18 May – Blue Trout

The river had risen two feet and was unfishable. I visited every lake and checked the catch returns. Trout were rising all over Little Springs,  that would be too easy. I decided to fish Great Springs and use only dry flies. That would be a fairer contest. I watched the lake while having a cup of tea and chatting to a couple of members. There were a few Mayfly about but the trout were taking buzzers. The lazy head and tail rises were a dead give away. I walked around the lake to the point and sat on the seat. Trout were cruising along the edge of the marginal weeds and sipping down tiny flies. They were relaxed and confident because the weeds provided cover as well as food. While watching the trout I noticed one of the big blues in the centre of the lake.  It was cruising with a purpose, not dashing about. Obviously feeding. I decided to target them. Blue trout are rainbows that have been selectively bred to remove the red colouration, leaving them a silvery blue.

The lake had been stocked with three big blues a few weeks ago and two giants, both nearly 10lbs, last week. They had acclimatised quickly. I tied on a dry buzzer with a tag of white Neoprene foam to suspend it in the surface film. I thoroughly degreased the tippet with Tetenal Mirasol and cast the line so that it sat on the weeds. That way I had a decent length of line already extended but hidden from the trout. I sat and waited. It was a long wait, I resisted the numerous smaller fish rising around me. After twenty minutes I saw a blue trout in the centre of the lake, well out of casting range. With Polaroids it was easy to keep track of the fish. Eventually it moved towards me. I aerialised as much line as I could manage and dropped the fly about a yard away from the trout. To my surprise it tilted up and took the fly. I pulled the fly out of it’s mouth and then cursed. Repeatedly.


It was a great opportunity wasted. The fish swirled but didn’t appear spooked. It disappeared. I sat and watched the water again. Half an hour later I saw another blue cruising right to left, into the breeze, taking flies off the surface. It was at the limit of my casting range. I double hauled and cast high for wind assistance. The fly settled on the surface and the fish changed direction towards it. An unseen rainbow dashed past the blue and grabbed the fly. It’s antics put the other trout down. I rested the fish while taking a few photos.


When I next saw a blue trout it was moving from the main body of the lake along a channel in the weeds towards the shallows. It was feeding but well out of range.  I put the line on the top of the weeds and waited. The trout moved back along the channel, I lifted off and cast as far as possible. The fish approached the fly, rose in the water and gulped it down. I lifted the rod. The trout thrashed on the surface and I bent the carbon fibre to it’s test curve. I kept the pressure on the trout to get it in clear water. It weighed 3lb 6oz, one of the smaller blues. It started to rain heavily so I went for another cuppa. After an hour of watching the rain I left the lakes. It had been an interesting afternoon, next week I might try targeting the remaining blues if the river level doesn’t drop.