Reservoir rainbows

Another trout fishing excursion with my friend Rich, this time to Bewl Water in Kent, a large reservoir. It was formed in the 70s by putting a concrete dam across the River Bewl:

Bewl Water

Having never been there before, the first thing on arrival was take advice from the tackle shop as to where best to start. Their top tip was the corner of the dam, so that’s where we headed (never ignore local info):

Rich at Bewl

As we climbed over the dam wall and crept into position, we were glad to see a gentle breeze blowing left to right, ruffling the surface. This would attract the trout by concentrating food items in front of us, and help us catch them by disguising our lines somewhat. On my first cast, a fish boiled at the flies as I lifted them off to recast. On the next, another fish rose but again with no contact. By now I was expecting a hook up at any second, but the moment passed. Minutes later though, the line suddenly jerked tight while I was sorting out a tangle, catching me by surprise. Fish on:

Playing a trout

A streamlined rainbow on the same black and red buzzer that has been working well recently at Rib Valley:

Bewl rainbow

After a couple of hours with no further action we decided on a move. We jumped in the car and went to explore the far end of one of the arms of the reservoir. It was easier casting there, but we only saw a couple of fish move in the now flat calm conditions. It was a good opportunity to sit on the grass, enjoy the scenic surroundings and grab something to eat.

Lunch over, and with no evidence there were any fish in front of us, we made the obvious move – back to the less attractive but more fishy environment of the dam, which should hopefully be catching what little wind there still was.

As we arrived back, my spirits soared at the sight of wavelets across the whole area. I felt we were back in the game. Sure enough, I bumped a trout on each of my first two casts, then finally got one to stick. By the time this photo was taken, the breeze had died again:

Fish on at Bewl

Another one for the black and red buzzer:

Bewl trout

Most of the lake was now like a mirror, but heavy cloud gave us reason to hope that conditions might change again:

Bewl flat calm

I went for a bit of a wander and found these unusual looking flowers growing on the bank:

Bewl flowers

Towards dusk, the ripple returned and I was confident we would get more takes, but it was not to be. Unfortunately Rich did not hit one fish all day. Hard to say why, although he was using a shorter leader than me which might have made a difference. We were probably both guilty of not varying our flies and tactics a bit more.

When I checked the stomach contents of my fish the next day, they contained some small green buzzers about 5mm long plus various other insects even smaller:

Bewl trout stomach contents

I will definitely try some smaller patterns next time.