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Author Topic: Ringstead - May 23rd.  (Read 2713 times)
bracken
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« on: May 24, 2015, 09:45:39 AM »

The Venue: Ringstead trout fishery, Northamptonshire. This match was a return to this venue after a break of a couple of months. The water is an ideal float tubing venue and is a superb water for beginners or OAP’s to float about on. The fishing is generally very good, with good sized hard fighting fish the norm here.

The weather: For once this year it  was generally very favourable. A gentle breeze rippled the water surface under a high overcast sky until midday, when the sun started to brighten everything up. Although not bright sunshine the solar radiation factor was very high and those with fairer skin got quite well reddened!

Nature notes: There is always plenty to see here. One of the more unusual spots was a Little Egret flying across the Addington end mid morning, a red kite was also seen here around the same time. Small warblers were to be heard singing in the bushes. Baby moorhens, ducklings a few days old, and Pink footed geese goslings were also around and unafraid of their visitors. A number of great crested grebes were fishing and defending their territories. The inevitable cormorant did a fly past a couple of times. Terns and other gulls were also spotted flying over the lake.

The fly life in and above the water, was very pronounced by its diversity. Dave C. brought a grey bodied, black ‘ribbed’ olive type to show me when we were tackling up. Damsel nymphs emerged and climbed on float tubes and fishermen and later in the day hatched by the reed beds to fly over the water. (The first I have seen this year)! Alder flies and some long legged types reminiscent of daddy longlegs were seen on the water, which was also covered in buzzer shucks. What I didn’t see were Hawthorn flies which I had hoped would have been here to liven the fish up.

Masses of ‘olives’, gnats and midges were both on the surface and in the air - together with a few bigger ‘buzzy’ jobs. (I wish my fly recognition was better)!

The fishermen: Ten regulars, all very good fishermen and great company. We also received a very welcome visit from Alan K. who looks extremely well after his second operation, and now appears to be clear of the cancer - which is great news! His great sense of humour appears to be completely intact you will be pleased to hear! Dave M. joined us again and also looked well, he had travelled down on his own because his friend with the FT barge appeared to be otherwise occupied.

The fishing:
John had warned us that fish were being caught but were not giving themselves up too easily. This proved to be the case, but everybody caught something by the end of the match. We were also told that the fish were just under the surface and not in the deep water. Some fish were seen rising, but not enough to tempt one to fish dry flies.

Any 10lbs plus fish were to be weighed and returned after witnessing. Following the launch the prediction that the takes would be slow proved correct. It was a long time before I spotted a bent rod and the FT’s had covered a lot of water over the whole lake surface. Andre had caught one in the Addington Road corner by the reed bed, and as I approached Gary hooked another. Both fellows were fishing a green thoraxed cruncher, a diawl bach and either a buzzer or small damsel on the end. Both were getting quite a high number of tentative pulls which were not connecting. I had travelled to them alternating fishing a fairly similar floating line set up, or an intermediate with a damsel of some sort on the end, paired with a small black dropper fly. As we were chatting, I suddenly got a massive take and caught a very hard fighting rainbow on a red flash damsel. There were definitely quite a lot of fish in this ‘corner’ at this point. A very few casts later, slightly further up the lake, I hooked another good fish which I played for a while, then it came to the surface and its mate decided it would join in and grabbed the dropper! These were both decent size fish near the three pound mark – the inevitable happened when they decided to go opposite ways and both flies broke off! Sorry Vicar!

As I was retackling, Martin headed towards us and he also soon had a fish on. He assured me it was on a diawl bach rather than some gert great fritzy thing which we know he favours in normal circumstances. Brian also then had a fish a bit nearer the bank, so we all began to think this day was now going to be easier than anticipated! Wrong! Andre eventually had another, while Gary went back towards the trees along the road to try and tempt one of the numerous fish breaking the surface down there. I was now fishing a new damsel of the same type, with various differing droppers on an intermediate with no interest from the fish; so returned to a floating line setup with the cruncher, diawl bach, small damsel team attached.

