When All Else Fails…..

This season has been a disaster so far with the rivers in constant flood since opening day. My local rivers are unfishable at the moment due to being too high and too coloured. The pike are currently spawning on a lot of the lakes I fish so it’s time to leave them alone for a while. But when all else fails there’s always stockie bashing to fall back on.

There’s a private estate near my house that I have permission to fish . I mostly fish the river that runs through it for the stunning wild brown trout in there but four years ago the pond there was stocked with rainbow trout. The owner has kindly given me permission to fish there whenever I want. In the four years that these fish have been there this is only my fifth time fishing for them. And there’s nobody else fishing for them either. Most of these fish have never seen a hook before and all the fish are in pristine condition.

These rainbows might be stocked but they have been there four years now and they are feeding on natural food only and are not fed on pellets or anything else. Cracking the code on the day is what it’s all about. And today what they wanted was streamers retrieved very slowly. Something with a bit of flash to make it show up in the fairly coloured water due to recent floods. Takes were very lazy affairs , very gentle but often confident. Some times they would just nip at the tails which was frustrating at times but more often than not they would slowly inhale the fly. With the help of my polarised sunglasses I could see most of the takes too which added to the fun.

There’s quite a few snags in the pond such as trees , weed, and manmade structures so strong tackle is needed for being able to bully them out of snags when necessary and trust me these fish know every single snag in the pond. I was going to use a 5wt rod but decided to use a 7wt instead and I was glad I did in the end. I landed around 20 rainbows today and I am sure I would not have been able to land all of those on a 5wt because a good few of the fish were caught very close to snags and dove straight for the snags when hooked so that extra power was needed to turn them away from the snags immediately.

This pond gets choked with weed in the summer months and it can be difficult to fish when it gets like that but seeing as nobody else will be fishing there and I always have the place to myself, finding a few fish to cast to in between the weeds is never too much of a problem.

I experimented a lot today with different flies and I found that woolly bugger type flies worked the best so long as they were retrieved very slowly. Colours were not that important today but a nice bit of flash in the fly did help make a difference. Size also made very little difference today although the last time I fished there small flies worked best but today that wasn’t the case.

It might be a small stocked pond but it is very peaceful and very natural looking and full of wildlife including swans, kingfishers, pine martens, red squirrels , pheasants and an abundance of many species of birds which makes it a real pleasure to fish there.

Although it is never going to be as satisfying for me as fishing for wild trout or pike on the fly it was great to get out and wet line and make the most of the unusually nice weather today. All the fish were all well over 2lbs and some were right lumps over 5lbs and they put a nice bend in the rod on a day when the rivers were unsuitable for fishing. Sure what more could you want?

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