It was the last morning of 2011 and there was just enough time to catch my final trout of the year. I jumped in my car and 50min later I was at Dragonfly Fishery - North Wales.
This was actually the first time I had visited this lovely little fishery which is nestled in the foothills of Snowdonia National Park. The lake is approximately 2 acres in size, with an island in the middle and depths up to 17 feet!
Now I won't complain about the weather as 12 months ago we were approaching nearly 2 months of sub-zero temperatures and frozen lakes, but as I arrived at the fishery the rain was streaming down with a strong southerly wind. But wet weather only spurs me on as often those who don't have the correct wet weather gear stay at home leaving plenty of trout for the more adventurous! So I put on my trusty Sonik waterproof trousers and Sonik waterproof jacket, great kit for extreme Welsh weather and tackled up.
I decided to fish with a 10ft SK4XT 6/7 rod. This is a new rod that will shortly be launched by Sonik and I have been lucky enough to test it out. It has been designed to be a little more flexible than its predecessor the SK4. I prefer soft and flexible rods but often they lack the backbone to cast a long line so I was really excited to see how this new rod preformed!
As it was windy I opted for a slow sinking line to help cut through the waves and give me more control. There had been plenty of rumours of big fish so on went 8lb leader. Now to the business end of things. I opted for my trusty Damsel Terminator Fly. It never fails....(hopefully)
Rod, net and bag in hand I walked round the lake looking for hot spots, areas that might hold that last fish of 2011. After about 5min I found a perfect fish holding spot. The wind was blowing into a bay which looked to have a significant drop off. There had to be a lunker lurking in those murky depths.
The SK4XT loaded a near full line in 3 casts dropping my fly perfectly into the bay, (so far so good). I counted 10 seconds to drop my fly about 1m then started my retrieve. Mid way through, the unexpected happened and the sun appeared!
30 minutes later still nothing! I was adamant fish were in front of me. Something told me to persevere so I did and changed my fly to a Cats Whisker Terminator. I decided to drop my fly a little deeper this time, so I let the fly drop for 30 seconds then bang!!! Fish on!
The SK4XT flexed perfectly with each lunge of the fish. I knew it was a good fish as it had all the telltale signs with head shaking and deep and powerful runs. I took a photo of the rod in action so you could see how well the rod dealt with the powerful runs.
5 minutes later, after three trips around a weed bed and one attempt of aerial acrobatics, the fish was glided over the waiting net. Weighing in at 8lb she was my last fish of the season. I hoped 2012 would see many more of these fish as I gently returned her to fight another day.
I was really pleased with the performance of the SK4XT.The rod was a joy to fish with, light enough to fish small flies on a floating line and powerful enough to cast a full sinking line into the wind. The rod handled the big fish really well and the rod absorbed each of the fish’s runs, reducing the changes of the hook pulling out of the fish’s mouth. I have lots of fishing trips planned throughout January and I can’t wait to catch my first fish of 2012 on the SK4XT.
Tightlines to all for 2012 <><