Beardy Paul and I have fished Bewl water once or twice a year for a while now. It’s nearly half-way between us, so it makes for a good place to meet for a days fishing, rather than a longer weekend. We’ve gradually done better each time but we’ve never quite managed to crack it and have a really good day.
We arrived at 8am to a cold, strong northerly. Not the ideal conditions but we layered up and got out into the boat. Recent reports had suggested the fish were still relatively high in the water and had been found off Chingley Wood and in the main bowl. Given the wind direction, we started drifting parallel to the bank at chingley. To cover our bets, Beardy Paul had an intermediate with a cats whisker and a blob while I started on a floater with a blob, cormorant and minkie. Beardy Paul was into a fish on his second cast which took the blob, then had two more shortly after on the same drift, also on the blob. I’d not had a sniff so changed to an intermediate.
We continued the drift across the deeper water into Bewl Straight but had no interest. We returned to our initial drift and I had one fish to a blob but otherwise it was quiet on the fish front. The wind was really picking up now and we were drifting so fast that it was difficult to get any depth control. We tried a drift into the far bank of Bewl Straight, which was a bit more sheltered and to see if the fish were following the wind. There were a few touches but nothing substantial.
After a quick chat about our options we decided to try something completely different and went to the north end by the dam (canoe corner). We set up a drift and I was into a fish quickly, on the blob again. As we drifted out into the main bowl, we noticed fish rising behind us relatively close into the dam. We turned around and after a few attempts managed to get the boat anchored in a good spot which happily was also relatively sheltered from the wind. The previous fish had taken the fly high up in the water so I put a hares ear booby on the point to keep the cast up higher and was into another fish quickly on a short, jerky retrieve. We had a few more in similar fashion and realised they fish were quite high up in the water. So, after a little quiet patch, Beardy Paul made the decision to switch to a floater with a FAB and a Blob and the fish started to come regularly. I switched a short time later and fished two blobs with a hares ear in between.
Over the next few hours we had some excellent sport, catching regularly on fish high up in the water who were keen to chase and take aggressively. In total, we had 21 to the boat with Beardy Paul just nipping ahead on 12 fish, with a couple of corking 5lb rainbows to boot. The majority of the fish came to either a blob or FAB with four taking the standard hares ear and booby version. Oddly for this time of year we had no interest in anything slightly fry-like but we weren’t complaining; this was our best day at Bewl by some distance and for once we felt like we’d cracked it, on this day at least.