England Troutmasters reports for week-ending April 3rd, 2015

Avington Trout Fishery, Hampshire
The fishing has been excellent with near-enough everybody catching their full bag and the average weights have been very impressive. Stalking is still a little difficult but as the sun creeps higher in the sky it will become easier. Taking the biggest fish of the month was David Hutton who caught a 17lb 2oz rainbow from lake two. David had actually caught his four fish limit before spotting the huge double and decided to buy a second ticket to see if he could tempt it. Three hours of effort later he succeeded! Ian Davison turned up for a quick afternoon session and bagged a rainbow of 12lb 4oz from lake three within the hour. The conditions changed after this, making fish spotting difficult so Ian decided to quit while he was ahead and wander back to the car. As he neared the top end of lake one he spotted another good fish and winkled out another monster of 16lb 12oz. Both of Ian's fish fell to heavily weighted Damsels. A lovely rainbow of 16lb was caught by Mr Willis on a black lure, while Mr Knight, a first-time visitor to Avington, caught a fish weighing 12lb 8oz from lake two. Plenty of other fish between 10 and 14lb have been caught from all three lakes this month with Damsels producing the majority. The annual Troutmasters senior fish-off was won by Bob Forsythe, while the junior competition was won by Chris Cox who included a 12lb rainbow in his catch.

Bellbrook Trout Fishery, Devon
With some lovely spring days and some rain ensuring a good flow through the lakes and stock ponds, the conditions for fishing have been about as close to perfect as you can get. The best flies are Blue-flash Damsels and small Cat’s Whiskers but anglers are also having success to Buzzers fished with a sight bob. Mark Morris, of Torquay, caught his bag on the specimen lakes with his best fly a size 12 Cat’s Whisker fished just under the surface. His four fish weighed in at 19lb 4oz with two over 6lb. Paul Grisley, from Exford, and Graham Lavender, from Hawkcombe, both took the half-day Rover ticket. Graham caught his limit of three fish for 9lb 2oz favouring the Cat’s Whisker while Paul managed two fish from the normals. They both then headed off to an interesting evening’s fly-tying with John Dawson over at Exbridge. Regular visitor Ian Nadine, from Cullompton, took the Rover Classic ticket and caught his limit for 14lb 10oz favouring a Skinny Black Buzzer.
Christian Bulter, of Wellsbourne, also had a good day having to take an Add-on ticket after bagging up before he was ready to go home! In the end he caught a bag of 11lb 3oz from the normal using a Blue-flash Damsel and finding fish were taking on the drop. Paul Becker, of Kings Nympton, and his fishing pal Peter Killow had a mixed day with Paul catching four normals for 13lb 4oz but Peter only managed one fish. That day the GRHE did the trick. Nigel White, of Uffcombe, had a rewarding afternoon taking two fish on the specimens for 8lb 6oz using a Goldhead Montana. Adrian Buckle, from Moretonhampstead, took the Rover Classic and caught his limit of two specimens and two normals for 13lb 4oz using a Goldhead Daddy Longlegs.
The first heat of The Bellbrook Cup was on Sunday March 15 when 15 anglers took part, five catching their limit of six fish and a further six catching five fish each. The top three anglers were Graham Morris, from Radstock with six fish for 18lb 10oz; second Danny Barron, from Radstock with six for 18lb 6oz and third Rob Sparry, from Radstock, with six for 17lb 13oz. Details of further heats can be found on the website at www.bellbrookfishery.co.uk/competitions

Blackdyke Trout Fly Fishery, Norfolk
Lots of fish being caught again this week with Buzzers and small Damsel Nymphs the most productive patterns. Congratulations to David Reay who won the Troutmasters fish-off here on Saturday. Another successful beginners class was held on Saturday by Tim Gaunt Baker. The next one is on Wednesday April 8, please ring the lodge to book your place on 07525 730447.

Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Fish have been favouring smaller flies this week with Buzzers, Millennium Bugs and various nymphs favoured. One or two fish also being taken with dry flies. A lot of fish have been caught in the top two feet of water. Paul Eastwood, from Duns, caught 12 fish on a red copper Buzzer; Peter Davison (Tinnie Pete) from New Hartley caught 18 on Black Buzzers; Rob Frame, from West Denton, caught 18 on Black Buzzers; David Fisher, from St Boswells, kept three and returned 11 on a Green Millennium Bug; Bill Braithwaite, from St Boswells, caught 12 fish on a Dennis the Menace Buzzer; B. Barrowclough, from Southport, caught 11 fish on PTNs; Ken Glenton, from Ashington, caught 10 using Buzzers; Brian Davis, from Dudley, caught 14 fish on Buzzers; and Alan Clark, from Tynemouth, tempted a 4lb 8oz rainbow on a Millennium Bug on Dunnydeer Lake. Chatton instructor Bob Smith will be holding his next 'Junior Fly Fishing Taster Day' on Wednesday April 8, please ring 01668 215226 to book a place. Open over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend from 8am to 8pm, closing at 5pm on Saturday.

Derwent Reservoir, Northumberland
The great early season sport continues with a seasonal rod average to date of over 4.5 fish per angler. The shallow water is again proving a magnet for feeding fish as it quickly warms and fish move in to take advantage of the first buzzer hatches. Pow Hill, west to Hunter House and Murray's Point have all been hotspots for anglers using legered PowerBait fished close to the margins with a little Magic Dust in a feeder to help stimulate the fish. Michael Hodgson, from Durham, caught a tagged fish on Wednesday from the south shore near the first fence. The catch earned him a £200 prize. On Friday Mr Eltringham, from Bearpark, caught the biggest fish of the season so far at 9lb. Mr Deneri, from Wickham, also caught a great fish of 7lb 8oz on a cocktail of PowerBait. Seven-year-old Brody Cunningham travelled from Wallsend on Sunday with his parents to brave the blustery and showery conditions and landed his first-ever rainbow trout using a cocktail of Green and Pink PowerBait Eggs with Magic Dust in a feeder. Best flies are Cat’s Whisker, Dawson’s Olive, Black Fritz and Orange Fritz. Best areas are Pow Hill to Hunter House, First Fence, Sailing Club, and Millshields, Meadow.

Eyebrook Trout Fishery, Leicestershire
A damp morning greeted anglers on Eyebrook’s opening day but did little to dampen their enthusiasm and reports from the bank and boats were positive. Nottingham-based Sistino Rao fished from Robbos Cabin and quickly took six rainbows on a Humungus fished close in on a floating line.  Boat anglers Julian Hubbard, of Fleckney, and Jonathan Jarman, of Corby, fished off Robbos Cabin and caught 20 trout between them. Horace Wood, of Sapcote, boat-fished at the Chestnut Tree and caught six rainbows for 17lb 6oz. Paul Sellars and Rodney Fletcher, of Derby, enjoyed their first day’s boat fishing at Eyebrook. They fished the Norris Dyke area with floating lines and Red Diawl Bachs and proceeded to winkle out one or two fish with Rodney landing his first ever rainbow trout. Geoff Osborne, of Lutterworth, caught five rainbows from the bank at the Bell using a Black and Green Tadpole. Bill Coppin, of Kings Lynn, also fished the bank at the Bell and caught six rainbows, many of which were taken on Buzzers. Geoff Allsop, of Tamworth, caught around 25 fighting-fit rainbows on a mixture of small Black Spiders, Bloodworm and Diawl Bach.
For a chance to win a day motorboat simply register your details at the fishing lodge or at the on-line booking facility and send in your name and contact details including your email address. You will then be entered into the weekly prize draw.

