England Troutmasters reports for week-ending March 20th, 2015

Blackdyke Trout Fly Fishery, Norfolk
Lots of anglers catching well this week with Olive Buzzers and Orange Blobs working well over the weekend. Top rod on Saturday was Daniel Tranter, age 14, with 10 released. The fishery is closed to the general public on Sunday March 22 as anglers will be taking part in the next heat of the Airflo Bankmasters competition.

Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Another week of good sport with many anglers catching their limit. Buzzers, Diawl Bachs, Bloodworms and Black Bunny Leeches have all been very productive. Many fish being caught in the 4lb to 8lb bracket and a good number of large brown trout have been safely returned. The Ladhope Fishing Club from Galashiels fished Chatton on Saturday. Bill Swatton won their friendly competition after landing six fish. The Chatton Ladies Angling Club met on Saturday and most of the ladies caught fish. The next meeting is on Saturday April 11. Fishery closing at 6pm this week and 5pm on Saturdays.

Elinor Trout Fishery, Northamptonshire
For the week March 9-15 the 166 anglers caught 849 fish of which 663 were returned. Despite the cold winds it was generally a good week with boat and bank anglers catching equally well. No major hatches yet so lures are catching as many fish as nymphs, although this will change with the forecast milder weather later this week. The fish seemed to be slightly higher in the water with good catches being taken two to three foot down. Just a few fish rising when there was very little wind.
Best fish included 12lb 2oz to Henryk Pycz, from London, on a Black Muskins; 12lb for Mr Anderson, Scotland, on a Damsel from a boat; 11lb 1oz for Jim Nixon, Kettering, on a white/green lure; 10lb 2oz for Trevor Partridge, Corby, on a Cat’s Whisker from a boat; 8lb 6oz for Rex Barton, Long Sutton, on a Bloodworm from a boat; 7lb 8oz to Derek Benamore, Finedon, on a green/white lure; 7lb 4oz boated by Chris Redhead, Whittlesey, on a White/Green Minkie; 7lb 2oz for Phil Wagstaff, Eye, on a Red Buzzer; 6lb 4oz for Finbarr McSweeney, Rushden, on an Olive Emerger; and 6lb 2oz and 6lb to Roly Stanford, Finedon, on a Black/Red Buzzer from a boat. Best bank areas are the dam, Brookside and Boat Bay, while boats doing well anchored off dam and at Brookside. Best patterns are Red or Yellow Apps’, white/green or black/green lures, Damsel, GRHE, Orange Blob and Black Buzzer.
The Iain Barr Bankmasters heat on Saturday March 14 saw 14 anglers catch 187 fish, an amazing 13 fish rod average for a five-hour match. Competitors were pegged on the dam and Brookside Bank, fishing 10 sessions of 30 minutes. Winner was Dean Appleby, 30 fish from 9 pegs, 39 points; 2. Glen Appleby, 23 fish from 9 pegs, 32 points; 3. Peter Appleby, 21 fish from 9 pegs, 30 points; 4. Rich Cooper, 18 fish from 8 pegs,  26 points; 5. Brad Gifford, 18 fish from 8 pegs, 26 points; 6. Henryk Pycz, 18 fish from 7 pegs, 25 points; 7. Ian Watts, 11 fish from 7 pegs, 18 points. The next qualifying heat at Elinor will be on April 5. Full details and entry forms at www.iainbarrflyfishing.co.uk  The final will be held at Elinor on Sunday April 19.

Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire
A great start to the new season with a good rod average of 4.44 and many fish weighing over 3lb. Season ticket holder Steve Battle, from Bedford, caught the heaviest bag of the season so far, which included an overwintered rainbow of 5lb 1oz. Stephen took this specimen at Hill Farm on a slow sink line with a Montana. His total bag of eight trout, taken from Hill Farm and Pig Bay, weighed 23lb 3oz. Another rainbow of 5lb 1oz was landed by Carl Yeowell. Bank anglers had a great week’s sport with the north shore producing the most consistent catch rates with G Buoy, north dam, Deep Water Point and Hill Farm all producing good fishing on floating or intermediate lines with Pitsford Pea, Montanas, Damsel Nymphs, Diawl Bachs and Snakes. The harbour and Gaynes Cove have also produced some good sport when the wind has permitted.
Boat anglers had some good fishing with the north shore again producing the best catch rates. The most successful areas on the north shore have been Hill Farm, Pig Bay, Deep Water and Pylon Points, G Buoy and the Willows. The most prolific methods for boat anglers have been to fish slow or medium sink lines with black and green lures, Damsel Nymphs, Cat’s Whisker Boobies, Orange Blobs and gold and silver tubes. The Seat and Sludge Bank have also produced some good sport over the past week when the weather has permitted.
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
Following an exciting start to the 2015 season, sport continues to impress following the bumper pre season stocking of 9,000 fish. Some cracking catches have been reported from dam wall and especially near the inlet along to the Peninsula. Fly angler Mr Morley landed the best rainbow of the week at 6lb. A number of fish over 5lb have also been taken and with warmer weather around the corner prospects look very good for spring and the Easter holidays. Most of the action has recently been reported fishing deep, with Orange or Coral Blobs and black and green lures the favourite choice on heavy sink lines for fly anglers. PowerBait continues to record higher catch rates on the leger, especially Garlic and Salmon PowerBait Egg as well as Spring Green PowerBait.

Packington Trout Fishery, Warwickshire
Last week the 74 rods caught 359 fish for an average of 4.85. The fishing is going really well at the moment with the day ticket water Cocks Close in the best form for a long time. Lots of fish in the 3-6lb bracket are coming out along with a few specials up to double-figures. The best fish of the week was a 12lb rainbow safely returned by Paul Fleeman, of Redditch. He caught it on a Bloodworm pattern fished on a floating line from a boat on Cocks Close. Terry Holder, of Leicester, caught a 10lb 12oz rainbow from the bank of Cocks Close and this fell to a Kennick Killer on an intermediate line. Peter Wrigley, of Nuneaton, fished catch and release from the bank on Cocks Close and caught 15 fish with the biggest estimated at 8lb 8oz. These all came to Bloodworm and Damsels fished on a floating line. The members’ water Park Meadow re-opened and has been fishing well. Paul Reay, of Birmingham, fished the water and caught seven fish using small Buzzers on a floating line. On the Great Pool, Andrew Moulder, of Dorridge, caught nine fish to 6lb using an Orange Tadpole on a slow sinking line. All the lakes are fishing well to a variety of flies and methods. Floating lines with Damsels, Buzzers and Bloodworm are all doing well, and the first signs that dries are beginning to work with CdC patterns catching a few last week. Cat’s Whisker, Black Tadpole, Orange Fritz and Minkies are also still catching plenty of fish. The best areas have been the high bank and old boat jetty corner on Cocks Close, around the middle island and down to the dam wall on Great Pool and on Park Meadow, the far side from the boat jetty.

Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire
A mild start to the week saw good catches from both boat and bank, but the change in wind direction saw a six-degree swing in temperature with a stiff easterly wind putting the fish deeper. Overall the rod average has been a healthy 3.45 with many good catches. Dave Jarvis made the trip up from London on a three-day boat package and had limits every day with fish up to 5lb 4oz. Andy Fitzpatrick fished with novice angler Lee Foskett and they had 11 and six in a morning session with Lee returning a fish of around 5lb. Best bank areas are Gorse, Stilton and Bog Bay, while boats have caught in deeper water 60 yards from the shore along Sailing Club or Brixworth Bay. The fish are feeding heavily on large clouds of daphnia so try Orange Blobs, Boobies and FABs on Di-3 to Di-5 lines. 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
Anglers have enjoyed a fantastic week’s fishing. Lots of big fish have been caught with most boats reporting 20-plus fish. John Archer caught a superb rainbow of 11lb 8oz while fishing from a boat around the Island using a sinking line with a Cormorant. Rick Varley caught and returned a 12lb rainbow using an intermediate line with a black and green lure. Father and son duo Simon and Jeff Exton managed 37 fish to the boat. The best fish, a 9lb 10oz rainbow, fell to Simon who also returned a rainbow of 6lb-plus. Jeff’s best fish weighed 6lb 9oz. Teresa and Malcolm Berry took more than 60 fish to their boat. Teresa landed their biggest fish at 8lb, fishing a midge-tip with black and green lures and Buzzers. Samantha Olive fished a Di-3 line with a Cat’s Whisker from a boat and landed a cracking rainbow of 8lb 14oz. The bank fishing has also been good with Mike Osgood fishing the Platforms in Catwalk Corner and landing 12 fish on floating lines with Buzzers.

