Its my 40th this year, so to celebrate (commiserate?) a couple of mates, who are also 40, and I decided to have three trips, one organised by each of us which would be a surprise to the others. It was my turn first so I decided to organise a day’s fishing at Draycote. As neither of them had even held a rod before, I booked a guide who would provide all the equipment and tuition for the day. Kevin Hart, who guides at Draycote and Thornton, was excellent; a thoroughly lovely chap and a very knowledgeable guide (call the lodge at either place and they will put you in touch with Kevin).
We arrived on a very overcast, drizzly morning at Draycote, fortunately with little wind. After a brief chat, I chugged out on a boat on my own, leaving my mates to learn how to cast. I headed straight for Toft shallows which is usually very good for nymph fishing. I say usually, as today turned out to be a tricky day’s fishing. All the conditions seemed right but the fish weren’t interested in anything natural.
After a couple of fruitless hours, I motored over to the dam area where Kevin had my mates drifting over the aerators pulling bright orange lures on an intermediate line. Lo and behold, they had already had three lovely rainbow trout into the boat. We stopped for some lunch and to dry out before trying our luck again, with a similar result. While trout were rising to take buzzer shucks off the surface, nothing natural I threw out could tempt them onto my line. The other boat, however, had a further seven trout, off another range of bright lures.
So, mildy experienced fly fisher….none, complete beginners…..ten (albeit with a guide). Still, job done, the lads had a great day and we spent an evening in Nottingham telling tall fishing tales of our day.
On a personal note, it was a little dissapointing but my own fault for persisting with naturals. Somehow though, I just can’t get excited about fishing with lures but perhaps I need to give it a proper go, if only to have a plan B when things aren’t working out with my preferred approach.
General conditions – Cloudy with drizzle
Wind direction – Mild westerly dropping in the afternoon
Flies that worked – Orange blob, pink zonker etc etc