Rutland

Rob Edmunds

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Well i fished Rutland today with my dad.......out on the water at 08.00am !!!

Its absolute rubbish there is not the density of fish in there compared to Grafham, Draycote, Farmoor, Pitsford, Llyn Brenig etc....its absolute rubbish and has been this way for 15 years or more .....

Yes it was scorching hot but there were just 4 boats out......that to me tells you how its fishing.....I fish it 20 to 30 times a year and its sh!t every time I go...stockies or stockies.....

I've said for years Rutland is nothing more than a put in & take fishery living on past reputations but I've finally had enough..

In the year 2000 Rutland 's stocking policy was 120,000 fish (with a close season November 1st ) ...now its 65,000 with a a close season of January 31st......any wonder why it's so poor.???..cumulative effect and all that .

If your intending to visit in the next month or two save your money.... ( go to Draycote, Grafham, Farmoor) ..there's current an Algae bloom on Rutland ( see photo) so it will be even harder than normal... which is rock hard !!!

The only place to catch fish is round the boils or close to them ( so in the main basin) on di3's...

I did the whole of the North arm yesterday 6 hours...not even a pull and I have reasonable idea on my own water...

In the basin we bagged up in and around the boils in 2 hours....what a waste of a day ...that's not fishing.......or its least not what I want to do ( but my dad wanted to catch some fish )

Did some of the South arm in the afternoon from 4pm....nothing....not even a pull again..

Yes you have the odd big fish at Rutland if you know how and where...but compared to Grafham, Draycote, Clywedog.......Rutland is consistantly very very poor

I fully accept you can catch a very big brown or two if you know how...but generally speaking I'm beginning to question if its worth the effort...

I've fished it for 40 years...and the best seasons are long gone......any1 who says different is living in the past and viewing the water through "rose tinted spectacles "

Ok a few people may slag this post off...but its 100% honest - I don't want you to waste your time and money... plus I'll stand by my thoughts no matter who objects so if you disagree bring it on.....

Rutland is generally poor compared to most midlands still waters ..

Anyway your choice If you wish to blow your dough...go to Rutland

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sightbob

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When it comes to reports Rob you've definitely got your way with words, good honest report. Keep it up
John
 

Wee Jimmy

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Sorry to hear this Rob, I was a regular visitor at Rutland through the late 80s and 90s.The quality of the fishing was always fantastic in those days and I have many wonderful memories of red letter days and tussles with big residents up the top of the arms.I think it would be a great shame if they let the fishing slide to the point of shutting down operations. It’s also much easier on the eye than any of the others you mention.
 

Rob Edmunds

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Sorry.....my report yesterday was after a day in the hot sun working hard to catch absolutely nothing, unless you fish on or near the boils.....to say i was a tad fed up would be an understatement.....then throw in considerable alcohol in the evening and it's a recipe for rubbish and a rant

I don't really want Rutland to close.......because it's a wonderful place...and definitely easier on the eye than most other waters

But there's no doubt the quality of the fishing is going downhill...

After lockdown it was great, but then again everywhere fished great after 8 to 10 weeks of Zero anglers...

Last 2 weeks its been pretty poor, it will pick up once the weather changes and the water temperature drops ( so end of September I'm guessing).....

But it's definitely Not the fishery it once was...

Even on reflection I'd pick Draycote or Grafham every time over Rutland if you want an enjoyable days fishing with grown on fish..

As for Pitsford don't get me started.......its all lure fishing there at the moment, spinners and plugs everywhere...
 
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arawa

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Some years ago I had season tickets for both Grafham and Rutland. I liked Rutland and (after a lesson from an excellent guide) had some very good sport there with dries. However, while I would rarely blank on Grafham it was not at all unusual on Rutland especially in warmer weather.
Sorry to hear about the decline.
 

JoeOh

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Sorry.....my report yesterday was after a day in the hot sun working hard to catch absolutely nothing, unless you fish on or near the boils.....to say i was a tad fed up would be an understatement.....then throw in a considerable alcohol in the evening and it's a recipe for rubbish

I don't really want Rutland to close.......because it's a wonderful place...and definitely easier on the eye than most other waters

But there's no doubt the quality of the fishing is going downhill...

