For one reason or another I haven’t had a lot of time over the past few weeks. However, the need for getting away from the daily grind and finding some time to reflect on events has made me get away fishing a bit more. I’ve managed to sneak off for
2 3 evening sessions at the lake and all 3 have seen a lot of top-of-the-water action.
On both occasions there weren’t a lot of fish on the surface, just the odd swirl or head and tail, so my first response was to go with a set up with buzzers and nymphs to get the depth right. After no touches from deeper flies I decided to put on a generic dry to keep my droppers high up in the water and instantly caught on a buzzer. After a few casts out I changed my point fly to something more visible and tied on a poly wing hares ear. A generic looking hares ear with a very visible white poly wing that sticks up vertically from just behind the hook eye. And almost instantly the fish were swirling at the hares ear. I missed quite a few to begin with but slowly managed to get the strike right and let the fish do most of the taking. My first session saw 7 fish and a lot of missed and half hooked ones to. A really great evenings sport and almost all came to the hares ear.
My second session was very similar. Not much activity on top, just the odd fish showing, so I went with some nymphs. Caught one on a buzzer and then nothing. So on went the floating hares ear and again fish came up for it. And they kept going for the hares ear and didn’t touch any of the nymphs on the droppers. So, I changed the nymphs for Midas dries that look a bit like hoppers. The Midas caught a few and the hares ear kept on catching with a good evening of 5 fish and many more missed and lost.
Two very enjoyable evenings spent taking fish off the top. I can’t remember having such good top of the water sport like this before and the hares ear seemed to really be the fly of choice.
Its quite appropriate I should have ended with that last sentance! Having meant to post the above on the site last week I still hadn’t managed it when I decided to get another evening session in at the lake. Pretty similar conditions to the last 2 sessions and fish were to be seen taking off the surface sporadically in a pretty strong wind. So, thinking I knew exactly what they’d be after based on the last 2 sessions, on went the hares ear and…nothing! A few swirls around the fly and a few definite looks but nothing was properly interested. I tried quite a few other dries such as a Midas, a black hopper and a sedge but nothing seemed to do the trick. I had a buzzer on the dropper for a while which did catch 1 so I decided to pop on a sugar cube buzzer that Beardy Neil had tied and given to me a few months back. First cast out with the sugar cube buzzer and wham! As soon as it hit the water there was a huge spalsh and something very large had grabbed onto it and was streaking its way past me towards the shallows. Unfortunately, in the direction it was travelling was a pipe in the water and I tried everything to steer the fish away from it. With 2 hands on a rod that bent double I tried to pull the fish round but it just would not move and then pop…the line snapped and the monster got away. Another sugar cube buzzer went on and within a few cats the same again but with a more manageable size fish. A few more came to the sugar cube buzzer and then the wind dropped and it went very quiet. I tried a few different flies until I decided on an Orange Bobs Bit which almost instantly caught fish. Another 4 on the Bobs Bit made for a total of 7 plus the one that got away plus another 3 that came off plus a lot of missed takes. Another great evening. And then I was reading this weekend in one of the magazines about how trout have a very narrow field of view when they’re looking up just below the serface. Its easier for them to see flies hanging below the surface rather than floating on top which is maybe why the buzzers did well. The guy also mentioned his top rig for trout under the surface was a bobs bit on the point to pick up fish a bit further down and a CDC buzzer on the dropper for the surface feeders. Pretty much what I did in a roundabout way. Next time I’ll try that set up from the start.