Over the last few weeks I’ve had a few disappointing sessions at the lake. Some other anglers had caught a few very early in the mornings but I’d had one blank and another visit with just one fish. Both times I’d gone through all the usual flies and more to no avail. No fish were seen in the margins apart from the odd one or two cruising up and down but nothing could tempt them. Both sessions saw every fly in my box come out for a try with very few takes to show for it. I walked around the lake trying wind behind me, facing the wind, calm and ripple but both times were very hard.
On both occasions though, fish could be seen jumping around and thrashing about on the surface in the middle of the lake. So, this time I decided to grab a boat and get out there amongst the fish.
I decided not to go straight for the spot I’s seen fish and opted for a spot in the middle of the lake with a good ripple. I’d set up with a 3 fly system to cover a lot of options with an Invicta on the point in case they were after small fry a few feet down, a small black buzzer on the middle dropper in case there was a bit of a buzzer hatch and a generic Hares Ear on the top dropper. First cast out and I must have dropped the Invicta right on the nose of a fish! I saw the glint of the silver body on the fly in the sun as the fish splashed and grabbed at it. After a great fight I finally got a lovely 4lb brown into the net. What a fish and first cast! Over the next hour I caught 2 more and missed quite a few snatches and then it went a bit quiet.
I moved the boat down the lake towards the area where I’d seen fish thrashing around. They were still there. I left the same 3 flies on and cast out. Almost instantly I had a fish on, this time on the buzzer. And then another to the hares ear and another to the invicta. To be honest, I could have stuck anything on the end and they would have jumped at it. After a good few hours in the boat I’d had my 10 including a lovely brown and 2 blues. My first hat-trick (Brown, blue and rainbow in the same day)!
I’d actually started writing this post last week but after reading Beardy Neils post on Autumn fishing it seems we’re on to the same conclusions – find the fish! It doesn’t matter whether its depth or location in the water, if you find the fish and you have vaguely the right fly on then you should get some interest. So, keeping on the move around the water and trying different depths is definitely the way to do it.
Now all I want to know is, out of a few thousand fish in the lake there must have been a few hundred in the middle and nothing around the margins – where do all the other fish go?