Monday, 21 April 2014

Fished Pitsford Reservoir today with 3 young grandchildren

Having stayed last night with my daughter and family at Milton Keynes I took Morgan (10), Jacob (8) and Imogen (6) fly fishing at Pitsford Water.  It was cold and misty when we set out and the SAT NAV got us to the Fishing Lodge at Holcot in around 40 minutes.  The Warden in the lodge was most helpful and let me have a 4 fish ticket for £17.00.  He checked the wind and recommended a suitable location together with black and red buzzers (chironomids).  He even gave us the combination to the padlock on the fisherman's car park barrier!  There were midges in great clouds like smoke near the tree tops so I felt sure that buzzers were the right choice.

I set one 7 weight rod up with a strike indicator (known as "the Bung") and 3 buzzers spaced 3 feet apart with the heaviest on the point.  Then I cast it a far as I could and gave the rod to one of the children having instructed him to lift the rod if the orange "bung" disappeared.  I then set up a 5 weight rod with a short leader and a piece of wool as a pretend fly.  I then gave them casting lessons on the grass holding the rod horizontally (Joan Wulff style).  Having got them use to the rod and lines combined action we graduated to the water with proper overhead casts. Morgan the 10 year old soon mastered the technique and I was able to show him how to shoot line.

The sun came out and there was nothing showing on top and nothing taking buzzers below in our area so I decided to change tactics.  Removing the buzzers and the bung I put a large cats whisker fly on the point and having cast it as far as I could gave the rod to Jacob (8) and told him to count to 30 and then retrieve.  This he did and then the others took their turns after I had cast out for them.  The sun became quite warm and we had just about given up on the fish cooperating when Jacob gave a shout as something was pulling on the line.  The trout came to the surface and flashed its silver sides before disappointingly throwing the hook!  This bit of action improved interest and morale for a bit but eventually Imogen negotiated a departure and we headed off home via McDonalds!

We will definitely be back to Pitsford.

Total Contrast at Bewl Water

One of the amazing things about living in the UK with its temperate climate is that the weather can change completely in a short space of time. In my last post I told of the strong winds and heavy rains experienced whilst fishing at Bewl, a week later and it was blue skies, gentle breezes and "sun burn"!  Yes I came away with 5 rainbows and rosy cheeks.

I was boat fishing with my pal Chris who had not fished Bewl before and who casts a modest distance.  In spite of that he had 3 fish on a single cats whisker before I had caught my first fish!  I was fishing a 3 fly team with a booby on the point and a couple of black buzzers on the droppers (known as the "washing line method").  Eventually it dawned on me that the fish were deeper, well below my flies but in range of his cats.  I switched to a lure and caught up with his total.  Then I thought I would experiment a bit so I fished 3 black buzzers approximately a metre apart under a "strike indicator" with the heavier gold headed  buzzer on the point. That technique caught me 2 more fish but both were caught on the point fly. I think the bright sun was keeping the fish deep. When we both left at around 5pm we each had 5 Superb rainbows and a suntan!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

EXTREME Fly Fishing at Bewl Water

Well we knew the weather would be wet, so we had the right gear on but it was still a bit challenging and when the heavens opened (which it did every time I said "I think it has stopped raining) it really poured and I ended up operating the bilge pump!
The good news was that Rob Barden (fishery guide/ranger and team England fisher) was on the water planning to fish,  and he offered to show us where it had been fishing well.  He also said the fish were on black buzzers. So we started at the top of Hook Straight.
I learnt a lot just watching Rob and how close he fished to the bank from the boat on the drift. We all found that strong winds and heavy rain put the fish down, but that as soon as the wind dropped and the temperature rose a degree or two, the hatches commenced and the fish were showing on the top.
Rob found it hard too and after a couple of hours he had touched several but only landed one. He had to go but we worked our way around the water looking for signs of fish. By this time we were really damp and a bit despondent. However as the saying goes "failure cannot cope with persistence" and we found fish off of Chingley Wood. So Malcolm caught his first trout from a boat and then got smashed by a monster and I came home with a brace of beautiful fish feeling shattered but pleased I had endured to the end!