On Sunday 10th May 2020, the Government announced that a resumption of unlimited exercise and travel to do that exercise would be allowed in the England from the 13th May.
The Angling Trust was quick to follow up on this and confirmed that this included fishing and that set the hares running (so to speak).
Orders for our flies went through the roof and we were all flat out with the three P’s – picking, packing and posting
Wednesday came around and an email from my local syndicate water confirmed that they were open for business, so I packed my kit and was off !
The club has sensibly introduced social distancing and other safety rules at the venue and it was great to see that these are being followed to the letter by the 6 anglers on the water.
The club house (wooden hut) was closed and no angler was allowed within 10 feet of another. With 7 anglers and a 2 acre lake, this wasn’t going to be hard
I did ask one angler, from a safe distance, if he’d caught and he said no, but that didn’t matter. He was just glad to be back on the bank. A feeling I’m sure is shared among all fisherman.
I set up my Orvis Clearwater II 5wt rod with a Sunray Competition Float 5wt line and added a 12 feet leader with a candy FAB on the point and a simple olive buzzer on a dropper at around 3 feet. That was it, a nice simple set up which works on pretty much any still water.
When fishing for trout with a buzzer, the rule is always, the slower the better. Real buzzers do not move very fast and as such moving buzzer flies too quickly will look unnatural to the trout and they’ll leave well alone.
So a very slow, almost static figure of eight was the order of the day. Just taking up any slack line, to ensure you keep direct control of the fly should a trout take it, is all that’s really necessary. As the FAB reaches the bottom, a long slow pull of the line to about an arm’s length will cause both the FAB and the buzzer to rise in the water and then slowly sink down again. This emulates the buzzer’s natural movement of attempting to swim to the surface before drifting down again when tired from the effort.
The FAB in this set up is largely there as an attractant and trout will often follow it before noticing the more familiar buzzer and taking that. On this occasion though, the FAB was taken by a nice 2lb stockie.
The trout at this water seem to fight better than anywhere I’ve been and this one was no exception. He took me all over the lake and was exhausted when I finally netted him. I had to keep him in the landing net in the water for a good while before he was recovered enough to swim away.
The sun then came out and the trout went lower. So I set up a sinking line (yes, in May!) With a single cats whisker booby on the point of just a 2 feet leader. This method is unusual (and not one for the purists) but is absolutely deadly.
The line most be allowed to sink so that it drags the booby under and the line is flat against the bottom. The two feet leader then presents the booby just above the weed bed. A slow retrieve them bobs the booby across the weeds and will tempt even the shyest trout from cover. This proved to be the case on the first cast as a cracking 3lb rainbow bent the rod again.
After a couple of hours, the fishing had died due to the sun and like all the other anglers on the lake, I decided to head home. Before I did that, it was nice to just stop and take in the surroundings. The lake is set in farm land and is a wonderfully tranquil place, especially when you’re the only one there !
It was nice to see that two families of geese have been hatched over the lockdown period too. My apologies for the terrible picture.
So a short day with only two takes, but considerable relief to be back on the bank again. There is nothing like the feeling that comes over you when you’re at the water’s edge with rod in hand. It’s good to be back