Grafham water

So, with the imminent lockdown and end of the season, I braved a fishing trip to Grafham Water, the home of SHRIMP feeding Trout, or as I call them Fish on steroids. They are pure muscle, Pilling this on gorging on shrimp. These trout are like bodybuilders and this time of the year on a feeding frenzy close into the bank.

I decided to go on the same day as two other friends who were travelling separately in these times. 

Usually, we would go in one vehicle pre covid. The long journey would be filled with banter and chat on fly fishing, and this builds the appetite and anticipation or your day.  

Arrived on the N Shore and met up with the other two keeping social distancing rules in mind, we tackled up

I decided a two-rod option giving more flexibility one with a floating line set up using a washing line rig. Basically three flies. The first one being 4ft from the fly line, a Hares ear Nymph. The second also 4ft further down a cruncher and the third being another 4 ft down I used a fab I and decided to fish the Candy Pink split.

Hares ear flies

The second rod had a Cortland blue intermediate line with a 6 ft leader and a single snake (black with a green body). I don’t usually fish these but needs must at this time of the year they can be deadly.

There were anglers already on the bank at 8 am. So we headed directly to the front of the visitors centre to fish this bank up to willows up to G buoy.

We met Charlie Abrahams, a regular who pointed us in the possible methods, that mirrored my thoughts, washing line and a single lure or snake set up.

The entrance gates were broken. So we were told there was no need to get a ticket as the system was not working. 

Time to get amongst them.

We managed to squeeze in amongst a whole stream of steady anglers spread out all along the bank on both sides, this told me that this is where the fish were. Local anglers usually know and hear on the grapevine about these things.

Charlie was about 4 anglers down with another angler. Both were getting takes, whilst the rest of us seemed to be less productive. About an hour in a whacking take on the floater set and a Graham full tailed trout was propelling itself all over, a truly wonderful sight and feeling. Landed that, fantastic fish of about 2 and a half pounds, lean fighting machine.

Trout caught in Grafham Water

There was a slight breeze and cold wind. But doing the Grafham Shuffle was out of bounds (disturbing the shrimp to get the fish into a feeding frenzy). 

Before having a lunch break around 1230pm, I had another whacking take on the hares ear middle dropper that I had added after removing the cruncher. A good battle with another full finned and tailed trout followed. And I landed this successfully. 

My other two colleagues had not had a take, neither had a few on our bank. Charlie and the other angler were still getting takes. I could see the fish ahead of them obviously feeding tight into an area on shrimp. 

Now, normally, I would move after 30 mins max, but the bank appeared to have most spots take. It was confirmed by Waseem who went for a walk to G buoy and into the next bay. He returned and said there were anglers, but no one was catching. Decision made, stick it out and tough it out where the fish are.

The post-lunch brought me 3 more fabulous full tailed fish. But all on the intermediate fly line with a black and green snake. It was a case of cast this and roly-poly, and figure of 8 mix. And I had a few more nips as you often do on snakes. But three stuck.  

There was now less being caught by anglers who had been catching earlier in the morning. And  Waseem and Rick now had fish on the same method. This was good as they had travelled a long way down. 

The quality of the fish was stunning, it was a day of quality as opposed to quantity.

Sadly around 4 pm, the sun was setting fast. So we had to call this Grafham Water fishing a day.

The return leg was marred by the car park now having its gates operational. And hence issues in trying to get out for us three as we had been told it was ok and no tickets would be needed today. 

My colleagues travelled a different route, and I got stuck on the A14 in an accident jam that prolonged the journey to double the norm. Still, it was a good day of fishing. The weather had been sunny that we could have done a bit more breeze as the afternoon had been a flat calm day.

I reflected as I often do on the return journey, should I have moved more, maybe. However, it was such a nice day that catching fish was not the only priority. Getting out and enjoying the day was the main thing. If I had been more focused, maybe a move to some other part would have produced. 

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  1. Richard Pakey says:

    Yousef knows his stuff and has improved my fishing technique, I look forward to reading more of these blogs

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Fly Fishing can mystify the best of us but if we stick to some core principles, we can avoid those bad days or reduce them. Tight Lines Richard

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