After lockdown it was great, but then again everywhere fished great after 8 to 10 weeks of Zero anglers...

Last 2 weeks its been pretty poor, it will pick up once the weather changes and the water temperature drops ( so end of September I'm guessing).....

But it's definitely Not the fishery it once was...

Even on reflection I'd pick Draycote or Grafham every time over Rutland if you want an enjoyable days fishing with grown on fish..

As for Pitsford don't get me started.......its all lure fishing there at the moment, spinners and plugs everywhere...

Friend and I boatfished Rutland two Fridays ago. My first blank in two years and he landed one. Water colour like coffee and the south arm dead and devoid of anglers. My friend went to Grafham the next day and caught twelve. I read reports of anglers catching 30/ 40 trout in one trip. Certainly not me, that's more like my season's total at Rutland, and I have fished it for 41 years !. The current years stocking works out at 0.56 fish per acre not counting fish taken or mortalities. I remember Rob being unhappy with the place a while back, stating he would only fish competitions. But the chance of a very big brownie brings me back all the time. There is every chance that the 20lb mark might be achieved at Rutland later this season
 

shropshire_lad

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Too far away from the wild places!
Never fished Rutland but many years ago I was driving south down the A1 and took a detour to have a look.

I was transfixed - the place was beautiful. I walked along the shore where the temple is, as shown in Rob's photo above.

Had I been intending to fish, however, I would have found the size of the place intimidating.

Compare this to my local (Farmoor) - well, there is no comparison. Farmoor may be set in nice enough countryside but the reservoirs are featureless concrete bowls, for the bank fisherman at least. Wherever you are on the bank it looks like the spot you have just come from.

It's a shame to hear that Rutland has gone downhill. Is the fishery still owned by Anglian Water? If so, there's little excuse as the profits the monopoly water companies make are staggering.
 

Rob Edmunds

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Rutland is still owned by Anglian Water

There are a number of problems in my view that are leading to a drop in the quality of "Fly fishing"

1 - The season is now simply too long.....it once finished October 31st then November 31st, then December 31st........it currently closes January 31st for just 7 weeks !!

2 - There are significantly less fish being stocked each year ( since late 1990's) Stocking was 120,000 fish a year.......now it's just 65,000 this drastically affects a water as big as Rutland

3 - There are too many resident cormorants on the water........Approx 250 birds at all times all eating the trout....so even less fish

4 - Too many Predator anglers fishing with spinners, spoons and deadbaits , and if the Pike and Zander wont play they target trout...

( I tried to book a boat on Rutland this morning for September 5th.....none available as they are all taken by Predator Anglers)......No boats available at all from 1st to 6th September as the Predator guys are out !!!

In my opinion it should be fly-only even if you are after Predators....

5 - When there is a big match they will pile in the stockies, in one or two areas.....these are caught over the course of "practice days" and the match day......leaving the water again fishing poorly.

All the above have an impact on the fishing......

When you look logically it's not really surprising that the fly fishing is suffering.

I'm fortunate that as an Anglian Water season ticket holder I have access too Grafham, Pitsford, and Ravensthope.....so have other options....but day ticket anglers will struggle in my experience

The best thing Anglian Water do is allow under 18's to fish for free and share the bag limit of the accompanying adult......this is a nice touch.....and I'm extremely grateful..
 

JoeOh

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I know this may upset some, but I would like to see rudder fishing limited to the sailing limit, and perhaps not allowed at all in the North arm. Ideally I would like to see all brown trout returned and if caught in a competition, an agreed standard weight e.g. 3lb given for all fish released. I am concerned about the lack of boat availability in September, prime brownie season, and having to try for predator boat cancellations to be able to pursue my quarry !
 

JoeOh

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Rob said "The season is now simply too long.....it once finished October 31st then November 31st, then December 31st........it currently closes January 31st for just 7 weeks !!"
Perhaps we could go back to the old season date of 31st October and predator fishing could commence then, for a limited period. And in a time where you can book anything on the internet, AWA still using bits of paper (tickets, catch returns) and phone booking/ payments. 43 years and no change !
And as for Rutland being a Mecca, the hoards of people descending upon the place from Birmingham and Leicester at the weekend (any warm day at the moment) complete with barbeques, large sound systems etc have driven the local residents to distraction.
So basically more stocking should take place, but on a more positive note, catching or not, a stunning place to be afloat and I have had some of my best moments alone using a dry fly in the South Arm. And always the thought of a PB lurking in the depths
 

Rob Edmunds

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I'd just like to pick up on some points raised by JoeOh.

