England Troutmasters reports for week-ending April 24th, 2015

Bellbrook Trout Fishery, Devon
There was a good turnout for heat two of the Bellbrook Cup and this time the weather was slightly more challenging with a bright sunny day and some occasional breezy spells. The most popular fly was the green and white Cat’s Whisker, size 12 or smaller. The specimen lake caused a few challenges as several of the leaders from heat one had fish on for five minutes or more only to lose them at the net! The winner was Robbie Maunder, from Radstock, with six fish for 18lb, followed by Alan Jukes, Taunton, with five fish for 13lb 2oz and Rob Sparry, Radstock, five fish for 16lb 6oz. Rob Sparry now leads the leader board, with Robbie Maunder in second and Ken Swift third. Anglers can still enter the competition, call Chris on 01398 351292 for details.

Blackdyke Trout Fishery, Norfolk
A big thank you to all that attended the East Anglia Fly Fishers Guild match here on Sunday. First was fishery manager Paul Speed and top rod for the week with 12 fish of which three were browns caught on Olive Buzzers and Pitsford Peas. The lake is still fishing well with Buzzers catching most fish. There is a coaching day at the fishery this Saturday (April 25) with Tim Gaunt Baker. Session is from 10am-2pm and cost is £30 a head. To book your place call 07525 730447.

Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
With the changeable weather conditions bringing the cold north-easterly winds, fish were a little deeper in the water. During the evenings and warmer days fish have been feeding steadily on the surface and taking small dries, PTNs and Buzzers on the drop. Jim Tuck, from Ashington, caught 18 fish, best 14lb 8oz which he returned to Dunnydeer Lake. Jim was using a Chatton Chaser and Buzzers. Davie Parker, from Newcastle, caught 16 fish on Buzzers; Gary Mulholland, from Newcastle, caught 16 fish, also on Buzzers; Father and son, David and Lewis Armstrong, from Newcastle, caught 23 fish between them on Buzzers; Steve Guthrie, from Cramlington, kept four fish and returned seven on black lures; Jimmy Drew, from Wallsend, caught 16 fish on black lures and Shipman’s; John Williams, from Morpeth, caught nine fish on Damsels; Peter Davison, from New Hartley, caught 14 on Blobs and Buzzers; and Ken Glenton, from Ashington, caught nine on Buzzers.
Peter Gray, from Whitley Bay, caught a 5lb rainbow from Chatton Lake on a Black and Peacock; Eleven-year-old Elliot Guthrie, from Cramlington, tempted four fish from Chatton Lake on a Black Zonker; brother and sister Molly (aged eight) and Jacob (aged six) Hadan, from Hartford, were delighted with a 2lb rainbow caught by Jacob after a lesson with instructor Bob Smith; Dave Cardwell, from Darlington, kept five fish weighing 15lb 3oz, all taken on Bloodworms. The Fishery is closing at 8.30pm this week and 5pm on Saturdays.

Derwent Reservoir, Northumberland
A terrific week of sport as the large preseason stocking and continued restocking has ensured anglers have had some of the best sport for years. Six fish between 8lb and 10lb 4oz were caught during the period. On Saturday Keith Swan, from Seaham, took the biggest fish of the season so far when he netted a 10lb 4oz rainbow at Pow Hill using leger tactics and Orange Glitter PowerBait. Saturday was also a good day for Adam Shield, from Stanley, when he managed an 8lb cracker from Hunter House using Orange and Yellow Mice Tails. Pow Hill to Hunter House has again been a hotspot for most bait anglers this week. Simon Tweddle, from Stanhope, accompanied by his daughter Courtney, returned for a second permit taking a total of 12 fish with Courtney taking the biggest, a nice 3lb 4 oz rainbow. Fly anglers have seen some great sport at Millshield with fish moving around in large shoals. Mr Ellison caught and returned 19 fish on a Dawson’s Olive. Intermediate lines and lures such as Cat’s Whisker and Black or Orange Fritz are best with much less terrestrial fly life on the water due to the cold east wind. However, this looks set to change.

