I was so excited to be heading off to Draycote I could barely sleep the night before. The recent reports have been favourable with dry fly fishing featuring heavily. The weather forecast looked good and I was out with Steve Cullen who knows the water intimately. The journey up did not go so well with the road signs on the M25 warning that the M1 was shut north bound. Luckily I had left plenty of time and the diversion through Shakespeare country was very pleasant. That said if I had seen a kid with a banjo on some of the roads the sat nav took me down id have been locking the doors.
The welcome at Draycote is always a warm one and Al and Tom who were obviously very busy with the Ladies National as well as all the other customers still had time for a quick chat. I was tackling up with dries by the time Steve arrived and conditions could not have looked any better. Keen to get out on the water Steve opted to tackle up once we were out. I had tackled up with a big red on the point and a couple of bobs bits up. I was flicking the flies a short distance from the boat while trying to hold down a conversation with Steve. Not the best plan as a juddering take left me thinking I had been bust up. The fish had taken my little bobs bit and had straightened out the hook. What a way to start! Steve had set up with a slow intermediate and I lost count of the amount of bow waves that saw fish rushing to intercept the fly only to refuse it completely or give a little nip but fail to hook up. I managed to move a couple of other fish with the dries but was losing confidence fast.
We decided to move over to the weed beds to give the fry feeders a go. There was hardly any activity on the surface though. That did not deter Steve and again after lots of interest we still had nothing to show for our efforts. After delivering the immortal phrase that we have never had a bad day and always catch plenty fish I could have kicked my own arse! So about three hours in and loads of interest but no fish to show for it. We opted to go back to A buoy I had gotten into a tangle and Steve had at last gotten into some fish. At last we had come across a pod that were prepared to have it! Moral boosted a little I decided it was time to stop mucking about with snakes and dries and get down to business. On went the fast glass and a team of consisting of two boobies and a couple of nymphs in-between. Only a few casts in I got a firm take and soon boated a nice Rainbow which had fallen to the pink booby on the top dropper. I thought that this may have been the start to some consistent sport but it was not to be.
We went on the hunt after that and went over to the other side where the wind was quite tasty. I had changed to a DI5 Sweep and a single booby and just kept up with the line as I hung my fly as best I could in the wave it all locked up. Luckily I got it into the net before it realised it was hooked, once these fish get their heads down they can be a bugger to get in. We bounced down the bank the drifts did not last long as we were now travelling at speed. We failed to tempt any other fish to the boat and were a bit weary of being battered by the waves so back across for some comfort fishing. It was really disappointing as we had both looked forward to the day and I felt for Steve coming of the back of a lack lustre Chew. We were just chatting over finishing up the horrific drive up was playing on my mind so we opted to fish till five. Last half hour let’s give the weed beds another go, so we rigged up the dries again and the first run through produced nothing. There were the odd fish moving on the inside line. Steve tucked us right in it was nearly five and I had already began tackling down when a fish rose right in front of the boat. It was hard to get excited as we had seen this most of the day covered the fish then nothing. Steve covered the fish and gently lifted in, not a monster but certainly our best fish of the day. It had a mighty fine propeller on it to boot, Steve played the fish tentatively and I had my fingers crossed he would land the fish. After some pretty hairy moments when it headed for the weeds the fish came to the net. A great way to finish of the day. Draycote is a fantastic fishery and on another day we may well have had a hat full but today the water was somewhat moody. We had to work really hard for the fish that we manage, lets hope its a bit better next time.
Steve was excellent company and we had managed a few fish just the drive home to contend with. That could be a blog entry on its own #BloodyTraffic!