Fly fishing diary: May 2019

We fish the local syndicate, fish at Llandegla Fishery in North Wales, Blithfield Reservoir in Staffordshire and rescue a sheep.

Fly fishing diary: May 2019
© Fly and Lure
Fly fishing diary: May 2019
Picture copyright © Fly and Lure
Fly fishing diary: May 2019
Estimated reading time 8 - 13 minutes

Saturday 4th May, 2019

George and I popped down to the syndicate lake with the intention of squeezing in a couple of hours' fishing before dinner. However, upon arrival, we spotted a sheep at the far end of the lake which had taken a dip and been unable to get out.

The sheep was standing in two feet of water below a steep bank, with no chance of getting out.

After removing my car keys, phone (but not my wallet) I rolled up my trouser legs and climbed in to try and lift it out. It was shaking with cold and looked a bit upset, but proved to be very cooperative. Lifting it out of the water proved a bit tricky, as they're heavy things, especially when sodden but I eventually managed to heave it out.

Wet sheep are rather heavy!

It put an end to the trip and I had to drive home in my pants, which the kids and Mrs Fly&Lure thought was hilarious, but at least the sheep was OK! Not quite sure what my neighbours think of me now... 

Back safely with her friends.

Sunday 5th May, 2019

George and I were in "sunny" Llandegla today for another day of junior fly fishing coaching with Corwen and District Angling Club. The turn out was pretty good, with eight youngsters participating.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

Unfortunately, the weather was on the cold side and the trout weren't particularly responsive. They would chase a lure if you stripped it back fast on a sinking line, but that's not a great method for the average 5-7-year-old, so the action was a bit on the slow side.

There were a few fish caught and all the juniors had fun as usual and learned a few things. Chris Aldred and Paul Ainsworth were also putting a few of the juniors through their paces for the UK's first GAIA Junior Awards. Owain and James both got the UK's first bronze awards, while George got bronze and the first silver!

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

Saturday May 18th, 2019

George and I popped down to the syndicate lake for an hour or so this morning. The weather was nice and mild, it was overcast but there was a flat calm, so the fishing was on the tricky side. We both started off fishing lures. George was using a white humongous on an intermediate, while I had opted for a blue flash damsel on a floating line.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

We got bites almost straight away but they were very gentle and the fish appeared to be tail nipping rather than taking the fly solidly. I decided to scale my fly down, but the bites just stopped, so I tried fishing naturals instead. Again, I managed a few pulls but they were really fickle and hard to hook.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

Meanwhile, George stuck at it with the lure and that paid off. Before long he'd hooked a couple of nice fish which put up an excellent fight. Both had plucked at his flies on the way in and didn't take the flies properly until he'd nearly retrieved them to the bank. It goes to show that sometimes it pays to stick with what's working, even if the bites are shy.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

Sunday May 26th, 2019

An early start today for a trip over to Blithfield Reservoir near Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire. We've been walking here before but it's the first time we've fished it. The weather conditions weren't the best - it was wet and very windy, so we had our work cut out with the drogue.

Driving rain and strong winds made for tricky fishing.

We decided to fish the side bearing the brunt of the prevailing wind, as we figured the fish may have followed the windblown food into the bays and shoreline. I started off fishing a floating line while George was fishing a white humungous on the fast intermediate. I had one pull, while he had several, so I swapped lines.

George into a good fish.

The drifts weren't easy to control at all. The wind was forever changing direction and was very strong but we managed to find some nice wind lanes to drift along and had lots of pulls. The fish seemed to be fairly close in, with most of the action coming 90-100 feet from the shore.

A cheerful George enjoying the glorious weather.

For an hour or so we repeatedly drifted into one of the bays. There would be no pulls until we were about 150 feet from the bank and then one of us would usually hook up. George was catching well on the huey and getting lots of follows from a range of fish, including big rainbows, some decent browns and even a pike!

Another one on the humongous.

The tricky bit was the timing, though. You literally got one maybe two casts before the wind was blowing you treacherously close to the bank, so you had to quickly pull in the line, retrieve the drogue and start the engine and motor away. It was a real team effort. We did have one minor disaster though and managed to kick the motor upwards and couldn't get it back down, so one of the helpful bailiffs came to our rescue!

We ended the day fishing from the bank.

Monday 27th May, 2019

Another 6am start today for a trip to our favourite Ellerdine Lakes. What with being so busy with work we've not been for a while, but it's always so nice to go back. The conditions were pretty decent for fishing. There was a strong breeze, it was overcast with a bit of rain here and there and there was a good bit of chop on the water.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

I was fishing the new Airflo SuperFlo floating line on my six weight Loop Cross, while George was using a Wychwood six weight intermediate on one Loop Evotec and a Sunray floating line on the other. I spotted a group of rising fish in the middle of Meadow lake so wandered up to see if I could reach them. A longish 70 foot cast with a 16' leader and an orange foam daddy and a fish snaffled the fly almost as soon as it landed.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

For about six or seven casts I was hooking up every cast. Keeping them attached wasn't very easy at long range but I managed to land three of them, which was great fun. George also managed to pick one off from the side of the pod, too.

After breakfast we had a fish on the opposite side of Meadow, where the wind was on our shoulders instead of in our faces. This made casting much easier and improved presentation immensely. Both of us were hooking plenty of fish with several nice ones falling to various dries within the next hour or so.

Picture copyright © Fly and Lure.

George eventually managed to overtake me, landing half a dozen nice fish, mainly from Meadow, plus a couple of young ones from the little lake. Quite a successful trip in all - great fun and very relaxing. Just what we needed.

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