Back To Basins At Rutland !

Posted by Craig Barr on

As the water temperatures rise, Rutland's Basin comes into its own, as the fish head here for the deeper cooler water. The latest stocking of 4,000 fish were all released around the shores of the basin, adding to the larger numbers already resident there. Easy fishing you could think? Think again, as  friend Trevor Gibson and I found out at the 'flick of a switch'.

As we headed for the North shore, Sykes lane to be precise, the wind was coming straight off the shore - a Northerly wind.

Our first 20 minutes we hadn't moved a fish, so I suggested we move across to Fantasy Island(South Shore end of the dam). On route across the water I saw a fish clear the water, so instinctively swung the boat on the spot, and launched my line in its direction. In a matter of seconds we were both into a fish.

This continued all the way across the lake, until we reached W buoy on the South shore. Our first drift saw 8 fish in the boat with as many bumps and bow waves on top.

We were both fishing fast glass lines and a combination of Tequila fabs and blobs, with varied pulling flies in the middle.

I remember saying to Trevor, "looks like we could be in for a red letter day today" Famous last words that proved to be.......

Our second drift saw us a 100 yards further towards the dam, and it was business as usual, as yet again droves of fish were wanting our flies, predominantly nearer the middle of the lake.

By the time we got to the South shore the wind direction had taken a distinct shift to the East, and had picked up, with a drop in temperature also very apparent.


We set off this time towards the dam wall, with the wind now coming over the top of it. If ever you needed to see how the fish can switch off in a matter of minutes, this was it.

Our next 3 or 4 drifts bought just 1 fish to the boat - Incredible !! A change of lines to a di-3 also drew a blank. We decided to have a wander down to the South Arm in search of a bigger fish. By now it felt cold, and Trevor and I were certainly not dressed for the sudden drop in temperature,and I new when to take the hint when Trevor Turned to me and said " get me out of here" after a further hour without a touch. 

That immediate change of wind direction, and drop in temperature killed the fishing instantly. You could never have imagined that after the number of fish we had both had , as well as the hoards chasing our flies. That's fishing, and a good lesson to witness at the same time.

The next day I was out with Melton based Simon Robinson, and  was hoping that someone had switched the switch back on from the day before.

 We started off at the dam wall, with the wind still in the Easterly direction, taking us out into the middle. This time the sun was shining and not a cloud in the sky, you could say not ideal conditions, but feeling distinctly warmer than the afternoon before, i was feeling optimistic. It wasn't long until we hit into fish, both using similar tactics to the day before, fast glass and Tequila fab's and blobs.


We soon worked out the fish were holding within the first 100 yards off the dam, as beyond this takes dried up, so we shortened our drifts to accommodate this. 

The fish started to now come quite regularly, and unlike the day before, the temperature rose, not dropped.

The fish were taking the flies almost immediately as they hit the water, indicating, despite the blue skies, how high in the water they must have been. With this in mind, and keen to get away from the "pulling" I switched lines to my 12' fast tip. This allowed me to slow things right down. I now switched my fab to the Tequila booby to help keep the blob on the dropper high in the water, as I was slowing things down.

This yielded a further 4 fish, so well worth the switch. Simon stuck with the fast glass and continued to catch fish, however not at the rate I was, fishing higher in the water.

As the temperature rose and the wind eased a little, conditions were looking very nice indeed, and with this in mind, I decided to come up in the water yet more, so changed to my 12' slow tip, keeping the booby on the point, proved fruitful once more, taking a further 4 fish. I became more and more convinced as the day went on that the "taking" fish were in the top foot of water, and with the wind conditions nearing perfect, I came up in the water yet again, this time to my 3' midge tip. Now it was time to relax, and slow things right down. I added 2 diawl bachs to my cast now as static fishing was the plan. This yielded a further 5 fish, with 3 of them taking the Pseudo diawl bachs in the middle.

Simon also switched at this point, but no joy, so went back to the fast glass, and carried on catching.

Unlike the day before, the wind stayed in the same direction, and there wasn't a dramatic change in air temperature, thus keeping the fish on the go for most of the day. Today was a day of presenting the flies to the fish where they wanted it, very close to the surface, and pulled when they wanted to chase, and slowed down by the change of line choices, when they stopped racing behind the flies.

I am already looking forward to day 3 tomorrow !!

Click on the links below to see the flies that netted 30 fish for the day.

If you would like a day's fishing with Craig, then please email him at

Remember what happens one day, doesn't always happen the next.

tight lines




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