I am the president of the West of Scotland AC for 2010, the second oldest angling club in Scotland some 175 plus years. Our outing results over this period make interesting reading trips to the Clyde and Trossachs which took 3 days from Glasgow, 200 fish caught average weight 2oz how times have changed. As the president I get to arrange an outing, traditionally these outings go north to Sutherland, Orkney and Uist. I decided to go south to Rutland, Grafham and Pitsford. Just 10% of our membership agreed to go, that’s 4 of us, Graham Lang, Hector MacLennan, Charlie Sleigh and myself.
Rutland Water on the 27th
The day dawned as damp, raining with a forecast that was to improve in the afternoon. We stood at the dock and it was impossible to see Lax Hill or even the sailing club. We set off up the south arm heading for Old Hall, Graham and Hector together and Charlie with me we had agreed to return to the lodge for lunch. Not much action at first but around lunch time there was a hatch of olives, only a few flotillas sailing by but it was enough for a few trout to appear. F fly did the trick for me and I caught a nice brown, Hector had another and Graham caught a rainbow in the tail I think. We briefly tried Manton Bay and Browns Island before going back to the lodge for lunch and some beers.
Part of the club ethos was social angling so it was sometime before we went out again by which time the weather had improved.
After lunch we chose a drift along the shore from Normanton Bank to Normanton Church just before the Church I caught a quality rainbow of about 3lb on a red holographic cormorant. Great wave and good conditions until we left.
Grafham Water 28th
We had heard the news a killer shrimp Dikerogammarus villosus had invaded Grafham and there were bio-security measures their drogues and nets only and all equipment to be hosed down. We saw the shrimp it looked harmless enough about the size of our fresh water shrimp and looked similar. There was an aquarium in the lodge with some in. My guess is that they are already in other local waters so lets wait and see.
Back to fishing another dull day, this time no rain, warmer and absolutely no wind. I was fishing with Graham and we went straight across to Farm Bay. Nymphs and a SSI line were my chosen method, Daiwl Bach, Orange Buzzer and Grey Boy were the flies. We both caught fish before lunch, all the flies on my cast worked.
Great lodges at both Grafham and Rutland and we enjoyed coming off the water and lunching in style, soup and beer I think!
The afternoon past quickly and whilst we caught fish nothing special to comment on.
Wednesday forecast was to be the worst high winds and rain. None of us had been to Pitsford before but we had heard good things. There is a tunnel which you have to negotiate to take you from the moorings to the main basin Hector did a great job on the engine. We were going to the dam wall and planned to fish there and along by the sailing club. I was going to use a floating fry it was the suspender style about three inches long I had never tried one before. Second cast and guess what up comes a trout and sucks it down on for a few seconds and then off, I was addicted!
I stuck to my dry fly whilst Hector hammered them on an orange blob conditions were good and I rose other fish but non connected. Eventually when the rain came I succumbed and changed to pulling flies the blob worked and so did the Turks Tarantula I am pleased also to report that Charles and Graham caught a bag full.
We stayed at the Benefield Hotel in the village of Benefield close to Oundle a very comfortable place where they welcomed a trade of fish for drinks.
All in all we had a great time even the weather did not get us down, good company food and hospitality in conjunction with good fishing everyone in the party caught fish. Would we do it again? I guess so.