Fontburn Reservoir, Northumberland
Sport this week was dominated by hard overnight frosts and strong northerly winds that kept water temperatures low. Consequently, the fish tended to remain deep and somewhat inactive despite two midweek stockings. Wednesday’s milder weather saw a reprieve and good hatches of buzzers and terrestrials got the fish feeding well in the shallows across all areas of the reservoir. Mr M. Wrightson and Mr K. Wrightson used long casts with Orange PowerBait to make the best eight fish catches of the week at 17lb 12oz and 18lb 8oz respectively. Mr A. Payne and Mrs A. Jack made a catch of 11 rainbows plus one blue totalling 26lb while Mr and Mrs A. J. Herring made an identical 12 fish catch for the same 26lb total weight. This catch also included the 3lb 1oz ‘fish of the week’, a quality blue caught on Orange PowerBait. Mr N. Cullwick, Mr S. Pentolfe and Mr L. Maddison also recorded 3lb rainbows while Mr J Lawton mixed up the tactics to make a 10lb catch of five rainbows which included two taken on a Black Fritz from the dam wall. Best flies are Cat’s Whisker, Black Fritz and Olive Buzzer. Best areas are Deep water, north shore point, and dam wall.

Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire
Grafham has continued to fish well for both bank and boat anglers with a rod average of 4.8 and 25% of the trout caught weighing 3lb or over. Best rainbow at 4lb was taken by B. Walters from Haslingfield. Bank anglers enjoyed a really good week’s sport with the most prolific methods being to fish floating or intermediate lines with black and green lures, Diawl Bachs, Damsel Nymphs, White Boobies and Tequila Blobs. The best bank areas have been Willows, north and south dam, G Buoy, Marlow Stones, Deep Water Point, Pig Bay, Hill Farm and Gaynes Cove.
Boat anglers have also had a great week, fishing slow or medium sink lines with black and green lures, Tequila Blobs, Diawl Bachs, Cat’s Whisker, Booby, Cormorants, Snakes and GRHE. The most productive areas have been Willows, north dam, Marlow Bay, G Buoy, Pylon Point, Pig Bay and Hill Farm. From April 1 the fishing restrictions at the western end of the reservoir are lifted and brown trout are back in season (one brown per bag). Please be aware of the bio security measures on the reservoir.

Grassholme Reservoir, Co Durham
An outstanding start to the season continues as the weekly rod average breached six fish per angler with some fine 3lb-4lb fish part of many limit catches .The heaviest fish of the week at 5lb 8oz was taken by Mr P. Davies on the dam wall. Dylan Bailey, from Bearpark, netted his first ever fish, a cracking 5lb rainbow, on legered PowerBait. Despite the wintery weather conditions making sport difficult at time the west end of the reservoir produced some great catches with spinners and roaming tactics proving a successful combination. Best flies are Black Fritz, Cat’s Whisker and Dawson’s Olive.

Hanningfield Reservoir, Essex
Mixed weather did not prevent anglers from having another successful week using a range of methods. Fly anglers reported fish feeding on daphnia which helped them to match their fly patterns to produce good catches using a sinking line and orange lures from the boats. Caron Farnham got the week off to a great start on Monday by catching a stunning 5lb 12oz rainbow while fishing from Middlemead dam wall using a yellow spinner. Thursday saw a stocking of a further 3,000 fish, half of which were released by Lodge Bay and the other half in Middlemead. Lots of action was recorded Friday from the Inlet dam wall and from boats fishing in Lodge Bay. West Bank produced the biggest trout so far this season with a beautiful fish of 7lb 4oz caught on legered tactics using Night Crawler PowerBait. Best flies are Black and Green Blobs, Orange or Coral Blobs, and Montanas. Best bank areas are the main dam wall and inlet while boats doing well at Atlantis Drop-Off, School Bay and Lodge Bay.

Hury Reservoir, Co Durham
Hury continues to provide the best sport for years as rod averages sustain early season highs as anglers find fish keen to take a variety of patterns. Derek Carr continues his excellent start to the season with some impressive limit catches including an amazing 27lb catch which included a 7lb and 5lb fish. Most anglers posted impressive fish with many 3lb-4lb rainbows recorded throughout the week with Reedy Bank a successful spot. We fully expect this excellent fishing to continue for the foreseeable future and as the weather improves and the legendary Hury fly hatches begin. Best flies are Dawson’s Olive, Black Fritz, Orange Fritz and Bibio.

