17 April – Lakes

It felt strange watching the lake for signs of feeding Trout. I’d spent a week watching the swiftly flowing River Derwent. Watching still water took a dimension away. I stood in the sun with a cup of tea expecting a fish to rise and reveal it’s position. The shoals of Roach flipped about on the surface but the rainbows were deep. I strolled down the stony track to Lower Figgs, chatting to a couple of members on the way. The water was very clear, the sprigs of weed and freshwater mussel shells were clearly visible on the bottom of the lake in four feet of water.

There were lots of flies fluttering around, hovering over the bracken on the open ground surrounding the lake. I recognized an Alder Fly, of which there are 66 species, and saw an Olive, presumably from Upper Figgs, dipping onto the water to lay eggs. Hundreds of metallic blue Alder Leaf beetles (Agelastica alni) flew around me and buzzers were emerging from the lake surface. There was no shortage of food for the Trout. It was no surprise to see fish rising all over the lake. I sat on the grass, selected a fly and wondered how many Trout I would catch.


I chose to start with a weighed Hare’s Ear nymph, it had been a reliable pattern on the Derwent and was a good imitation of an Olive nymph. After half an hour I decided the fly was too heavy and as the fish were feeding close to the surface, an unweighted pattern would improve matters. It didn’t. I tried a wide selection of patterns then moved to the opposite side of the lake where I could explore the edge of a submerged weed bed. I had a tentative take but didn’t connect.



I had a satisfying lunch at Luffs and watched a member catch a three pounder. Fish were swirling close to the bank, chasing the shoals of roach fry. I fished from the south side of the lake for about ninety minutes during which time I had a tweak on a tatty Amber Nymph.

As I drove home I came to the conclusion that I had been fishing in ‘Derwent’ mode. I should have been fishing with a lighter tippet and using buzzer patterns. I’ll remember that for next time.