Today I spent the day afloat on Blithfield Reservoir in the company of Ernie Frith. We arrived at 8am, when the reservoir gates opened, as I had to be back home by late afternoon.
The wind had changed direction yet again. We haven’t had two consecutive days where the wind has blown in the same direction for quite a while and yesterday I experienced four seasons in one day while on my travels. All this changeable weather has made the fishing challenging and it’s easy to see why.
We headed straight for an area of shallow weedy margins where a few feet out the water drops off significantly. This is always a good area where the pike sit just off the drop-off. Unfortunately the north-westerly wind was blowing us away from the weed beds and drop off so we had to anchor and cast back towards the bank. Not an ideal solution as we had to keep lifting the anchor and slowly manoeuvre the boat along the weedbeds. We persevered and a short while later Ernie hit into a fish on a chartreuse and white pattern.
We worked the weedbeds for a couple more hours without success, which was a surprise as we felt certain there would be more fish there. We then motored upto the shallows. On my last visit I had a lot of fish follow the fly back to the boat in this area. There were also a lot of baitfish up there too so I was thinking it would be the case this time. Last time I made a mental note of where the fish were and that spot appeared to be the old river bed. There was a particular snag just showing above the surface where most of the fish appeared to be. First drift down and I hit into a small fish on a chartreuse and yellow pattern exactly where I anticipated. Then Ernie had a follow back to the boat but didn’t make contact. We repeated the drift without success, and decided to give it a few more go’s but still had nothing to show for it. Maybe the fish were hanging in slightly deeper water. The lack of baitfish in the shallow water was also noticeable this time.
We slowly made our way down the north arm but had no takes or follows. After a sandwich and a coffee we made our way back to the weedbeds. I managed a nice sized Trout and Ernie had a Perch, but still the Pike were not playing ball. We then tried areas of deeper water in the hope of finding a fish or two but it wasn’t to be.
Late afternoon arrived quickly and unfortunately it was time to head home. In these days of ever changing weather patterns it’s easy to see why the fish aren’t co-operating. Maybe if we could have stayed until dusk they would have come on the feed but we will never know. Still it’s good to be on the water with friends and be surrounded by beautiful countryside.