A couple of slight pulls resulted, but no connections after a considerable session all over the area where I knew fish were swimming; several direct casts in front of rising fish also elicited no interest from them. So a change to a midge tip, because the sun was now shining and I suspected the fish were down a bit from where they were, but not as near the bottom to require a full intermediate. In the meantime Brian had had another fish. Martin had caught a cracking tench, estimated to weigh nearly four pounds by Andre. I had moved to a spot between the small bay and the tall tree on the Addington bank, and was talking to Brian as Dave C. was playing and netting a good fish. I had a pull, then a cast or so later hooked a trout which stayed on for a few seconds then came off. Curses ensued! Next cast a terrific take and fish on! This one was a good fish and very lively, it stayed deep and took all the spare line of the stripping apron making big surges to the side as it went. The reel drag was lightened and the fish was pulling hard away from me, when once again it made a big surge for freedom – and got it!!! Everything went slack, upon retrieval, the red flash damsel which had only been put on a few casts earlier, was stripped down to the hook bend and the bend turned out at right angles, how the leader had not broken I’ll never know – once again testament to the strength of Orvis 3X Mirage line. To rub it in, Brian caught another near me shortly afterwards from the same place! A little later on, I also got a couple of light pulls in exactly the same spot, then nearly had the rod ripped out of my hand by an extremely savage take, but the fish didn’t connect with the hook. Something in this particular spot was attracting fish in a very tight area, but I know not what. I spotted Dave M. with a bent rod on two occasions while fishing this stretch, and was pleased he was having a good day. It was only at the end of the match that it transpired that Dave had caught four trout – all of them browns which had to be returned!

Elsewhere, Steve F. had discovered the right setup and had his bagful plus a couple to spare around midday. This lot earned him first place. These were taken on diawl bach’s and a biscuit blob. Darren had had more than his share by the end of the match too. He added a small pikeling and I believe a brown to his score as well. He had also spotted a very large carp in the water. I didn’t realise there was such a diversity of fish here. Darren finished third. Ric quietly unseen and unheard, had caught a nice 6lbs plus fish to add to his bag, but like many of us couldn’t complete the score. Brian eventually bagged up near me catching his fish on a mixture of damsels and diawl bach’s. Dave C. also went on to fulfil his quota but differed by using a green and black zonker to take some of them. His 5lbs 2ozs fish made his weight up to achieve second place. Andre finally bagged up over the deep hole at the end of the afternoon, to finish fourth, Gary increased his bag to four in the same area. Martin and I both went on to catch fish from a spot below the tree to finish eighth equal, each with two fish weighing 5lbs 8ozs.

Tactics. Either a floating line or a midge tip were favourite for this day. An intermediate worked in the morning but became less effective in the afternoon, perhaps surprisingly! Crunchers, diawl bach’s, damsels and small black flies were favourite fish takers. Buzzers did not seem to do well, surprisingly again, as the water surface was smothered in cast off shucks. I did consider putting on a team of shipman’s buzzers, as I wondered whether fish would have risen and taken them off the surface, but I wasn’t convinced that the fish which showed were taking flies rather than doing something else.

The water was quite clear for this time of year, and the weed still low enough, (mercifully), to prevent leg and knee damage through catching fins in it. However the central water area in front of the lodge will soon be difficult to float tube, but there were lots of fish holding over this weedbed.

Acknowledgements: Many thanks to John for welcoming us, putting up with the banter and serving us tea and coffee. This is a great float tubing venue with very good fishing.

I would also like to thank Steve F. Brian, Andre et al for unobtrusively helping us off the water at the end of the day and carrying float tubes to cars etc. The help is greatly appreciated.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2015, 03:13:39 PM by bracken » Logged
Ric the Red
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2015, 12:16:17 PM »

To add on the catch I also took a couple of pike I think one was between the 6 to 7lb mark and one that Dave C told me latter was named Jack. A nice day and good to see Alan there.
Ric
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davec
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2015, 12:56:59 PM »

Great coming second but much more import beat Brian. All my fish were on my favourite black and green zonker on slow glass intermediate my thanks to Brian for getting me there and carrying my gear back to the car and also to Steve F.  for giving me his cast of flies he was catching on and putting me on the fish also for helping with my gear back to the car. I just have to find someone to fin my float tube for me and I will be sorted.Huh?
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martin
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2015, 09:51:12 PM »

Good report, Tony.
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bracken
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2015, 08:28:06 AM »

Thanks for the further info on the above report.

Just to clarify things slightly regarding Alan - I may have slightly overstated his progress and  left you with the impression that all problems are over with his illness. Although he is greatly improved and currently stable he tells me:-

"treatment is going well, all growth is slowed down so no growth since Jan; more chemo untill Sept/Oct then we will see what happens. But will never be clear as it will get me in the finish, but it will have to be a good battle if it wants me!"

Alan is also going to try and visit us when we fish at Thornton to catch up on news and banter.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 08:40:42 AM by bracken » Logged
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