Saturday gave me the chance to wet a line and being only twenty minutes from Chew Valley Lake this seemed to be the obvious choice for a few hours sport. As we were in the middle of an Indian summer I opted for a morning session before the sun got too high to put the fish down but wasn’t really expecting it to turn into a long distance fly fishing session.
I drove down to Woodford lodge to grab a permit before driving round to Walley bank next to the sailing club. This is one of my favourite haunts when fishing from the bank having enjoyed some real bonanza sessions there in the past.
Having pulled up in the car park it’s only a short walk to the water’s edge where I was met by totally flat calm water and a sun that was rapidly rising in the sky…….not good!! Not being put off by the scene that met me I proceeded to tackle up keeping one eye on the water for any signs of activity.
The water is still low at the moment as we have had little in the way of rain to top up the summer levels but the weed beds still hugged the margins offering the fish cover and a food larder so things maybe wouldn’t be as bad as they first looked.
I set up with a team of Diawl Bach’s on a floating line and concentrated my casts around the weed beds where I expected to find some fish feeding but after a fruitless hour wandering the bank without a pull or seeing any fish moving it was obvious this tactic wasn’t going to work on the day.
Then I decided to get in a gap in the weed beds and throw a long line as I had started to see a few fish move but they were way out into the lake taking advantage of the cooler, deeper water. First chuck met with a slight pluck on the line as a fish intercepted the flies on the drop, this happened a few more times but once I started the retrieve any interest dried up. It became obvious the fish were out there at distance so I needed a method to hold my flies in the taking zone so I rigged up a team of buzzers under an indicator and cast a full line out and left it all static apart from an ultra slow figure of eight retrieve to take out any slack forming in the line.
After a couple of minutes the indicator slid away and I lifted into the first fish of the day. Two more fish followed that were lost in the weed followed by another one banked…..not bad for a short session in tough conditions.
I know this method isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but sometimes needs must. Personally I don’t mind fishing with an indicator as it takes me back to my childhood days when I would spend hours on the bank mesmerized by the float that bobbed up and down in the water before my eyes.
When it comes to the indicator, there are many different ones on the market but my personal favourite is Loon indicator yarn, I find this to be the most versatile to fish with as you can vary the size of it easily with a pair of scissors to suit the conditions, it’s very sensitive when it comes to spotting takes and is easily moved up and down the leader when varying depth by using a simple loop attachment to the line. It also comes in two colours to suit different light conditions and offers very little air resistance so is a dream to cast compared to some on the market.