Fly fishing nymphs on Pitsford Reservoir


Fly Fishing Pitsford Reservoir - 5lb Rainbow Trout


Seeing as the weather is so awful, here’s a story I’ve had saved for a while…

It was late spring in 2012 and Bob (Church) had fished in a friendly match at Pitsford earlier that week, boating seven large rainbows. Graham Pearson, Bob’s boat partner and semi-professional trout match fisherman, had caught even more (Bob didn’t say how many!), the biggest weighing in at four and a half pounds. Better still they were nearly all caught on a team of nymphs suspended vertically under a strike indicator or ‘bung’ as it is known locally. In effect this is a float attached to the tip of the floating line, which makes it a bit like fishing for roach but with artificials rather than bait. I had only tried this technique once before but I had really enjoyed the experience and fancied giving it another go.

Taking an afternoon boat, Bob and I made a slow drift into Stone Barn Bay but nothing seemed interested in the nymphs. I quickly swapped over to a sinking line and ‘Jeannette fly’ (named after Bob’s wife and comprising a bright orange head, brown Fritz body and brown marabou tail). It has been a deadly pattern for me, both with rainbows and with some very decent pike.

As we neared the shore I had a firm take, which resulted in a very fit and acrobatic rainbow of 4lbs 2oz.

Bob and Graham had taken most of their fish anchored in Brixworth Bay during the match so, with no more action, we made our way down there and anchored about 40 yards from the bank. The sun was shining brightly now and no fish were showing, so once again I picked up the sinking line outfit. Before I knew it Bob was bending into a trout, which had snapped up a suspended buzzer nymph.

‘Right’, I thought, ‘I’d far rather catch them like that’, so I wound in speedily and changed over to the nymph rod. As I watched my leader sink, the ‘bung’ shot under and I found myself attached to a good trout. Bob was still playing his fish as mine bored deep and unstoppably. Having caught a big brownie recently I was convinced that this was another one, but eventually an immaculate five pound rainbow came into view. It was a belter, which I kept and filleted for my neighbours. The flesh of this lovely fish turned out to be as red as a tomato!

From then on we just couldn’t seem to go wrong! All big trout as well, the smallest being a shade under three pounds. There are truly some great quality fish to be caught from Pitsford Reservoir at the present time and I can’t wait to get some more of it when the weather warms up!

Note: hopefully that time is coming pretty soon now – in case you hadn’t realised, despite being a pike fanatic, I’ve HAD it with this winter!! Tight lines…

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.