The brief warm spell of weather we had recently, was enough to spark an algae bloom at Rutland, turning the water colour like 'tea' ! The fishing went from good catches, to 1's and 2's and numerous blanks! How did we overcome this, to catch plenty - read on to find out !
I was really looking forward to sharing a boat with Ireland based Nick Hannon. Nick had never fished Rutland before, and was looking forward to some buzzer fishing. We were greeted with water visibility of about 1', so the pressure was certainly on to deliver!
It soon became apparent pulling was not working. I started with a di-5 and 2 fabs, thus to locate the fish first, then hopefully switch to the buzzers. The more I pulled the more I was convinced the fish quite simply could not see my flies.
The coloured water was now having a big impact on our day. As we made our way along Cardiac Hill, I caught my first fish, noticeably tight to the bank. We then noticed the odd fish topping, again, very tight to the shore.
Moments later Nick struck into his first Rutland trout, followed very soon by a 2nd.
Nick was fishing a tip line and a team of nymphs with a booby on the point. Nick then steadily started to pick up fish, leaving me in his wake, 6-1 !!!!
I went home needing a serious rethink for day 2. I concluded the fish were high in the water, and I was fishing below them, and more importantly they were tight to the shores, which I believed offer slightly cleaner water.
Day 2, and my set up had completely changed. I was now fishing a floating line with two boobies, and 2 nymphs sat in between, but more importantly a shorter than normal leader length - 15' as I was now aiming to keep my flies high in the water.
We headed to the Old Hall Bay to seek shelter from the winds, and it wasn't long until I caught the first fish, soon followed by Nick.
My tactical switch was certainly working in the cloudy water - keeping the flies high, chucking a short line, thus not allowing the flies to get any depth. Due to the poor visibility, the fish were definitely sitting high in the water, and we proved if your flies were any deeper than 2 feet, you were going to struggle !
In the afternoon we headed to Cardiac Hill, where Nick had caught 6 the day before. It was roles reversed this time, however, as my set up of two boobies and two nymphs steadily caught fish. I ended the day with 9, and Nick managed 2. We did lose numerous fish as well.
Day 3, and the tactics were sorted - floating line, two boobies and two diawl bachs/buzzers It was business as usual, as we headed back to Barnsdale to Cardiac Hill, where we felt there was a good head of fish. Like day 2, the fish started to come, and again were very high in the cloudy water.
Nick was keen to catch a Rutland brownie, so we headed off to the dam in the afternoon, where I know the browns are still lurking. Switching to a di5 line and single humungous lure it took us just 30 minutes to both land a brownie !
We ended the day boating 14 fish, on what was a very cold day.
Friday, I was sharing a boat with another angler whom had never fished Rutland, Wales' Andrew James. The water clarity down the North Arm had cleared dramatically now, so it was game on ! There was a sharp frost that morning, -4, so we both started pulling with a di5 line. We started off Cardiac Hill and were soon into fish.
Andrew was fishing two boobies on a 15' leader, and jerking them back, when this fish hit.
Andrew had told me he had never caught a brown trout, and we could not believe what happened next - Andrew hooked into two fish at once, and yes you guessed it, one brown and a rainbow on the same cast. This was Andrew's first ever brownie !
As the sun warmed the air, and as we tucked out of the breeze, there was a hatch of small buzzers, tight to the bank. This bought an immediate change for me - floating line and buzzers. The result was instant, as I took 3 quick fish. The fish were on the feed ! Andrew decided to change too, after my quick success. Moments after the switch, he too was into a fish - his first ever fish on a buzzer !!!
Following 6 fish between us on buzzers, we decided to end our day at the dam wall, hoping to catch a brown, this time on buzzers. After 20 minutes or so, we hadn't touched a fish, and I said to Andrew, "it looks so perfect, our lines short tighten soon" BANG, no longer had the word 'soon' left my mouth, the line ripped out of my hands, following by an acrobatic hard fighting 5lb brown, taken on the buzzer. This ended a cracking day of 15 fish for the boat.
Copy the link to see which buzzer has taken over 30 trout for me in a week ! During the colder parts of the day, fish 3 or 4 buzzers on a cast 18' long, and when it warms up, or there are signs of a hatch, replace the point fly with a small booby to hold the flies that little bit higher in the water.
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