Rutland Water - A day of Two Halves

Posted by Craig Barr on

Conditions looked perfect, grey skies, and a less than moderate wind, though it was blowing from the North East, veering more from the East in the afternoon.

My starting set up was a floating line with 3 dry flies, size 12 ginger Midas on the point, hares ear cube in the middle, and a size 12 big red on the top dropper. Conditions looked perfect, but were they!

We started our day in the basin, after hearing it had fished well the day before. It wasn't long after we had stopped out boat, that we saw fish moving in the wind lanes. I was now rubbing my hands with glee at this prospect.

Two hours later I hadn't landed a fish, yet pulled out of 6 or 7, though I wasn't convinced they really wanted it, like they had in previous visits. My boat partner was now on 4, pulling a single Tequila booby on a fast glass line. This cracking rainbow chased his tequila booby for 15yards before smothering it just feet from the boat.


Following a call earlier in the morning from Neil Cohen, he'd told me of some zoo creatures showing at the bottom of the North Arm, only the day before. We decided at 11.45am to head down there, as most of the boat fleet had headed South earlier in the morning.

After 45 minutes it appeared the reported zoo creatures had gone into hibernation !! We didn't move a fish, however I have been in this game a while now to know, these grown on specimens will play when the time is right for them, and an easterly wind is not always a favourable wind to direction to spark them into life.

Conditions looked good at the bottom of the arm(below) but the fish had obviously not read the same books I had.

We aborted the north arm within the hour, and headed straight to the south arm. 

Like the north arm, the south arm looked perfect. An hour in and we were beginning to wander what we doing wrong, as we had only managed a fish each within an hour. It was now 2 o'clock, and I had landed one fish, something I would never have dreamed of given the conditions, and previous weeks sport. I was convinced the Easterly wind was playing a part in the day.

We headed back to the basin, and targeted the wind lanes as the fish were definitely in these. I switched tactics at this stage to a fast glass and tequila booby, holographic red Diawl Bach, and a 2 tone pink/sunburst blob on the top dropper. 

It wasn't long before normal business resumed, as the fish started racing up behind my booby, then nailing it.



It was like a breath of fresh air, to find something that the fish wanted. The conditions would have lead many, like me, to think about dry flies, or the washing line tactic, but for reasons unbeknown to them, they just didn't appear to want it - certainly not in our boat !

We carried on targeting the wind lanes and the fish just kept on coming, some real belters too.


We finished the day with 15 fish to the boat. Targeting the wind lanes was key. As soon as your flies land, rip the booby across the surface for about 4 pulls...this certainly gets the fishes attention to your flies. The fish came to a mixed retrieve, quick pulling, then a figure of 8 retrieve mixed in. A strong leader is recommend as these oxygenated bullets can't half pull, and one or two are in the big side.

Below are the two flies that took all but one of my fish. These flies and hundreds more, available at

If you would like to share a boat for the day, then why not get in touch, or visit our "Guided days" tab on our website.

We hope you enjoyed the read, and I will be back soon with my next fishing venture.


Remember, what happens one day, doesn't always happen the next, -o;)  Tight Lines.......Craig


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