We’re going to need a bigger boat

We’re going to need a bigger boat

Tracy&James | Thursday, 15 March 2018

This week I finally got round to using the ticket for a free day’s fishing that I won at the competition that I entered in December (for catching a tagged fish). Having a day off from work whilst Tracy was required to go in gave me the perfect opportunity to fish my local trout lake, despite the forecast of a cold easterly wind and afternoon rain. The fishing was tough going until I found a very localised group of fish that were rising some distance out from the bank (30 yards plus). Assuming they were taking some early season buzzers (chironomid pupae), I tried a small Diawl Bach pattern with some success. With the continuing rise I then switched to a black Shipman’s buzzer (a very simple dry pattern for those who don’t know it) and took a number of fish off the top. I probably missed as many takes as I hit mind you, most likely due to a bit of ‘rustiness’ on my behalf. If there was any day that proved the usefulness of a distance cast then this was it, I’m not sure of the other catch returns for the day but I didn’t see many other fish caught than the ones I landed.

An interesting feature of the day was watching an errant sight indicator that was floating in the same area in which the fish were rising.  At first I thought this was just something that someone had dropped, and it would eventually be pushed to the bank by the wind.  When this didn’t happen I assumed it must also be trailing some leader that was caught in some weed or something, thus effectively tethering it to the spot.  This thought was further refined when I saw it moving slowly into the wind!  In fact I watched it on and off for what must have been over an hour and a half before I fully convinced myself that it was attached to a fish.  In this time it did not move from a patch of water that was no more than 3 or 4 metres squared – this is probably why I took so long to come to a conclusion, as it was always in the back of my mind that perhaps it was a long leader that was just swinging with a swirly wind.  I’m pretty sure some of the fish I missed were when my gaze was distracted from where it should have been.

At a coffee break, definitely required in order to get some feeling back into my hands, I discussed the rogue indicator with the staff in the shop who had also noticed it.  They decided that, after lunch, they’d take a boat out and try and retrieve it.  The boat they used is quite a sleek one, powered by an electric motor, as such it made minimal disturbance as they moved it towards the area where it was holding.  However before they got within ~10 metres of its position it shot off at a surprising speed, especially considering it had been meandering about at such a pace that previously I wasn’t even sure it was attached to a fish.

The indicator then disappeared from view for a good 40 minutes until, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted it moving back into the exact same position as it had been previously.  This time though it was much livelier, zipping up and downwind with a speed that would leave someone, viewing it for the first time, in no doubt that it was attached to a fish.  It reminded me of the film Jaws in miniature – the brightly coloured ‘barrel’ would push through the ripple and then submerge, only to pop back up to the surface some way away (this time it did not seem to be confined to the small patch which appeared to bound it formerly).  I never did get to find out what fish was towing it – I’ll have to pop over again this weekend to see if the fish managed to shed the hook, was caught or is still out there doing a Great White impression.

This weekend I suspect I will be practicing #5 distance plus #7 accuracy into the wind – the latter in preparation for bonefishing.

Have a great weekend, James

James fish 1

James fish 2

James fish 4

James fish 5