British Float Tube Association

BFTA EVENTS => Competition Reports 2018 => Topic started by: bracken on August 05, 2018, 10:44:04 AM

Title: Eyebrook Repor - August 4th
Post by: bracken on August 05, 2018, 10:44:04 AM
The venue: Eyebrook Reservoir a large water on the borders of the small county of Rutland a mile or so from Rockingham. The water level is remarkably high/normal considering the drought we have suffered in the last couple of months or so.

The weather: Sunny, hot with occasional high wispy cloud. The water had a respectable ripple on the surface all the time we were there. The ripple was caused by a breeze blowing up the lake towards the dam.

Nature notes: The journey to the water was notable for the dried-out vegetation alongside the roads which gives the whole country a dessicated hay brown tinge. Farmers are busy harvesting corn, which is apparently giving lower yields and poorer quality grain than normal, this due to lack of rain to promote growth in the critical period.

A notably high number of wasps was seen here and elsewhere in the country. Terry was keen to note the pair of red kites flying by the wooded strip on approach to the water. These are residents here, as are a couple of buzzards which we regularly see. A number of cormorants were noted both in the air and on the water. The excretal evidence of some overfed and obviously large geese was prevalent on the concrete around the water. A few ducks and ducklings were swimming around the margins.  Swallows and a few swifts were confidently hawking flies by the water’s edge and over the lake often diving close to the float tubes and ignoring the occupants. Swifts appear to be more scarce than usual this year in my observations.

Some unusually very small and delicate looking damsel flies were seen in the air over the lake. These were about half the size of the ones we normally encounter, and a much lighter blue/grey in colour.

The fishermen: Thirteen mostly well-known characters. Two failed to turn out after stating a late entry.

It was nice to see that Martin and George had escaped their hospital beds and were now fit and keen to get back to the water. I was also massively impressed to see how fit Dave M. looks and reacts now – apparently less tablets equals a tremendous increase in activity and fitness in his case. (I would like to cull my daily minimum of nine before breakfast to decrease the rattling maybe). The pair from hilly Chesterfield turned out as usual, as did the Preston lads – one of them a year older than he was the last time I saw him! He looks well on it though. Andre turned out to try and prove that he still has the piscatorial touch after a bit of a drought in fishing, (he needn’t have bothered though - other than to make up the numbers and look official).

Terry arrived looking very svelte and fit and obviously well recovered from having his chest zip fitted. Phil arrived with Dave after apparently having a bit of trouble amalgamating the parts of four Range Rovers to get one going past Landy dealerships without an irresistible urge to call in for some expensive parts! A common problem in my past sad experience with the marque! Gary left his crook behind in the Welsh hills and arrived looking keen for action. Mick arrived keen to have a reunion with the lake after a gap of thirty years.

Yours faithfully turned out to see whether he still remembered how to fish after a three month absence of somewhere to go less than 150 miles away from home, and also to test out a MK4 motor mount plus a newly rewired remote switch box for the 24ASP watersnake motor. Additionally, ten days ago a nice lady at The Nuffield Hospital pumped a load of steroids in my right wrist and said it would probably make it less painful and more useful, and also to try and avoid her mate chopping it up with a scalpel. I was testing the theory! She was wrong! Not good news then.

The fishing:
From a promising looking water the fishing proved to be quite difficult and slow. There are, it must be remembered, some seriously good fishermen amongst this group of  float-tubers. I briefly hooked a fish behind the water tower on my way across to the willows at the far end of the dam. This proved to be my only fish related action for the 2.1/2 hours or so on the water. I never saw another rod bent all morning, although I did get confirmation of four fish being caught.  My fish took either a red flash damsel or a small black and green montana on an intermediate line. Brian had caught his fish on a damsel I was told.

It was quite a spectacular sight seeing thirteen float tubes spread out across the water with the occasional boat spaced between them. I knew that various members were trying all sorts of methods and flies to tempt the fish. An intermediate with a damsel did seem to have some attraction. A floater with a red diawl bach had also caught a fish apparently.

Sadly for me, my inflatable seat had deflated on contact with the cold water, it has a valve which only responds to a special pump connection so it couldn’t be re-inflated. This made the FT very uncomfortable. The crossbar on the Snowbee Prestige has a totally useless clamping arrangement and it was constantly popping out of its rubber lugs which had softened in the hot sun. This allowed the FT sponsons to regularly close in and crush my already beggared back and legs, thus making the fishing uncomfortable and a bit of a trial of patience.

