So March is packed with opening days on most of the major Stillwaters in the UK. The weekend just gone saw Terry and I head to the Blagdon Water for the first days boat fishing since the end of the season last year. The 15th of March was a very welcomed day in my diary this year, after taking four boats in just two weeks last season on Blagdon Water, and the introduction of petrol engines on blagdon made it all that little bit sweeter.
We arrived at the newly refurbished Seymour arms for breakfast with Dean, Gareth and a bunch of BRFFA anglers, the talk was mostly fishing and the near perfect conditions that lay awaiting outside, with a rippled Blagdon just a stonesthrow away.
It was 9am before we left the Seymour arms and headed to the lake; cars were already parking outside of the gate! After parking up and paying for our boat, we set up our fishing equipment on the boat whilst headed to the north shore for our very first drift.
By now the sun was high and the wind slightly stronger, personally I opted for the Airflo 40+ Di 7 for three reasons. 1) The 40+ gives you the added advantage when throwing a longer line, although it’s not something I do every cast when using a 40+, the added few yards are a massive bonus when there are loads of bank anglers around and getting a drift within 50 yards of the bank is tough. The longer fly line lets you cast that little bit closer. 2) The wind, which was growing in strength, means that you catch up to your sinking line very quickly whilst drifting, and being a competition angler, it’s a rule not to let it go behind the boat. The (Di 3/5/7) 40+ fly lines have an intermediate running line and a faster sinking head so the depth of the line is kept a long way from the boat meaning you have plenty of line for the time to sink away from the boat, before the retrieve of the head. 3) The angle. I love the Angle of 40+ lines for fishing the hang. The almost vertical retrieve path of the Di 7 allows you to fish the hang much better than any other line on the market.
Flies wise I set up with the same cast as last year, a sunburst booby on the top dropper with a pink and orange booby on the point. A simple two fly setup on 8lb Airflo G3.
My first cast produced a beautiful rainbow of around three and a half pounds in weight, a fish that looked to be overwintered, or stocked early this year at least. As we continued our drift down the north Shore, in and out of bank anglers, all of which were catching fish (!), Terry and I netted over 20 fish.
As the day wore on we made our way around many of the usual haunts that we like to fish on Blagdon. We found fish at almost every mark, with the largest concentration of fish being in butcombe bay. Other anglers were taking fish on buzzers and nymphs whilst Terry and I stuck to the middle of the bay, the only section we could get a decent drift due to anchored boats, and took many more fish, loosing count after the first drift through! Right at the end of the day Terry managed to reach a milestone in his lake career and I slipped the net under his first every pike!