At last, things were looking up. I had just been sent a copy of the Kayak Fishing magazine “Blade” from Justin Wilmer in Australia. The magazine featured an article I wrote about kayak fishing in the UK. If you ever get the chance to check out Blade, then I would recommend it. Its a great journal, with fly fishing articles from all around the world, and the imagery is simply stunning.
And as if that was not enough, the forecast for the weekend was looking great too. There was only one place I really wanted to go, and that was Wimbleball Lake, set in the stunning countryside on the edge of Exmoor. I failed to make it there a couple of weeks back, but this time I was determined to make it. Alistair Cole was also planning on joining me, so everything was set for a great day’s kayak fishing.
I stopped just short of the lake to take some pictures, the water was flat calm…
When I got to the lake, the car park was already full – very odd for this place. It turns out that there was a rowing event and a trout fishing competition going on, so the lake would be busier than normal. I met up with Alistair and we launched into the lake. We made our way up to the top end of the lake and prepared to fish.
Due to the lack of breeze, I decided to reverse the mirage drive on the Hobie Revolution 11 so that I could make adjustments to the drifts. It worked a treat, and on the first drift I lost a fish. The second drift saw me catch another, this time I took things a bit easier. The trout went airborne a couple of times, sending ripples out across the lake, and causing the bank fishermen to glance over at us.
I scooped the fish up inside the net and swung it aboard the kayak.
The fish was sleek, its fins were clean and full, and its sliver flanks glinted in the bright Devon sun. The fish was mine, and I wanted to know what it had been feeding on. Very often in these bright and clam conditions I have found that the fish are not feeding much, maybe a few daphnia, but that is about it. This fish was different…
Stuffed to the brim with chironomids, or buzzers as they are more commonly known. On went a black flexifloss buzzer on a size 14 to try to match the hatch.
The next drift saw a repeat performance, and I could see that the fish had taken the buzzer on the dropper.
Another great looking fish. And I had to spoon it to check my hunch and compare the fly (see the fly in the bottom right of the photo)…
Things were really hotting up, and Alistair was into the fish too. They seemed to want the lures more than they wanted the buzzers for some reason. Alistair’s had a black tadpole which looked a bit like a montana and that was doing the business for him…
We scanned the bank, and alot of the anglers had left; I suspect they were a bit demoralised; it must be difficult when you are not catching anything, and yet you can see people out in kayaks hooking trout on every drift.
We decided to take a break. I had a limit of 5 fish and I had already had 4, so we paddled ashore and had some food and drink.
After our break, we decided to move further down the lake. It would have been easy to stay in the same place and complete the limit, but that is not much fun. We paddled down to the Upton arm and drifted along the bank. Eventually, I had a trout.
Alistair was also still catching fish…
Eventually it was time to call it a day. We both caught our limits, but to be honest, it was one of those days when you could have caught countless fish, what was more important was the craic – it was a great day to be on the water in the kayak.
Interestingly, as I was posting my catch return, some of the anglers were returning from the day’s trout fishing competition. I think the local trout guide John Dawson had won with 5 fish for 15lbs… I wonder what they would have thought if two kayak fishermen had won ???? We would probably not have got out of Devon alive !