A report from last year which may give you some hints of where to head this Easter for a few days fine fishing in the North.
Although I’m mainly a river fly fisher I do like to try for stillwater Trout from time to time. A family holiday over Easter took me to Rutland and I couldn’t let the opportunity pass without fishing Rutland Water. I was so impressed with it on my first session (on Easter Saturday) that I decided to go again yesterday (Tuesday).
I had fished it from a boat one afternoon a few years back and I remembered it as being a very scenic lake with very hard fighting Rainbows. Well my visit over Easter reinforced my previous impressions but I also found out that there are plenty of Browns in there too. This one is about 3lbs and caught at 10.30 on Tuesday.
I fished both sessions from the bank and yesterday I had half a mile of bank (at Normanton) to myself and there were obviously plenty of fish present. I had been recommended to fish large Buzzers, which I did most of the time. But my best fish – a grown on Brown of 4lb 3oz – came to a small Diawl Bach.
Although Rutland Water attracts many visitors to walk, cycle, sail, bird watch (I saw Ospreys), etc. it is very fisherman friendly. The staff in the Normanton Fishing Lodge were very friendly and helpful and car access is allowed to large amounts of the lakeside. Over Easter the wind switched round from a stiff north easterly to a lighter south westerly but there was always plenty of good places to fish out of the wind and I never had to walk far from the car. You are allowed to wade and I had my waders in the car but I never put them on as I was always able to find places where I could cast into a fish holding depth without getting my feet wet.
I like to fish dry fly but although there were large numbers of buzzers hatching very little showed at the surface. Just the odd one so you knew that there were fish there but not enough to make me think I should try a dry. On Easter Monday I was walking with the family rather than fishing and I saw my first Hawthorn flies of the year. An alternative recommended technique is to fish a Black (and green) Taddy on a long (15’) leader with a slow figure of eight retrieve. I was enjoying my buzzer fishing so I didn’t try this.
Just under half of the fish I caught were Browns, some bright silver like Sea Trout. One chap I spoke to at Green Bank on the Hambleton peninsular had caught five Browns to just one Rainbow. Another caught a 4lb 4oz grown on Rainbow. Last year the fishery Rainbow record was beaten with a massive fish of 17lb 3oz.
So give it a try. Maybe take your partner or family to the area for a weekend or short break. There is certainly no shortage of things for them to do while you have some great fishing in great scenery. I particularly like large wild lakes. Loch Lomond is my favourite and I love Ullswater but I have been very impressed by my two visits to Rutland Water.