Sunday 5th December 2021
We headed over to Shropshire this morning for the annual Fur and Feather match at Ellerdine Lakes. The weather was cold, wet, and windy, which usually helps. However, the prevailing wind was blowing in the opposite direction to usual and this usually makes for a tougher day at Ellerdine.
After initially heading to Meadow Lake to fish the windiest shores, we found no fish biting so wandered over to Cranymoor. In the windiest spot we could find, we immediately found fish feeding close to the shore. Getting a fly to them was a challenge, but we eventually started to catch thanks from some tips from another regular.
Although we'd had a few pulls when twiddling lures back on our intermediate and sinking lines, it was until we switched to the indicator that we really started to catch. The fish were very deep - at least six feet down - so we fished longer leaders, moved the indicators up and were constantly mending the line to keep the indicator static and ensure the fly sunk down to the feeding depth.
In just an hour and a half George had bagged up with four nice rainbows, while I'd had three and lost several. Hooking the fish today was proving challenging, but we were getting loads of bites and having short tussles with fish that almost immediately came off.
A wander over to Meadow Lake resulted in a nice little brownie for George, while I managed a few hookups on Marsh. It was a fun day of fishing - not too difficult and not too easy - and George managed to take the junior prize and finished in the top 10 of the adults too.
Thursday 30th December 2021
We headed over to Llandegla Fishery this morning for a quick session. The weather was mild but very windy, making for difficult casting. As usual, we'd rigged up two rods each - one with a floating line and one with an intermediate.
After plenty of trying, it looked like the fish weren't in the mood for chasing today, so we spent most of the day fishing static. The fishing was fairly tricky and the fish weren't biting as well as they usually do, perhaps due to the sudden change in weather.
I managed four fish, but George only managed one today. However, all the fish I caught were great-looking specimens and fought extremely well, especially the brown, which spent much of its fight in the air!
Sunday 31st December 2021
We ended 2021 with a morning session at Ellerdine Lakes. It was absolutely heaving with anglers - with easily 30 others fishing, so space was more limited than usual. As with yesterday's trip, the fishing was just as hard, with unusually mild temperatures and very strong winds blowing down the lake.
Few people seemed to be catching more than the odd fish, so it was hard to find the right method today. I went hours without a bite when using a wide range of methods. Eventually, a switch to small black buzzers led to a short-lived hook-up on Marsh Lake, but that was the extent of the action for me.
George was also struggling but somehow managed to give me an end-of-year thrashing by pulling out three nice rainbows on black diawl bachs twiddled along the margins.