The combination of terrible (fishing) weather and the pull of surfing conspired to keep me from wetting a line for the first few weeks of the year. My first fishing trip of 2016 ended up being at Bellbrook Fishery near Tiverton chasing rainbow trout. I’d fished this venue with some success previously, and on this occasion was joined by my fishing buddy Jason on his first trip of the year also.
With the short amount of daylight at this time of year and the desire to not have to start off at the crack of dawn we opted for half day tickets that allowed us 3 fish each. Starting around midday we would just about have enough daylight to make full use of the half day tickets if necessary.
We started up on ‘Sedgemoor’ lake and switched between this and ‘Exmoor’ and ‘Dartmoor’ lakes, and were both into action pretty much from the start. The fish seemed to really be feeding and we both had takes and lost fish aplenty before landing the first trout. This proved to be the format for the day as we hopped from lake to lake.
The successful flies were montana’s and olive damsels. Sometimes it was the swift, shallow retrieves that worked but more often it was the deeper and slower approach that scored. We had loads of plucks, takes, hooked and lost fish besides the banked fish. We could easily have filled our quota in the first hour!
My setup was the trusty #5 rod, with a floating line. I used a braided tapering leader and a few foot of 4lb fluorocarbon for the tippet. This set up allowed the beaded damsels & montana’s to sink slowly and seems to be really working for me for these stocked rainbows.
Successfully finishing the day with my quota of 3 trout, the only task remained to find a friend or neighbour who wanted the fish.. maybe my new years resolution for this year should be to find a good recipe for trout!