Bank spots 13-18
From Dunn's Bay to Hensborough
13 Dunn's Bay
Dunn’s Bay is a relatively small bay between Biggin and Tower bank. For most of the season it is largely surrounded by trees unless the water level drops. Even then, back-casting room is limited and you often have to wade out to be able to cast properly.
There is one gap in the trees on the west-facing bank but at higher water levels it is still difficult to fish without hooking passers-by on your back cast. Our advice is wait until the water level drops and then wade out.
The end of the bay is shallow and has a weed bed at the end of the year. Sometimes this can be a good fish-holding spot when fry are about. It is also sheltered in strong westerlies so is an option unless the water colours up. The point at the boundary between Dunn’s Bay and Tower bank is a popular spot when water levels drop, and offers slightly deeper water.
14 Tower Bank
You should really divide Tower Bank into several distinct sections.
You park at car park 10 and you can drop down to the water’s edge in front of this car park. There is limited back-casting space – you have to find a gap in the trees – but some good catches can be had here when fish move in for buzzers, sedges or fry.
If you walk from car park 10 towards the Tower the first spot you reach is the water inlet at the bottom of the steep bank. The water is quite shallow to your left and often weeds up because of the flow of warm, nutrient rich water that comes from the treatment works. However, this means it is a great holding spot for stock fish in the early season.
Throughout the summer and autumn the fry stick around this area, starting with pin fry and growing to 2+” long by the end of the season. This brings specimen fish in, with minkies and popper fry the best patterns to try. To the right there is a deeper section before the water quickly shallows up in a small bay.
The main part of Tower bank is beyond the small bay towards Tower Corner and the entire section can fish well, especially as it offers access to deeper water. This area can be quite sheltered in northerly and westerly winds and weed beds can build up, holding insects and fry. Tower Bank is difficult in southerly winds as you'll be casting straight into the wind.
15 Tower Corner
Tower Corner no longer has its own car park so you have to park at car park 10. When water levels are high walk on the perimeter road and then drop down the steep bank once you pass the copse of trees. If levels have dropped you will be able to walk along the edge of the reservoir and get between the water and copse, but take care as the stones next to the water inlet can be slippery.
You will immediately notice the second water inlet on the left hand side, next to the trees. This can be a place to fish. The corner itself cannot be fished from the stones on the dam – only the natural bank. This area holds specimen fish for much of the season and many anglers throw long, sinking lines out aiming to reach the bigger fish near the Tower. This is one of the best places to look for fry-feeding fish at any time of the season. The spot can go quiet once a fish is caught.
16 Rainbow Corner
There is no fishing throughout the entire length of Draycote Dam, from the Tower, past the main water inlet until you reach Rainbow Corner. When you get there you’ll find two car parks, one at either end of this bank spot.
The first car park provides easy access to the Corner itself, which can be a great spot for pin fry or shrimp-feeding trout. Note however, the water is very shallow for quite a long way out and you’ll usually need to wade. Weed can also be a problem in warmer conditions.
If you park at the second car park, we recommend you fish right in front of where you parked, as you drop down through the gap between trees and dam wall. When water levels are high you’ll find back casting space is limited just to the left of here but then the middle of the section is OK. This area can hold large numbers of fish at times and is often one of the most sheltered spots in any south/westerly wind direction – sometimes flat calm though!
This area can be great for all manner of insect life, especially as the river Leam is nearby. We have even seen Ephemera Vulgaris mayflies hatching, with fish also taking adult damsels off the top in the summer.
At the moment this is as far as you can drive around the reservoir due to construction works. To get back to the lodge you currently have to turn around and go all the way back past Toft Bay.
17 The Overflow
17. The Overflow.
This is a noted fishing spot but in early 2024 we expect this to be out of bounds for the first few weeks of the season due to work on the new emergency overflow. Hopefully it will be fishable later in the year.
This spot is currently in the middle of the construction activity and cannot be fished. We wait to see if we’ll be able to fish it again once the work in completed.