We were a bit unfortunate to only turn up with four rods for this event and coupled with that only Sean Hanlon and John Hooper could practice. The news from them and this was confirmed after speaking with other anglers and local expert Bob Barden that the fishing was tough. That said if you had just turned up and not heard anything I dare say you would have relished the opportunity to go fishing. When I think of the perfect day for Loch style fishing this would have been it, a light ripple with complete cloud cover. If the water had not been soiled by a deep brown algae I dare say there may have been some very swift limits. As it was it looked like a bowl of oxtail soup and the water probably was about the same temperature. There had been no stocking for the previous three weeks so all in all it looked like it would be a challenging day. Sean gave us a short brief that would give us all a starting point and we split to go and find our boat partners for the day.
I drew David Holroyd from RWFF and he had been ably briefed by Graham Pearson on the method for the day and surprise, surprise it was almost identical to what we had been told. David was briefed to stick with it and they would come! Some of the Bewl lads seemed rather confident so maybe it would not be as bad as I had heard. The fish were very high in the water and it is essential when this is the case to find clean water. So the first drift we nipped round in front of all the boats to get first crack at the spotties. We both moved fish but no offers were forth coming. This was to be a theme that carried on for a couple of hours. The sun had threatened to break through but this was fleeting and discarded fleeces were soon put back on.
I had just about had enough of the odd follow and a decent take that did not stick and decided to switch to dries. My eyes are pretty shot now so I have to fish them fairly close to the boat, only two or three casts in and a little rainbow appeared from the brown goo to take the fly. More surprised than anything I lifted and the rod made a pleasing arc. The blank was off always a great feeling, maybe this would be the way to get them. Not a dozen casts later another fish rose to the flies but I was too quick and snatched the fly away before the fish had a chance to turn. David then had something of a purple patch quickly bagging three fish in short order. I needed no bidding to change to the winning tactics………three hours later with not another touch between us I went back to the dries and David followed suit.
We had fished the same location ish for most of the day so for the last hour and a bit we decided to head for virgin water that had seen no pressure. Within the first few feet of the drift we both moved fish, David quickly recast his dries to the area and was rewarded with another fish. On a roll within two or three casts he had another. The move had paid off for David at least, five was an impressive bag for the day. Towards last knockings the water had gone to nearly a flat calm and as usual on these occasions fish could be seen rising just out of reach and so the day ended with David on five and I had but a solitary trout
As boats returned to the dock it was evident that it had indeed been a grinder. It was not a bad day, a little frustrating for me but hey ho onwards and upwards Grafham on Wednesday and I can’t wait!