Most anglers when fishing Rutland, probably want that "special" brown or rainbow trout that grace the depths of the "Mecca". I am about to reveal all you will need to know, to increase your chances to do just that.
It has been said many times, that there must be browns in Rutland exceeding 20lb's. Though I haven't seen one this size, I have seen them in excess of what I have thought to be 15lb !!
As the nights start to draw in, the trout sense winter is just around the corner, and instinctively know it is time to pack on the weight for winter. There could not be a better bounty in the water for them - fry, and plenty of them.
There are 4 key points, that are a must when targeting these specimen fish.
1) You must have a good selection of fly lines.
2) A good selection of the right flies to tempt these big fish.
4) Know where to find them.
Lets look at this more closely. The trout will often sit low in the water when they are hitting the fry. As the fry shoal above them, the browns especially, hit them from beneath, then cool as you like, head back to the depths. I think you must have a di3,di5,d7, and even the booby basher at your disposal. These selection of lines will give you the best chance of getting to all depths to locate these fish. My favoured line would be the Di5, but should this not produce, I do have all the others to choose from to alter the flies depths. I launch the line as far as I can, and then alter the sink times to try to gauge where the fish are in the water. My retrieve is always a fast, to try and tempt the fish to chase. An absolute MUST is hang your flies at the boat. If I was to tell you MOST of the takes will come at this point, you'll now know why this is crucial.
This 7lb+ rainbow raced up behind my fly to boat, and hit it fast and hard on the hang.
We all have thousands of flies, and if you are like me, many that have not even seen the time of day. Well, the good news is, when chasing these big fish a handful of patterns is all you will need. There is one particular fly that really stands out for me, and that is the Black Humungous fly. This is a very consistent big fish catcher for me. My other favourites are a big Perch Lure, and a Rutland tube fly. I normally always use just one fly, no distractions! I tend to also use a much shorter leader than normal, one of just 12'. This allows for maximum depth when on fast sinking lines. A longer leader simply wouldn't allow the fly to get the needed depths. A long leader would also hamper the essential "Hang", the shorter leader not only allows you to see the fly at the crucial hang, it also allows for a faster hook up, should a fish hit you.
My 3 favourite flies - Black/Gold Humungous, Perch Fry Lure and a Rutland Tube Fly.
Point 3, patience, is a very critical one if you want a chance of landing one of Rutland's finest. I have camped out in one of the known spots for a full day before, for only 1 fish, but that 1 fish was well worth 8 recently stocked rainbows. Now I am not saying you need to sit it out for a day every time, but certainly a good few hours is a must. The trout will come on and off the feed throughout the day, and you really want to be there when they do. I have fished in an area, and seen boats enter the fray, only to leave within the hour after not having caught. These two cracking browns both came AFTER two boats had fished within the vicinity of my boat for an hour, then left, leaving me as the lone boat - just how I wanted it.
These fish did not get this big by chance. They are smart, and wise, so patience is certainly needed if they are not charging around on your arrival. It is alright being patient, however you also need to move around the area you are fishing, with great care. It is no good motoring full boar across your intended drift, as this is sure to put these wiley old fish on red alert. I will always go at half the engine speed, and in a big arc around to my intended drift, thus not to disturb my whole intended areas of fishing. It really is that essential !
Finally, arguably the most important part of the jigsaw - where to find them. My 37 years of boat experience on Rutland has taught me this, and it is the same locations each year. In late September, the fish become distinctively active around the North Arms Tower, and the mouth of the South Arms Hideaway Bay. October into early November the fish are still active around the North Arm Tower, however now the fry in the harbour can be up to 8" long, and bigger, and this too becomes a big brown hot spot, as well as outside of the harbour walls.
November right through to January, more areas enter into the fray, the Normanton bank, from the blue pipes down to the dam, and the dam itself. This now gives you several areas to visit during the shorter days. I would normally visit several of these spots during the day, as there are high odds you'll raise a big brown or two! The fish will be here, I guarantee it. I would choose to go if there are light winds forecast, as this allows depth to be obtained with your sinking lines, with a slower moving boat. A quick drifting boat, and it can become a frustrating day, especially if its bright.
These are my target spots, though there are other areas definitely worth a visit, Armly Wood, Whitwell Creek and the Sailing Club, all of which I have taken quality fish from. These areas have brilliant weed beds, which will always hold fry, and where there's fry, there are trout, big ones ! My chosen fly when here would always be my go to Polar Popper Fry. This fly really is superb. I rarely use anything else. Fished as a single fly, on a 12' leader, I cast the fly right alongside the edge of the weed, give it two sharp pulls and wait - if a fish is there, it will be onto it in seconds, so be warned don't take you eye off it !
The Polar Popper Fry
Finally, a good, strong, stiff nylon is needed when targeting these specimen trout. You wouldn't want to hook a monster, only for it to snap you, or dig itself into a weed bed, and you're too worried to pull at it, as you only have a light leader.
All the fish in this blog were caught whilst I was using my own Japanese sourced Monofilament. I have tried and tested this line all season, from dry fly fishing, buzzer fishing, and big fish catching, and it has been brilliant. It will be available on my website soon - 100m for just £11.95
I hope you have enjoyed the read. If you would like a guided day out with myself, targeting these specimen trout, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for availability. My price, £240 for the day, includes the boat and permit, and 6 FREE big fish fry lures from our collection.
BLOG OFFER - 18 big fish fry lures just £23.75 (inc post) A 12lb 100m spool of Flash Attack Pro monofilament just £9.99 Buy both together for just £31.99.
To get your set of flies, nylon, or both, please email me at email@example.com or PM me directly - thank you.
Tight lines & screaming reels.