Rutland has now opened for 2022, and with all the excitement, many have been left scratching their heads after a tougher day at the office that had been expected. Why could this be?
Living on Rutland's door step, I am fully aware that the water levels have risen in excess of 30' in the last few weeks. History tells me that this in itself plays a huge part in fish location, and that more often than not, they will sit on the edge of where the baron land ends - now, way out of reach of even the best of casters ! Over time, however, the fish will gradually move towards the shores once more, as the water levels settle.
The fish at Rutland are currently sitting in open water, several hundred yards from the shores. Instincts used to tell us that this time of year you will be needing your di-7 fast sinking lines - STOP RIGHT THERE ! At the minute the fish are sitting very high in the water, the top few feet, so put your di7 down and reach for a di3 or fast glass line !
After several cancellations, I finally got to share a boat with the much talked about young angler, Jack Blakey.
Jack is only 10 years old, and reminds me of myself when at that age "loves fishing".
We both started the day using di-3 lines as I was aware after opening day, that the fish were unusually high in the water. The water is still very clear, so opted for a two fly set up at 12' apart, thus not to spook the fish
We were just minutes in and Jack was into his first ever Rutland trout.
We fished 75 yards out from the East Creek shore, and fished right out into the middle of the lake, and caught right the way through the drift.
It became very notable that the fish were onto your flies within seconds of landing, and an obvious tactic became apparent - As our two fab's landed (Tequila, & Candy Fab's) we ripped them across the surface for 6' or so, then switched to a slow figure of 8, and it was at this point the line often went tight. The bouncing fab's created a wake that appeared to pull the inquisitive fish in, then the slow figure of 8 retrieve allowed the fish to grab the flies.
The fish were in pods, so there was no one specific place you could say there were more fish than others, so the key to our success was to keep on the move, and do long drifts !
I had seen on social media that some folk had struggled, and even the day after our day out, two anglers, after having all the information from me, both failed to land a fish ! This can be typical of early season fishing, but this year seems different, with the fish sitting out in open water makes it that little bit trickier to locate them, as they are obviously just moving about in the open water. When they are close to the shores they tend to run up and down the bank, and locating them becomes easier, sitting in open water however, it suddenly becomes advantage 'fish' so covering plenty of water would be key in locating them.
We did venture over to Sykes Lane, thinking that there would be fish hard on the shores with the brisk Southerly wind hitting the bank, however it proved a fruitless venture, as we did not locate any fish.
We headed back to the lodge frontage(anywhere from the Church to the Sailing Club) and took a dozen or so more fish. I had swapped my Tequila fab on the point to an orange fab at this point, and moved the tequila fab to the dropper. Jack took all of his fish on a Flash Attack UV fritz Tequila Fab.
The quality of fish was very good, with many around the 2.5lb mark.
We ended our day with 20+ fish to the boat, with Jack managing a very credible 7 fish !! The key factors were to keep your flies high in the water, try to create a wake with your flies as they hit the surface, then slow to a figure of 8 retrieve for at least 10 seconds. The water is still very clear, so when pulling flies, especially bright ones, it will pay to fish them as far apart as you can, ideally 12' in my opinion. Early season fish will still shoal up, so do drift for a good 200yds or so, as to heighten your chances as covering them at some point. If you don't hit fish, move a 100yds along the same line, then drift out again, and so on.
Links to the three best performing flies on the day...
We hope you enjoyed the read. If you would like a day out with Craig, please email email@example.com for details.
I will be fishing Rutland regularly from the 1st of April onwards and a detailed report will follow after each trip, so if you want to keep an eye on what is happening, then look no further than here at Flash Attack Flies.
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