The Golden Rule!
First and foremost, keep moving and don’t remain stuck in one spot for hours.
Don’t start off by fishing from the usual well trodden ‘hot spots’, try casting over the reeds to seldom fished spots or under trees etc, the bigger fish are not stupid, that is where they will be sometimes right under your feet! Give it 20 mins and if you have not had any success move on!
Change your flies!
It is no use persevering with the same fly for more than 20 mins.
It is important that you have some knowledge of how to fish a particular fly. First of all, the colour; green and black is a good choice then go for a contrasting one say white or another bright colour. When fishing a lure, especially one with a weighted head, allow the fly plenty of time to sink, most anglers usually fish over the top of their intended target! Count down to, say 20 and you will be about right but err on the high side and go up to 25 or 30 till you get it right. Vary the retrieve when the lure is at the required depth, several short pulls followed by a long one, or a series of long pulls at varying speeds, be prepared to experiment.
Buzzer, Nymph or Daddy?
When fishing a buzzer, nymph or daddy remember it is supposed to imitate a living insect or larva so it can be fished static under a bung or using a few tiny tweaks to suggest movement, think what the fish would expect to see i.e. buzzers do not swim in long straight lines but short jerky up and down movements from the lakebed to the surface.
Muddlers, a fly which is seldom used on the lakes but is well worth a try, should be cast out and retrieved with short fast pulls across the surface. Watch for the bow wave behind it but keep pulling! Stalking bugs, as their name implies, should be heavy and allowed to sink quickly down just in front of the approaching fish with a small twitch to indicate movement.
If the fish shies away leave the fly on the bottom and wait, the fish will probably come back before long, patrolling its regular beat, then when you see it coming just give the fly a small twitch. This is called an induced take. It goes without saying that you will need a good pair of polarised glasses to spot the fish and infinite patience.
If you wish to stalk fish, you must learn to spot them in the water, and this is quite an art in itself!
Do not be in a hurry to start casting, have a walk around the lakes and learn to look for signs of fish movement, they will usually give themselves away by jumping or rolling on the surface or by bow waves as they are feeding just beneath the surface.
The Carrier Stream
When fishing the carrier remember to start at the bottom of the beat so you are fishing upstream. Keep low and move slowly these fish are wild and will spook easily but are very rewarding to catch, especially for those anglers who have never caught a wild brown trout or a grayling. Small flies are required and must be barbless.
Please make sure that your leader material is at least 6lb breaking strain, you can go lighter on the carrier.
Please DO NOT DISCARD NYLON, either take it away with you or cut it up into very small pieces. Discarded nylon is directly responsible for the maiming or death of wildlife.
Treat the fish with respect when it is hooked, play it fairly but firmly do not try to yank it on to the bank, they will give you a good fight as it is. Make sure your landing net is large enough to land the fish (many of the nets we see are much too small for our fish which will be at least 4lb but you could be landing a “monster”).
When you have landed the fish dispatch it quickly with a priest (which should always be carried) and place it either in a bass bag or stringer and put it back in the water to keep fresh.
Please DO NOT allow the fish to die on the bank gasping for air.
Finally, PLEASE READ THE RULES on the back of your ticket to make sure you understand them clearly before you commence fishing.
Most of all enjoy your visit.