It is not too often I get the opportunity to fish 3 days in a row, let alone 3 different venues. It was very interesting indeed to understand how each water can fish so differently in very similar conditions.
My first stop was Grafham Water, and a day afloat with John & Eddie(2 boats). The cold northerly wind was still here, but lighter, with what looked like a perfect ripple.
We headed straight to the Hedge End area, having seen 9 boats parked in and around the area. It was soon apparent there wasn't too much happening, as only a couple of fish were caught in 30 minutes or so. That many boats, and two fish, soon tells me there cannot be to many fish about. We managed a couple eventually, however a move was certainly on the cards.
It is no secret the G buoy area(North Shore, towards the Dam) at Grafham is probably the most fished spot on the lake, a well know fish holding area.
It was now 12.30pm and I had to get my thinking cap on, with the mornings activity being pretty slow. Conditions looked good, however that biting Northerly wind was hampering any hatch, until the sun made an appearance !!
This slight increase in temperature, & like the flick of a switch, buzzers were in the air. The fish had to respond to this and they did !!
The indicator, or bung, is not everyone's cup of tea, however in this instance we used it to our advantage. I set a 3 fly set up under the "bung", with the deepest fly set at 11', then 6', then 3'. This can be a very good way of discovering the fishes feeding depths, and in this instance, it did exactly that.
The fish started coming, and noticeably, all on the deepest fly on the cast, 11'. After taking 4 fish, I swapped my approach to mimic this, by using a floating line, with 4 size 10 buzzers, thus, both getting the depth, as well as covering different depths with the 4 flies set out 4.5' apart.
John was intrigued by the indicator set up, so decided to give it a go, and it wasn't long until he was into fish, again all taking the deepest fly.
My straight line floating line approach soon bought the action too, with a further 6 or 7 fish coming to the boat, falling to the crisp packet buzzer, size 10, fished on the point.
Eddie was too also in on the action, as the fish, unlike the morning, started to come more frequently.
The key factor was the depth. We spent a lot of the morning, fishing the washing line tactic, a team of buzzers suspended by a fab/booby, however the fish were deeper. Fishing the indicator, gave us the information we needed, then a switch to a floating line and a team of buzzers, without the fab/booby, allowed the buzzers to get deeper down to the feeding fish. The feeding window was brief, as the sun disappeared once more, sending the temperature down, and no sooner had the buzzers appeared, they disappeared just as quick, as did the fish !
Day 2 and it was my first visit to Pitsford of the year. Today I was sharing a boat with local angler Duncan. Duncan wanted to learn how to fish from a drifting boat, as anchoring the boat is his normal approach.
Still the Northerly wind blew, however we had more sunshine than the day before, and it felt a little warmer.
As we set up our first drift, in the middle of the Lake, off the Pines, I saw several fish break the surface. Moments later, I was into my first fish, followed pretty quickly be several more. Duncan was soon in on the action too, as his line got ripped out of his hands, with this cracking silvered fish.
Duncan shows off this silver bullet, taken on the Candy Fab.
The moving fish meant we fished the washing line method, with a team of buzzers and Candy Fab on the point, and boy did they want it. We had 7 fish on our first drift, and the quality of the fish was fantastic.
A cracking Pitsford brown trout taken on the barbless Candy Fab.
The Candy Fab on the point edged the numbers, and just as it did at Rutland, it just kept catching fish.
The key to its success is to fish it static, as Duncan found out. Asking why I was catching more, I told him he was still moving his flies. After showing him how still I actually fished the flies, his catch rate went up 2 fold.
The fish remained high in the water all day, and no sinking lines saw the light of day - always a pleasure! It did not matter where we fished, we caught fish, indicating a good head of fish in the lake. The quality of the fish were the best I have caught this year, and their fight was just as good too. We landed 43 fish, many in and around the 2.5 - 3lb mark, with a couple nearer 4.5lb. Barbless hooks were fished all day.
Day 3 saw me head North to a fishery that is opening the eyes of many anglers, Toft Newton(Market Rasen). I have a soft spot for Toft, as this is the first fishery I used to fish each year as a youngster. Toft, under relatively new management, is aiming to get the water back on the map, and early signs are it is doing just that, boasting a lake full of fish, and a fleet of 8 new coulam boats, with electric engines !! The buzzer hatches here are incredible, and the size of some them can only be described as jurassic !!
Being nearer the East coast, it was much cooler here, than the previous two days, but still the fish were moving in numbers.
Our plan of attack was a team of buzzers, as the fish continued to move. We were soon into fish.....
The deep margins, allow you to fish right up to the shore, covering a known shelf marker, often holding many fish.
Toft also stocks some big fish, amongst its average fish size of 2lb. A good sprinkling of fish over 8lb have recently been released, with 2 over 15lb !!
We continued to catch fish throughout the day, all on floating lines and buzzers.
The barbless Candy fab can be purchased following this link.
If you would like a days fishing with Craig, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org to check availability. If you are not sure what flies to use, from the thousands on offer, then why not let Craig choose them for you. We can choose any selection to match any budget, no matter how big or small. Big water, small waters, we have flies to catch fish anywhere.
We hope you have enjoyed the read. Our next adventure is just around the corner, including some fishing in front of cameras !!
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