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!!