I have been out a couple of times to fly fish for pike again this year without success. So for a change of scene last Saturday I took myself off to Toft Newton reservoir near Market Rasen north of Lincoln. The Manager, Jason had organised a coarse fishing day, where all methods were allowed (with barbless hooks). Obviously all trout caught had to be handled very carefully and returned quickly. I arrived in temperatures of -4 degrees centigrade (25F), but with bright low sun and a cloudless blue sky. The reservoir was a kind of weird place to fish, in fact not very inviting at all, and I think the weather helped to alleviate the effect of the concrete surround - the reservoir is in fact a 40 acre concrete bowl set in the Lincolnshire flatlands.
I tried fishing with some perch flies that I had tied up (weighted with bead eyes & with red marabou tails) on an intermediate line and long leader, using my #7/8 9' rod. This did initially attract trout 3 fish in half-a-dozen casts, all distance released, but more particularly it highlighted my appalling casting ability or lack of skill, something which I really need to address.
Most anglers were set up with maggots and a float, and were catching numerous trout, in fact one chap had caught and released over 120 fish by the time I left at 3.45pm, without moving from the spot! I'm sure he must have caught the same fish more than once. A few perch and a pike or 2 were caught by the boat anglers, but shore angling only seemed to produce unfortunate trout.
My tally for the day was a meager 6 trout but I wasn't fishing for them was I! A very pleasant day due to the beautiful though chilly weather.
I'm now looking forward to my next outing, a birthday treat, of spot grayling fishing on the R Derwent in Derbyshire next Sunday, can't wait.