Sunday, 17 January 2010

Small Water Trouting in the Cotswolds

Finally the thaw has set in, too late in the week to make any of the local stillwaters fishable so my planned piking session had to be postponed. A river rising with snow melt and laden with salt is just not worth fishing. A couple of telephone calls later and I had my venue, Lechlade trout fishery in the Cotswolds which was ice free over 50% of its surface area.

I arrived at Lechlade ready for when the gates opened at 8am. I have always found the first couple of hours on small stillwaters to be especially productive. I expected that the trout would be fairly deep and set up with an intermediate line with a 15 foot fluorocarbon leader with a 6lb tippet. In the first couple of hours I had three good takes on a white nomad fished with a slow figure of eight retrieve, landing two rainbow trout including a double.
My trout sessions are relaxed affairs and I like to take regular breaks from the fishing. It always amuses me to watch other anglers flailing away for hour upon hour in the same spot. If you are not catching, move and if you can't move, have regular breaks. It is surprising how fish move into undisturbed water.

I tried various other tactics for a couple of hours without success before reverting back to the white nomad on an intermediate. A move to a vacant area by the ferry, where I had spotted a few fish moving, added another double figure rainbow trout to the bag. Like the first it tipped the scales at 10lb 2oz. Don't you just love the sound of the drag screaming as a fighting fit rainbow heads for the middle of the lake?

I had earlier tempted a follow from a big brown trout but ran out of water. I suspect this may have been the fish I later caught from the next spot along the bank. What a session! Three big rainbows including a brace of doubles and a new personal best brown trout at 7lb 3oz. After a late lunch I enjoyed a leisurely drive home across the Cotswolds, taking in the glorious scenery and villages.