Wimbleball Rainbows


It was good to be back at Wimbleball after a couple of months and I was relishing a day at this my favourite West Country lake. I was fishing with South Molton Angling Club who fish a series of days over the season were members can compete for the Mac Trophy awarded for the biggest trout recorded during these nominated days.

Several fellow members had elected to fish from the boats giving the opportunity to search the  vast lake for pods of feeding fish. I had chosen on this occasion to fish from the bank and had it in my mind to fish the shallow waters of the Rugg’s bank.

I set up with a floating line and a team of three flies. I waded out into the lake near the point and noted that the water level was still high and that it was exceptionally clear.

Bright sunshine with a cool brisk North Easterly breeze did not fill me with confidence but it was good to be working a fly with the lush green of spring all around.

            After twenty minutes without a pull, I walked further along the bank to find some slightly deeper water. After ten minutes I spotted a fish rise and put my team of flies into the vicinity. A savage pull and I was connected to a hard fighting rainbow of around 2lb that had taken a blue flash damsel on the point.

            After half an hour I fancied trying Cowmoor Bay and set off along the wooded path to emerge at the mouth of this vast bay. The bank on the opposite shore sloped up from the lake its grass incline decorated by a splash of golden buttercups. The water here was deeper and sheltered from the wind. To be honest it didn’t feel very fishy and after half an hour I tramped back close to where I had started.

            I replaced the point fly with a black bead headed Montana and started to fish methodically with a slow retrieve allowing the wind to drift the flies as I kept the line tight.

A couple of twitches transmitted down the line boosted my confidence and soon a good solid take resulted in a good rainbow gyrating on the end of the line leaping from the water on several occasions. At 3lb 6oz it was a pleasing full tailed fish that was to be followed five minutes later by a fish an ounce bigger at 3lb 7oz. I fished on and added two more full tailed rainbows to my bag both succumbing to the Montana.

            It was now close to 3.00pm and I decided to head home strolling back to the car on path lined with vivid yellow buttercups.

My next visit will be in summer when I hope to find the trout feasting on beetles a time that can offer superb dry fly sport.

            I found out later that it had been a tough day on the boats with no other club members boating more that three trout. Boat or bank is often a hard choice  with advantages to both. Fishing a well known bank mark can sometimes beat the boat for when fishing is hard persisting from the bank whilst covering less area ensures that the flies are in the water fishing throughout.