After a brief hiatus due to work commitments, Beardy Paul and I finally managed to get a day in the diary to meet up at Bewl Water for a day on a boat. After meeting up at 8.30am, we were tackled up and motoring out into the main bowl by 9am. With the water temperature warmer, the lodge returns showed fish were holding in deeper water, although feeding in the top 2-3 feet if it was not too sunny or hot.
The day was pretty perfect; generally cloudy with some sunny patches, warm but not hot and a slight southerly breeze offering the potential for a slow drift. We started off towards Chingley Woods, aiming to drift parallel to the bank. Having had a few takes last week on a daddy at Farmoor, I started with a daddy on point, a buzzer on the middle dropper and a claret hopper on the top dropper. Within a few casts, I’d had a little nibble on the claret hopper, followed by a full blown swirl a few casts later. Over the next hour, I had several takes on the hopper, only to miss them all by striking too soon. I find its difficult to get back into the delay for dries when you’ve spent all year striking quickly on nymphs. I finally managed to hook a small 1.5lb rainbow on the claret hopper before things started to quieten down as the sun came out.
After trying several more drifts around the main bowl and by the dam, neither of us had any more takes on a variety of set-ups so decided to break for lunch. A chat with another angler suggested our original drift by the woods had worked for him using a washing line set-up with a booby, diawl bach and cormorant. Beardy Paul managed a lovely 3lb on a bobs bits but otherwise there wasn’t much going on. We both switched to sinking lines to try out a few different set-ups deeper but still couldn’t get into any consistent action.
Finally, we decided to have a drift over the bubbles where there were several other boats tied into the buoys. Immediately, I netted a lovely rainbow on a fry pattern and had several takes on the claret hopper. As another boat moved off, we tied up to a buoy and fished over the bubbles for the rest of the day, which is certainly where the action was. Beardy Paul took another 3 fish, pulling a daddy fast through the water while I had several missed takes on a daddy and the claret hopper. We finally called it a day at 7.30pm after taking 6 fish to the boat, which was not bad in the middle of summer on a relatively warm day.
Definitely worth trying the bubbles if you’re visiting Bewl at this time of year and, given a couple of different venues now, daddy’s and hoppers are well worth a go.