Eyebrooks many varied fishing techniques

Fly-fishing tips to assist you for both brown & rainbow trout fly-fishing at Eyebrook, one of the finest commercial stillwater trout fisheries in the UK.

'Millers Tails' early season fishing - springtime

The fishery is relatively shallow therefore the margins generally warm reasonably quickly in the early spring sunshine, this in turn encourages generous chironomid hatches that can produce spectacular buzzer and nymph sport for the discerning still water fly fisherman.The use of a full floating or slow intermediate line with either a Gold Head Damsel or Montana Nymph and fish a Black Epoxy Buzzer or Diawl Back on the dropper and we suggest that you then fan your casts to maximise water coverage. As with other trout fisheries bloodworm imitations are also well worth a try as they tend to account for many overwintered fish early on in the season.

Anglers who regularly visit Eyebrook usually head for the known hotspots such as the Bell, Hawthorns and around the Island, but in addition to the deeper water areas such as th Dam wall, the Three trees and Robbo’s cabin of which all are capable of offering excellent trout fishing.

For the discerning angler targeting a lean overwintered specimen rather than high numbers of fish, Stoke Dry or the Cowshed are an obvious choice.

'Millers Tails' Summertime

The use of Natural or black Cdc Emergers fished on the surface can be absolutely devastating through the summer months, as can the bristol flies known more commonly as the Hopper family.Other simple dry flies such as Bobs bits invented by Grafham water angler Bob Worts works especially well at Eyebrook, a scarlet version is especially effective in hot conditions .

Like it or loathe it the Bung or indicator method can also be a hugely successful method for both brown and rainbow trout fishing, Black Buzzers or Diawl Back on long leaders are the norm with this method and should account for many quality trout during long hot summer days.

When the weather is more overcast and there’s a oily ripple on the surface the angler would be well advised to try some traditional wet flies fished loch style method. Many Eyebrook favourites will score here with patterns such as Silver Invicta, Wingless Wickham and Soldier Palmers, whilst Bibio and Kate Mclaren will also take their fair share of fish.

Possibly the most deadly form of fly fishing on the “brook” is the use of nymph patterns such as Damsel Nymph, Pheasant tail nymph and the timeless Gold ribbed hares ear can prove irrestistable when inched back with a very slow figure of eight retrieve. Another Eyebrook classic is the Fraser nymph a superb natural damsel nymph imitation made from hen pheasant slips,the brainchild of former Eyebrook regular and fly dresser Gordon Fraser.

'Millers Tails' Autumn Fry Feeders

With the season drawing on and the foilage on the trees now turning, the winter is now just around the corner wether it turns cold or wet, is anybodys guess thesedays. The fishing sport might gather momentum as trout begin to feel the urge to pack on some fat reserves to carry them through the lean winter months until the following springtime. The resident and by now grown on fish will still take offerings of surface pattern flies of which they have become used too including Cdc emergers and daddies that still rate highly on the trouts menu, fishermen will soon notice a subtle change in the trouts feeding habits.br>
As the reservoir begins to finally cool, fish should begin to move from open water and into the margins to prey on unsuspecting coarse fish fry, perch and roach, and once these shoals of tiny fish have been located in the now decaying weed beds the marauding trout will prey heavily on them by crashing into the shoals and stunning them before returning to mop up any floating disabilitated victims. The anglers who has decided to target these fry feeders will do well to locate those dead and decaying weedbeds and watch out for the tell tale signs of prey fish that will give away their presence by spraying to the surface in a bid to try and escape the marauding brown and rainbow trout. Once located the likes of an Ethafoam fry, Spondoolie (deer hair fry pattern) or Minkies should suffice, although, more recently the conception of the suspender minkie has proved to be a really effective big fish fry feeder pattern and has proved to be the downfall of many big grown on trout.

