The dou­ble Booby

Gareth Jones uses two buoy­ant flies to catch well at his lo­cal Llan­degfedd Reser­voir

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

Gareth Jones uses two buoy­ant flies to catch at Llan­degfedd Reser­voir

NES­TLED in a rel­a­tively steep val­ley close to New Inn, near Pont y pool, is Llan­degfedd Reser voir. At more than 400 acres it is the most sig­nif icant large still­wa­ter in South Wales and well known as a great boat-f ish­ing venue. Be­ing only three miles from my home, it’s my lo­cal wa­ter and one that I’ve put a great deal of time into over the last 10 years. It makes a great prac­tice wa­ter for com­pe­ti­tion fish­ing and has con­trib­uted to some ter­rif ic re­sults in the A nglian Wa­ter com­pe­ti­tion with my fish­ing team the Nym­phoman­ics. Like any venue, the most im­por­tant thing is f ish lo­ca­tion and once found, tr ying to keep in touch with them is what puts f ish in the boat. I’m al­ways tr y ing to build up a pic­ture in my mind to help me un­der­stand where they’ll move with any wind di­rec­tion changes or in­creased an­gler pres­sure.

Pro­duc­tive shal­lows

Dur­ing early sea­son, re­gard­less of where they’re stocked, f ish will gen­er­ally fol­low the steep shore­line to f ind them­selves some shal­lower wa­ter. Not only does this shal­lower wa­ter warm up quicker, but it also holds the ma­jor­ity of the food items and f ish­ing in depths of 10 -20 feet is usu­ally far more pro­duc­tive than f ish­ing in wa­ter 30 -40 feet deep. To­day, the wa­ter tem­per­a­ture is


ex­tremely low and after the re­cent heav y snow fall, the sub­se­quent melt is f in­d­ing its way into the lake. I know that the lake has a de­cent num­ber of fish stocked for the start of the sea­son. The f ish had been stocked at the dam and with­out any­one putting any pres­sure on them, they were hang­ing around the boat jetty. So my f irst

drift is no more than 100 yards out. First cast and after a 20 sec­ond count, I start the re­trieve – a cou­ple of long pulls to be­gin with and then a steady f ig­ure-ofeight. Half way back it all goes tight and my sea­son has started. A dou­ble Booby set-up, one bright one on the drop­per and a black or olive ver­sion on the point is the way to go and – while I’m en­joy­ing hav­ing my string pulled in the lit­tle bay we af­fec­tion­ately call the ‘Aquar­ium’ – I’m keen to tr y some other ar­eas fur­ther up the lake. Work­ing my way along the ‘Gabi­ans’ shore­line and into Bill Smith’s Bay, we come across pock­ets of fish that are ob­vi­ously run­ning down the wind on the way to the shal­low wa­ter. Again all the takes come at depth and the fish hit the f lies as I pull them away from the shore. Mov­ing even fur­ther into the shal­lower end of the lake I start a drift off 7 Buoy head­ing to­wards the is­land shore. The shal­low wa­ter here ex­tends out into the lake for sev­eral hun­dred yards and I’m able to run the boat along the shal­lows cast­ing right and left to work both drop-offs. As we drift in and hit about 12 feet of wa­ter the takes start to come. But these are a dif­fer­ent stamp of f ish that have been placed in the lake at the dam with the pre­vi­ous week’s stock­ing. They have only taken a few days to find this shal­lower wa­ter and with some small black midge hatch­ing it’s easy to see why they’re here.

