England Troutmasters reports for week-ending March 13th, 2015

Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
All three lakes continue to fish well to Bloodworms, Buzzers, Diawl Bachs, various Fritzs, Damsels, Vivas and Tinnies. Keith Watson, from Stakeford, kept five fish and returned nine on a Black Fritz and Bloodworms. Trevor Wadds, from Craster, caught 14 fish on Bloodworms and Tinnies. Trevor Fenwick, from Newcastle, kept five fish and returned nine on an Orange Blob and Black Fritz. Dougie Purves, from Newcastle, kept four and returned eight on a Black Fritz. Brothers Phil, Davie and Steve Bilbrough, from Newcastle, enjoyed their visit to Chatton, Phil landed 18 fish on Blobs and Bloodworm, Davie caught 17 fish on Black Fritz and Blobs and Steve caught 18 on Montanas and Mini Cats. Scott Wearmouth, from Alnwick, caught 14 fish on various lures. Jimmy Drew, from Wallsend, caught 14 fish on Buzzers and Bunny Leech. Abdul Muhit, from Morpeth, kept five fish and returned 13 on Diawl Bachs and Tinnies. B. Groom, from Morpeth, caught 12 fish on Diawl Bachs and Damsel. Steve Noble, from Linton, was delighted with his first fish to the net, a 7lb rainbow. Steve landed six fish in total on Tinnies and Diawl Bachs.
Northumbria Water enjoyed their annual visit to Chatton on Saturday March 7. Most of the members caught their five fish limit using Green Buzzers, Bloodworms, Diawl Bachs and various nymphs.
The Chatton Ladies Angling Club are meeting in the lodge on Saturday March 14 at 9.30am. The day consists of fishing (tuition if required) and lunch for £20 and £5 for juniors, everyone welcome. The fishery is closing at 6pm this week and 5pm on Saturdays.

Elinor Trout Fishery, Northamptonshire
For the week March 2-8 the 141 anglers caught 623 fish of which 482 were returned. A windy week which made the fishing challenging. When the wind eventually dropped, as it did on some late afternoons, the catches have been excellent. Most fish are still being caught near the bottom with a slow retrieve although later in the day there are fish being taken in the top three foot. From the bank, an indicator with flies at three and six foot has worked well or a team of flies on an intermediate. When conditions allowed the boats to venture out they found fish in front of the boat bay and near the dam. Once again, slow and deep was the key. Numerous 4lb-plus fish continue to be caught, the best this week including 13lb 4oz for Bill Stewart, from Corby, on a white and green lure; 10lb 1oz for Derek Benamore, from Finedon, on a Green Pea; 9lb to Steve Lane, from Spalding, on a White and Green Tadpole; 7lb 3oz to David Watson, from Birmingham, on a GRHE; 7lb to Graham Clarke, from Caldecott, on a Cat Booby; 6lb 2oz for Phil Rennocks, from Kettering, on an Apps’ Bloodworm; and 6lb to Mr Oram, from Aldwincle, on a Cat’s Whisker.
On Sunday May 10 Elinor will be holding the Tommy Wood Memorial Trophy roving bank match using buzzer imitations only. Fishing is 9am - 4pm, free entry. All money raised by the raffle will go to Sue Ryder, Thorpe Hall Hospice.
On Sunday May 31 Elinor will hold a heat of the popular Scierra Pairs boat competition. You get to fish with your partner and qualifiers will go through to fish the final at Rutland. Full details at www.scierrapairs.co.uk

Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire
A good start to the season with a rod average of 4.5 and 25% of the trout caught have weighed 3lb or more. The New Lodge Trophy, awarded to the angler who weighs in the biggest trout on Opening Day, went to Simon King, of Finedon in Northamptonshire, who weighed in an overwintered rainbow of 4lb 6oz. His fish was taken on a Di-7 line with a Black and Green Booby. In addition to the trophy Simon received £50 in Anglian Water tackle vouchers. Season ticket holder Steve Jones, from St Ives, caught and released 13 rainbows in two morning trips by fishing a floating line with a Pitsford Pea and Diawl Bachs from the Seat. Boat anglers have also had a good start, mainly by fishing the south shore with the lodge frontage, Perry Point, Mander car park frontage, the Seat and Sludge Bank giving the best catch rates. The best methods for boat anglers were to fish intermediate/fast sink lines with black and green lures, Boobies, gold and silver tubes, Cat’s Whiskers, Orange Blobs and Diawl Bachs fished with a slow retrieve.
There was a brisk southerly wind over opening weekend which restricted the anglers to the south shore. However, this did not have any effect on the catch rates with anglers taking fish all along the reservoir. The bank anglers enjoyed the best of the sport as the vast majority of trout were close to the margins with the Seat, Sludge Bank, Gaynes Cove, Lodge Bank, Perry Point and the Harbour all producing consistent catch rates. The main methods for the bank anglers were to fish black and green lures and Boobies, Diawl Bachs, Damsel Nymphs, GRHE and PTNs on all lines ranging from floaters to Di-7s.
Brown trout are out of season until April 1, any caught should be returned. There are fishing restrictions on the western end of the reservoir. Please also be aware of the bio security measures on the reservoir.