Anglian Water reservoirs are now known as "Water Parks" not fisheries... anglers are way down the pecking order.

Whitwell creek is unfishable due to the giant inflatable castle in the water on weekends, canoes etc.....The monument is now officially "The Beach" complete with sand and bathers !!

Rudder Fishing.....Yes I agree 100% it should be limited or banned....and I say this as someone who has and does fish " on the rudder"

The reason being 99% of anglers who fish on the Rudder are not trying to cover water at depth, searching for big grown on fish...

No they are simply using it as a way of harvesting the reservoir......its legal trolling and ridiculously easy to bag up and it again has a detrimental effect on the fishery...

You could still back drift, if you wanted too.

Yes Anglian water has tens of thousands of visitors on weekends.....all paying £5 minimum ....its horrendous there now.....

You see all the photos of idiots on the beaches in Cornwall etc....well that's exactly what Rutland is like at weekends.....its mobbed.

As has been said, a sensible close season would help ....say October 31st then a month for the Predator guys ( brilliant idea Joe )....the water needs a rest.

However I personally don't agree that all browns should be returned, the number of browns in Rutland depends on Anglian Waters stocking policy as they don't breed......if anglers want more browns stock more.

Plus only 20 to 25% of browns that are stocked are ever caught - anglers do not decimate the number of browns in the water....(80%+ of rainbows that are stocked are actually caught)...this is backed up by catch returns- statistics etc.

Once there was no limit on browns, then it was reduced to 2 browns.....now it's just 1 brown per limit.

If an angler catches a brown in season and wants to kill it, that's his personal choice and fine by me.....

Finally on Anglian Waters the Brown Trout Season closes on 30th October to 30th March......so why do they promote fish caught out of season and actively encourage it???.....

ie big browns I don't count them once they are out of season, they always pile up in a couple of areas in November- December in big numbers ....its then like shooting fish in a barrel...( in season they are difficult to catch)..



Anyway rant over
 
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loxie

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I think the issues are pretty well understood by those on the ground. If you compare the stocking per acre of Rutland to the other AW reservoirs and look at the catch returns it not hard to make the case for increased stocking.

I fear the focus in AW is shifting away from trout fishing and I can't see it coming back any time soon. I think now Jon Marshall has retired there is some uncertainty about the future of trout fishing on the AW reservoirs. AW have been such a powerful force in the development and provision of trout fishing for so long it would be a real shame if that isn't continued.

There has been a big upsurge in demand for stocked fishing post lockdown and if some of this becomes permanent this will help. The danger is fewer anglers will mean fewer fish stocked and a vicious circle ensues.
 

original cormorant

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Just an observation on stocking. You say 120k fish in 2000 and 65k in 2020. How much C&R was there 20 years ago and how many predator anglers were there? Predator anglers are good business - no stocking cost and all buying boats. How many trout anglers are there now compared with 20 years ago?
It may not be total sense but if each fish was caught once and killed 20 years ago and now it's caught twice before it's killed then there are now more trout in the water. :whistle:
 

Rob Edmunds

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C&Release does not make up for the huge drop in fish stocks, longer season and increased preditation

In fact I question how effective C & R really is especially in hot weather ....I think there are a lot of fatalities....you only have to look and see the dead fish on the bottom after a big match.

I'm sorry... if you think there are more trout in Rutland Water now than 15 to 25 years ago then your deluded....

I fully accept the Predator anglers bring in a lot of revenue, but this is not reinvested in trout stocks.....nor are the car park fees, or the 18 - 20% of each cafes turnover ( not profit) they are contracted to pay on top of the £60-£80,000 annual rent to Anglian Water.

Rutland has always been a money making machine but now they are just greedy, and anglers are an afterthought.

Just look at how angry Rutland Season ticket holders were last year due to the terrible fishing....this is about the 4th or 5th season in a row now.

