Catching spring trout on Pitsford Reservoir

Living only 4 or 5 minutes from both Pitsford and Ravensthorpe reservoirs it makes sense to have a season ticket, which covers fishing at Grafham and Rutland Water as well. In effect it means that I can nip up to either of my local “ressies” after tea, walk Max, my faithful Black Labrador, and have a cast if I fancy it, or return home again if I don’t! In addition there are Zander in both Grafham and Rutland and pike in all four lakes, so the ticket represents great value. I was away for much of April and also had a week with my lovely wife, Sally, in Cornwall in May (I’m not ALWAYS fishing!), so I did not do much trouting until the last 2 or 3 weeks. Also it has been a bit chilly in the evenings, which tends to put off the trout – and me!

I ventured up to Pitsford one night last week despite the cool breeze with two rods on my car clips – one sporting a team of nymphs on a 12-foot cast of 8lb fluorocarbon and floating line and, on the other, a bright orange “booby” on a 3-foot leader and sinking line. Nothing was showing and on my bank there only appeared to be another two anglers about a quarter of a mile away, so I presumed that the bank fishing had not been that hectic. But it was nice to be there with just Max for company and I happily fished with the booby for about 45 minutes without result.

Then, when I least expected it, I had a pull and, 5 minutes later, another. Then I found myself suddenly attached to a 4lb-plus rainbow, which thought it was a small tarpon! It is easy to exaggerate but I would say that the fish tore off, jumped and cartwheeled its way to a distance of probably 45 yards before I had any chance to stop it! One of my neighbours had requested a couple of trout fillets (personally I don`t like to eat them, just catch them!) and I would have clonked this one, had it not come adrift at the rim of the net.

It was fairly cold now and I noticed that my two fellow anglers along the bank had disappeared, but one or two fish started to show so I swapped to the nymph rod. It wasn’t long before I had another take, which didn`t stick. I had just made a cast when a trout rose nearby and as I stripped in fast to cover it, my point buzzer was taken savagely by a large fish, which turned out to be a magnificent brownie of exactly 6 lbs. I weighed it and took a quick photo before slipping it gently back – I never kill brown trout.
A while later a rainbow of about 3lbs took one of my nymphs and was duly landed and retained for my neighbour – job done!

Encouraged by this modest success I returned 3 nights later and during a 60-minute evening rise caught 5 rainbows, lost 2 and was broken on the take by another – a lovely evening and I didn`t see a soul, which is just the way I like it!

In case I give the impression that I always catch fish, this is really not the case and a visit with Bob (Church) a couple of nights later in “perfect” conditions (?) resulted in no rise and a double blank! As ever the fish had the last say!!

Mike Green About Mike Green

Although a bit of a pike fanatic, Mike Green has been fishing in the UK and abroad for most of his life, catching coarse, sea and game fish in the UK, Canada, Alaska, New Zealand, Asia and Americas.