There is nothing quite so glorious as an unexpected day off. So what better way to enjoy it than fishing?
The day looked perfect: sunny and warm with a gentle breeze, perfect spring buzzer weather. The wind had been blowing from the south west all week and had now turned to a northerly, so I parked on the north side of the reservoir. I suspected the fish would have followed the wind all week and might still be congregated on the north shore, where the gentle breeze would now be behind me.
I attached a long leader (well 16 feet is long for my casting) with two droppers. I started with a black and green tadpole on point, with a small black buzzer on the middle dropper and a diawl bach on the top dropper. This should cover several options and depths.
I walked down the entire length of the north shore throughout the morning trying various combinations of lures, blobs and naturals but with not even a bite to show by midday. However, I was not the only one. There were dozens of anglers lined up along the north shore and they were all struggling. This was all the more frustrating as there were huge amounts of black midges flying around, so there was/had been a hatch. I even tried an hour in different positions with three buzzers on the line, all fishing different depths.
I suspect it was a combination of factors: firstly, the bright sun; secondly, there was no ripple at all and thirdly, the water was crystal clear. The banks at Draycote are quite shallow and I suspect the factors mentioned meant the trout were hanging out in deeper water (this was confirmed to an extent later as the rangers said the boats had been catching well enough).
I decided to move across to the east side of toft bank, where there was at least a ripple. Things started off slowly here too but there were at least signs of active fish and I felt much more comfortable fishing into a ripple. After several combinations, I reduced the leader slightly a kept just one dropper, onto which I put an olive Cruncher, with an orange Blob on point. At the same time, a group of large clouds covered the sun. In the next half an hour I had three lovely rainbow’s, all on the olive cruncher. Then the sun came back out and the action died off.
So, tricky day but still three trout to the net and some lessons learned!
General conditions – Sunny and warm.
Wind direction – Northerly, slight breeze.
Flies that worked – Olive Cruncher