Rutland, Then Grafham - Which One Came Out On Top ?

Posted by Craig Barr on

It has been a busy week taking anglers onto the Midland's top waters, Rutland & Grafham, and with them both in fantastic form of late, was it going to continue?

First trip out was with Scotland's Ramsay Mgowan and Tyler Hay. After a "night before" catch up it was time to show these boys the big "R". We headed South, and parked up along the fence at Gibbets Gorse, where I new fish had been holding for some weeks.

It wasn't long until both Tyler and Ramsay hit into fish, fishing buzzers on floating lines. The fish were noticeably close to the shore, as buzzers were hatching off close to the shore - gulls feeding tight in, off the surface gave us the heads up. Following this "tip off" from nature, led us to locating the fish tight in.

Our next stop was Barnsdale Bay, a bay that has been holding fish for the past month, and plenty of them too !

Things were pretty instantaneous here for all of us, with lines tightening regularly to buzzers fished on floating lines, suspended by, yes you've guessed it, the Candy Fab !

I introduced these two lads to the deadly Olive Rutland Snake, though Ramsay seemed to have a problem catching on it... Both Tyler and I agreed I should have a go with Ramsay's rod, and he should take mine. Well, we nearly fell of the boat with laughter, as I caught one first cast with Ramsay's rod, after he'd spent 30 minutes trying -  A superb half day, with two class guys !!!

The next day, I was out with SW based John Piper and Phil Frapple, as they hadn't fished Rutland for a while, so wanted a brush up on areas and tactics.

We started our day in the Sailing club bay, as I knew it had been producing fish. There were plenty of fish here, so many it was nearly one every cast, all falling to buzzers suspended by the Flash Attack barbless Candy Fab.

We moved onto Gibbets, and followed the same drift as the previous day, and just like the previous day, the fish were tight in feeding on buzzers, though we also found fish up to 70 yards out, as John plays one on a buzzer.

After taking up to 8 fish on our first drift, we headed to Hideaway Bay for a hopeful big Rutland Brownie. Here, John set up the "bung" whilst Phil went onto a sinking line and Flash Attack olive Snake.

After an hour the boys managed just 3 fish, all falling to the indicator. It is quite often the case at Hideaway Bay, the fish are either on or not. I sensed after the hour, they were not in the mood to play, so we moved on once more.

We parked up at K buoy, a spot I rarely drive by, as it always seems to hold fish(Blue buoy off the boy at the Old Hall flats). Well, John didn't let the side down, as ne boated 5 fish on the indicator, including a couple of nice ones too.

As with Ramsay and Tyler, I led Phil and John into Barnsdale Bay, where I new they would catch. As with the day before, they both took fish, fishing straight line buzzers, as well as buzzers on the bung. It was very pleasurable day, with two great guys. The Afghanistan tour stories were interesting, and my finances are now sorted too - thanks guys !!!

Day 3, albeit with a 48 hour gap, was a day out with Graham Smith, on Rutland. Graham hadn't fished Rutland for many years, and had travelled from Berwick-Upon Tweed to have a day afloat. Unfortunately we were greeted with a strong Westerly wind, and getting out of the harbour is always a joy, especially if you haven't put on your waterproofs !

To dodge the wind we headed into the sailing club bay, and rather fortunately, given the wind, we had it to ourselves.

We were soon both into fish, and a fair few of them too, as they were joining the birds, feeding on the abundant buzzers.

After numerous drifts, and plenty of fish, we decided to brace ourselves for an upwind move to Hideaway Bay, again in search of a big Rutland Brownie.

I fished the indicator, enabling me to get the flies exactly where I wanted them, knowing this is a good technique to fool the better fish.

As like my other flying visit 4 8 hours earlier, the big browns were not playing, though I did land a couple of smaller browns of 2lb or so. I did however get this nice rainbow, of around 3.5lb, and it, like 4 other fish all took a Flash Attack crisp packet buzzer set at 12' !!!

My final jaunt, was a trip to Grafham, and with the Scierra Pairs match there this weekend, and the weather now settled, it should be fish crazy !!

I spent the day with local angler Simon Gray. Simon had never shared a boat, and wanted to see "what level" he was at after fishing alone for a year or so.

We headed straight across to Hedge End. My set us up was Wychwood Rocket floating line, with a 18' ghost mode 9lb leader, and 4 size 10 buzzers.(straight hooks)

We had fish at every point, right the way down to the dam,  by the willows. The fishing was sublime. Just cast your line at an angle across the wind, keep your line tight, barely move it, and it will just pull tight !

Noticeable the fish were constantly falling to the point fly, indicating they were feeding deeper down.

A brisk NW wind kept hampering things a little, so we headed across to the "Sludge Point" where I new there has been a lot of fish holding up for the last week or so.

Now out of the wind, there was a good number of fish moving, taking buzzers as cool as you like off the surface. The fish started to come steadily here, as we both hooked up regularly, with one or two good ones in the mix too.

We both fished a team of buzzers suspended by a fab, holding the flies up, as the fish came up on the feed.

As the fish came right up, I seized the moment to swap my fab, to a brown foam daddy, as we had spotted several on the water during the day. I missed one first cast, even tough the fish took it, or so I thought, sweet as a nut,vhowever it was a thin air strike !!! My next cast, the luck was on my side, as a fish just came up and supped it in.

After landing around 10 fish here, we headed back to the North shore. The wind had dropped a fraction by now, and unlike the morning, the fish had came up in the water.

We finished the day really well drifting from Hedge End to Deep Water point, fishing a team of buzzers, though now a diawl bach on the top dropper. Simon bagged 14 fish for the day, an awesome result, after admitting a little over come with a bit of nerves at the start of the day. We boated over 40 fish for the day, and buzzers were the way forward, with some typical Grafham beauties thrown in.

The link for the top fish catching buzzer this recent week.

With this warm weather set for a week at least, I think the fish will soon be more consistent near the surface, bringing dries more into play - cant wait!

If you would like a guided day on any of the Anglian Waters then message for availability. With over 35 years of fishing on Rutland, and Grafham, I can show you the known regular fish holding areas, the flies, and tactics to catch them

We now do bespoke fly packages for all budgets. We recognise these waters are big, and with thousands of flies on offer, Craig is more than welcome to fine tune a fly selection for you, that will catch fish 365 days of the year. Whether you like just nymphs, dries, lures, or a mixture of the all, we can sort it for you, barbed or barbless hooks too !

This week, I will be on Rutland once more, followed by Pitsford then a trip back to Rutland, from an angler I know, who said " I just want to crack this place" I am looking forward to that one !  Your one stop shop for flies, Anglian waters know how, guided trips, and now Wychwood tackle.

Hope you enjoyed the read...


tight lines



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