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One or two of those anglers couldn’t resist marching up to Pete as he crouched behind the marginal reeds casting a small popper at the cruising carp. I honestly don’t think it occurred to any of them that the fish might be alarmed by the presence of a human being standing at the water’s edge waving his arms about and they certainly regarded Pete’s approach as eccentric, but Pete quickly showed us all what an effective and enjoyable method fly-fishing for coarse fish can be.
Casting his tiny home-made poppers ahead of the passing fish usually elicited an interested response and if the fish ignored it a tiny tweek on the line would catch their eye again and back they would come. Some took it straight away, others went for the small marabou bloodworm pattern that he was fishing on the point. Either way they all gave his 5wt fly rod a thorough going over as they tore off along the pool.
Modern stock pools are not everybody’s cup of tea. They are not my favourite places by a long shot, but they do have advantages. They have lots of fish and because club stocking policies basically revolve around stuffing them full of any species they can get for the right price, the fly fisherman is well placed to take advantage of their populations of rudd, roach, ide, orfe and chub.
Apart from small poppers, and bloodworm patterns, Pete finds that small black flies, sedges and small damselfly patterns are very effective. Coarse fish are not as obliging as rainbow trout when it comes to taking the flies and they can both take and reject them very quickly indeed. If you wait for the line to go out, you will never catch anything.
If you are using dry flies then it isn’t a problem, strike when they turn down with the fly as this chub did, but when they are taking sub-surface patterns, a popper or a sedge on the dropper will act like a float giving immediate notice of a take. Failing that you will have to watch for the fish opening its mouth sub-surface and strike intuitively.
I never thought I would be interested in fishing one of these waters again, but I have already dragged my fly fishing gear out of retirement. All anglers find fish fascinating and even on these kind of waters this method of catching them is so absorbing that you quickly forget what is going on around you. And just for a change, the hotter, the weather, the better the fishing!
Just what is the lure fisherman supposed to do when the sun is burning the shirt off his back and the predators won’t play?
I went out with Leicester angler, LAS member and good friend, Pete Felstead this week who showed me that there is a great deal of exciting and absorbing sport to be had in the most unlikely of surroundings and in the least favourable weather conditions.
It was hot, very hot indeed ,and the few other anglers dotted around the lake were stewing steadily beneath a cloudless sky and trying , mostly unsuccessfully to catch small carp from the club’s match pool. The surface was peppered with tampon and candle rigs baited with huge lumps of bread which the carp were slurping away at non-stop while resolutely ignoring the small pieces of bread flake hanging beneath on the hook.