The club had its outing to Frandy yesterday and I was up there to tackle up in an already busy car park bright and early. The day was forecast to be fair though it started fairly grey and a little breezy and really stayed that way throughout. There were a few outbreaks of bright sunshine particularly in the morning, and whether this played a part in the tricky fishing or not is hard to say.

It was a slow start that’s for sure. I was partnered with club competition secretary Murray Hunter, a very experienced competition angler and it set my day to be very good for picking up tips and ideas for fishing. They say you never stop learning and I got a lot of good ideas that I hope ( am sure) will improve my success rate in future. As far as the location is concerned this is only the second time I have fished Frandy. The last time was about 5 years ago and I recall it was hard finding the fish, but when we did they all seemed to be in a single location near the dam.

We were the last boat out and in a sense, this helped as it limited the options of where we could go as the other boats were already fishing as we motored out. We went almost directly across from the boat mooring and set up to drift the far bank into a wee corner/bay.

the fleet drifts in to the dam

In to the dam, the fleet tries to find the few fish that were showing in the morning

As we crossed the reservoir we noticed there were some nice wind lanes and slicks that were likely to be good places to fish away from the side. As the boat settled side on to the wind Murray spotted a fish move very near the boat, I never saw it to be honest but was maybe hopeful for getting fish on top. My starting set up was a Kate Muddler on top dropper, a Bibio on middle and a Black Pennel on the point. Maybe a bit much black? Murray was on a couple of Sedgehog Patterns, one of which was a Harry Potter. Third cast a fish came clean out the water and snatched “Harry” off the top netting Murray his first fish. This was a good start but maybe made us think the fish were going to be free rising and eager to play.

This was wrong. But for that one fish, I saw Murray hook, I never saw another fish move for about an hour or so. In fact, we never saw another angler catch a fish in any of the boats around us.

We changed drifts a few times and fished down the slick towards the boom that juts out into the reservoir near the dam. As we neared here, I finally caught sight of a fish rise well ahead but directly in front of me and the boat. By now I had changed flies to a hopper on top dropper and a pair of skinny cormorants on the point and middle dropper. I cast right out and my flies landed nice and straight right across where the fish had shown. A slow steady retrieve allowing the Cormorants to get below the surface and  I was hopeful of getting some sort of reaction then bang and the fish was on. It had taken the Olive Cormorant and after a good fight was in the net, so one each to the boat. I was pleased with that fish as I had seen it, targeted it and caught it when there was little showing.

Asking around the other boats very few fish had been caught, one angler in my group had done exceptionally well getting I believe 3 fish I think on a FAB but that was the most, and most were blank.

Late morning we decided to move up around the corner to the top end of the reservoir as it was very slow here. The bank anglers were struggling too.

Playing a fish

The fourth fish of my day is on, some of the fish put up a hell of a fight to get to the net.

Murray Hunter plays a fish

Murray was a great boat partner, sharing some great tips on the day

We headed right up to the very top and started a drift near the burn. As midday approached we did catch sight here or the odd fish. I was still on my two Cormorants and a Hopper on a floating line, Murray had decided to give some sub surface lines a go to see if the fish would take deeper. Initially, he tried a Di3 then later an ND.  As we drifted down I had a sharp tug, and thought initially it had to be the Cormorant but as I got the fish to the net it was clear it had taken the hopper though I never saw it, so I guess it had sunk slightly. My line was in a right tangle though as it had taken the top dropper and got wrapped in the line in the playing.

Still, two in the bag I was pretty pleased with that though a fresh leader had to go on. I think when Murray went back on the floaters and as fish were steadily starting to show more and more he got his second on the HP again and then he pretty quickly had his third. By now I had changed the hopper to another fly, a Sedgehog hopper and the buzzers had been swapped round too and I opted to put a small unweighted natural looking Damsel pattern on the point ( not a lure). I had quite a few pulls on this setup and rose a few fish to the Sedgehog but wasn’t getting any takers at this point but with fish showing more and more, I took the damsel off point and put on a CDC quill shuttlecock. It never took long for this to get success and I had two fish in fairly rapid succession as the session end neared. That was 8 to the boat now and for the last half hour we moved to the far side here and fished the less pressured water off the lee shore. Murray had a number of offers but they either didn’t take or didn’t stick. Right at the death, I got a fifth and final fish on the Shuttlecock to complete what was a successful day for me.