The later end of the trout season saw me spend a few of my free weekends afloat on chew valley lake hoping to get some great dry fly action, or certainly top of the water action if the weather wasn’t playing ball.
Paul Osbourn and I booked a Saturday boat just before the end of the season. The day was perfect, slightly too much sun for my liking but the cloud soon built up and conditions were ideal for fly fishing. We boarded our vessel and pushed off from the jetty just a hundred yards and proceeded to set up our tackle.
The morning temperature was still cool despite the early morning sun so I chose to set up with a slow intermediate line blob top dropper, dabbler in the middle and a cat booby on the point. A great combination when searching for fish high in the water. The water was slightly coloured from the weed dying back, so a few flies fished close to the surface should gather any fishes attention. The flies were strung together on 8lb G3.
When the fishing is said to be good on any lake all you have to do is look for the most boat activity, this particular day the boats seemed to be concentrating in the middle of the lake, somewhere you’d expect to be fairly deep, but on Chew, the average depth is only around 11 feet throughout. The water was down a foot or so and the pumbob was measuring just 12 feet right in the centre of the center of the lake.
A few fish topped just out of range but didn’t seem to break the surface, without the need for a drogue we let the boat drift into the active fish. As the fish came into range I cast a few feet ahead and started the strip the flies on the surface, within seconds a bow wave appeared behind the flies and the sixth sense slow glass locked up tight. A decent scrap and the long, lean fish graced the inside of my landing net. The fish took the biscuit booby (right) picture above.
After completing the drift and putting a dozen or more fish in the boat, we decided to take a change of scenery and head down towards the dam. The sun was breaking through and a few fish started to pop their heads out. Motoring down I spotted 4/5 fish rising fairly close together, so it was off with the intermadiate and on with the new Airflo Super-dri Distance Pro floater. A long headed floater, ideal for casting big distances with ease. I chose this line to cover the fish at range as the wind was starting to drop.
I made a three fly leader from 6lb co-polymer leader, a red shuttle cock, brown bits and sedge pattern top dropper. The sun got stronger and I missed the first two fish which came for the shuttle, but a fish at range grabbed my attention and almost a 25 yard cast put the fly right in it’s direction. The wait was tense and nothing was happening, hand the fish gone down? Or was it on it’s was towards the top end of the lake? Just as I was about to retrieve to recast a head appeared and engulfed the red shuttle cock. A solid bow which we estimated about 3lb. Not as pristine as the fish we found earlier on in the day but a great fish on the dries and the ideal way to test the new Airflo super-dri line.