World Apart Approaches For Grafham & Rutland Right Now......

Posted by Craig Barr on

This last week I have fished Rutland twice and Grafham once, and what a difference the two fisheries are at at the moment.

The fish at Rutland have been in two bands it would seem. There are those close to the margins, patrolling the weeds edges, and there are those further out, hitting wandering coarse fish shoals of fry.

The two trips have to Rutland yielded 13 fish for me, and there has been a stand out fly catching almost off of my fish - the Black Mamba lure. My first day out was with Dave Anderson - his mission, to catch a brown trout, and the Black Mamba ensured the mission was complete.

The set up catching for me has been a 18' leader, with the Black Mamba on the point, and aN Olive Zonker on the dropper. The key to success has been SLOW SLOW SLOW. Pull it at any speed, and the fish don't seem to want it. Imagine you are fishing buzzers and you wont go far wrong with the retrieve.

It was nice to hear this same day, fishing friend Chris Webster was also enjoying some nice sport on our Black Mamba lure, landing this cracking brown into the bargain - nice one Chris.


The spots I have been fishing have not really changed for the last few week, sailing club, spud bay, barnhill creek, carrot creek to the end of the peninsular, armley wood, and whitwell frontage.

A visit to Grafham and things were totally different. The killer shrimp at Grafham, has certainly changed the approach here for years now at this time of year. The shrimp tend to hog the margins, and it is here you will find the fish - that close in you wouldn't believe it at times.

I shared a boat with Neil Heath, as we fished together in the Team of 4 competition. We bounced our way along the points of the North shore, and much to my amazement, my cast of two fabs, 2 hares ear, never drew a pull of any description, and neither had Neil.

As we rounded the corner of G buoy, I could see a dozen boats at the Willows - an obvious sign of fish normally. Yes, some fish were getting caught, but still I couldn't get a take - on went the UV Crunchers. As i shortened my cast to avoid landing on the rocks, my line yanked tight, into a nice 3lber, taking the cruncher.

The gin clear water and number of boats going round and round, I felt was putting the fish down, so we shot across to the Sludge area, where there were no boats. I recalled having great fishing here several years ago, before the Corona virus kicked in, so saw no reason why the fish wouldn't follow their habits - and they had !

Within 10 minutes, my 1 fish in 3 hours quickly went to 3, all coming to a biscuit 2 tone fab fished on the point of a midge tip. Team mates Nick Dunn and Tim Joyce, soon followed by final team member Mark Rooney, all joined in on the action. The fish were in no more than 6' of water. With more boats now, and more lines hitting the water, the fishing slowed somewhat. I then saw 3 fish swim by, all just off the bottom. A quick tactical switch from the midge tip, to a slime line, then a single biscuit fab, to get the fly down to the fish, yielded a steady 3 more fish to the net, finishing me with 6 5 finish to boot ! 

Back to Rutland, this time a day afloat with John Dickens. Rutland has been on one day, and off the next for me of late, and today the light  was "on" I am pleased to say.

I have previously started at the sailing club every trip lately, however this time I decided to start at the North Arm, between Carrot Creek and the peninsular road end. As like all recent trips, I had 2 rods set up, floating line and 2 zonkers, and a fast glass with a black and white humungous lure.

The floating line hadn't produced anything for the first hour this time, so switched to the fast glass set up - hey presto, 3 fish came within 30 minutes at the peninsular road end, pulling the two humungous flies.

With the short day time hours, we moved on to the sailing club to hopefully find some more shoaled up fish.

I carried on with the fast glass, and was soon into a fish, quickle followed by 2 more, as well as losing a couple. We had found some fish ! Having the bay to ourselves, some very cautious motoring around, I was confident would keep the fish there, allowing us to hopefully pick them off - and we did.

I switched to the floating line with the Black Mamba and Olive Zonker, as not to have to cast to often onto the gin clear shallow water where the fish were feeding. This cautious approach yielded 5 more fish to the boat giving me 10 for the day, with the latter all taking the Black Mamba  - I cannot emphasise enough that a slow retrieve is key. I am sure John will not mind me saying, that he couldn't hook up into these fish, however John was keen to move the flies, and it really highlighted the importance of that "barely" moving them is how the fish wanted them on this particular day !

You can book a day with Craig on Rutland or Grafham any time in December. Contact for the winter discounted price.

Take advantage of our Black Friday weekend 25% discount off ALL of our flies -  Simply use discount code FRIDAY21 during checkout, by typing this code into the discount voucher box shown during the checkout. (please allow 5 days for delivery)


tight lines



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