I am sure we have all been here - Your days fishing is on the horizon, you are all set, then the day arrives. You pull up at the venue, and you see that glazed look staring right back at you - FLAT CALM !
It is fair to say, this can be a challenge in itself, let alone it being the month of August!!
I was pleased to be fishing with Nik Tompkins, a guy I have seen on the competition circuit over the years, yet never had the opportunity to fish alongside him. Upon meeting Nik, he warned me if anyone could pick the worst time to fish, it would be him...was this an omen?
I had heard a rumour that there was some better fish showing at Hideaway Bay, and with only other scraps of information to go on, I thought, Hideaway Bay it is, a known good fish area.
As we headed South, there was very little, if any, surface action. Something told me we were in for an interesting day.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a thin green slime on the surface, something that would soon be shifted with a breeze. We had both chosen a floating line set up, with a fab on the point and nymphs up the cast.(Diawl Bachs)
Despite the flat calm, and the green surface, a few fish were starting to break the surface. After covering several, we had still yet to connect with one. We both said we were surprised neither of us had had a take, as there was some fish around. I was beginning to wander if our approach was wrong....As I have been experiencing of late, the only fish I have been able to connect with, has been those hard in the surface, and maybe my washing line tactic was just going below them.
I am a believer in "If you think it, do it" so needless to say, I changed, this time to dries. I fished a brown foam daddy on the point, and my favoured big red, as the 2nd fly.( spaced 6' apart, and just 2 flies due to the flat calm conditions)
The first fish that moved, I covered, and it was "text book" seconds later the fish rolled over my daddy....BINGO ! A nice 3lb Hideaway rainbow.(The daddy can be seen resting near its tail)
It just goes to show, you need to have your flies where the fish want them, not always where you think they may want them !
Nik soon changed, also to dries, and like me, within minutes was into a fish of his own, beautifully snared I have to say, as we shifted the boat towards two fish working the scum line.
As often is the case with flat clam, catch some fish, and the place falls silent. We had already shifted out boat several times, to avoid fishing the same spot, due to the lack of movement, so a move was now on the cards.
We headed to Gibbets, normally a good fish holding spot. Still faced with the dreaded flat calm, I opted to give a sinking line a go. Twenty minutes in, with no joy of any description, I was soon telling myself, " these fish are not interested in chasing anything today". With this in mind, I switched back to my dry fly set up, and just like hours earlier in Hideaway Bay, the result was almost immediate. Talking with Nik, the line was ripped out of my hands(as you do). A second fish had taken my brown foam daddy.
That was about all that happened there, so we upped sticks once more, and headed to Normanton.
Upon arrival, you couldn't help but have that feeling of De Ja Vu.... You've guessed it, flat clam.
The odd fish was moving, however once your line landed in its direction, it disappeared.
I had decided to give the DI-5 a go, and like earlier in the day, no joy......now becoming a little frustrating to say the least. Nik stuck with his floating line, and after a while of patience, he hit a fish, again in the surface.
With the disturbance caused, we moved once more, this time across to Sykes Lane. Thirty minutes in and there was not a lot to sing about here either. Time was now marching on, and we had decided that the South Arms Hideaway Bay, was in fact the most productive area, with fish moving, and certainly taking terrestrials off the surface. It was a time for do or die, another move was on the cards.
On arrival, as like the morning, it was flat clam, however this time, the fish activity was a little scarce! Needless to say we soldiered on. I managed one more, and that was it.
It was certainly a grind it out day, however we both concluded that had we not have stuck it out with the dries in the surface, we may not have even got the 5 fish we landed. As with everything, you have to take the rough with the smooth. A flat calm all day, and long sunny spells, was always going to be a test in itself.
Nik and I certainly put the worlds to right though throughout the day, and despite the slow fishing, we had a great day.
Fishing can often be a little tricky at this time of year, I have seen it so many times. However good fortunes are just around the corner. A few weeks of cooler weather, some rain and strong winds, will make days like this a distant memory.
If you would like a day's guided fishing with Craig, then contact ,firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, what happens one day, doesn't always happen the next !
www.flashattackflies.com #guidedflyfishing #takeyourfishingfurther
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