I had noted a line of fish showing opposite the lifebuoy half way down the dam and stretching for at least 400 yards into the lake. Andre travelled along and across this shoal of fish to join me near the top bank. Fish were rising at irregular intervals all around him. Brian and Terry and a couple of others were working along the shoal but were equally unsuccessful. By now I was fishing a floater with a red cruncher, a red diawl bach and a red and black cormoranty style fly. This set-up was being cast at, or near, the occasional fish showing near me without any response whatsoever. Andre was being equally unsuccessful. George had fished all along the willow shore without getting a pull. I noted that Ric was fishing near the tower in the area where I lost my fish. Gary was there or thereabouts as well.

By now I was beginning to hurt and decided to change back to a DI3 and put a red montana on the end. After this I had decided to put a red zonker on. I slowly motored onto the line of fish which were showing but again got no response when pulling the fly. By now my legs and back were protesting and I started to get the first signs of cramp, (which had stopped me completely on Stithians). Time to get off, so I checked behind me switched the motor on and enjoyed the ride back to the launch ramp. I never changed to the red zonker so don’t know what the response would have been.

After having a  pleasant chat with Dave M. while sitting in the shade of the beech tree by the lodge, I sat and watched the fishing after he returned to the water. No rods were bent! At about 2.30 I did see either Steve or Ric bend into a fish, with the sun regularly flashing off the curved rod, but I couldn’t see whether it was netted. I did note that the fish stayed down and never showed on the surface. After  moving nearer to the action and sitting in my car I watched Gary change flies at just after 3.00pm at 3.10 he hooked a fish and eventually netted it.  Ten minutes later he hooked another, so either his pilchard oil was working or he had found the magic fly. Neither of these fish showed on the surface when being played. Interesting!

At the end of the match I was impressed to hear that Ric had caught seven fish. Most of these came to a red cruncher, (pretty well identical to the one I had been using). Gary had found his magic fly which was also a cruncher. Many of the twenty eight fish caught had fallen to a cruncher but with blue, green and grey versions as well as the red. A couple had come to damsels. There was something fishy about Martin! He caught fish on a Manchester Buzzer - mainly a red and black version. I must admit it made me wonder what might have been If I had dragged a red zonker along the fish line.

Floating lines, midge tips and DI lines all caught fish. Undoubtedly the high sunny conditions did create a problem for catching the trout. In theory bright sun makes the fish go deeper and overcast makes the stay nearer the top, (fish don’t have eyelids to deflect the glare). I’m not sure that this theory would have been proved on this day.

Congratulations to Ric and Gary for their skill, (or luck), at catching a dozen fish between them. Ric impressed upon me in his erudite manner, that “it is not the gun but the gunner that makes the score”. He’s too big to argue with so I must accept what he says.

Asides: I can ascertain that the dry mud surface on the dam wall isn’t as dry as it looks. There is a slimy slippery weedy sub layer to it, which doesn’t take to fins too well. So no you can rest assured I wasn’t praying on the dam when I got out to try and realign my FT seat and have a rest!

For old cripples and those interested in motorising a float tube. The ASP24 drives a FT much better than the ASP18.  I was using a golf buggy 28 hole LiFeo4 battery in a plastic bag in my arm rest to power it. It worked well and the battery has retained a good charge after I used it. When switched to high speed it moves the FT quite quickly and creates quite a wake. It should be much more effective against a wind. It will of course drain the battery faster. I did learn that it would be best to mount the remote switch on something akin to a rod holder which is high and clear of the water. I also learnt something a little strange, that the switch box can get a little warm in use and I think it was more than just the hot sun. However, it did drop into the water at one point so that could have had some effect on the wiring inside. We are getting there.

Acknowledgements: Thanks go to the staff at Eyebrook for letting us loose unhindered onto the water. We must also thank Andre for his efforts in ensuring that this days fishing took place after a third change of venue.

Title: Re: Eyebrook Repor - August 4th
Post by: buzzerman on August 06, 2018, 08:53:02 AM
Well done to my fishing buddy Rik good to see Martin George Tony and Gaz back out on the water