Following a good couple of days on Eyebrook I was keen to get back out and target some fry feeding trout, so I booked a boat at Draycote water.
We’d had a pretty severe storm the day before with very high winds and significant rainfall but when I arrived it looked perfect; a slight ripple on the water and grey skies. I set up with an intermediate line to give me a choice of options – I could fish high with a popper fry, just under the surface with a minkie and a bit deeper with a weighted fry pattern.
The reports from the previous week suggested there were fish holding in four main areas so I started off at Farnborough dam, drifting in from T buoy. I started with a minkie on the point, a cormorant on the middle dropper and a gold invicta on the top dropper. I tried a couple of drifts, changing to a humongous on the point on the second drift with no sign of fish. I then moved to drift between Croft Shoal and Lincroft Point. Draycote has not suffered as much as some of the other reservoirs in the summer but the water level is still 10-15 feet down and looking down as I drifted over croft shoal I could see the top of the weeds just 2-3 feet under the water. I thought this would be perfect for trout hitting shoals of fry but after a couple of drifts I had not seen a fish or had a tug.
I thought it was worth trying something different so motored over to the other end by Draycote dam which was at the top of the wind. I changed to an olive minkie to represent a perch fry and quickly had a tentative nibble and saw signs of fish. After one drift across to B buoy, I reset close to the dam and switched to an olive humongous to get a bit deeper. This resulted in an immediate take to a beautiful resident rainbow of around 3-4lb which took the UV cormorant on the middle dropper. A couple of casts later I had my second fish of the day which took the humongous on point with gusto, followed by a third not long after, again on the humongous. I thought I had it nailed then but after several more drifts I had not had another bite.
I decided to do a little tour to see if I could find greater concentrations of fish – I went to the tower, then round to biggin bay, just into toft and then back round to the Hendsborough bank and rainbow corner; all without a single take. Finally, for the last hour, I went back to the Farnborough dam and set-up a few drifts very close into the dam. This resulted in a couple of fish to the net and a few more missed takes on a humongous and the UV cormorant.
I felt like I had got the tactics right and found some fish but never quite got into them properly. Five to the boat seemed about average for the day when I completed the return at the lodge so maybe the fish were a little morose after the conditions the previous day. Still, lovely to be out and great to catch at least one ‘proper’ resident fish.