It’s lovely to finally see small lakes and reservoirs coming alive. Even though our trip to Farmoor for the World Bank Masters competition wasn’t as productive as we’d liked, it was good to see fish taking buzzers. We also had a good practice day at Sportfishs’ Haywards Farm Lake with trout taking buzzers and dries. So spring is finally on its way.
Last week I headed off down to my local lake. As I got down to the waters edge I could see fish moving on the surface, not far out, and in good numbers which got the excitement levels up! It’s always great to see the fish feeding and it really sets you up for a great days fishing. Seeing that they were taking something off the surface I opted for an emerging buzzer imitation on the point and a normal buzzer on the dropper thinking this would surely be the killer set up. Fish were moving everywhere in front of me and although the wind was coming across at a difficult angle it was easy enough to flick a line out and let it drift across. Almost the perfect set up. Well, it would have been if the fish hadn’t ignored my flies. They literally took everything around them but no interest in my offerings at all. Sometimes, when trout are feeding like this it can be hard to find flies that work. I changed to different buzzers, different colours and sizes and grid different point flies such as sugar cubes, klinkhammers and other emerger patterns but nothing seemed to work.
So, I thought I’d try some flies I don’t normally fish with. I put a Griffith’s Gnat (see pic – This image is taken from the fantastic Rob Denson site which is well worth a visit. Some of the best looking flies you’ll ever see!) on the point to sit in the surface film and a small plain grey buzzer on the dropper. After a few casts I was into a fish on the Gnat. And then another to the buzzer. And then nothing. So I changed to a fury invicta style pattern and a different buzzer. I caught another on the invicta but then takes dried up again. Maybe I was fishing to low in the water as the fish were all just under the surface. I put a black and green FAB on the point and went back to the original grey buzzer I’d caught on early, cast out and just let it drift in the wind with a very slow retrieve. Bang! Another one to the buzzer. And then another. Then one to the FAB. And then the buzzer.
In the end I had 8. It was a great mornings fishing. Seeing the fish feeding and being able to cast a fly in front of them makes for some exciting sport.
A week later
Today I went back down to the lake for a few hours. There they were, same spot, same feeding patterns. Wind was coming from the opposite side but the fish were still taking from the surface and not far out. I could see buzzer shucks in the water, quite large ones, but it was difficult to make out the colour. I stuck on the same buzzer and Gnat combo I’d used the previous week…and…got absolutely nothing. Neither did any other fly in my box(s). I went through so many flies I had to change my droppers twice. Finally I got one on a buzzer but only because I practically landed the fly on his nose! The fish did not want to play ball at all today. Maybe they were locked on to something very specific. It just goes to show that even when it looks like the conditions and feeding patterns are the same, the fish can be doing something completely different under the water. Oh well. Spring is here now so there should be many more good days to come.