It turned out to be a great day's fishing with a total of 12 fish in the boat, many in the 3lb+ class, all of which fought very well, and all but one taken on or very near the surface. We were not too late for dinner, and enjoyed a meal and a cheeky we pint of ale!
Rutland could not have looked more different e following morning. Heavy clouds threatened the rain which fell between 11 and 1.30, after which it cleared up. We started at Fantasy Island, but didn't take a fish until we were a couple of hundred yards down the shore. Curiously, there was only one other boat in the area repeating the drift I would have chosen, but he didn't seem to be catching. We continued down the Normanton Shore, picking up fish steadily and each of them picking out a UV cruncher. It wasn't until we tried the boils that I took one on the blob. Yob.
With 8 fish in the boat, we took a break for lunch (ask one of us about that!) and had a chat with Mick Brooksby, a former RAF pal turned Rutland warden, who gave us a few south arm locations to try for better fish. There were some fish moving on the Lax Hill side of Browns Island which seemed worth a few casts and I landed 1 on the Menteith booby (you know the one I use!) which was at least 3.5lb and very well mended. A move to the Manton cottage rewarded Tom with a similar, if not slightly bigger fish which took him all over the place, but especially around the back of the boat. One more fish in Manton bay and a final one near spud bay completed the day and we headed back to the hotel for some food and fly tying.
Wednesday meant Grafham in the company of Graham Watson (former England team manager) and Charlie Abrahams , both of whom were fishing in the English National Final on 3 Sep (and, as transpired, failed to qualify for the England team in 2012). The day was a bit misty and we got out early to make hay before the sun shone. Both boats (me with Graham and Tom with Charlie) took a few fish in the open water near I Buoy, with Tom being broken off first cast! By lunchtime we had 10 fish between 4 of us and a quick sandwich and change of partners saw us head for hill farm, where a good bag had been taken in the morning. We found fish there but they were not prepared to take the fly as readily as in the morning. By this time the wind was getting up, too, which didn't help matters. Charlie and I fished fairly close to the north shore all afternoon, seeing lots of fish and boating a few, while Tom and Graham headed back to the central drift of the morning. Tom and I finished of the day and the trip by going looking for better fish in the Savages/Sanctuary area but the wind quickly put paid to that. However, sailing club bay yielded a couple of late fish to bring out combined total to 10 for the day.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable 3 days fishing for top quality fish in good boats and in great company - what more could we ask for - roll on next year!