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Monday, 28 January 2013 09:09

My Fishing Season 2012

Andy Taylor reflects on his massive change in fishing style during the 2012 season.

Ever since I started Fly Fishing I have kept a fishing log and recorded my successes and failures with a fly rod. I started fly fishing 24 years ago taken by my Grandpa to Patshull Park and a syndicate lake he fished in the Midlands. I like to look back at what I caught and the flies I used. Back then the killing patterns for me were the Viva and the Church Fry. Forward to 2013 and I have just done my season stats for 2012. Back in 2010 my top catching flies were buzzers. In fact ¾ of the trout that I caught from stillwaters came to buzzers, nymphs or dries. Only a small percentage were caught on lures.

In 2012 I caught 201 trout from the 11 stillwaters that I fished. 198 of these were Rainbows, 2 were Browns and I caught my first ever Tiger Trout from Garnfywdd. 152 out of the 201 trout came to lures. Nymphs and dries accounted for the rest. Most of the fish came to either a fast glass line or a Di3. What I have realised is a massive change in my fishing. Those that fish with me know that I love my buzzer and dry fly fishing but during the last two years I have drifted to fishing lures. This has led me to think why this has happened? I could have gone to any Stillwater in 2010 or 2008 and caught stacks of trout on buzzers, straight lined; under the bung; swung round in the ripple; what ever the method I caught them. Last year I struggled with buzzers. I caught the odd fish on them but not any great number. It was lures for me. By far the best were rabbit patterns; snakes and zonkers in particular with a red apps or a cats whisker also taking their fare share. These I fished on either a slow or fast glass or a Di3. My go to fly during the year was a lure and line a sinker. If someone would have told me this in 2010 I would have laughed them off the fishery.

So why? I have many thoughts. Firstly the lack of fly life inparticluar the buzzer on some Stillwater fisheries. Is this down to cycles, insecticides, predation by other fish species/signal crayfish, water quality and clarity or the wet weather? The only Stillwater I saw a good old fashioned buzzer hatch where the fish could be caught off the top was Onny Vale in November! Have insecticides had an irreversible impact on our fly life in stillwaters? If the numbers of invertebrates are down then there must surly be more pressure on them from other fish and signal crayfish? Invertebrates could be classed as “boom or bust species”. Was 2012 just ones of those bust years?

Another theory I have relates to the type of pellet the fish are fed at the trout farms. If the trout are fed sinking pellets for the first part of their lives as opposed to floating pellets will the fish be looking more for their food in mid water rather than off the surface? Is this why a lure on a fast glass worked last year?

The wet weather. Did this stop flies hatching? Did the drought conditions of 2011 followed by rain, rain and more rain affect our fly life? Sillwaters do suffer in the warmer months and when the surface temperatures get close to that uncomfortable 20®C this fish head down in search of cooler water- is this why my lure and sinking line approach worked?
Or is it my patterns? Are my buzzers no good any more? Or have I become so confident and reliant on my rabbit lures? I did start the 2012 season with buzzers but just couldn’t get a take on them. Once I had success on lures I almost stuck with them.

So what will 2013 bring? Well I’ve been out twice already on stillwaters and lures fished slowly on the deck have been the method for me so far. I won’t give in though. That floating line and buzzers will soon be given a swim and hopefully 2013 will be the year of the nymph....

Season Stats for 2012

Venue

No Rainbow Trout caught

No Visits

Average

Best day

Top Fly

Ellerdine

32

5

6

8

Black or olive snake

Rutland

22

5

4

8

Olive buzzer, pink blob/booby

Elinor

10 + 1Brown

2

5

10

Red apps, olive emu

Blithfield

27

5

5

12

Sunburst blob

Llandegfedd

1

1

1

1

Pearly Twirly

Westlow

21 + 1 Brown

4

5

10

Zonkers

Bewl

7

2

3

4

Claret dries

Garnfywdd

36 + Tiger

4

9

10

Zonkers

Draycote

10

1

10

10

Zonkers

Loynton

14

1

14

14

Zonkers

Onny Vale

18

1

18

18

Black cdc dry

 

 



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TFF 770 x 210 subs ban

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