I did a talk for Rutland Water Fly Fishers in January- February this year and the level of discontent among members as regards their beloved Rutland water was amazing .....we had quite a long group discussion about just this very topic....they all know what the problem is and were unanimous.....There's simply not enough fish in the water.......

Jon Marshall was a nice guy who tried his best ( given very difficult personal and work based circumstances)....but couldn't really stop the decline.

David Moore ( Jon's Boss for many years) was a true gentleman and I cannot praise him a highly enough.....he ensured all the fisheries were well stocked and listened to anglers.....He also encouraged and supported all young anglers and local clubs...

As soon as David retired about 2005 -6 ish ( although I cant remember exactly) things went downhill rapidly

Rutland has been going downhill for years and Anglian Water just pretend otherwise.......
 
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loxie

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I knew David very well, as well as Jon. Jon always had a soft spot for Rutland from his time as a bailiff there. I worked with him there in 1989 when Roger was running it. All very different now!
 

JohnH

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Saddens me greatly to read all this. I had some memorable holidays around Oakham with my ex about 20-22 years ago, even though my success fishing Rutland Water was limited - unlike at Eyebrook up the road, which was always kind to me....

Here's a sign of the way the wind is blowing, perhaps ? There was an excellent short feature about the delightful Oakham in the weekend section of last Saturday's Times newspaper. Interesting stuff about the town and what it had to offer, and while there was plenty about the cycling, boating, beach (!) and nature reserve at Rutland Water, the word "fishing" did not feature once. I can't believe AW didn't speak to the writer of the feature....
 
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aenoon

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Stocking numbers or otherwise, is any water fishing its socks off during the heat of the day right now?
You said you caught well at the boils on a sinking line, does that not tell you something?
Bigger fish would have been in the deeper oxygenated water too, only moving into shallower areas to feed after sun is off the water, and the surface temperature cools down.
Thought that was well known at this time of year?
regards
Bert
 

JoeOh

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Regarding the return of all brown trout, that was my personal feeling and I agree we have come a long way forward in the one brownie limit per ticket. My views have changed over the years and I now see a brownie as a fish too valuable and limited in stock numbers to be used 'only once'. I have been guilty in the past of reaching for 'the priest' as photos and some of Chris Elliot's fine taxidermy work reside in my lounge, but I have moved on now. Brownies can have a long lifespan and achieve weights comparable with Ferox. The general trend now is towards release and I am content with that.
The 26lb'er found dead at Eyebrook was a considerable age. Even though I bow to your considerable competition knowledge Rob, I still feel that brown trout caught in competitions should be given a token weight and released. I release all my trout now (not eaten by me, so not required) and although I do have concerns about the mortality rate of the released fish, their survival rate is 100% higher than me dispatching them, I have no culinary need for them and as a C& R ticket is only £2.00 less than a four fish ticket, I've more or less paid for them anyway. Although I practise C&R, I am not a prolific catcher of trout and four fish for me would be success indeed, I would be satisfied. I have no requirement to catch and release 30/40 trout that the AWA Blog like to include in their catch reports every week without fail. Firstly, sounds like hard work but also going into the area of fish survival. I see my 1 fish plus C&R as a "four fish' ticket, my choice to return them to the water but I do not see it as a licence to catch 30 or 40 fish, with the associated mortality risks. And I am interested why this week's Pitsford Blog gave acclaim to a multiple catch including the name of the captor, flies used etc and yet the only detail given on the capture of an 11lb 6oz brownie was the captor came from St. Albans.
Extra income aside and the long term viability of the resource, I also do have concerns about the intensive predator fishing that will be unleashed on the AWA reservoirs over the next five months. Trout will be damaged and a good example is the record brownie at Grafham (19lb I believe) taken by a pike angler after he claimed he hooked it in the eye. That fish may have survived but the publicity was valuable. I do have concerns but the predator anglers are a secretive lot.
Anyway, September soon and the chance of a biggie, good luck all
 

JoeOh

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Not Rutland, but a friend went to Grafham on Saturday, and was dismayed to find all the boats booked for a predator match. Also going out were kayaks with predator anglers ! I thought their season started 1st September.
 
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