Sunday, 4 August 2019

Evening Sport on the Fly

Having barely had a time to fish of late, let alone write I find myself playing catch-up on the blog front, starting with a session in mid-May. With the rivers still closed, I continued to explore a little sport on the fly and found a small stillwater to target on a couple of evenings after work. 

Brockhill Trout fishery is tucked away barely a stones throw from Redditch and comprises two small pools a short walk across the fields from the car park. The upper pool is the larger of the two pools, with a small island at one end, with noticeably deeper water to the far side, access is good all the way round, with plenty of space for back-casting. 

Brockhill - Upper Pool
The lower pool is the smaller of the pools, with less-defined pegs and a large island. A large oak tree on the right-hand bank appears to be a favored peg judging by the worn and compacted earth around it's base. 

Brockhill - Lower Pool
Session One     Having not fished the venue before, the first hour was spent walking the banks and watching for any feeding fish. Without a single rise in that time it was clear I would need to fish wet flies and tried buzzers, olive nymph and gold-ribbed hares ear on the lower pool with no success.

Moving on to the upper pool and still without a rising trout in sight I started by exploring the margins in either corner. Without a tug I moved to the centre of the pool and cast toward the far island. A few slow retrieves eventually resulted in the first tug on the fly... trapping the line in hand and raising the rod resulted in the first fish of the evening. The hard-fighting rainbow leapt from the water on three separate occasions as it gave a spirited account of itself and so was given plenty of time to rest before being released.

Within a further hour I had taken a second fish and lost two others, with all takes coming to an olive nymph pattern. An evening rise started at around 8pm with dozens of fish rising to take flies at the surface or buzzers just below. To my frustration I found these fish remarkably difficult to tempt. Having tried a range of dry flies, buzzers and suspender buzzers I failed to imitate the natural bounty and couldn't tempt so much as a tug. With the last of the light fading I reverted back to a hothead olive nymph and attempted to cast immediately into the path of rising fish, fast-stripping the fly the moment it landed to try to induce a take. Within a few moments I had provoked a response and fish number-three closed events for the evening. 

Three fish, and two lost... a very productive evening

Sunset and the end of the evening's fishing
Session Two     A week on I revisited Brockhill, with the hope of repeating previous success. The weather was overcast and notably cooler. Again there were no visible rises and I opted for the upper pool and wet flies once more. I decided to target the near side where the distance from the bank to the island was short, to allow me to cover any fish moving along near and far marginal shelves. It was not half an hour before the first sign of interest, with a short sharp tug on the fly half-way through the retrieve. Failing to connect, I immediately re-cast to the same spot, and counting the fly down to the same depth quickly retrieved. Again a tug against the fly and this time the hook set and the line pulled taut and rod bent over. Another healthy stockie in the 1-2lb bracket. Within the next handful of casts I connected with another fish, only for it to throw the hook early in proceedings.

A healthy Brockhill stockie
Shortly after, the wind picked up and the heavens opened. Having left my waterproofs in the car I was forced to hide under the trees and wait it out. It provided a moment for a bite to eat and within the hour the storm had passed over. However, the influx of cold water appeared to kill the fishing stone dead. I worked the entire perimeter of the lake, trying a variety of patterns both shallow and deep. The deeper water looked particularly inviting, but wasn't productive. 

Harboring the Storm
As dusk arrived so did the evening rise as the night before. Once again I was foiled in my attempts to  imitate the target prey items. Something to research further then, patterns to fool feeding trout on an evening rise! There were no further fish caught, but it was a lovely peaceful evening to be on the bank and Brockhill is certainly a fishery I'll return to in future.
Fishing - sometimes catching simply doesn't matter...
Evening Rises - both bountiful and frustrating!