Monday, 18 August 2014

An August day at Kennick

Kelvin looks pleased

Our August competition was held at Kennick Reservoir. There wasn't a large turn-out. In fact Tony Hooper, Kelvin Nikulin and I were the only ones who turned up at the fishing lodge in the early afternoon of Thursday 14th August. I suspect several members were put off by the Met Office forecast which predicted some fairly heavy downpours, but in the event they needn't have worried because though the temperature was fairly cool and the wind a bit blustery, it was otherwise bright with only a couple of light sprinklings of rain throughout the afternoon, which actually brought the fish on! 

Tony had stopped at the boat lodge on the western side of the reservoir en route and had spoken to a couple of chaps there. They reported the fishing as being hard despite a stocking of fish the previous day. Only one fish had been caught during the morning. A hand in the water showed immediately that it was still like a lukewarm bath. Ominous !

Tony decided to fish from the western bank so the wind was at his back, while Kelvin and I made for the lawns area on the east side, where the wind was pushing a healthy ripple on to the shore. 

Fishing into the wind

Kelvin began with a floating line, nine foot leader, and his trusty orange and blue weighted damsel nymph on the point. I opted for a fast sinking line and fished hard on the bottom using a combination of buzzers on the dropper and an orange booby nymph on the end. After just twenty-five minutes Kelvin hooked the first fish. As he pulled line off his reel for a fresh cast, with just two yards still out in in the water, something took his fly and headed off across the reservoir. It turned out to be a plump two pound rainbow trout and he quickly had it on the bank.

Seeing that Kelvin was having some success on the floating line I changed to a similar set-up. As we moved moved further up the lawns to a spot opposite the lodge we could see several fish ‘tailing’. They were only ten or fifteen feet out from the bank so, despite a freshening wind, it was still possible to cast at about a forty-five degree angle from the bank and get the fly out just behind them. After about fifteen minutes I got my first fish when a short stripping retrieve induced an eager take.

The Deadly Damsel

Shortly after this Tony appeared on our side of the reservoir and stopped to exchange information. As he moved further up towards Hawthorne Point near Clampit's Bay, things started to get a bit more exciting. Fish came on to feed more consistently and several were hooked and lost as initially they seemed to be taking short. However persistence paid off in the end and I saw five fish safely landed to my rod in the following two hours. Kelvin was was a little less lucky with only three fish netted but perhaps his were bigger than mine. 

A very interesting aspect to catching these fish was the way they fought once hooked. In each case the fish made only one hard run and then gave up the struggle, coming easily to the net. Surely this was a sign that the warm water was low in oxygen content and therefore the fish found it difficult to sustain the fight for any length of time. 

In  the end we were pleased to take a few fish in less than ideal conditions and, anyway, Kennick in August, like any other month, remains a lovely place to visit and to fish.

Half a dozen of Kennick's finest