Hanningfield Reservoir, Essex
Anglers keenly anticipated the start to the 2015 fishing season as a bumper stocking of 9,000 rainbows enticed record numbers of anglers for an opening weekend. Despite the cold wind, sunny weather helped enhance the enjoyment for the 500 anglers over two days. Good catches were taken along the dam wall and Inlet areas using PowerBait in bright colours as well as the favourite Salmon Egg. Spinning produced better results than usual with heavier lures and deep-diving plugs best during these early weeks. Boats have been drifting due to high winds and fly anglers are having successful results using heavy sink Di-7 lines with lures and Blobs being very effective. Brian Saffill captured a fine overwintered rainbow of 5lb 6oz using this method. Large shoals of trout continue to be located off Atlantis and the Peninsular, but Boundary Bay and the small Tower area should also be tried. Best flies are Black, Orange, Coral, Green Blobs and lures.

Packington Trout Fishery, Warwickshire
Last week the 96 rods caught 349 fish for an average of 3.63. The Fishery is in excellent form at the moment and can only improve with a huge stocking of fish taking place this week. Fish are now moving well, particularly during the afternoon. The biggest rainbow was an estimated 10lb-plus fish caught by Harold Pritchett, of Nuneaton, who fished from a boat on Cocks Close and he caught it on a Black and Green Tadpole. Birmingham angler Paul Flanner caught and released 17 fish from a boat on Cocks Close with fish estimated at 5lb to 6lb and these all came to a Damsel fished on a floating line. Alan Moore, of Coventry, fished the bank of Cocks Close and caught seven fish including samples of 7lb and 6lb and these all came to a Hothead Damsel. On the members water Great Pool, Brian James, of Coleshill, had five fish to 6lb for a total weight of 17lb 5oz and these all came to a Damsel Nymph on a slow sinking line. Malcolm Randle and Barry Waring, from Bedworth, shared a boat on Great Pool and caught 14 fish to 4lb on orange lures and Cat’s Whiskers. The best areas have been the old boat jetty and the high bank of Cocks Close. The Great Pool is best along the jetty but going down to the shallow end. Park Meadow re-opened on Monday March 9. Top patterns are Damsel, Cat’s Whisker, Bloodworm, orange lures, Black Tadpoles and Black Buzzers.

Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire
Opening day showed great promise with many anglers catching from the bank all along the southern shore. The best methods were sink tip lines with black and green lures or Orange Blobs fished in a slow figure-of-eight retrieve. Most anglers caught fish and many achieved their bag limit. Boat anglers are enjoying a good start to the season. Dave Jarvis, from London, fished three days this week, bringing 22 fish to the boat on his best day. Dave fished a Di-5 sweep line with a dark Minkie, and a Coral Booby 60 to 80 metres away from Sailing Club bank. Mr Williams also had a successful day in front of the Sailing Club, bringing 16 to the boat on two Booby Blobs. Daniel Davis, aged nine, fished with his dad and was delighted to catch his first fish of the season at 2lb on a fly that he had tied himself. Persistent strong winds in recent days have made conditions very challenging for bank anglers and it appears that the fish have moved away from the bank and are feeding on the bottom. Bank anglers have struggled to catch more than one or two fish. On the second Saturday of each month Pitsford will be open for fly-tying tuition, casting coaching and general fishing advice, ask at the lodge for more information.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir, Northamptonshire
Fishing has been fabulous with a rod average of 6.4 and some monster fish caught. The best fish of the week, and of the season to date, was a 12lb 13oz rainbow caught by Peter Bass. Peter was boat fishing with a floating line and a Pitsford Pea and the fish was a personal best for Peter. One of the best fish of the week, a 9lb 8oz rainbow, fell to John Spencer, from Duston, who was fishing by the Island. John also managed to land a rainbow of 7lb 4oz on the same day and returned many other fish. Gary Munro, from Newcastle, boat-fished with a Di-5 line and a Pitsford Pea to land a fine 9lb 4oz specimen. Boat anglers have had a great week but the bank anglers have found it a little more challenging. Due to the strong south-westerly winds the fish are congregating along the north eastern bank of the reservoir between Coton car park and the Island. Anglers have been rewarded with lots of overwintered fish and although slim they are in excellent condition and have provided some good sport. Methods used have been black and green lures, Orange Blobs and Cat’s Whiskers on fast sinking lines.