Rutland Water, Rutland
Rutland Water opened last Friday and anglers were rewarded with good numbers of fish and a rod average of 5.88 on the day. First back to the lodge was season ticket holder George Thrall, of Melton Mowbray. George arrived at the Normanton bank, at 6am and by 7.30am he had bagged up. Rutland regular Geoff Allsop, from Rugeley, Staffordshire, banked good eight fish for more than 20lb. Si Gaines had a meet with nine other anglers, fishing the Peter Porter Open Day Memorial. They took to the boats and had plenty of fish with almost 16 fish per pair weighing in between 30 and 32lb.
The easterly wind opened up many areas of bank with anglers fishing from Sykes Lane to Whitwell Creek and frontage, while other anglers caught on the dam, Normanton, Church Bay, and down to East Creek despite the wind direction. The Peninsula had anglers wetting a line from Inman’s Spinney through to the popular early season spots at Yellowstones, down to Old Hall. Boat anglers caught in the main basin, Sailing Club, Hambleton Wood, Old Hall and Church Bay.
Lures caught the majority of fish for boat anglers on various sinking lines, but the majority of bank anglers used floating lines coupled with weighted lures with nymph combinations, mainly with small Buzzers, and Diawl Bach. Fish that were spooned were found to be feeding on small buzzers, shrimp and corixa.
Some winter restrictions are still in force. Some areas are out of bounds to anglers until 1 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. Remember that browns are out of season until April 1.

Temple Trout Fishery, Cornwall
With the arrival of spring fishing conditions have been more favorable at the fishery. On the warmer days fish have been active in the lake with floating, intermediate and sink tip lines fished with mini lures, nymphs and Buzzers being most productive. Dave Richardson, of North Hill, landed a good four-fish bag for 12lb 5oz fishing a White Minkie. Dave's largest rainbow tipped the scales at 5lb 13oz. Graham Jenner, of Sevenoaks, Kent, landed a good eight-fish bag for 20lb fishing Pink and Olive Buzzers.

Thornwood Springs Fly Fishery, Essex
The fish on lake one all seem to be deeper down and taking Bloodworms. Lake two saw good Buzzer and dry fly action with small patterns most successful. A high rod average of 11 with browns up to 13lb and rainbows up to 9lb. Intermediate lines with Blobs still taking fish but stalking anglers can now target fish again with browns patrolling the margins. On the pools GRHE and Bloodworms doing well with both rainbows and browns caught up to 8lb. There are still a couple of places left for the Iain Barr Bankmasters heat on Sunday March 29 on lake two.

Toft Newton Trout Fishery, Lincolnshire
For the week-ending March 13, the 77 rods caught 360 trout for a rod average of 4.68. Floating lines with nymphs and sometimes a small Booby on the point taking many fish and intermediate lines with small Boobies inched back also taking their share. The two key points to remember are not to cast too far as many fish are close in to the banks - some only a few feet out. Also keep the retrieve somewhere between slow and stop! Last weekend saw the conclusion of the popular winter league. After some tougher matches through the winter, the reservoir really produced the goods for the last few. Andy Hutson took the overall league honours, followed by Dave Clark in second and a tie for third between Warren Langridge and John Cooke. A high scoring last match for Warren gained him some valuable extra points to sneak into the prizes. This year’s league is set to start in early November.

Witton Castle Lakes, Co Durham
The first week of the season has been a busy one, even without the promised warmer weather (conditions on Monday and Wednesday were particularly bad). However, a total of 78 anglers enjoyed a very busy week, returning a rod average of more than 10 fish. Many anglers made double-figure bags and the 15 fish limit was reached by a number of them, most of who were new to the lakes; J. Maguire, D. Elsdon, D. Jones and S. Nezlins to name just a few. Good size fish in the above 5lb to 6lb range were prevalent too, with T. Ross claiming the biggest fish of the week with a lovely 6lb 8oz rainbow. Bloodworm has continued to perform well, alongside Olive Damsels and Olive Zonkers with the Black and Green Nomad showing success late in the week. The lakes’ lodge also has a new and extensive stock of locally tied flies for sale.