I have just spent a day on Rutland Reservoir boat fishing with Harry Abbott. Harry used to be a mate of mine but today he caught loads of fish whereas and I caught nearly none and so now I hate him. If he were writing this blog he would be speaking about fish landed, others lost and a big lump of a trout that swam off and emptied his reel of fly line in a matter of a few seconds before the line parted. He has just headed off to bed and I bet he will be tossing and turning now and will have trouble sleeping as he relives the drama of those moments.

We never saw that fish but Harry reckons it was significantly heavier than his four pounder which was the first and best fish of the day.

All accolades must be steered in in Harry´s direction: largest fish, most fish, prettiest fish, most species of trout (he had a brown trout in addition to his rainbows), most fish released. Everything.

I don´t know if fish can laugh. There are probably anatomical constraints that prevent them from doing so, but if they can, they laughed at me. They routinely ignored the flies I put in front of them while slamming Harry´s flies and the whole event was so one-sided that, in the end, even Harry began to feel sorry for me.

There was only one fish that I landed and how that came about remains something of a mystery. I was working my little team of nymphs towards the boat when I tightened into the fish which was played and duly landed but, in the net, there was no fly visible in its mouth and it was probably foul-hooked. It was just a tad below three pounds.

This fish was missing a pectoral fin and the wear on the upper lobe of the tail suggested that it was probably a recently-stocked fish. So while Harry was “bagging up” I managed no better than to snag a mildly deformed “stockie”

Enough of me whingeing! Harry thoroughly deserved his success (although I still hate him) and the pattern which was most effective for him was a smallish and very sparsely dressed hare´s ear nymph. In fairness, he kept telling me to tie one on but my own patterns were so generally similar I decided to persevere.

Tomorrow we will be out again and we will see what fortune has in store. There is a good fishing tackle shop where the boats are hired out and so I guess it will be a good plan to stock up on some hare´s ear nymphs!

Don´t ever go fishing with this man!

Don´t ever go fishing with this man!

This is Harry with his first and best fish of the day. He lost a bigger fish later. I wonder if he is asleep yet?!

This is Harry with his first and best fish of the day. He lost a bigger fish later. I wonder if he is asleep yet?!

We used a drogue to slow our drifts and fished mainly small nymphs.

We used a drogue to slow our drifts and fished mainly small nymphs.

My own fish showing its "good" side

My own fish showing its “good” side

Here you can see that a pectoral is missing.

Here you can see that a pectoral is missing.

This handsome fish was the only brown trout of the day and was caught and returned by Harry.

This handsome fish was the only brown trout of the day and was caught and returned by Harry.

Here are a couple of damselflies enjoying a bit of "slap and tickle" on my hand.

Here are a couple of damselflies enjoying a bit of “slap and tickle” on my hand. Shameless creatures!