Hard Facts to Catching 16 Fish At Grafham Right Now (03/11)

Posted by Craig Barr on

Grafham Water is certainly the reservoir in form at the minute, though not for everyone it seems.

Following a great 4 hours on the bank yesterday, landing 8 fish, I was super excited to be returning today, this time from a boat.

I have found the fish to be very tight to the banks, and this has certainly been the case for the last few years at this time of year. Same place, same depth of water and same flies.

We started fishing off the seat, armed with midge tip lines, and a single olive snake. (We fished single flies due to the flat calm conditions and gin clear water) Just minutes in and Martyn hit the first fish.

As a breeze appeared in Gaynes Cove, we moved into this area to help disguise our lines more, and this had an instant effect as we both struck into fish.


The fish were feeding within 20 yards of the bank, just 2-4' of water. A short cast line was needed to not spook them, and a slow figure of 8 retrieve, then we just waited for the line to pull tight, and it did.

Two more lumpy rainbows caught in just 4' of water.

We carried on our drifts along the shore lines in Gayne's Cove & the willows, switching between a floating line and Midge tip lines, with the trusted Olive snake. Today we could not buy a take on a nymph, and believed these were dropping below the fish, as the fish that were taking, were very high in the water, often just seconds after the fly landed.

Though I have caught plenty on the Flash Attack  Olive snake lately, I firmly believe being in the right place is just as important, and as important, being on the correct line. This was highlighted tonight when 3 other boats docked alongside us on the pontoon. One angler asked how we got on today, and when i replied "we had 16" he responded with " were you using dynamite" They never had a pull between them. There friend in another boat also asked what we were using, as they were fishing behind us when we had boated 6 fish to there none in Gaynes Cove. When I replied with "an olive snake" he replied with "we tried that" however when I asked what lines they used, they said they thought the fish were deep, so were on sinkers. Six of them didn't manage a fish, that's not saying they are bad anglers, it simply highlights wrong place, wrong lines and flies really can make a difference.

 I saw them alongside us in Gaynes Cove, however here is the important bit, they were too far out, and pulling, two complete opposites to what were were doing all day. A bank angler in the morning had waded a good 20 yards off sludge point, and I said to my partner, the fish will be behind it and so it proved as we sneaked in from his blind side to catch 3 fish - BEHIND HIM.

The wind took us into the dark object you can see on the bank - it was into that area we took 3 fish and several pulls, as the angler looked on ! We did see him take a fish later on. Only the day before when I was on the bank, and angler in the same spot as this chap wading, took 3 in quick succession, but was stood in the margins, not 20 yards out in the water.

We did try in open water off the dam, and after casting at at least 10 rising fish, I got 1 pull, but had that instinctive feeling they just didn't want it, they were not hard on the feed like the fish closer in the margins. These 3 -4lb fish are in 2-4' of water for a reason, they're on the feed, I am sure they wouldn't be swimming in this depth of water for any other reason.

We left these free rising fish after just 20 minutes or so, and headed back into the shallow water, and for the remaining hour took another 6 fish. We landed 16 fish for the day, and hooked and lost as many, and my reasoning for this is we were simply fishing where the fish were, close to the shore.

Two more fish caught within 4' of water.


If you would like a guided day out on Grafham Water to see exactly how I catch these fish, then please get in touch by emailing me at craig@flashattackflies.com or message me through messenger, or you can call me on 07921335197

Tight lines




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