The catch and release lakes have been in fine form over the past week with Russell Hilton taking 14 fish in 60mph winds all the fish fell to a drop shot pink paddle tail. Please read Russell's article below.
A Unique Experience
No, not fishing in 60mph winds, but catching rainbow trout on lures. The 60mph winds were just an added complication. Of course, catching trout on lures is not a difficult task, but it can be very, very fun. And that's the primary reason we all go fishing, isn't it? Plus, I don't own any fly fishing gear and I needed a means by which to add a new species to my list.
Fortunately, the worst of today's weather was avoided, during an afternoon spent teasing the rainbow trout at Simpson Valley. This nicely enclosed and matured fishery gives some shelter from the elements, whilst the rain was infrequent and light. My secret weapon was a two inch, pink, paddle-tail jig, presented on a drop-shot rig. This is the first time I have tried out this method, and whilst I don't wish to jump on the bandwagon, I was quite impressed with how it fared, albeit against some kamikaze trout.
Probably the most difficult aspect of fishing for these trout is locating them, but once you do, the sport can be pretty hectic. Luckily for me, I located some first cast. Starting at the entrance end of Skylark Lake, where the wind was pushing hard into the right hand bank, my first chuck received a knock, before I hooked up to an acrobatic rainbow on the second. A circuit of this lake took approximately an hour and resulted in six fish between 12oz and 1.5lbs. It was great fun, before I decided to have a coffee break and eat some sandwiches in the car.
Next up was Mallard Lake, a much larger pool, where the trout were again found to have been pushed to the far end by the strong winds. In fact, only three swims on this lake gave me any bites, but each gave me lots. One thing I did notice about these trout is that they look far bigger when they throw themselves out of the water twenty yards out than they do on nearing the bank. I was fooled several times into thinking I had hooked much larger fish. I had them to maybe 2lb, but by 'eck, they really do pull back.
After my first circuit of Mallard, by which point the pink destroyer had been chewed to bits and needed replacing, I had lost count of the amount of trout I had caught. Perhaps twelve, although an increasing number seemed to be missed on this lake, probably on account of the greater distance I was fishing.
Through necessity, the pink jig was swapped for an equally garish bright yellow version. At first, this didn't seem to be working as well, but of course, once I found those trout holed up again, it was non-stop. I also snared a tiny jack pike as well, which broke up the monotony of similar sized rainbows.
Having purchased a £22 lure fishing ticket, I had been granted access to five lakes on the fishery. Lower Fuzzy has some good perch, but looked too coloured for a lure novice like me, so instead I quickly tied up a silver bladed, size 2 Mepps spinner, on knottable wire, and walked around Upper Fuzzy, which is troutless but does hold pike. I even managed to catch one; a fish of about a pound. I then rounded off the day by trying the same spinner on Skylark, latching into one more rainbow trout before it was time to leave.