The past weekend saw Chew Valley open it’s doors to boat anglers for the first time in 2014, for the Saturday, I was lucky enough to secure a boat – And Friday afternoon we had the all clear that the boats were heading out after some hairy weather and strong winds.
By the time we arrived after meeting the Bristol boys at the Blue Bowl Inn for breakfast, many of the boats were already out, hidden away behind the island and in Herons bay. Following the Fleet, we headed that way ourselves and setup the first drift at the back of Herons.
With the usual ‘early season fishing’ in mind, I tackled up with a new fly line I got over the winter, the Airflo Sixth Sense Competitor line Di5/di7, these have been available for a while but I have never had one until now. The line has a sinking rate of 7 inches per second at the head and a 5 inch per second running line, forcing the head to sink faster than the belly.
First thing I noticed is how well it casts. It’s a VERY heavy line and is tough to aerealise, but by using the weight to shoot, just like a shooting head, the line would reach 30+ yards almost every cast. However, it was apparent that it was too heavy in Herons and hooked weed almost every cast close to the bank. As we moved out to deeper water, along nunnery and out off the point, it was working well and fishing deep was no challenge.
My cast consisted of the same flies from the week before on the Opening day at Blagdon, and an 18ft leader made up of 8lb Sightfree G3.
Terry and I fished hard through the top end of the lake without a take, until we hit Nunnery point where we both missed a fish. It was until we hit the deeper water off the point that my line locked up perfectly just a few seconds after it landed with a beautiful rainbow of around 3lbs in weight.
As you can see from the picture, the Competitor fly line features the hang markers just like the rest of the Sixth Sense range – And boy was I thankful as each time the head marker (10ft long piece in the middle of the fly line) came to the tip, the fish would take indicating they were about 6/7 feet down.
I wont tell you how Terry got on… If you’re interested, I think you better ask him yourself! (NOTE: There’s no pictures of him this time!)