There’s nothing like a Rutland Water opening day. And this year’s was nothing like a Rutland opening day! Fifty-four boats took to the water and that number on opening day is almost unheard of. Bank numbers were down, most fishing between the Dam and Whitwell Creek with a few at Old Hall, but the usual hotspot of Normanton bank was almost empty.
Unsurprisingly the Independence Day Trophy (got to say I thought Independence Day was on 4 July) went to a boat angler Peter Webb from Northampton who weighed in a 7lb 13¾oz rainbow caught off Yellowstone Bay on a Di7 fishing a green and white Booby. Leicester’s England International Tom Davies also got into the act with a cracking 6lb 4¼oz fish also taken from a boat. After a sustained period of warm weather and the water level at a little over 74% full, to add to its woes the reservoir was suffering a devastating brown algal bloom. The water was tinged all over and certainly a lot worse where it was being blasted by a chilly north-easterly wind. Conditions were testing with the cool morning breeze chilling the anglers to the bone. The bank anglers caught most of their fish before 10am when things started to slow down. England Internationals John Emerson and Craig Barr had their usual opening day ‘match’ just off the point of Stockie Bay with John taking 7 fish to Craig’s 1 before finishing just before lunch. The Draycote Water fishery manager put his lack of fish catching down to the cold conditions, with his hands turning a rather nasty shade of blue at one point, and, the fact that ‘Emmo’ had bagged the prime fishing spot allowing him to target the productive drop-off. ‘Emmo’ reckoned it was simply down to good fishing on his part! There was a surprise for one angler on the Stockie Bay point. Thinking he had an Independence Day Trophy contender he was slightly miffed to say the least, when it rolled over revealing its true identity…an 8lb Bream.
The popular Alan West Memorial Trophy is being held at the reservoir on Good Friday and it will be interesting to see how the ‘names’ on the fly fishing competition scene get on in the first boat competition of the year. You can follow the developments of the match throughout the day on: www.fishypics.co.uk