Drift ver­sus an­chor

In winds of less than 15mph, I al­ways pre­fer to drift but should the wind pick up and I have to get my f lies deep, then I have no qualms about reach­ing for the an­chor. Drift­ing ob­vi­ously helps you to cover wa­ter faster and when you’re look­ing for re­cent stock fish, these can some­times be in rel­a­tively tight pods and more eas­ily lo­cated on the drift. How­ever, if you’re not able to con­trol the f lies and get them to depth, then drift­ing is a waste of time. When the wind picks up, it’s far bet­ter to an­chor and in these sit­u­a­tions, I pick a shore­line with the wind blow­ing along it. If the f ish are in the area, you’ll get takes ver y quickly. So if you’ve not had any ac­tion for 10 min­utes then move! Just lift the an­chor, drift for 20 yards and then do it again – this will al­low you to work the shore­line ef­fec­tively and make the most of diff icult con­di­tions.

Early sea­son flies

In all hon­esty, you can’t go wrong with a cou­ple of Boo­bies when the wa­ter is ul­tra-cold. They have sev­eral benef its

“When the wind picks up, it’s far bet­ter to an­chor and in these sit­u­a­tions, I pick a shore­line with the wind blow­ing along it.”

as they can be fished ver y slowly with­out catch­ing the bot­tom. But per­haps more sig­nif icantly, they’re ver y easy for the f ish to take. Let me ex­plain: in cold wa­ter the f ish are less ac­tive and less ag­gres­sive, so the Booby with its large foam eyes is easy for the f ish to eat. As the f ish opens its mouth and dis­places wa­ter, the f ly just f loats in and of­ten you just get a feel­ing sim­i­lar to the f ly go­ing through weed just be­fore you feel the solid hook-up.

Long cast­ing and count­ing

It sounds ob­vi­ous, but get­ting your f lies deep in­volves count­ing the f ly to depth. The ma­jorit y of an­glers I watch start to re­trieve far too soon after the line has landed. When the wa­ter is cold, the fish real ly need the f ly pre­sented at the depth they are hold­ing and will not move far through the wa­ter col­umn to in­ter­cept. With a Di-7 tak­ing 20 sec­onds to get to 12 feet , the slow f ig­ure-of-eight will al­low the line to con­tinue sink­ing and hit a greater depth halfway through the re­trieve, al­low­ing you to hit bot­tom in 15 feet of wa­ter. The fur­ther you cast, the more time your f lies will spend at the cor­rect depth and ul­ti­mately catch you more fish dur­ing this cold weather pe­riod.

Late af­ter­noon

Re­gard­less of weather con­di­tions, I’ve noted a phe­nom­e­non where you can some­times find fish in mid wa­ter later in the day. So from 3pm on­wards ev­ery fifth cast or so, I’ll stroke the f lies back f ive sec­onds down. These are of­ten over­win­tered fish or fish that have been in the lake for some time and will start to take closer to the sur­face as the wa­ter warms up and any early-sea­son buzzers hatch.

Buzzer fish­ing

After the usual crash and bang at the start of the sea­son, Llan­degfedd can be in­cred­i­bly re­spon­sive to fish­ing teams of Su­per­glue Buzzers on a f loater or midge-tip line. Then, as the wa­ter warms up, the fish move out from the shore and can pro­vide in­cred­i­ble top-of-the-wa­ter sport.

“The fur­ther you cast, the more time your flies will spend at the cor­rect depth and ul­ti­mately catch you more fish dur­ing this cold weather.”

Gloves keep hands warm while pro­tect­ing against sink­ing lines. Boo­bies of many colours to suit any given day. Yel­low and olive make a deadly com­bi­na­tion. The Olive Booby caught the most trout on the day.

Gareth en­joys hot sport on a cold early sea­son day at Llan­degfedd.

Olive Booby Hook: Size 10 Ka­masan B175 Thread: Olive Tail: Golden olive marabou Body: FNF pi­cric or pel­let Fritz Eyes: 6mm yel­low foam

Black Marabou Booby Hook: Size 10 Ka­masan B175 Thread: Black Tail/body/wing: Black marabou Rib: Medium mi­rage Eyes: 6mm black foam

Den­nis Booby Hook: Size 10 Ka­masan B175 Thread: Black Tail: Black marabou Body: Black and red Fritz Eyes: 6mm black foam

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