Sunday 7th June 2020
After two months in lockdown, it was a massive relief to get back on the bank. We intentionally waited a couple of weeks before getting back to it, as we figured that our usual haunts may be packed with fly fishers keen to get back to their fishing. With our usual Welsh Dee closed to those from England to help prevent transmission, we opted for a trip to Ellerdine Lakes instead.
There were about 20 anglers fishing but everyone was spaced out and keeping their distance, so it all felt pretty safe. The weather has cooled down this week and it was windy and damp when we arrived, so the conditions looked OK for trout - certainly better than a flat calm on a hot day.
We started the morning on Lakemoor fishing dries. There were one or two fish moving so this seemed to be a good call. I opted for a shuttlecock buzzer on a 14' leader of fluorocarbon on a #6 line. After missing a rudd on the first and second casts, I eventually connected with a nice trout. It fought well, given the warm water and was in decent shape, presumably stocked before the virus kicked off.
George missed a fish and then things brightened up and the fish turned off quickly. We had a walk around the lakes trying various flies and techniques in all the likely looking places. The bright sun and warm water made the fishing a bit challenging, but it was just so nice to be back outside for a change.
George was catching plenty of rudd and eventually found what the trout wanted - an olive blob with a red head fished a couple of feet under a bung, dead still. Within an hour he'd had four nice trout. Despite the damp and windy weather, it was a really enjoyable morning.
Sunday 14th June 2020
We headed back over to Ellerdine this morning for another spot of summer trout fishing. The weather was looking gloomy and overcast, but the rain stayed away and it eventually became scorching hot. This did not make for easy fishing at all, but it was delightful weather. We even sat for a leisurely half an hour break in the Land Rover to have a drink and a rest and watch the long-tailed tits pick seeds out of the pine trees.
The summer months can often be rather hard on small stillwaters like Ellerdine if you're only able to visit during the day. There were fish jumping but nothing was rising - apart from the rudd - and it was very tough to get a bite. That said, George did manage to hook two consecutive fish at the top of Lakemoor early on while stripping a white snake lure. After his success with a paler fly, I also switched to white and also had a couple of tiny and very gentle plucks.
It took a few hours until my first fish came. Over on Marsh we had the island to ourselves and managed to find a bit of ripple and what appeared to be a couple of feeding trout.
It only took 10 minutes and a change of retrieve to a faster roly-poly to generate the first take, which I hooked on the second.
By now, George had turned his attentions to the more obliging rudd and was catching a few large enough to require two hands to hold, which was impressive. Eventually, though, he did also manage to catch two trout on blobs, taking a well-deserved lead on a difficult day at the Lakes.