'Millers Tails' The weed offers trout cover and an endless food supply

Both bank and boat anglers can benefit from the presence of weed, be it marginal or weedbeds that are situated further out in the reservoir. The Eyebrook reservoir is an extremely fertile water and the western shoreline is especially so with extensive weed growth of which most is of the Canadian Pondweed variety.These food rich havens offer the resident trout a year round food source in the shape of freshwater shrimp, hoglouse and a plentiful supply of corixa or lesser water boatman. Damsel nymphs and cased caddis also inhabit these miriad weedbeds and hatch throughout the day into adult blue damsel and sedge flies which hover and flutter enticeingly above the beds on warm summer days and sedges late into the evenings, black needle or grousewing and great red sedge can all be imitated by the angler in the dying light of the day. Anglers would do well to seek out the weedbeds and get a feel for their shapes and as they begin to die away at the latter end of the season take advantage of the cover that they will offer to roach and perch fry from marauding trout which will dive head long into the weed to intercept their prey.

'Millers Tails' The deadly Cdc emerger

As you may be aware Eyebrook is synonomosly renowned for its top of the water sport and surface fishing therefore one of the most successful methods of fishing at Eyebrook in more recent times is without doubt the use of the dry fly or surface fished patterns. A greater majority of our regular fishermen now opt to fish either on a morning or perhaps an evening sessions during spells of warmer weather conditions, when a day boat out in blazing sunshine is perhaps not a good idea. The Cdc emerger in it's many guises suggests an emerging insect caught in the surface tension of the water and since anglers have been using this fly at Eyebrook it has certainly accounted for many fine grown on fish. Cdc emerger patterns are many varied including the 'yellow owl' shuttlecock, the brainchild of scots angler Bob Fitzpatrick who has graced the waters at Eyebrook on many occasion, other variations include the natural cdc, the black cdc,fiery brown,hares ear and red too name but a few. The visiting fisherman in June, July, August and september will do well to be armed with at least a few Cdc shuttlcock emergers, especially the deadly 'yellow owl' pattern

'Millers Tails' of Hoppers, sedgehogs and daddies

With water temperatures now cooling quickly as we head towards autumn proper, the resident trout feel the need to return to the shallows to feast on roach and perch fry to ready themselves and put on much needed fat reserves for the long winter ahead. Prior to this event, fresh westerly winds will blow air borne food in the shape of Daddy long legs or crane fly onto the waters surface and into the mouths of ravinous trout. This could mean a time of plenty for anglers who enjoy drifting boats, and the shallows at Stoke dry are a great place to bag decent grown on rainbows. In days gone by the use of Muddlers was standard for the discerning anglers but new synthetic materials have now been developed and with it a new age of fly patterns with options of Sedgehogs, bushy bobs and many elaborate dabblers, this is the time to head that boat to the shallows and explore around the weedbeds for 'monster' fish.A shortish leader is all that is required, say 12ft with a dropper, fly choice is personal but a daddie on the point and a bushy Kate mclaren on the dropper should winkle out the better fish....give it a go.

'Miller Tails' of Autumn fry feeders and corixa

As the season draws on and cooler water conditions prevail, the resident Eyebrook trout are beginning to feel a need to pile on fat reserves to hopefully carry them through the winter.The marginal weed will be the trouts refuge as shoals of silver fish find cover here, the discerning bank angler should approach these areas with stealth as heavy feet will spook any fry feeders that may be present. The set up should be kept relatively simple with a leader of 6-8lb bs monofiliment and a floating fry pattern such as a Spondoolie, a deerhair version created by Nigel Savage, fishery warden at Rutland Water of many years. A good idea that has been adopted by many Eyebrook bank anglers is to construct a dropper 24" from the fry pattern with a Corixa imitation attached, many fish that shy away from the fry pattern then fall to the dropper fly. Pictured (left) is Dogwood bay, a prime spot to target fry and corixa feeders at the back end of the season.

