The next day’s planned fishing was also affected by our eating arrangements. We thought we’d have breakfast in the on-site café before setting out along the banks. This was with the thought that the café started serving food at 8am, though I’d misread the website and it turned out that mid-week (this was Friday) that we’d have to wait until 10am. However being as we intended to fish until it went dark, this later than anticipated start didn’t bother us too much and the bacon and sausage butties were worth waiting for.
I will say how incredibly helpful the chap in the fishing lodge was – he was genuinely keen to make sure we had a great day and spent some time putting ‘Xs’ on the lake maps (marking the current hot-spots), telling us about the fly patterns that had been successful lately and making sure we knew the situation regarding the car parks (i.e. how not to get locked in overnight) and ensuring that we had the combination number for the various gate locks.
Although the weather was reasonably warm, there was a strong North East wind blowing. This meant the bank where the lodge is situated would have the wind quartering into it from the right side to the left. Obviously this is not ideal for right handed casters like James and myself, however we figured that being as the wind had been in this direction for the best part of a week, this bank would have an accumulation of wind drifted food items plus will have been fished lightly (people tend to choose the easy option in relation to fishing in the wind). As it was, we did not see another bank angler along this mile plus of shoreline – some of the boats were drifting close-in, parallel to the shoreline though, suggesting that others had the same idea.
The fishing started well as James caught several good sized rainbows in succession with one trying for an acrobatic display considering the number of leaps out of the water. Much of my time was quickly (or as quick as I could safely navigate the rocks to get to him) helping to net the fish. One trout must have thought we looked a little hot as it splashed us several times as we tried to release it. As we wandered along the bank towards the dam, we fished several spots where I managed to catch him up and by late afternoon we had caught the same number of fish, though I had also lost a few too.
As we remembered that the car park gates were locked at 9pm and we intended to fish the evening on the peninsular, we packed up and drove around the perimeter roads through some gorgeous scenery and found a lovely bay this time with a left to right wind. We could see rises and prepared with dries, we picked our spots and started to fish as dusk fell. No matter what we used neither of us caught, with the trout seemingly ignoring our offerings. At around 10pm we started to detect more fly life emerging from the water and for the final selection of flies (as we could barely see to tie them), we started to cover the rises. I caught two rainbows though I couldn’t see my flies so was striking at any indication of movement near to where I thought they were. James hooked and lost one. On leaving the area, we discussed the potential insects that the trout may have been feeding on and considered that maybe we should have tried a sedge pupae – so I will be restocking my fly boxes with these for my next trip. I had an idea that evening dry fly fishing could be helped if the fly had some material tied into it that was luminous, so I might chop up a bit of Paul’s lumi-line and get James to tie it into a few dries, maybe as the post for a Klinkhammer style tying. At least then I might be able to see the fly at dusk or even later.
I’m looking forward to going back and next time will book for two fishing days. On the way back we visited Chris and checked out his local stream, he’s done an awful lot of work to improve the ecology and water quality. If it hadn’t been for the heatwave and Chris unable to get into waders due to his foot being in a ‘medical boot’ due to a torn ligament, we might have fished it. However we’ll leave this to another day.
Whatever you are doing this weekend, tight lines,