Kielder Water, Northumberland
Changeable conditions including snow showers dampened spirits but those who braved the weather were rewarded with good returns, especially at the east end of the reservoir around Tower Knowe and Hawkhope. The biggest rainbow of the week was a 2lb 8oz fish from Mr A. Richardson fished off Hawkhope slipway using Orange PowerBait. Best flies are Cat’s Whisker and Orange Fritz. Best bank areas are Hawkhope and Stockie Bay. Best boats are Plashetts and Quarry. April brings around the return of the popular WaterAid Pairs competition with two boats still available for the first heat on April 26. For more information and to book call 01434 251000. Tower Knowe Visitor Centre and the Cafe on the Water are now open for the season from 10am until 4pm. Permits, Environment Agency rod licences, fishing tackle and bait are all available.

Packington Trout Fishery, Warwickshire
Last week 85 rods caught 402 fish for an average of 4.72. Another good week in terms of the fishing but high winds reduced the numbers of angler and made it tricky casting for those that fished. The largest fish of the week was a 12lb 8oz rainbow caught by Keith Shuttleworth, of Coventry, who was fishing the bank of Cocks Close and he took it on a Montana Nymph on a floating line. Fishery member Andrew Moulder, of Dorridge, fished on Cocks Close from a boat and caught seven fish to 9lb using small nymphs. Dave Bratby, of Birmingham, fished a few times in the week and on his best day he caught 14 fish to 7lb using a special Damsel Nymph fon a floating line. Mr and Mrs Anthony Edwards, of Claverdon, fished from a boat on the Great Pool and caught seven fish to 7lb 13oz that fell to Buzzers on a floating line. On the Park Meadow pool, father and son Michael and Paul Hanson, of Nuneaton, caught 14 fish between them using black or green patterns. The fish are moving well as the weather warms a little with large fly hatches starting to occur.  Buzzer patterns, CdC Emergers, Diawl Bach and PTNs have all been successful. Lures are still catching too with Black or Green Tadpoles, Cat’s Whisker, Orange Fritz and Minkies doing well. The best areas have been the old boat jetty corner and high bank on Cocks Close, the shallow water and the far bank from the boat jetty on Great Pool, with Park Meadow fishing well all over.

Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire
The weather has made conditions challenging for both bank and boat anglers this week. The fish have been full of daphnia with an orange hue and some anglers have had success using Buzzers as the weather warmed up slightly. The fish have stayed deep and off the bank but good quality fish have been caught using fast glass Di-5 to Di-7 lines with green and black patterns, Blobs and Boobies. There has also been a fair amount of success to Bloodworm patterns. Terry Pancoust had the largest catch over the week with 39 rainbows of various weights. Best boat areas are Bog Bay, Stonebarn Bay, North Farm Bay, Brixworth Bay, and the Sailing Club. Best bank areas are Northfields Shore, Stone Barn Bay, Gravels, Duffers, Stilton Point and Sailing Club Bay.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir, Northamptonshire
Anglers continue to experience fantastic sport with both boat and bank anglers filing spectacular returns this week, despite some adverse weather conditions. The best fish of the season to date was taken by Kevin Daykin, of Hollowell, Northampton. It took Kevin 10 minutes to land the 14lb 1oz rainbow from platflorm 12 using a size 10 Black Buzzer on a floating line. Another excellent specimen of 11lb 4oz was caught by Colin Fraser while boat-fishing at the causeway end with an intermediate line and a Cat’s Whisker. During the week 79 anglers caught 882 fish, of which 758 were returned. The rod average for the week was 11.2. The best boat areas were from Catwalk Corner to the Island and Causeway Bank between Coton Car Park and West End. Anglers caught fish at all depths, using floating and sinking lines with Buzzers, Diawl Bachs, Pitsford Peas and Cat’s Whiskers. Mr Owen, from Staffordshire, returned 46 fish on one visit, and similar large returns were recorded by Malcom Berry and season ticket holders Pat Flynn and David Brady. Bank anglers have also been enjoying great sport with platforms 4 to 7 and 11 to 14 the best areas. Buzzers are now coming to the top of the fly list.

