With a reasonable Sunday forecast, I headed up to Hepburn and Newlyn. Sure enough, lovely conditions prevailed when I arrived at about 7.30 am. I fished from the north shore at Hepburn for a couple of hours and saw two very nice smelters but both were just out of range. I think a better angler than me might have been a chance if their casting was 40 yards instead of 20… The water at Hepburn was a good colour – clear with just a bit of murkiness which would be helpful to avoid spooky fish but might make polaroiding more difficult.
After a fortifying coffee I headed across to Newlyn and fished in the north-east corner for a few hours. After about 15 minutes I saw a very decent fish smelting about 50 yards away but kept persisting with a Tom Jones on the dropper and a fluoro orange bead-headed Woolly Bugger on the point, figuring it might be more visible in the murkier water. I was woken from my reverie of scanning the lake by a fierce pull on the line. Unfortunately I did not hook the fish but that gave me the encouragement I needed. I kept fishing intently and about 15 minutes later was rewarded by a great take. A very nice brown had grabbed the fly. It leapt into the air and smashed down back into the water. However, just as I was getting it under control after that leap, it swam straight towards me and the hook popped out. Very disappointing as it was a really decent fish but nice to at least have some contact. While I fished on until about noon, from about 11.00 am onwards I didn’t see any more fish moving so I went back to Hepburn for the afternoon to try the southern shore.
By this stage the wind had got up and swung around to the north-west so the lake looked bleak (often a good thing fishing-wise at Hepburn) but it was too much into my face and after a frustrating hour or so spent mainly getting weed off hooks, re-tying rigs that either had wind knots or snarls, then tripping over my own landing net and splitting the frame, I decided to call it quits. In hindsight I should have gone back to the north shore to have the wind at my back, and perhaps a find bit of shelter in the tussocks. However after the landing net incident (in the Olympic spirit, 3.5 degrees of difficulty!) I was up for a good sulk on the way home…
The morning had been really good fun and with both lakes now back to more normal levels. Once they are restocked and the duns start coming up there could be some very nice spring fishing.