Rutland's Mega Catch To Modest Catch In 24 Hours !

Posted by Craig Barr on

Having fished Rutland for over 30 years now, I am all to aware how things can change here, in a mere 24 hours.

I have been lucky enough to fish Rutland on two consecutive days this week, and what a difference 24 hours can make.

Wednesday I was fishing alongside Simon, a Forest fan (good enough in itself). Simon is still learning the tricks of the trade on how to tackle large reservoirs, and today I was going to show him the pulling of a booby across the surface, as this is what the Rutland trout cannot get enough of at the moment.

Conditions, were again perfect, overcast with a 10mph westerly wind. We headed straight to Buoy 3, situated towards the Fantasy end of the dam wall, approx 200 yards of the Normanton shore.

My set up was a fast glass line, 18' leader(10lb!!) with 3 flies, Tequila Fab on the top, Traffic Light cormorant in the middle, and a large eye Tequila Booby on the point.


It was't long, 3rd cast in fact, then the rod was bent over, and I was into a fin perfect rainbow. I am not sure what these fish are feeding on, but boy, do they go!!!!!

The fish were extremely high in the water, and we were constantly reminded of this, by the speed at which they were onto our flies. It was very often the first pull with your booby skipping across the surface, that the fish, often in groups, started bow waving behind your fly. The key was to keep pulling, and the second the line helped submerge the booby, everything went tight...just brilliant!

Simon was very quick into the action too, as he was often left with his mouth opened, at the way these fish pursued his booby across the surface - something he had never, or done before - until now !

It was fair to say there was a lot of fish in a wide area here, stretching from W buoy all the way down to V buoy, near the dam. However, there was certainly a good concentration of fish at the bottom end of the wind.

Given the perfect conditions, there was no surprise the fish were so high. However, like me, you could be lured into thinking dries would be big player, yet this day they just weren't. A whole hour with not so much as a swirl, yet within minutes of going back onto the fast glass, normal service resumed.


With the number of fish landed on this tactic, now in the late teens, I wanted to see if they would take the same flies, this time fished static on a floater. I decided to add a red Diawl Bach between the flies, though I replaced the booby on the point, with another Tequila fab. 

Well, what can I say, it was just as crazy. I took 11 fish on the floating line in a couple of hours, and Simon was in on the action again too. Simon achieved his biggest catch on Rutland, and was just as excited about the method he used to achieve it.


What was interesting, we had nothing on a middle dropper fly. Cormorants, dabblers, diawl bachs, were all tried, but to no avail. The fish were only really interested on something moving, or should I say, bouncing across the surface. Strange, however as I often think when fishing, sometimes you just have to give them what they want, what you enjoy doing, sometimes maybe not what floats the fishes boat that particular day. 

Thursday, and I was there again, though this time for an afternoon session, with Gavin from New Market. It was a noticeably brighter day, with a similar wind speed as Wednesday. We started our drift at X buoy(just below the Normanton Church) and you've guessed it, minutes later and I was into a fish, and once more, its the Tequila Booby that strikes.


As the hour progressed, I sensed it was already looking trickier than the 24 hours before, as the fish were not as keen to chase the booby - maybe as the sun was coming through, and the fish would be swimming into its direction.

Gavin was fishing dries, and like the day before, he never had so much as a swirl, however I started to pick fish up along the Normanton shore, and picked up two in quick succession near buoy 3.

The fishing had certainly changed from the day before, as less fish were keen to come up for the flies. It became an late afternoon, and evening of "just keep going" and so we did. Gavin, had changed to nymph, pulling, then back to his favoured dries, all to no avail! Having fished Rutland every week, I sensed chopping and changing, especially recently, wasn't the way forward, so like the day before, I changed to a floating line, this time keeping the Tequila Booby on the point.

We moved away from the basin at 7.00pm and headed towards the middle of the lake, between New Zealand point, and Spud Bay - a favourite location of mine at this time of year.

Despite the near perfect conditions, we never saw any fish move - puzzling to say the least.

As Gavin and I chatted, my line tightened, and I was in.

One guess what it had taken - the Tequila booby. After a great fight, the fish finally came to the next...A nice size too !

The day soon came to an end, and I managed to boat 9 trout, and lose 3 in play. A huge difference to the evening before....why? For me, it was maybe the brighter skies, than the day before. The fish do not always read the same books we anglers do. 

The fish are, or have been up until Thursday, very high in the water, and if your flies went below 2' there was a good chance you may have struggled, highlighted when we docked at the pontoon, and heard there had been one or two blanks for the day. The fish have also been very wiling to take a dry fly, having had a fair few myself this last few weeks, however, this last few days, this may have begun to change - or has it?? That's the beauty of fishing, we never really know what to expect from day to day, and as my years of experience on Rutland reminds me, no two days are often the same !

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

If you would like a guided day at any of the Anglian Waters, then you can contact me on, or check out our website for details(Guiding tab)

The fly of the moment for Rutland....





Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.