Monday, April 09, 2012
And so to Barnsfold Reservoir for a bit of fun with stocked rainbow trout. I always enjoy a handful of trips to this super fishery early on in the season when the fish are keyed onto the mass midge emergence. Superlative sport to buzzer patterns can usually be relied upon - particularly when the trout become preoccupied with sipping the emerging insects from right out of the surface film and a carefully presented suspender type pattern can result in impressive returns.
Dad and I turned up at 5pm last night to find only two other anglers on the water. Maybe the weather had put anglers off (a strong westerly and promise of heavy rain), or maybe they were tied up with Easter holiday stuff. Whichever way, by 6pm we had the entire 22 acres to ourselves. And in a sheltered corner we found the fish hard on the feed, as expected, to hatching midge.
I'm not the worlds biggest fan of fishing for stockies, but when the fish are switched onto natural foodstuff and behaving in a more naturalised manner, then there is no doubt that the fishing can be every bit as challenging as on wild waters. Sometimes more so. Last night was pretty straightforward though and I managed to return 11 trout and a solitary rudd(!) in just under three hours. The main problem was that of presentation of a floating fly in the flat calm conditions of that sheltered little corner. Just as had been the case with the wild brownies of the Eden two days previously, the need to fish an appropriately fine tippet was paramount and it quickly became apparent that this was going to be no occasion for 0.18mm fluorocarbon. I ended up using a tapered leader and single fly on a well de-greased tippet of 0.14mm copolymer - not all that different to a river dry fly set up in fact.
I still suffered a number of refusals for sure - edgy boils beneath the fly as the fish were spooked by the tippet at the last minute - but as the evening wore on and the light began to fade, the task became somewhat easier, the fish just that bit more forgiving of less than perfect presentation. It was entertaining sport and as ever, Frank's fish were a credit - hard fighting silvered rainbows averaging a pound and a half in weight. That probably won't be the last trip I make to my local fishery before the end of spring.......