We all know this time of year can be tough going at times. The waters warm, the sun shines, and flat calms can be a regular occurrence - though this year the wind has been more of an issue, and yesterday was no different !!
Sunny spells, 16mph winds, and already warming waters, and rumours of the fishing being tricky at times. With all this in mind we remained upbeat, and set off on floating lines and nymph set ups - UV Crunchers.
We opted to get out of the wind and joined 3 other boats already in the Sailing Club Bay. I was using a Tequila Booby to suspend 3 UV Crunchers on the floating line, and Garry my partner for the day, was on a similar set up. I had 3 fish swirl at the booby on the first drift, a good sign there was some fish about ! We managed to boat a fish each here, as well as seeing 3 or 4 other fish get caught.
As other boats joined the party, we decided to vacate the Bay and head to pastures new - Manton Bay.
Manton just hasn't got firing yet, and yesterday was no different. We fished Cattle Trough Bay, behind Lax Hill, along the Manton Wall, the bird hides along the South Bank, then onto Gibbets Gorse Point - all this for one swirl at a Tequila Fab !
We moved down to the woods, heading towards New Zealand Point, and both Garry and I both took a fish - now both on a di3 lines. - Tequila Booby, Traffic Light Cormorant, Biscuit Fab (Size 12).
Our next drift was started just upwind of A buoy(located in New Zealand Bay). Still on our Di3 lines we started our drift, taking us towards East Creek. All seemed quiet until we reached the Sailing Yauchts, some 200m down the drift.
It was here we struck gold !
The fish seemed very high in the water as they were onto the Tequila Booby, often within seconds of it landing - a tell tale sign the fish are very high in the water. As this action continued to the booby, my intuition told me I could fish a little more comfortably, by offering the same colour combination in the way of a blob & fab - but on a floating line, thus meaning I wasn't having to pull all afternoon, but could now fish a little slower, and more importantly, keep the flies in the "zone" where the fish wanted it.
The rest was history as Garry and I went on to boat in excess of 20 fish, right the way down to the fishing lodge frontage - this was achieved in 4 long drifts throughout the afternoon. The fish seemed very well spread out, from as far out as 200yds off the yauchts, right the was down the the 'Lodge Bank'. It was a case of ' just keep going' because the fish were in pods. You could drift 50 yds for nothing, then all of a sudden, there could be 2 or 3 fish at once bow waving behind your flies. We fished a combination of a Tequila Fab or blob on the point, a cormorant in the middle, with a biscuit blob on the top dropper - all size 12. Once you get the fish onto the fly(chasing behind it) we found that stopping everything immediately, allowing the flies to sink, the fish got hold ! If you kept pulling(slow pulls too) the fish would continue to bow wave, but not take - stop it and they wanted it.
(Garry taking a fish in very open water, heading towards the lodge)
Often we don't particularly like a wind a sun combination, however today the wind played a crucial role, as the booby & fab, creating that wake, is what was drawing the fish in, proven by the lack of interest when I tried a blob on the point, as apposed to the wake creating flies. With high pressure due to take over for the next week(it appears), this tactic could go right out the window - be warned.
Out of the 15 fish I landed I only had to touch one of them. Fishing barbless hooks all day, once netted and the line is then let go, a combination of no more tension, and a wriggling fish in the net, the hooks just 'drop out'. Garry learnt a valuable lesson today. He only fishes barbed flies, as believed fish tended to fall off a lot when using barbless ones. After today, he was amazed, but more importantly, noticed the lack of fish contact I had, compared to what he did. He had to handle almost all of his fish to release them. He now wants a day out using nothing but barbless flies.
The links below will take you to the flies we used successfully to land 25 fish.