Early Season Brown Trout Fishing on Lake Ullswater

Learn what Phil Ramsden has to say abour brown trout fishing on Lake Ullswater. For me, the start of the trout season has always been a captivating time. The reunion with rivers and lakes that seem like strangers after the winter months, and the mystery of whether fish are active and most importantly, catchable! I’ve fished Ullswater for as a long as I remember, it being one of the first places my father took his fishing obsessed toddler. Guiding the boat out onto this most scenic of lakes for the first time this season was exciting, I negotiated a hefty swell as I attempted to attach my team of flies. In recent weeks I’d spent most of my time tying these flies in anticipation, emulating classic examples we sell in our shop, typically the “Geoff Johnston Ullswater” range, and traditional Bibios and Black Pennels. The stiff north-easterly wind meant me having to find sheltered bays for a controlled drift, to my delight, the very first cast rose a fish right at the end of the retrieve. The trout missed the fly, but my confidence soared. It was a timely reminder always to strip and them dibble the flies right up to the boat, for those last gasp smash and grab fish. Three hours passed and saw me land 8 trout, each one different in colouration. Stripping an intermediate line quite fast with a team of three palmered hackled wet flies was the method on the day, and the fish seem concentrated in the shallow bays. Notably this was my first session using the new John Norris Pro2 clear green intermediate fly line, its performance in fairly difficult conditions was excellent cutting through the wind with ease and presenting the fly accurately. Ullswater is extremely accessible. Fishing is free to holders of an EA rod licence, and with miles of bank fishing there isn’t any need for a boat. The fish aren’t huge, but there is something unique about these acrobatic, plentiful little trout, and they certainly put a smile on the early season anglers face…..