RAF Raid On Rutland

Posted by Craig Barr on

It was a pleasure to share a boat with Drew Mcintosh recently on Rutland, however the weather on the day was not so pleasurable, blue skies, accompanied by a strong Easterly wind. This certainly wasn't going to hamper our enthusiasm. Drew is part of the RAF fly fishing team, and wanted to learn a trick or two.....though the conditions restricted the presentation options, I'm sure he picked up a tip or two.

It is no secret that the basin at Rutland at this time of year tends to hold a big number of fish, and this was recently aided by the addition of 4000 fresh stocked fish.

We headed for the calmer waters up by the dam wall, where I new the fish were in numbers, only 48 hours earlier.

We both started on the fast glass line, pulling various Tequila fly variants. Thirty minutes in and I was beginning to wander where the fish had gone, as we hadn't moved a fish between us after several drifts off the dam wall, yet only 48 hours earlier, they were plentiful.

I new it would only be a ,matter of time before we caught, as the fish were there, we just needed to find them....and we did.

We concluded quite quickly that the larger numbers of fish had quite "simply" moved further down the banks. No longer were they stacked against the dam wall, they had shifted down the Normanton shore, and were now located as far down as W buoy.

The fish, despite the conditions, for months have been high in the water, and this day was no different, often taking after the first pull ! 

We adapted our drifts accordingly, no longer going back to the dam wall, but now starting around the V buoy area, then carrying on down to W buoy.. This bought its own issues, with the strengthening winds, however this is where the fish were, so to catch them, you needed to be there as well.

The fish now started coming quite thick and fast. The water clarity was excellent, and with this in mind we both set up with just two flies on our cast. This was a wise move, as we both had two on at once on separate occasions.

As we repeated the drifts, it soon became apparent the fish were moving up and down the shore(funny that, as they do have fins and tails, something we do at times overlook as anglers) as spots that produced fish one drift, didn't the second time round.

Unlike the two days previous, the wind was relentless, and thus hampered our ability to slow things down, as the boat drifted at speed. This can have a big swing on your approach to a days fishing. Everybody would love the perfect conditions I'm sure, however this is one thing that we cannot change, therefore we really do need to adapt to the conditions we are presented with on the day. The speed of the drifting boat certainly hampered our line choice, however with the fish often taking within the first 3 or 4 pulls, we narrowed the line choice down to the fast glass, and the 12' slow tip. Deeper lines were tried, taking just a couple of fish.

Today surely highlighted that you needed determination to keep going, the desire to fish in lumpy waters, and most importantly cover the water to locate the fish. The fish more often than not are there, you just need to locate them, and have the necessary line selections to offer the flies at the depths the fish may want them on that specific day. Drew and I caught in excess of 20 fish between us, however by the end of the day, we new we had really worked hard for them.

With the Scierra pairs final only just around the corner, its going to be an interesting day. The fish have remained high for months, but will they still be there in just over a weeks time.......we will see.

Flies you really want to be trying at Rutland.....follow the links

Remember, what happens one day, wont necessarily be the same the next !



tight lines




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