I’ve always struggled fishing in the Autumm; I’ve either caught the heat hangover from a hot summer or an odd weather system putting the fish off. This has been especially annoying when you read the fishing articles with the pros saying how good the Autumn fry feeders are. I’ve had a few trips to Farmoor in September/October and a day out on Bewl with Beardy Paul through September and October. Although I caught a few, I didn’t really feel like I’d cracked it.
So, after working solidly for a while, I decided to take a day off and try my luck back at Farmoor I. Typically, it was the first really cold day of November so, scraping ice off my car in the morning, I was not really expecting much. There wasn’t much wind when I arrived and not much happening on the surface, so I started with an intermediate with a minkie on point and a silver Invicta on a single dropper; very much making a play for the fry feeders.
After a fruitless first hour, and with the wind getting up and changing direction, I decided to change positions and set-up. I put a fast intermediate (which is almost a sinking line) and a white/silver Humumgous on the point. I cast directly out into the middle and started to count down. After a dozen or so casts, I’d reached a count of thirty and was retrieving with a fast figure of eight and the occasional long pull. As I got 7-10 yards into the bank, my line tightened and a typical Farmoor rainbow surged out into the middle. After a nice little fight, I got a lovely 4-5lb trout back to net and then released.
Over the next few hours, I had another three good sized resident fish to the net on the same tactics before the Autumn sun came out and things went quiet. By this time, my fingers and toes were freezing so I, happily, decided to call it a day. The fish were feeding on fry but down deep, towards the bottom by the weed beds.
This really highlighted one of the key lessons I have learnt this year – depth is everything. It may sound obvious but I think getting your flies in front of the fish is paramount, possibly more so than what flies you have on.