Sleepless night, not because it was warm, but because of the build up of excitement at the prospect of getting back out fishing on Rutland Water.
Wednesday the 3rd of June, was my first day back on the "Mecca" of fly fishing. Gone was the hot weather, and in came the dream fishing weather, cloud, good breeze, and still relatively warm.
The set up at Rutland to enforce social distancing is excellent. The boat docking area is well signposted, and the staff more than helpful to point you in the right direction.
I'd had a tip from the day before, that the fish were very high in the water, and the expected fishing of nymphs, was likely to drop below them. A fast glass, or Di-3 line, was the tactic on the Tuesday, so with this in mind, i set up with 3 rods, a floating line with buzzers, a Di-3 with a Tequila booby on the point, and a Tequila Fab on the top dropper, and a slow glass with 2 fabs.
I started at the Sykes Lane end of the dam, with a Northerly wind, this took me along the buoy line of the dam wall. Well, within minutes my di-3 line yanked tight, as a 3lb rainbow cart-wheeled in front of me. This was followed by 6 more fish within the hour, as Son Oscar, got in on the act as well.
The fish were very high in the water,and you simply needed to create a wake with your booby, popping it across the top, then at times it would be like a "jacuzzi" behind your flies, as numbers of fished raced up behind it...exciting !! The fish are silvered up nicely, and many are between 2-3/4lb and 4lb.
We moved out of the Sykes Lane corner, and into the centre of the dam, and it was much the same, fish high in the water, and chasing your popped booby up to 300 yds off the dam !
We decided to go to the North Arm, in search of a big fish from the tower area. I switched tactics to a booby basher line and a humungous lure, however this proved fruitless, however Oscar hit 5 fish on a slow glass and a Tequila booby.
One or two fish started to move, so a switch to dries was on the cards. Brother Iain, had hooked and lost one moments before on a dry fly, estimated between 8-10lb. Instantly, one came up and looked at my size 12 black Midas on the point, but turned away, followed minutes later by a more positive take, this time to the middle dropper, my favoured Big Red. Unfortunately this was short and sweet, as the rain set in, and the fish stopped moving. Damn !!
Now 4 o'clock, we headed back into the basin, and yes you guessed it, it was still electric there. You could pick any spot along the dam wall, drift 300yds out, and at some point you would come into contact with fish, often numerous times. I do suggest upping your nylon strength, as these things can pull, especially if you hook two at once ! The fish below was one of two on the same cast, and my 10lb ghost mode nylon held out. This fish fell to a barbless cut throat cat booby, and the other one to a Tequila Booby.
As the end of our day neared, it was fair to say we had a fantastic time, with fish plentiful. As we all know fishing can change from one day to the next, so what worked well for me yesterday, may not work well the next day, though if the current conditions persist, I can't see it changing too much soon!
Even the resident Osprey got in on the action.
Fish two boobies 12' apart, use strong nylon, and pull it quickly as it lands, to create a wake, before your fly line pulls the flies under. Its that initial 10 seconds or so before your boobies sink, that draws the fish onto your flies.
Do long drifts as the fish were in pods right the way through the basin area. You could drift 50 yards for nothing, then get fish after fish for the next 50 yds.
The top two performing flies, Tequila Booby on the point, and the Tequila Fab on the dropper, set 12' apart....
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Hope you enjoyed the read, and tight lines to all