Rutland Water is a huge vast area, and for many anglers, its just too big to contemplate a days fishing. I was recently speaking to a fellow angler who told me, " I have never fished Rutland, its just too big, and I just wouldn't know where to start!"
Very true, however nothing ventured nothing gained? The fish are now very well spread out, and what a great way to fish, set your drift and off you go, drift fishing for an hour at a time, picking up fish as you go.
My latest visit, Wednesday 10th June, greeted me with perfect conditions, overcast, light breeze and 17 degrees. It just had to fish, and it did !
I met up with two great friends of mine, father & son, Simon & Elliot Guthrie
We started along the green bank(Sth Arm). It was relatively flat, and there was the odd fish rising. I started with a tequila fab on the point, and 3 nymphs up the cast. Fifteen minutes had passed, and not a touch, not helped by the flat calm. I always fish close to the boat in a flat calm, as chucking a long line, will send the fish packing! Fish a short line(15-20') and you'll be surprised how close the fish will suddenly come to your boat!
The next 15 minutes saw me land two fit rainbows,both falling to my pin fry Diawl Bach pattern. Both within 15' of my boat !
As the breeze picked up, we moved into the Old Hall Bay, near to the point. WOW ! we were greeted by tens of fish marauding through the surface, chasing this years pin fry. Many people think these fish are not worth pursuing, as they are normally very difficult to catch. Are they??
These fish are often VERY high, and you need to match this with your approach. Yes, chucking at them, time and time again, you may get 1 or two, however when I see this, I immediately shorten my cast length, and sometimes dropper lengths(if needed), ensuring my flies will be kept high.
I put a new tequila fab on the point, added a little Gink, to keep it high in the water. Alongside this, I had a size 12 Red Nemo, Size 14 Hot Head UV Cruncher, and my pin Fry Diawl Bach,all now on a 15' leader. When the fish are in this mood, they are normally moving quickly, and often in all directions, so when you would normally cast in front of a moving fish, with these pin fry feeders, it often pays to cast at it, as they often turn back on themselves. I find the best way to get there attention is, to cast at them, then rip your first two pulls across the surface. The bouncing fab, normally grab there attention, and before you know it they will be bow waving behind your fab. Stop everything, keep your line tight, and at times, they'll pick up the nymph. I had 6 fish here in under an hour, and dropped two, doing just the tactic described. Great fun!
Like all good things they soon come to an end, and it did, with the odd fish now showing, so another move was on the cards.
As I meandered my way across the lake, I saw several fish move in a wind lane, and noticed two separate anglers playing fish in open water, approx 300yds off Gibbets Gorse bank. It was now time to try the dries, and relax a little, after the last hours casting, frantically chasing pin fry feeders all over the place.
I set my drift 50 yards off E buoy(off Gibbests Gorse bank). The Southerly wind was taking me right across the lake, towards Hideaway Bay. I decided to fish two flies to start with, and orange, and hares ear sugar cube, size 12 on the point, and size 14 on the dropper. Well, what a move this was. It was fantastic sport. The fish were obviously very high in the water, and in my first drift I took 5 fish on the two fly cast. Just to see the way they sipped the flies in, itself was well worth the day out. One particular fish hit me at 100mph and took off at the same speed too, yet when landed was around the 2.5lb mark!!
Though some of the fish came blind to these, some fish, once cast at, came bow waving behind the flies, as I pulled them away, and when i stopped them, they just sipped them in. Lovely.
I now moved to New Zealand point, quite late on in the day, and here, like the Old Hall Bay, there were fish everywhere chasing the tiny pin fry. I was a little warn out now for this high tempo combat approach, so opted to stick to dry flies, but changed my set up completely. It wouldn't be me, fishing dry flies without a big red on my cast, so that was certainly making a appearance.
I set my drift off New Zealand Point, then carried on all the way to J Buoy, in the Old Hall flats area. I was rewarded with 6 more fish on this very long drift, and yes, the Big Red played its part, netting me two fish, and my first Rutland Brownie of the year.
A hares ear shuttlecock on the point accounted for 4 other fish too.
It was a fantastic days sport. I had heard of big numbers the day before being caught in this open water with anglers using di-3 lines and a fast glass line, and pulling blobs/fabs, however the sinking lines never got to leave my bag today, as it was a floating line day only for me - brilliant.
On arriving at the boat dock, I spoke to an elderly gentleman who had a right bag full of "biggies". When I asked where he had been, he replied the North Arm. Each fish in his bag looked in excess of 3lb, easily. I guess on my next day out soon, I'll have a wee wander down there.
Below, are the links to all flies that I caught 2 or more fish on this day. The stand out flies being, the Tequila Fab, Craig's Pin Fry DB, Hares Ear Sugar Cube, and the Mirage Hare's Ear CDC....
I hope you enjoyed the read, and if you are fishing Rutland over the next few days, I hope it adds a fish or two to your day. Remember, what happens one day, doesn't always happen the next, -o;) Tight Lines.......Craig