Lake Or The Sea
I’ve enjoyed fly fishing for over twenty years now. Not only do I thoroughly enjoy fishing lakes and streams but also thoroughly enjoy saltwater fly fishing during the mid summer months. Last night’s quandary was this: Nip to the beach for an hour in the hope of a mackerel or drive to a local lake for an hour or two? The mackerel are in short supply this year so far. Decision made, I packed a light rod and some tackle and off to the lake I went.
About 4 miles from where I live, is a small picturesque lake known as Still Waters.
Owned by Michael and Caroline Ford, its a well managed, quiet, and yet easily accessible lake. Here is what they say:
Stillwaters is situated in the very attractive Yarty Valley, which is renowned for its beauty in the West Country. Michael and Caroline Ford have developed Still Waters as a small lake to enable those interested in peace and seclusion to come and fish in country surroundings not bothered by the rush of everyday life.
Most fisheries in my area are small, picturesque, stream fed lakes. With this in mind, I tend to reach for my trusty 5 weight Streamtec. I don’t personally see the need for big 10 ft 7/8 weight rods unless I’m fishing a large reservoir or salt water fishing.
I like to carry a varied range of tippet material in 3lb 4lb and 6lb. I always carry with me a priest… No. Not the kind you go to see in church but a tool used to dispatch a fish should you either want to take it for the table or if it is injured and not likely to recover. A landing net, very importantly a pair of polarised sunglasses and a good selection of flies. This is my basic kit. There is a mountain of extra bits and pieces to buy, but for the minute, these are the things that will get you started.
Fishing The Lake
The lake has a substantial amount of weed at the moment, which was a hindrance and limited the fishing to less than a third of the water. This didn’t take away from the sport and Michael told me he’s in the process of clearing the weed. I opted for a simple Damsel nymph to start off, on a floating line.
10 minutes into the evening and the action starts… Fish on!
The feeling when that first fish hits the fly; The adrenalin rush, the overwhelming panic and onset of what ifs and please don’t come offs. I have ever met anyone who fly fishes and doesn’t get that same buzz, that same panic and the sense of almost fear when the fish takes the fly. For me, it’s not all about getting a fish for the table (though that’s always a bonus), it’s more about outwitting a wild fish.
I managed this lovely rainbow of around 2 1/2 lb and then like flicking a switch the fish shut off. I spent the next 2 hours thrashing water without a nudge. Noticing a small hatch taking a place in one corner I switched to dries and used a little black gnat. Not a nudge, that’s how the evening went on unfortunately. The weather had started to turn and rain looked to be inbound. This will quite often send the fish off the feed so i’m not disheartened by any means. The fishery is a nice place to be of an evening whether you are catching or not. I for one will continue going there for the scenery alone.