2nd November 2015
Last week was different to what I expected, I spent two horrible days in bed with a very heavy cold. No energy and feeling very sorry for myself I drank lots of hot drinks and soup. I am grateful to friends who helped and covered my coaching sessions. However earlier in the week I had a day to myself so I arranged to meet Jimmy for a leisurely outing, close to his home, at Chatton fishery.
It was a lovely sunny day with a little bit of heat on our backs as we left the lodge. Choosing what fly to try first is always a nice problem. Should it be a dry fly that floats on the surface? Should I try a Buzzer pattern? Should it be a wet fly that sinks slowly? Maybe a small heavier beaded fly that will sink further? Or should I try a big fluffy lure to tempt the trout? There are only a few million patterns to choose from! Each pattern can come in a variety of colours and sizes.each time a new magazine comes out there is the latest new material, or a variation of a pattern that will catch anglers more fish! Flies are made for catching anglers not fish is a well known saying that comes to mind.
What flies do I use? Well we all have our own favourites that catch fish under certain weather conditions and at different times of the year.. We tend to have an increased confidence in certain patterns that have caught us fish in the past. However, I must admit it is good to experiment with different patterns. Fishing as ofter as I do, I meet lots of anglers, on the still waters especially. In general they are a very friendly group and regularly discuss what patterns seem to be working on that particular day. The only exception to the openness is when everything becomes a secret is during competitions, which is understandable! There are a number of guys who tie their own flies and they often say to me, try that fly, it has worked for me.it is a terrific compliment so the fly is fished with. Some work and some don’t!but it is good to try new patterns.
Recently, Paul, one of my fishing mates and superb fly tier from Glasgow, gave me a bug type fly to try. It was a on a size twelve hook, and consisted of a brass bead with some glittery dubbing tied around the shank. It looked like some type of UV material but I am not up with all the latest materials that are available at the moment. Anyway as Jimmy and I approached the lake I had a Gold Ribbed Hares Ear fly at the end of my line. Third cast I hooked into a nice fish on Ross Lake. I returned the trout to the water and moved to try to catch another in Dunnydeer. I tried for half an hour, nothing , not even a pull. I went down to Chatton Lake and tried the successful pattern, nothing. The Dragonflies were darting around, still mating in the late sunshine, off came the fly and I considered replacing with another favourite pattern, but I hesitated and changed my mind. I put on the bug pattern Paul had sent me, experimental time! I cast it out several times, each time allowing the fly to sink a little deeper before commencing the retrieve. After allowing the fly to sink for twenty seconds, as soon as I started to retrieve the fly the line tightened and a four pound trout came to the net.
Casting in an arc, and only with less than fifteen yards of line out, I let the bug pattern sink for twenty seconds and the new bug produced another five trout before lunch. Two of these fish must have been a good four pounds. As Jimmy and I walked back to the lodge for lunch we approached one of the small wooden bridges that spans couple of Chatton Lakes arms as I refer to them. A full size stoat was starting to cross the bridge. It saw us, turned and ran to the grass on the far side. It stopped, stared at us and went scampering up the field to the shelter of the fence line. Of all the years I have fished Chatton, that is the first stoat I have seen there. They just look so mischievous, but they are miniature killers and unwanted bedfellows on any shoot..
After lunch I returned to the same bank I had been fishing and using the same bug I soon had another two trout. I decided to move to try the other lakes with the successful bug pattern, nothing!! I returned to the bank where I had caught the trout, another four trout, at exactly the same depth as earlier. On my last cast of the day I hooked into another fish which was obviously heavier. It swam off and peeled all my fly line, and a good few yards of backing line from my reel. I shouted on Jimmy to come and net the fish. That was done successfully and quick photographs were taken. Considering I was fishing with my light four weight Hardy Marksman rod, the superb large trout, with a terrific tail, swam off quickly as soon as it was returned into the deeper water.
What a day, using that newly created fly from my mate Paul. He could not believe the story, or the photograph of the heavyweight which I emailed to him.
Reports show that a number of large trout have been landed at both Chatton and Thrunton Long Crag this last week. As the temperatures have dropped, so the trout have gone deeper too. A variety of small dry fly and buzzer patterns have accounted for some fish, but lure patterns are catching more and more trout, which is to be expected as winter approaches!!!