Elinor Trout Fishery, Northamptonshire
Despite some cold winds the boat fishing remains superb with anglers taking good bags of fish in most conditions. Size 10 or 12 Buzzers fished deep and slow is still the best method. Bank fishing has been much more inconsistent. The water is incredibly clear at the moment so a combination of bright sun and wind pushed the fish out of reach apart from early mornings and the last hour. Fish are rising when there is not much wind, once again taking large adult buzzers. There should be some hawthorn fly around anytime now and this should bring more trout up during the day. The fish are in superb condition and a minimum of 6lb breaking strain leader is recommended.
For the week April 13 - 19 the 257 anglers caught 1255 fish of which 1025 were returned. Best fish included one of 11lb 8oz for Rex Barton, from Sutton Bridge, on a Brown Buzzer from the boat; 9lb 2oz and 6lb for Khurram Rana, Twickenham, on a black lure from the boat; 6lb 8oz to Derek Lenton, from Roade; 6lb 2oz for Alan Steels, Peterborough, on a Black Buzzer from the boat. There were 11 other fish over 5lb reported. Best bank areas are Brookside, dam and Boat Bay while boat anglers taking fish from all over. Best patterns are Black or Olive Buzzer, Diawl Bach, Bloodworm, PTN, Damsel, and Sunburst Blob.
Sixteen teams of three fished the Greys team final. The wind was extremely strong but from a better southwest direction than the previous days Winners were Loomis (Andrew Scott, Phil Dixon, Simon Robinson) 20 fish from 13 pegs = 33pts; second Triple A (Peter, Glenn and Dean Appleby) 20 fish from 10 pegs = 30pts; third Elinor (Paul Haskey, Richard Slater, Ed Foster) 10 fish from 8 pegs = 18pts; fourth Chatton 9 fish from 8 pegs = 17pts; fifth Jubilee 10 fish from 5 pegs = 15pts.

Eyebrook Trout Fishery, Leicestershire
Mick Breeson, of Peterborough, boat-fished off the hawthorns and caught plenty of hard-fighting rainbows on a Goldhead Damsel fished on a floating line. The Norfolk Flyfishers club enjoyed their outing to Eyebrook and a total of 131 rainbows were caught giving a rod average for the club of 6.5. The top fly was a Black Buzzer. Higham Ferrars Flyfishers also enjoyed their recent boat outing with top boat partners Phil Waples and Pip Jeffs both catching limit bags. Doug Walton, of Desborough, also took a limit bag while enjoying a boat outing recently. Most of Doug’s catch consisted of rainbows over the 2lb mark. Chris Johnson, of Fleckney, anchored at the Hawthorns and took four decent rainbows on a Blue Flashback Damsel pattern. Luke Key, of Weston by Welland, boated six on Buzzers, while Trevor Ashby, of Wing, took to the Wheelyboat and caught eight rainbows for 17lb 8oz, mostly on Black Buzzers. John Eaton of Horncastle, Arthur Sykes of Skegness, Bill Presgrave of Sibsey and Stuart Jackson of Sleaford, all caught limit bags and more than 20 other fish were caught and released between them. Season ticket holder Dave Shaer, of Peterborough, has recently introduced his friend Dean Mildenhall to the sport and Dean is catching a few trout and certainly enjoying the experience. Fishing a floating line set-up and a Flashback Damsel in Mucky Bay, Bill Gibson, of Tamworth, took eight rainbows and returned two. Season ticket holder Dave Scholefield bank-fished the Old Road at the island and took a nice brace of rainbows in a very awkward wind.

Fontburn Reservoir, Northumberland
Warmer weather has seen water levels fall steadily with fish continuing to move from deeper water into range of the bank anglers. However, a cold easterly wind and overnight frosts later in the week meant that some days a longer cast got the best results with Magic Dust in a feeder helping to entice fish into swims. Les Douglass, from Bedlington, topped off a catch of seven rainbows with the fish of the week, a 4lb brown caught on legered Orange PowerBait in the north shore bay. Mr R. Hardisty recorded a catch of eight rainbows for 21lb with a 3lb 7oz best fish. Gerry and Irene McKeever fished a variety of tactics near the north shore burn to record a catch of 12 rainbows totalling 26lb while Mr D. Hamilton used the swimfeeder method in the north shore bay to quickly tempt eight rainbows weighing 16lb. Other notable catches include Mr M. Riddel with four rainbows and four blues totalling 17lb. Mr L. Lowdon and Mr J. Lawton both made limit catches weighing 16lb 4oz and 17lb 4oz respectively as sport continues to improve after a slow start to the season. Best flies are Cat’s Whisker and Black Fritz. Best areas are north shore bay and middle section.

Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire
Grafham Water has fished well for both bank and boat anglers with a healthy rod average of 3.94. Around 20% of the trout taken weighed 3lb and over. Best rainbow at 5lb 5oz was taken by James Turner and best brown at 7lb 2oz by Adam Wright. Season ticket holder Steve Jones, of St Ives, caught and released 46 trout on four visits. Bank anglers have had another great week with the vast majority of trout caught coming from the north shore with the Willows, G Buoy, Deep Water and Pylon Points and Hill Farm giving the most consistent catch rates. The best bank methods have been to fish floating lines with black and green lures, Cormorants, Diawl Bachs and Buzzers fished slowly or static. Boat anglers also enjoyed some great sport and the best boat areas this week have been the Willows, G Buoy, Deep Water and Pylon Points, Hedge End, Church Bay, Hill Farm, Stumps, Mander car park frontage and Valley Creek. The best boat methods have been to fish sink-tip or fast sink lines with black and green or black and orange Buzzers.
The MGFC competition on April 16 was fished by 37 anglers who caught 141 trout for a rod average of 3.8. The vast majority of competitors fished floating or sink-tip lines with a team of Buzzers in Valley Creek, Seat and Mander car park frontage. Top rod on the day was Neil Fitzjohn who caught eight trout for 24lb 11oz with his best a cracking overwintered rainbow of 4lb 12oz. Second was Russell Hunter with eight fish for 22lb and third James Reid with eight for 21lb 15oz. Best fish at 5lb was caught by Mark Brinkman and the best boat pairing of Neil Fitzjohn and Ivan Scurll caught 16 fish for 46lb 9oz.
The Bob Church Open (Frank Cutler Memorial Trophy) on April 18 was fished by 22 anglers who caught 82 trout for a rod average of 3.72. Top rod was Graham Pearson, of Leicester, with eight trout for 26lb 11oz (including time bonus). He fished a midge-tip line with a team of orange-cheeked Black Buzzers at Pig Bay. Second was B. Allis with eight fish for 25lb 9oz and third Adam Larbaleister with eight fish for 23lb 1oz. Paul Angell caught the best fish at 3lb 11oz and top lady rod was Liz Fraisier.

Grassholme Reservoir, Co Durham
The week started slowly with unfavourable weather conditions and changeable winds making it difficult for anglers. Success was found with roaming tactics with anglers finding fish in the channels and wind lanes. Heading into the weekend some excellent fish were caught with several over the 4lb mark. Together with some excellent eight fish catches this helped sustain a rod average well above four fish per angler so far this season. Mr and Mrs Dodsworth caught 11 fish on a ‘Couples’ permit which included the best fish of the week, a 6lb rainbow caught on chartreuse PowerBait Eggs just along from the boat jetty. On Saturday the weather was ideal and most areas fished well with a number of limit catches recorded. Sunday represented a very challenging day’s fishing with an easterly wind making angling hard for even the most experienced. Those fishing the west end of the reservoir near the nature reserve towards Rigg Bank had the most success with a number of anglers catching several fish quickly as shoals of feeding fish passed. Best flies are Black Fritz and Dawson’s Olive (orange body).

Hanningfield Reservoir, Essex
Another busy, exciting week at the fishery with great sport for bank and boats anglers after the introduction of 3,000 rainbows into Middlemead Bay. Many of these fish moved quickly to the Peninsula and Goldfish Bowl where a high number of limit catches were taken including heavier trout on orange, chartreuse and yellow PowerBait. The best fish all fell to bank anglers including a 6lb 12oz specimen taken by Robert Pope from the inlet, as well as a 6lb 6oz rainbow for Costel Puluc from the same area. The second UK heat of the Scierra Pairs match held on Saturday was well attended and for many of those taking part eight fish limit catches were recorded. The winning team of Julian Weddle and Vince Howley weighed in, after a time bonus was added, 16 fish for 28lb. Runners-up Tim Joyce and Vince Bushby also qualified with 29lb. The heaviest fish during the event was netted by Chris Heyburn at 5lb 7oz. Floating lines are now proving useful in the clear water as buzzers continue to hatch in very large numbers. Best flies are Diawl Bach, Pheasant Tails Nymph, Black Buzzer, Olive Damsel and Cormorants.

