30 March – Dry Fly

The BBC weather forecast said there would be a southerly breeze at 7:00am,  it was from the west. After some gardening chores I drove down to the lakes  with the intention of fishing dry flies all afternoon. The sun was hot, the spring flowers were all in full bloom and the buzzards were mewing to each other. It all looked perfect. I had the mandatory mug of Darjeeling and chocolate biscuits while looking at the lakes. Great Springs looked lovely but barren. Nothing moved. Little Springs was alive with rising trout and another member had three fish while I sat in the sun watching. The wind swung round to the south and was pleasantly warm.

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I browsed through my dry fly box, it’s a bit of a tangle. I must get something better. I thought I would start with a large olive fly that is easy to see. That pattern had been very successful on the river, surely the trout in the lake would like it. If that didn’t work, I would try a dry Pheasant Tail.

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The olive didn’t work. Neither did the Pheasant Tail. The trout came to the flies confidently but turned away. They were taking something smaller, probably buzzers. I looked through the box and found some size 16 ginger buzzers that I tied last season. The pattern incorporated a small wedge of white foam to keep the fly suspended in the surface film. I had difficulty tying the knot, bright sun and a size 16 hook are not a good combination, particularly when the eye of the hook is clogged with varnish.

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I waited for a fish to come close to the bank and flicked the fly at it. There was a big swirl but no take. That went on for a while but eventually the leader snaked away and I connected. It was a trout under 2lb but it took most of my fly line and fought for ages. I thought that it was foul hooked but the fly had caught in the scissors.

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I returned to the lodge and celebrated with an ‘All Day Breakfast’ sandwich and a cup of tea. Plus several chocolate biscuits. With a few Quality Street.

The afternoon was nearly over. I went for a walk to Luffs and had a chat with a couple of members. The fish were taking buzzers down the centre of the lake, well beyond casting range. We are all looking forward to the opening of the river next Tuesday. It should be good if the rain holds off.

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