Rutland Water, Rutland
The reservoir opened on March 13. The boat fleet has undergone its annual overhaul and in recent weeks the wardens have been busy stocking fish. Last weekend a group of enthusiastic volunteers from Rutland Water Fly Fishers turned out to do their annual litter pick. Some winter restrictions are still in force. In order to comply with Natural England some areas are out of bounds to anglers until April 1. The usual boat restrictions apply beyond the sailing limits in both arms. Bank anglers are also not permitted in this area plus the banks from Barnsdale Creek around the North Arm Bank to the Finches, from Armley Wood to Hinmans Spinney and from Old Hall Bay to the East side of the Sailing Club Bay.

Thornwood Springs Trout Fishery, Essex
On lake one Dancers, Damsels, Crunchers and small PTNs are doing well fished very close to the bankside as the trout are feeding really close in. On lake two Snakes on intermediate lines are tempting those fish lying deeper down. Otherwise a good selection of tiny river nymphs are proving deadly either under a bung or twitched across the lakebed. Fish to 16lb-plus are regularly following flies into the margins with fish to 9lb landed this week. Well restocked this week and a rod average of 12 fish per rod was recorded. Anglers on the pools are fishing heavy tungsten river nymphs and fish are also starting to take small Red Buzzers and moving closer to the surface.

Toft Newton Trout Fishery, Lincolnshire
For the week 54 rods caught 312 trout for a rod average of 5.8. A fantastic week in spite of some testing windy conditions and numerous anglers returned from the bank with double-figure catches. Best methods have been either floating lines teamed with small nymphs such as Diawl Bachs, Hare’s Ear, Cruncher and PTN, perhaps with a small Booby on the point when the fish are higher up, or an intermediate line with two small Boobies cast out and fished ultra slow with a figure-of-eight retrieve. A white and yellow/green Straggle Booby is probably the pick of the bunch. The key at present is to refrain from casting too far as most fish are still only two to three rod lengths out. Casting at an angle along the shore is certainly a good tactic. Leading the score sheet this week is Burton near Lincoln angler Ronnie Milloy who landed 29 fish in a day on a floating line. With warmer temperatures forecast prospects look encouraging with a good chance of reasonable buzzer hatches.
In other news, the potholes in the public road that leads down to the cattle grid have finally been sorted out and filled. The Iain Barr 2015 World Bank Master championship will take place at Toft on Sunday March 29, to download an entry form go to www.iainbarrflyfishing.co.uk  Ordinary day ticket fishing won't be affected on that day as there'll only be a select few competing for a place. The popular Scierra Pairs boat competition takes place on Sunday April 26, and there are only two boats still available so get in touch to book your place now.

Witton Castle Lakes, Co Durham
After the recent freezing temperatures (and frozen lakes) the weather was favourable and quite mild for the 2015 season opening weekend. A total of 27 visiting anglers for Saturday caught 343 fish, giving a rod average of 12.7. A number of anglers returned their 15 fish limit including J. Walker, A. Ward, D. Elsdon, P. Rowbotham, D. Jones, S. Nellins, A. Ross, J. Ord-Renshaw, G. Grabham, J, Maguire, T. Ross, B. Morris, A. Currie, J. Wharton and R. Adam. The best fish for the day went to T. Ross with two very impressive rainbows of 6lb 8oz and 6lb. J. Steed landed herself an equally impressive 2lb 8oz rainbow. Dedicated angler of the weekend goes to a local regular M. Maddison who flew all the back from a trip to India especially for the opening weekend and was duly rewarded with 12 fish on Saturday. Top fly was a Bloodworm although many anglers also saw success with Olives, Damsels and Black Buzzers. The improved temperatures over the weekend look set to continue and should see the buzzer hatches starting soon, which should give some great top of the water action.