Hury Reservoir, Co Durham
Anglers caught consistently throughout the week with most fish averaging around 2lb in weight. Reedy Bank to the Howgill Point proved a hotspot as fish remained mobile and keen to take most flies fished at the correct depth. With fly hatches still slow due to colder temperatures lure patterns such as Dawson’s Olive (orange body), Cat’s Whisker and Black or Orange Fritz patterns have kept anglers and the fish in contact. Mr R. Matthews, of Cockfield, made the most of the popular £15 catch and release permit landing 26 fish on a very productive Thursday afternoon. The weekend proved to be a lot harder as an east wind returned. However, some anglers such as Mr K. Reay, of Durham, persisted and was rewarded with seven fish for 14lb with the largest being 3lb. Temperatures look set to rise next week so anglers should experience the first major fly hatches, providing great sport on buzzers and other terrestrial imitations.

Kielder Water, Northumberland
Weather conditions improved throughout the week retaining water levels at a metre below the spillway offering anglers ideal access to many favoured locations. Ian Wilson recorded the heaviest fish of the week with a rainbow trout of 3lb 6oz caught from the bank between Mathew’s Linn and the Mirage on the south shoreline on worm and sweetcorn. Boat angler Keith Blair had a great catch weighing in at 17lb 4oz from Needs Hill directly opposite to the Hawkhirst Scout Camp. Anglers are finding fish shoaled in bays and shallow water as this large body of water struggles to warm following the long winter. Best flies are Blue Dunn, Coral Blobs, Pearl Blob, Clan Chief and mini goldhead lures.
Boat hire will remain from 8.30am until 5.30pm throughout April and from May 1 boat hire will be from 8.30am until 8.00pm. Book your fishing boat on 01434 251000 and it will be ready on the Leaplish Jetty on arrival (anglers may experience a short delay for boats that are not pre booked). The cark-park and toilets at Matthews Linn are open for the season and there is also car parking below the Bakethin Weir for anglers wishing to fish the west end of Kielder.

Packington Trout Fishery, Warwickshire
Last week 116 rods caught 540 fish for an average of 4.65. The fishery continues to be in superb form with boat and bank anglers enjoying good sport. The largest fish of the week was a 7lb 13oz rainbow caught by Paul Flanner, of Worcester, who was fishing on a catch and release ticket from a boat on Cocks Close with a Buzzer. Mr D. Jones, of Coventry, took a 7lb 8oz rainbow, also while fishing from a boat on Cocks Close. John Ponting, from Sutton Coldfield, caught and released 18 fish with four estimated at 5lb taken on various flies. On the members’ lakes, Dave Woollaston, of Warwick, had two successful trips on the Great Pool. He took three fish and released six on a Diawl Bach and on his second trip to Park Meadow took one and released five on a Black and Green Tadpole. Malcolm Randle and Barry Waring shared a boat on the Great Pool and caught 14 fish between them on Buzzers. The most successful areas on Cocks Close have been the lodge corner, old boat jetty corner and high bank. The Great Pool is best on the far side by the field in the shallower water and Park Meadow on top of the ripple on the warmer days. The most successful flies have been Buzzers, Diawl Bach, CdC Emergers, Damsels and small black and green lures.

Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire
Buzzers are still accounting for most of the fish caught this week but the changeable weather conditions, particularly the cold easterly winds, have again made it difficult on some days. In favourable conditions teams of Buzzers on floating or midge-tip lines have been very successful. If the colder wind has pushed the fish down then intermediate or sinking lines with Goldhead Damsel or similar tactics have still worked. On Saturday Peter Proctor and John Gammon had an enjoyable day boat-fishing with Buzzers, taking several rainbows, two browns and a pike of around 10lb. The best areas for boats have been Bog Bay, Brixworth Bay, Stilton and Stone Barn. Bank anglers should try Duffers, Gorse and Northfields Shore.

Press Manor Fishing Lakes, Derbyshire
The trout lake has had mixed results over the last week and the cold north-easterly wind kept catches to an average of three fish per person. However, as the wind dropped later on, fish were rising to Hoppers.
Buzzers were also working, especially green coloured artificials.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir, Northamptonshire
Some terrific buzzer action this week with a rod average of 8.0. It’s been a good week for bigger fish with nine over 6lb being caught. Alan Duffin has taken the biggest fish again this week with a 10lb 15oz specimen caught on a Black Buzzer and intermediate line from the dam. Other good fish included a 9lb 6oz rainbow for Michaela Davies and an 8lb 6oz fish caught by Phil Rose on a Black Tadpole at the Coton End. Buzzers are definitely the top tactics, fished on a floating or midge-tip line. Some boat anglers have been cleaning up at the Coton End, catching 60-plus fish. The trout are fairly tightly shoaled up which can mean neighbouring boats have not had it so easy. On cooler days with an easterly breeze the fish have been taken more effectively on Pitsford Pea and Orange Fritz Tadpoles but still on nothing more than a slow sink intermediate.

