Sunday 15th August, 2021
We had a quick trip to Llandegla Trout Fishery in North Wales this morning, after a couple of weeks with no fishing due to bad weather and a bad back. August is always one of the toughest months for fly fishing, so we weren't expecting a fish fest, and really just wanted to get outdoors for some fresh air and fun.
I managed to catch a couple of nice trout within the first hour or two, both of which took some freshly tied hot head damsels. They fought exceptionally well given the high water temperatures and swam away strongly after a brief tussle.
By mid-morning conditions deteriorate quite rapidly, with heavy rain setting in and leaving us both soaked. That was followed by a spell of sunshine, leaving us both sunburnt, then more torrential rain again. This didn't seem to help the fishing much, and they were fairly hard to coax into taking a fly.
Intermediate lines, long count downs and very slow figure of eight retrieves with flies that were smaller and more natural in appearance - nymphs, crunchers, or drab uncoloured damsels - seemed to give us the best results, and we went home having returned six fish.
Sunday 22nd August, 2021
We headed over to Loynton Trout Fishery in Staffordshire today to give ourselves a change from the usual venues. The conditions were looking OK, with a light wind, and lots of drizzle, but we were warned in the lodge that the fishing would not be easy. Loynton is a lovely fishery, with three mature lakes set in beautiful countryside and surrounded by large trees and woodland. It's got a reputation for larger fish, but they're not stocked in the difficult summer months.
The first fish we spotted was not a trout, but a small and somewhat sickly-looking wild-looking carp in the lower lake. Knowing that they are easily spooked we stayed a few rod lengths back and I plopped my blob in front of it. It quietly moved over, slurped it up, and then virtually surrendered. It was in the net in just a few seconds. Not the fight we were expecting.
Catching the trout proved rather more difficult. We were fishing a mixture of buzzers, blobs, and various lures on floating and intermediate lines, but the pulls were few and far between. George managed to miss a couple of fish early on, and I had one positive take, but it was quiet and very hard work. It wasn't until the last hour of the session that things picked up.
I hooked one fish on a damsel on the intermediate at distance, then followed it up with another on the blob. After missing one, I hooked another on the blob, and passed it to George to fight, but he managed to do a long-range release on it before we could get a snap. We ended up with four fish - and lost about as many.
Monday 30th August, 2021
With the England Youth Fly Fishing Nationals a few weeks away, George wanted to get some boat practice in, so we headed over to Blithfield Reservoir in Staffordshire. It's about 50 miles away from us, so is a bit of a trek, but remains one of our closest boat fishing destinations.
Things did not get off to a very good start, as moments after purchasing the tickets, George managed to slam the heavy wrought-iron gates of the dam on his finger, leading to a surprising amount of blood and a very squashed finger. I managed to tape it together and gave him a surgical glove, so at least he was still able to fish...
We headed up the reservoir to fish some drifts back into the windy shore. After a couple of drifts, I had several pulls in a row on my floating line setup, which comprised a tequila FAB on the point, a nymph on the middle dropper, and a dry on the top dropper. After hooking and losing several, I managed to land one of a couple of pounds.
Things proved tricky for the next few hours, with barely a bite between us. We did get a few follows while dibbling our flies or stripping them across the surface, but it was pretty hard work. A move back up the reservoir to fish the windy shore proved the winning move, with George eventually catching a nice rainbow on his FAB fished on a midge tip.
I followed it up with another, also to the same technique. We went away with three fish between us. Not many, but apparently about the average for the reservoir at the moment, given the high temperature and amount of algae in the water.