Over the weekend we were stopping on Star bank nr Alton so I had a little sortie down to Ellastone for a couple of hours on Sunday morning. My first vist of the year and it is always nice to be back on one of my favourite spots.
Fishing was quite productive with I guess eight or so coming to hand, the water was at a reasonable level and still had a bit of colour in it after the recent rains. All my fish came to a small GRHE nymph, with not a rise to a dry fly. The fish above are now not unusual at Ellastone and there are plenty of theories as to where they come from. Escapes from trout farms or stocking by the Uttoxeter club but that is below Rocester.
Me?? Well I just think that although a good size the fish looked very lean, perhaps still recovering from spawning. But that couldn't be the case could it as it only happens on the Derbyshire Wye.......
I've had a few trips up to Foremark just lately and also managed a few outings at the back end of last season. I always enjoy a trip up there as I probably fished more with my Dad at this reservoir than everywhere else put together so many memories and also many blanks!! The last bit is still part of the experience for the banks angler, don't let the rod average of 5 fool you as bank fish are hard won here after the initial stockie bashing. On the subject of averages I look at it this way; rod average 5 so way hay fill yer boots time but there has probably been a lucky angler on a boat fallen on a shoal and had 40 fish. If you do the maths that means somewhere 7 other anglers are blanking and I'll wager 5 or 6 of those are on the bank. You can play the percentage game on ther banks also, perhaps with a fast sink line and a booby but that is not my style prefering to earn my fish 'off the top'.
So in preparation last week I'd experimented with a hawthorn pattern, probably another variation on a popular theme.
Hook: Kamasan B400 emerger size 12
Body: black seals fur
Rib: red holo tinsel
Legs: 4 made from knotted black flexifloss, knotted at mid point.
The legs weren't that long, way shorter than you'd tie for a hopper pattern and didn't extend much beyond the bend of the hook.
Last night I fished the last few hours and after a while fishing various patterns on either floating or intermediate I saw a fish rise off hut point. As there had not been much movement all evening and I'd disturbed a few hawthorns walking the bank I thought I'd give the new fly a swim. Not too bad a cast largely downwind put most of a WF8F out into the region where I'd seen the fish. Well barely had it settled and the trout took it in a lovely roll over the fly, as you can see from the tail on it this rainbow was in good condition and boy did it go before it saw the net. I don't take many these days but this one was destined for my supper so in the bass it went. That was around 7pm, the wind had dropped right down and not 10 minutes later another fish moved in front of me. That one was having it as well so I was well pleased with my new pattern for it's first outing, hopefully it might account for a few more over the next few weeks now the weather is hopefully warming up. The trout I killed went straight on the barbecue when I got in and made a delightful end to the bank holiday weekend washed down with a dram of Jura.