At this point in the year, it’s a bit of an in between time for me, the grayling and pike fishing has come to an end but the river season is still a couple of weeks away. With the need to scratch an itch, I planned a spur of the moment trip to Chew Valley Lake.
Social media, love it or hate it, provides invaluable up to date fishing reports from various venues across the country. Having seen the recent reports from Chew, numerous reports of big catch numbers and quality fish, these only fuelled my eagerness to get out there and throw a line.
It’s all too easy to get to the day and decide for whatever reason not to visit the water, so with that in mind I played my personal trump card and booked and paid for my permit the day before so there was nothing going to get in my way come the day.
One thing I hadn’t banked on was the big rise in temperature overnight and into the day itself. This seemed to switch the fish off and had slowed down sport considerably from previous days.
I turned up and started off at Woodford bank. The weather was overcast with heavy drizzle which again was not in the forecast I was looking at. A steady South-westerly breeze blew from right to left, perfect conditions! The warmth on the day had encouraged a steady buzzer hatch, surely the fish had to be in the mood to feed?
I started out with an intermediate line, an 18 foot leader with a damsel on the point, black buzzer on the middle dropper and a diawl bach on the top.
After 45 minutes of moving along the bank between casts and not even a sniff I decided a change was in order. I cut off the leader and switched the spool on the reel to a Di5 and repeated the process. Again, all in vain. Time for a fly change, I set up a new leader with a sunburst booby on the point and a pink blob on the dropper. The next half our produced zero interest despite counting down through all of the depths and trying every retrieve in the book.
Only one thing for it, time for a move, so headed over to Nunnery, another area of deep water. I stuck with the lures and it wasn’t long before a nice fish hit the booby on a fast roly-poly retrieve. Moving around Nunnery I added another 3 fish, all safely returned. I also had plenty of knocks and lots of follows, hanging the flies at the end of the retrieve saw plenty of interest but no solid hook ups. The fish were definitely not committing on the day. This was probably down to the big increase in temperature, as we know, fish don’t like big changes and today seemed to be proving the point.
It was enjoyable session with quality fish all in the 3lb to 5lb bracket, but wind really got up in the early afternoon and the fishing slowed, so I decided to end the day and head home as I’d had a few fish and new things were only going to get rougher weather-wise. As ever, on the larger waters you do really need to go in search of the fish, if you’re not getting any interest move to another spot, if you persevere you will usually be rewarded.