My latest Grafham adventure saw me set afloat with regular guided friend Gary. I had heard Grafham had been fishing well, therefore switched our planned Rutland trip, to Grafham instead - would it pay off?
We started our day along the West bank, an area I had heard had been holding some good quality fish, feeding on the pin fry, and snails. This particular corner repeats this quality fishing each year, you just need to catch it at the right time when the fish move in. As word gets out, and boats park there for the day, it soon slows off, normally after a week or so.
I started with a floating line, 18' leader & a combination of blue uv Diawl Bachs and my trusted hot head uv Cruncher. Gary started with a pulling set up,(Tequila Booby on the point, & a Tequila Fab on the dropper) this way we could see how the fish wanted the flies, pulled, or 'twiddled'
It didn't take long for Gary to land the day's first fish, quickly followed by a second - I hadn't had so much as a pull. Both fish fell to the Tequila being bounced across the surface.
After several drifts, and negotiating our way between 2 anchored boats, we moved to the North Shore. This was sheltered from an unusual June North wind! We moved along the North shore and fished all the usual points, without so much as moving a fish. I was scratching my head at this point, as two hours or so in I hadn't so much as had a pull - unusual you may think given the time of year, and you wouldn't be wrong.
As we moved across to the dam, I hoped my luck would change, but it didn't, still no fish. Gary's pulling set up had also dried up.
Its the time of year when fishing can become very hit & miss - I'm sure many of you would agree. The warmer weather sets in, the water warms up, and the fish at times seem to just disappear, but hey, they have to feed at some point, right?
We next headed towards a spot I have found over the last few years seems to consistently holds fish, and normally very good ones. I have to say, it's not a spot I often see boats fishing, as they generally just motor straight over this area, and into Gaynes Cove - the spot is in front of the trees on sludge point.
As we approached, I spotted what I was now desperate to see - rising fish, that appeared to be chasing the pin fry - here in abundance. I have always found that when they are feeding here, they are very catchable, but I must stress, anything other than a very cautious approach, forget it ! The water depth here is as little as 3' closer to the shore, and just 10' up to 40yds out, so anything other than careful boating skills, you'll not catch for long !
As soon as I saw the fish, I instantly turned the boat slowly in the opposite direction, to get as far away as possible, not to disturb them. I approached them from the North side. (as you look at the point from the water, to the left). The wind direction was Northerly, so this would take us nicely right across the fish. As the boat was now set, I told Gary we must short line(cast short distances) over the fish feeding area, thus to limit casting over(lining) the rising fish. We needed to fish the area as delicately as possible, as not to spook the feeding fish.
As we approached the spot, my line tightened, and as suspected, a quality fish came to the net. This fish came to a size 10 hot head uv Cruncher.
We had the spot to ourselves, and with very strict, boating skills, i.e moving the boat as slow as possible away from the fish, at the end of each short drift, then going round in a large loops, again, as far away from the fish as not to disturb them, then set my drift some 50 yards upwind of where we new they were holding, and most importantly just casting 12-15 feet max in front of the boat at ALL times.
The fish just kept coming....
Gary had switched to a midge tip line, whilst I remained on my floater. He noticeable starting catching more frequently more than me, and as always, I was instantly looking at how his flies were fishing different to mine. It was all in the angle in which the flies were being presented. The 3' tip line gave the flies a much sharper angle, than my floating line was giving mine. To mimic this I shortened my floating line leader from 18' to 15', and took off the size 12 flies, and replaced them with 3 size 10 uv crunchers. The weight of the size 10 flies, on the shorter leader I believed would add the extra weight to allow my flies to replicate the same angle of the midge tip - and it did. The tip of my floating line was now sinking my 3-4 feet - just the same as the 3' tip line was.
The change was instant, and suddenly I started catching fish after fish. The finest of margins can often make a big difference in this game.
We ended up boating 13 fish in this spot in just under 2 hours, most of which fell to the Flash Attack hot head uv crunchers.
If you ever fish this spot, a stealth approach in the boat is essential as they are often feeding in just 3-5' of water. Short line casting too !!
It was a tricky day until we found this very small area of feeding fish. We were lucky to have the spot to ourselves, and made the most of it !
Copy this link to see the uv cruncher that I swear by at this time of year. It'll not let you down.
If you would like a days fishing alongside myself, then please email me at email@example.com for details.