Easy Life to Hard Life At Rutland Water

Posted by Craig Barr on

Rutland can be a test at the best of times, however it can also harbour some magnificent times, as well as magnificent fish!

Friday saw me afloat with a local angler, Sam Smith who wanted to learn a few tips on boat fishing. Rutland is still at that pivotal point where it is still getting over the previous warm weather, and the raised water temperatures, though there are now signs, as the water temperatures are clearly dropping, that the fishing is coming to life. A daddy sits on the water.....a great pattern to be using now.


We headed to the open water, drifting off New Zealand point across to Yellowstone. Given the conditions, overcast and a fresh Westerly wind, I suggested the fish should be high in the water, so we both set up with a fast glass with pulling tactics. If the fish are high, and you are pulling through the wave, you should soon get an indication you are on the right road, or as I suggested to Sam, you could simply be 'not over fish'.

I hit a fish half way across on the cormorant, however it slipped the hook, and it wasn't until we got across to Spud Bay, that we landed our first fish...well done Sam. The fish fell to a Flash Attack Tequila Booby on the point.

A good long drift for 2 takes should give you the indication that you don't do that drift again, you move on, needless to say we did just that. We simply worked along the lake, heading towards the basin.

It wasn't until we got to C3 Buoy(250m in line with the Normanton Church) that we started hitting fish. 

I noticed that Sam was getting quite a few fish bow waving behind the Tequila booby, as was I, however the hook up ratio was low, though exciting at the same time. By now the wind was up to around 14 mph, enough to create a good swell in the basin area. With this in mind, and my fishing instincts, I felt the booby needed to come off, and be replaced with a Tequila Blob, as this would allow the fly, and line, to cut into the swell, thus fishing a couple of feet lower in the water, than the booby. Was that a master stroke - yes it was !

Sam and I started hitting fish regularly, as we zig zagged our way down to V Buoy (Fanatasy Island end of the dam)

The fish were certainly in pods, and you can do do good long drifts to come across them, but when you did, the fun began. The basin area on Rutland is a vast expanse of water, so it certainly pays to change your drifts each time, or even whilst on a drift, shift the boat 50 yards to the left or right from time to time. You'll soon build a picture of the location of fish, helping you narrow down your future drifts.

As we altered our drifts, the fish kept on coming. You started to build a picture that the fish were well scattered throughout the basin, so you could set a drift at any point, and you were likely to come across fish if you just kept drifting.

Given the big waves you were pretty limited to what style of fishing you could do. I did try the floating line, however within seconds there were huge bows in the line, making contact with a fish difficult. Though pulling is not the prettiest of approaches, on the day, it is what the fish wanted, and as I said to Sam, I will work through tactics I feel should work on any given day, however ultimately, I will give them what they want.. The day was rounded off with this cracking 3lb + rainbow. Best line - Fast Glass....Best flies Flash Attack Tequila Blobs, Tequila Boobies.


Day two of my back to back days on Rutland saw me sat alongside good friend from Scotland, Trevor Gibson. Trevor had enjoyed a good day in the basin too on the Friday, so we decided we would have a day looking for Rutland's known specimen fish. It is this time of year the bigger fish start to play so to speak. Natural fly life is slowly petering out, however one food source that is in real abundace is the fry.

If you are planning an attack on the bigger fish, remember these are big for a reason - they are not daft !!  It can be a day of hard work, but the rewards can be fantastic.

We started our day in the Sailing Club Bay, a known spot for the occasional lurking big brown. Both Trevor and I fished with a popper fry pattern bounced across the surface. After 30 minutes of fishing and no movement, we moved on.

Brother Iain was on the lake also and he called me, telling he'd just had a 7lb brown out of hideaway, so we took a slight detour and headed there also.

Hideaway Bay is no secret, that this bay is a well known big fish holding spot. Saying that, they do seem to come and go. With Iain landing a 7lb fish, it told me there could be more around - where there's one there's more, right?

If you're not to keen on pulling Tequila blobs on a fast glass, then maybe this needed tactic isn't for you - DI-7 40+ and a single black & gold humungous lure.

With Saturday's weather being the opposite to Friday's, sun and wind, a sinking line was always going to be the best option, not only that, brown trout do tend to hug the bottom of the lakes.

We stuck tight to Hideaway Bay all day, going round and round in search of that "Biggie". 

It really is a case of head down, keep going, fishing. You wont necessarily get a lot of action, but you could catch that prize fish.

We were both lucky enough to witness the 11lb 1oz fish caught by Steve Ratcliffe(Ratters), also taken deep on a humungous. A Rutland specimen alright. As I had just said, this was the only take Steve had, however a well worth take I'm sure you would all agree.

We fished hard, and I managed just 2 fish, and 2 pulls....After all you are fishing for grown on wise fish. This 5lb brown was 25 seconds down on a di-7, and fell for a Flash Attack Black & Gold humungous.



If you would like a day afloat with Craig, chasing rainbows in the basin, or seeking that larger specimen fish, then drop us an email to craig@flashattackflies.com

I hope you enjoy the read, but remember, what happens one day, doesn't always happen the next.


tight lines



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