At the back end of last year, then 14-year-old Harrison Douds (now 15) was crowned English Youth Loch Style Champion! Since winning the championship and gaining his place in the England Youth International team, he has been doing some serious fishing all around the country. Here’s an account of his most recent trip to Eyebrook reservoir…

Wow, what a blast! I have recently spent a weekend fishing at Eyebrook with the England youth team. I can safely say that I understand why people say the fish in that place fight hard! The first day of fishing was slow at the start but quickly came alive as people started to find the feeding spots.

To start, my first line of attack was a washing line set up with buzzers. The washing line is where you use a floater or midge tip line with a selection of buzzers or nymphs on the droppers, and a FAB or booby on the point to keep your leader high in the water. This is one of my favourite fly fishing methods and normally produces a lot of takes! However, today was different, the wind was blowing harder than expected, with a slight chill so a change to a sinking line with a team of blobs and boobies was needed. This chill often cools the top layers putting a dampener on the fly hatches. If you have no hatch, trout tend not to feed hard without being provoked… hence the change of method.

Harrison Douds on Eyebrook

Straight away I noticed a difference in the way the fish were reacting to my flies and even had two or three fishing to the net. As I continued fishing this method something very unexpected happened… One of the huge pike Eyebrook is famous for, decided to grab a hold of my booby! It was right next to the boat and I could see a great white flash as it’s razor sharp teeth closed around the fly. I knew I was in for a battle… After fighting the fish for what felt like an eternity, my arm was aching so much trying to put as much strain on the fish as possible to get it to the net. Just as she was tired and almost ready to be netted, the 8lb fluorocarbon line got wrapped around one of it’s razor sharp teeth cut right through the line, I was gutted! However, that’s fishing for you and I still knew I had a great fun-filled day ahead of me catching healthy bows…

Harrison Douds on Eyebrook

Harrison Douds on Eyebrook

The next day was very different the wind had dropped and the temperature was higher, meaning there were more buzzer hatching. I started with the same method as before and was instantly rewarded with a number of fighting fit rainbows! Unfortunately for me, there was no huge pike today although I did manage to land a lot of quality rainbows and blues.

If you are planning a visit to Eyebrook in the next few weeks, I would recommend the following fly patterns;

Harrison Douds on Eyebrook

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