Rutland Water, Rutland
The biggest fish of the season so far was caught last week when Bill Coppin, of Wisbech, brought a 9lb 5.5oz rainbow to the scales at the lodge. Bill was bank fishing off Sykes Lane with a size 14 Diawl Bach on a floating line. Other notable catches this week were a number of specimen brown trout, the majority of which were released to fight another day. Ranger Nigel Savage took two cracking browns, the best at 4lb 8oz, while fishing from the harbour wall with fry patterns on a long leader. Local expert guide Al Owen put his customers amongst the fish once again with a special mention going to 14-year-old Harry Widdowson who recorded eight rainbows for 16lb. John Caldwell, of Rotherham, had three good days bank fishing, netting 17 rainbows to 3lb 8oz. John caught most of his fish on Buzzers, with the odd one falling to a Black Tadpole.
Buzzers have taken the majority of fish this week, fished on floaters or midge-tips. Buzzers have been most active from 11am onwards and the fish are responding immediately, following the buzzers up in the water column and feeding hard. During these times the washing-line method has been the best approach. Towards the end of the week night-time temperatures dropped and a stiff easterly wind hampered boat anglers, but anglers who found some shelter caught well on nymphs and Buzzers. In these conditions it has been better to fish a small weighted lure on the point to achieve more depth and give the fish something to home in on. A few boat anglers have ventured down the bottoms of the arms with mixed results. Those that have persevered have been rewarded with a few quality overwintered fish.
This coming Sunday (April 26), Rutland Water Fly Fishers will be holding the first of their bank meets from 10am to 12noon. Anglers of all ages and ability are welcome to come along. Please email rutlandwaterflyfishers@gmail.com for more information.

Scaling Dam, Cleveland         
Another great week with some excellent catches and a rod average of over three fish per angler. Strong winds dominated the first four days of this week, creating challenging conditions for fly and bait anglers. Calm weather on Thursday brought the trout close to the margins and anglers were rewarded at both ends of the dam wall. Mr P. Taylor, from Middlesbrough, hit a hotspot at the west end of the dam wall and casting only a couple of rod lengths out caught his limit with an Orange PowerBait Egg tipped with worm. Geoff Smith, from Swainby, took his eight fish limit on legered Orange Mice Tails beating his brother Les by one fish, also at the west end. Jake Dale, from Stokesley, took his eight fish limit from the east end bay on White Gulp Eggs and worm. Best fly pattern this week is a Dawson’s Olive.

Thornwood Springs Fly Fishery, Essex
Lake one saw some great nymph fishing with Montanas, GRHE, Crunchers and Diawl Bachs all doing well. Emerging Buzzers were also working well at times and there were some good evening rises. Water clarity has return and it’s possible to stalk rainbows and browns in the margins. Lake two saw more success to Buzzers and there was a vast range of buzzer shucks of all sizes and colours floating on the water this week. Also good sport to dries with CdCs, Gnats, Shipman’s and White Moths all worth a try. Lots of bigger insects around with alderfly, daddies and sedge to name but a few, but fish are just inspecting these hook sizes. On lake three try Crunchers and Hare’s Ears for fish into double-figures.

Toft Newton Reservoir, Lincolnshire
For the week-ending April 17, the 102 rods caught 322 trout for a rod average of 3.2 Prolonged brighter spells and chilly easterly winds made fishing difficult at times. Anglers starting early fared better than those opting to fish in the afternoon. With prolific buzzer hatches, the fish certainly weren’t short of things to eat and anglers fishing natural imitations did well. However, with so much natural food present a lure on an intermediate line can often bring results when used to distract your quarry. Notable catches this week include a rainbow estimated around 12lb to season ticket angler Rod Newborough, from Scothern; a 6lb rainbow to Chesterfield angler Steve Frakes fishing the Civil Services competition on Friday which he also won; and a 7lb brown to Mr Whitley fishing the same competition. Last weekend’s Troutmasters fish-off was won by Sutton in Ashfield angler Neil Deakin who caught six fish for 12lb 2oz. Some warmer weather should see some good nymph and dry fly sport with lures a suitable back up plan at other times.