It’s hard to believe, considering all the places we have fished, that we haven’t actually fished Grafham from a boat before! But, we have fished the bank before. Many, many years ago, when we had no idea what we were doing, far less fishing kit and completely the wrong type of shoes, we walked for miles round the banks of Grafham on a blisteringly hot day…and caught nothing. Apart from blisters. Not surprising really.
After a few months in lockdown we’d been desperate to get out but waited for the initial frenzy of fishermen to fizzle out a little before booking two boats at Grafham. Very strange to fish together, but apart. Nice to have all the room in the boat though! Grafham staff had a great system going and we were straight on the boats and out onto the water.
We’d heard that fishing was good on the north shore over by Hedge End so motored over, set up and got into a couple of drifts. Wind was gentle, sun was out with a few clouds but no fish showing. I started with a sinker and a booby but had nothing on the first drift so changed to a floater with fabs and nymphs and in the next hour or so managed 6 fish, most of them taking the fab or blob. We stopped for lunch by tying the boats together and gently drifted in open water talking tactics. For the few weeks before we came fishing reports had been epic but we hadn’t seen the numbers of fish on the north shore so decided to head over to G buoy after lunch.
G buoy was instantly different. First drift and we were into fish. Same tactics here, washing line with fabs/blobs buzzers and pin fry did the trick. Even fishing buzzers it seemed like the fish wanted everything pulled. We did a second drift from G buoy out into the middle picking up fish all along but seemed to hit a patch 200 yards out from the bank that was more consistent. We anchored up on the next run and just sat catching more fish. And more fish. Double hook-ups, fish running us down to the backing, chasing, arm wrenching takes, you name it, we had it. Epic fun!
And then the sky went very dark. As it started to rain I heard a crack of thunder so motored over to Beardy Neil and we headed for what we thought was the harbour. As we neared the shore I looked back to see how far Beardy Neil was behind me and all I saw was his boat and a huge fork of lightening behind him! We weren’t going to make it to the harbour so I headed for the shore full throttle, beached the boat on the shore and jumped out under some trees. Very close. We spent the next hour sheltering as best we could from an incredible storm.
After bailing out the boats we headed back expecting the fish to have gone off a little. But no, we hit more fish. As the evening came the weather settled again and we anchored up in a very gentle breeze to see fish top and tailing in front of us. On went the dries and sugar cubes and we had a lot of fun catching of the top for the last few hours. What a cracking day!
Thankfully, we’re off to Grafham again next week and we’re in the same boat this time. Fingers crossed for an equally exciting day.