Rutland Water, Rutland
The best rainbow was landed this week by Ian Dalby, of Uppingham, who took a 5lb 10oz rainbow off the bank. Bank anglers caught well around the Old Hall, Church Bay and Normanton while boat anglers took fish off Gibbets Gorse, Church Bay, East Creek along the fishing lodge frontage and the Old Hall. The first three days of last week saw bright conditions and light winds, with a lot of the bottom breaking up and putting plenty of colour into the reservoir. Thursday saw heavy rain hit the reservoir early morning, this was coupled with a very strong northerly wind which helped tremendously in reducing the coloured water. Strong winds and heavy rain hampered fishing last weekend, particularly in the main basin. However, those boat anglers braving the conditions last Saturday took fish. Most notable of these were Rutland regulars Dave Critchlow and Frank Sumnall, from Stoke on Trent, who caught 12 fish very close in to the shoreline. Lures are working best with some fish falling to nymphs.
Wednesday April 1 sees the end of winter restrictions around the shoreline and the sailing limits, allowing bank anglers to fish off the bank at the sailing club up to Gibbets Gorse, then the Green Bank to Old Hall, Dickensons Bay through to the Transformer and from the east side of Armley Wood all the way round to Inman’s Spinney. Boats will now be allowed to fish right up to the top of the north and south Arms. Brown trout are back in season from April 1 (one fish limit per day per angler).

Scaling Dam Reservoir, Cleveland
Despite the very windy conditions all areas of the reservoir have provided anglers with some excellent sport and a fantastic rod average of over six fish. Trout have been seen feeding vigorously from the shallows and only short casts have been needed to attract bites. Andy Moscrop, from Loftus, worked the east end bay and moorside with a Montana and was home with his limit catch by lunchtime. Craig Husband, from Lingdale, had an excellent day at the east end on his ‘Loyalty Day’, taking a 10-fish limit on worm and PowerBait cocktail. Harry Noble, from Sleights, also took his limit by lunchtime and ended up buying another permit, catching all 16 fish on Red PowerBait Honeyworm. George Houston, from Guisborough, fished the Jetty, taking his limit on Chartreuse PowerBait Eggs. Anthony Latheron, from Middlesbrough, took his limit on the south shore on worm and PowerBait which included the biggest of the season so far, a 5lb 8oz rainbow. Best flies are Montanas and Butchers.

Thornwood Springs Trout Fishery, Essex
Sport on lake one livening up a bit now with Cat’s Whiskers, black and green nymphs and Crunchers all working deeper down. This lake is reopening as a budget/beginners lake this month with tickets from £15. More double-figure fish caught on lake two this week, topped off by a 12lb 12oz brown but numerous rainbows above 6lb landed with the best around 10lb. On the pools Bloodworms and dries are working here when the conditions are right with fish to 8lb. One or two browns a day from all lakes at present. Restocked this week.

Toft Newton Trout Fishery, Lincolnshire
For the week-ending March 28 the 82 rods caught 442 fish for a rod average of 5.4. A more satisfying rod average this week as it appears more anglers are heeding fishery advice and fishing closer in. There’s always a tendency to cast as far as possible but this isn’t the time of year for it. The majority of feeding fish appear to be only feet from the bank so best results are still to fish close in, with floaters or slow intermediates using the washing-line method. Try a small Booby, FAB or Floating Fry on the point with a Diawl Bach, Cruncher or Buzzer or two on the dropper(s). Ideally get some bank to yourself, cast along it at 45 degrees and let the flies swing in on the wind with a very slow retrieve. Quite a few 3lb-plus fish out this week, Andy Hutson managed the best at 5lb which took a FAB.

Witton Castle Lakes, Co Durham
The wind has made for tricky conditions this week, although the rise in temperature saw some hatches across the lakes which made for some good top of the water action. The 50-plus anglers who did brave the windy conditions were rewarded with a rod average of nearly five fish. The 15 fish limit was reached by three anglers, M. Cothay, B. Lowther and A. Grabham, closely followed by S. Hibbard with 14 fish, D. Grabham with 12 fish and G. Wharton who caught 11 fish. The best fish landed were a very nice 5lb 8oz rainbow caught by M. Cothay, and a good hard-fighting 5lb rainbow caught by A. Ward. A number of flies performed well and Bloodworm, CdCs, Black Buzzers, Damsel Nymphs and Cat’s Whiskers all did well.