWAI Champions.

Blagdon FF Cortland
Hanningfield Rio Masters
Change Fly Fishers ‘A’
Iain Barr Fly Fishing
Sheltland Anglers
Change Fly Fishers ‘B’
Leslie & Glenrothes AC
Stocks Falcons
Elinor
Margam Fly Fishers
Team Airflo
Flextec Emerald Islanders
Neilston Fly Fishers
Thalassa AC
Froggies Fly Fishers
Nymph-a-Maniacs
Weardale Fly Fishers
G Loomis Team Belgium
OTFA (Kirkwall)
Welsh Crunchers
Greenwell Persuaders ‘A’ Peninsula Pirates

As the one and only sponsors of this competition, Fishtec are offering great fly fishing tackle prizes such as rods, reels and fly lines. We’d like to wish all the teams competing good luck and hope to see you and the prestigious Anglian Water Airflo International Final at Rutland Water.

Anglian Water Final 2011 Results

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