Mel Mitchell reports…
We arrived at the lake to what I thought were perfect conditions. Overcast sky, a light northerly/north westerly breeze coming off the Malling shore and a gentle ripple. The conditions were very welcome, compared to the strong winds we experienced on the previous outing. I was out with Jimmy Anderson and we agreed to set off for the Malling shore. On arrival, the conditions seemed slightly calmer than expected, with some swirling wind. We positioned the boat for a drift from Malling, towards Stable Point. There were only 2 other boats close-by.
Jimmy decided to start with a washing-line using a midge tip and I was fishing a single double-decker dry fly. Recently I had heard a lot of chat about the double-decker, which I must admit I had never heard of before. So, I spent some time the day before tying some of the original pattern, reportedly used very successfully on the Lake.
The drift towards Stable Point was relatively slow in the light winds and I was fishing the dry fly both static and with some movement. Within the first few minutes I netted the first fish of the day, which was quickly followed by a second. Moving the dry fly was proving to be the desired method. I also had a few other splashes at the fly but, as we reached about half way towards Stable Point, the level of interest definitely waned. We decided to repeat the same drift but, on turning back towards Malling, we were faced with an armada that had slipped in behind us, unnoticed. We positioned ourselves a little further along into Roman Bay and continued to fish along the shore and further out to Dog Isle. I continued to generate a lot of interest, netting a further 2 fish and dropping a couple. Jimmy had had little luck on the washing-line and decided to switch to dries, putting on a yellow owl grunter and a second, CDC pattern.
We continued fishing in and around Roman Bay and drifting over towards The Plantation. By now, interest had certainly slowed and I decided to give the washing-line a punt, using a 6 ft midge-tip. On went a cat booby and some buzzers, quickly followed by some Diawl Bachs… but nothing was happening. After only 15-20 minutes the dry fly made a return. We continued on down past The Plantation, towards Sandy Bay… but still no action. We decided to swing over, closer to Inchmahome Island and drift down through The Gap. Both on dries, we started to generate some interest again and Jimmy finally had his first in the boat, which was a beauty of 4-5 lb. I picked up another, down through The Gap.
On the previous outing, Stewart Barnes and myself had some good sport drifting down The Rookery, towards Sam’s Point, so by mid afternoon we decided to give that a chance. We arrived to find Dougie Skedd and Alan Duncan already working along this drift. We were immediately moving fish with regular splashes and offers to our dry flies. Jimmy quickly picked up his second trout to a big daddy (I think tied by someone on the Isle of Lewis) which was a real net filler: at least 6 pounds with a tail the size of a table tennis bat! We continued fishing this drift for the rest of the day, both picking up trout and dropping several others.
A lesson learnt: Jimmy and I set off with only one net in the boat and on 4 occasions we had a double hook up! We were having to put our fish into a sort of flight holding pattern whilst we waited for the net to become available. Fortunately, we only dropped one of them. A good full day on dries with a final total of 16 trout to the boat. I caught all my fish on the double decker pattern, so it’s definitely one to add to my tying list.
The Club’s 14 rods landed 61 fish