Fishing our large reservoirs can be world beating at times, yet other times you can be left scratching your head doubting everything! In the space of 24 hours I experienced the extreme highs of why we love fishing, and the lows of frustration with fishing.
As Martin and I headed towards Rutland's South Arm (26/10) we were faced with an increasing S/S/W wind, and bright skies, not the most perfect of conditions.
We were targeting the reservoirs bigger fish, so set up accordingly with fast sinking lines, and Flash Attack perch fry lures, and Black Humungous lures.
Two hours in and we hadn't moved a fish, so it was time to move ! Our next stop was Barnill Creek, an area that often holds big browns ! With the wind now 17mph, gusting to 35, and a now, sunny glaring skies, things were not looking great. To compensate for the speed of the drifting boat, I was hurling the booby basher some 30+ yards, allowing me to get a good depth with the fly.
Finally, some action, a follow ! This was soon followed by half a dozen more follows, of fish up to 5lb, but not takers ! They would race right up to the fly, then simply turn away and head back down again. A count down of 30 seconds was bringing the action, meaning the fish were sitting pretty deep.
The day soon passed, and we were still searching for our first fish. The front of the lodge is often a good bet for fish, and so it proved with our last 45 minutes as we netted 3 fish, with 2 lost in play.
A very tough day indeed, but when chasing the bigger fish, and ignoring recent stocked fish, you need to be prepared to role your sleeves up. I'm sure had we not have been so unlucky with the weather, the wind and sun, things may have been different - but as we all know, that's fishing, we cannot have it our way every time !!
Day 2, and I am now heading to Grafham Water, the talk of the town at the minute with some explosive "popper fry" fishing happening, and plenty of big quality fish appearing daily ! After my previous day on Rutland, I was certainly ready for some of this !
Patrick & I headed straight to the dam area, both armoured with our floating lines and Flash Attack's Polar Popper fry. 3rd cast in and this fish sipped in my popper fry as it was a size 14 dry fly!
An hour in and we had landed 3 fish, with several other offers to boot. We were drifting around the A buoy in Gaynes Cove, with a S/E moderate breeze, steadily pushing us into the middle of the basin.
We now switched to fast sinking lines and Flash Attack's big fish lures to see if this would bring better results. Half an hour in, and no offers, it was onto plan C.
I am fully aware that at this time of year, the fish will come right into the margins to feast on the shrimp, snails and fry that are there in abundance in the weed. This however, is often in very shallow water, which may put some boat anglers off even attempting to go for them - let me tell you, never rule this out, you are missing a huge bonanza !! Find any bank with the wind blowing along it, enabling you to take the boat right in to the shore, and fish along the shore.
We worked our way along the "Plummers Bank" sitting in 3-4' of water, constantly manouvering our boat to keep us there. We were now fishing with a floating line, 2 hares ears and a mini olive snake, all on a 15' leader. A tactic I have used for the last 4 years, that simply doesn't fail, as Patrick soon found out, as he steadily starting catching fish.
As you are fishing in such shallow water, don't cast a long line, just 12-15 feet, that's it ! Casting long lines into the horizon will simply spook everything in sight in the shallow water. Our retrieve was a very slow figure of 8 every time, and out of nowhere the line would just rip tight.
We went on to land 21 fish, with 17 of them estimated between 3 and 4.5lb. 15 of these fish were caught within 3' of water. At one point there were 5 anglers along the bank at the seat area, and I said to Patrick "they are wading beyond the fish"! I set our drift further down the bank, and purposely positioned it inside of them, so they were further out than us, and guess what, both Patrick and I both hooked into a fish at the same time (See video on FB).
It was a real bonanza, and I am very confident, with previous recent years experience, this will carry on for the next 2 months or so, and if anything, as it gets colder, I am 100% certain this fishing will only get better !
Stick tight to the banks, motor about slowly, cast short lines, have a mini olive snake on the point, 2 hares ears up the cast, and good days will lay ahead.
If you would like a guided day on Grafham Water, want to see if fine detail how I do it, then you can message me at firstname.lastname@example.org (LIMITED DATES LEFT)
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I hope you enjoyed the read.