'Miller Tails' Autumn chills the air

As glorious summer exits, chilled mornings and evenings greet us and so the resident Eyebrook fish feel the urge to feast on offerings of Crane fly and roach and perch fry that find refuge in the now decaying weed beds. The Eyebrook is famed for its 'Top of the water action' and as light westerly winds blow the Crane fly onto the riffled waters of the 'brook' it's that time of the year that the fishing can be either manic or mediocre, we are pleased to report it's generally manic, with Crane fly being taken with gusto by hungry trout. It will not be too long before the fish will begin to feast on fry and an Ethafoam floating fry or deerhair spondoolie will suffice here. Enjoy the sport ahead, the autumn will soon be upon us, nature will soon be slowing for winter but the fishing is hopefully as exciting, enjoy!

'Millers Tails' and manic on minkies

It's the time of year, and the Rutland bank should be producing some wonderful full tailed grown on specimens that have resisted gaudy offerings from the summer visiting angler. Several anglers have been successful in enticing these wised up rainbows to a mouthful of fry in the shape of a minkie, fashioned from a slither of mink skin and bound to the hook shank with fine silver wire. Both the bank and boat anglers are enjoying some fantastic sport to these 'grown on' fish that are feeding on roach and perch fry scattered amongst now thinning weedbeds. A simple set up consisting of a florocarbon leader of 12-15ft is recommended, with a minkie attached on the point, and a booby on the dropper for attraction purposes only, away you go! Richard Plant of Bushby with a full tailed grown on rainbow which fell to a Suspender minkie, a late season prize.

'Millers Tails' a new fishing season

The Eyebrook is a relatively shallow fishery therefore the margins generally warm reasonably well in the early spring sunshine, this encourages chironomid hatches that can produce spectacular buzzer and nymph sport for the discerning still water fly fisherman. Amongst Eyebrook’s top early season fly patterns are Black epoxy buzzers; pheasant tail nymph, hares ear nymph, diawl bach, crunchers, cats whiskers and tadpoles in various colours, the best probably black and green. Lake olives still occur in moderate numbers but are no where near as prolific as they used to be on the reservoir, a good imitation for Lake olives are Pheasant tail nymph or Mcleods olive. We are pleased to report that Eyebrooks Mayfly numbers are most definately on the increase following many years of rather consistantly low counts. For surface action though it is generally the smaller terrestrials such as the Hawthorn fly that tempt early rising trout to the surface. For the majority of the season the use of a floating line is highly recommended to maximise your sport and enjoyment at the fishery, a team of flies consisting of size 12 black buzzer, diawl bach and cruncher are very effective, the early season bank angler would do well to fan his cast to maximise water coverage and a very slow figure of eight retrieve often proves irresistible.

'Millers Tails' Fishing and the Weather

In what way does the rain effect fish and why are they more easily caught? It goes without saying that fish are effected by the weather, but are they easier to catch when it is raining? I would never rush out to fish if it was raining, in expectation of catching more fish, as I don't enjoy fishing in the rain that much, do you?. But if it starts raining and the fishing continues to be reasonable, and I'm all togged up against foul weather then I would certainly carry on.Changes in atmospheric pressure - I know from personal experience that a change in barometric pressure can bring fish on the feed. I well remember a day long ago that I had planned to go pike fishing on the fly and a low pressure system was moving in on the Eyebrook at a rate of knots and as I began to fish the rain started to lash down, the wind had increased to uncomfortable and the pike began to feed...and did they feed. I was absolutely drenched and although it mattered not a tot resembled a drowned rat! but I caught twenty pound after twenty pound fish, one after the other, it was as if they were forming an orderly queue to grab my fly the next time it passed by them. Is it a "vision thing"? - Another possible explanation why trout can be easier to catch when it is raining could be to do with their vision. It is a known fact that on stillwaters and reservoirs trout tend to feed and swim into the wind which is bringing them their food, be it terrestrials blown from the banks or nymphs and buzzers and so on drifting with the general movement of water down wind. If the wind direction and that of the sun are the same, then the trout swimming straight into the sun are not going to be able to see flies so well. This cannot happen on dull or wet days when the sun is not shining.I haven't come up with enough evidence to convince myself that fishing is better in the rain. One thing that I do know is the importance of confidence. If you think and are confident that fishing is better in the rain, then you will catch more fish because you expect to and, as a result, probably fish better too - which is, perhaps, the real reason that you are catching fish!