England Troutmasters reports for week-ending March 27th, 2015

Bewl Fishery, Kent
An outstanding first week of the 2015 season despite the usual chilly weather. Returns showed an exceptional rod average of 7.31. Both bank and boat anglers have had plenty of good sport and many limits have been caught. Some anglers have reported catching and releasing up to 30 trout. Over 7600 rainbows from Bulldog fishery were stocked before opening day and 2000 more have been stocked since. They are in excellent condition with many weighing over 3lb. Average fish size is 2lb 9oz. Best areas for boat and bank have been the more sheltered areas of Bewl Straight - Tinkers Marsh, Goose Creek, Dunsters and Overys. The area in front of the playground and Monty's Seat are also worth trying. The trout are one or two feet below the surface and successful flies have been anything black including Cormorants, Tadpoles and Buzzers. Water temperature is 6degC and the level is 92%.

Blackdyke Trout Fly Fishery, Norfolk
Buzzers everywhere and anglers are catching very close to the surface with floating lines, letting them drift in the ripple. Several anglers catching more than 10 fish in a visit. The Airflo Bankmasters heat on Sunday was won by Nigel Tranter with 11 fish. Beginners classes with Tim Gaunt Baker are proving popular, please ring the lodge on 07525 730447 for details.

Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Another week of great sport with Black Buzzers, Bloodworms, Diawl Bachs, nymphs and Bunny Leeches all working well. The fish of the week, a beautiful 14lb brown trout, was caught by Keith Appleton, from Southport, who fished on the dam wall on Chatton Lake using an intermediate line and a Green Fritz. Sue Greenwood, from Ashington, was delighted with the three trout she kept weighing in at 11lb, the heaviest fish being 4lb 6oz. All the fish were caught on a Black Zonker on Chatton Lake. Keith Burwood, from North Shields, caught rainbows of 4lb 4oz and 2lb 8oz on Orange Bunny Leeches from Ross Lake. Malcolm Eungblut, from Belford, caught a 5lb 6oz rainbow from Dunnydeer Lake using a gold bead Green Pea. The dries were working for David Traish, from Guidepost, when he landed a 5lb 2oz rainbow on Ross Lake.
Julian Bales, from Wooler, caught 12 fish on Buzzers and Diawl Bachs; Phil Bilbrough, from Bedlington, caught 16 on Black Buzzers; Peter Davison, from New Hartley, caught 18 on Tinnies; Rob Frame, from West Denton, caught 18 on Black Buzzers; Stew Younger, from Blyth, caught 12 on Black Buzzers; John Maguire, from Houghton-le-Spring, caught 12 fish on Bloodworms; Steve Bilbrough, from Cramlington, caught 13 fish on Buzzers and Fritzs; Ron Waddell, from Galashiels, caught 12 fish using Blobs; John Cowell, from Bedlington, caught 15 fish on Buzzers.
Chatton Trout Fishery instructor Bob Smith starts the 'Junior Fly Fishing Taster Days' in the school Easter holidays on Tuesday March 31 and Wednesday April 8. Sessions are from 10am to noon and 1pm to 3pm, all tackle provided and youngsters can keep their first fish if they wish to. To book a place please telephone 01668 215226.

Derwent Reservoir, Northumberland
An excellent start to the season with over 500 anglers taking advantage of the excellent sport. The introduction of the new fly catch and release permit proved very popular. Most of the south side of the reservoir has fished well with Pow Hill to Hunter House and the first fence the stand-out areas for bait anglers. Meanwhile, fly anglers found large pockets of fish on the boundary with the nature reserve, the Bay of Plenty, Millshields and the Meadow. Cat’s Whisker, Dawson’s Olive, Black Fritz and Orange Fritz with a figure-of-eight retrieve worked very well. Dennis Crow caught the first tagged fish of the season at Pow Hill using Yellow PowerBait Eggs. Doug Pearson, from Consett, took the second tagged £200 jackpot with one of eight fish caught next to the first fence on PowerBait Eggs and Mice Tails. Mr Whaley caught bags of 22lb on Saturday and 27lb 8oz on Sunday while fishing his free Loyalty Day. Bob Emerson took the biggest fish to date of 8lb 8oz using Garlic PowerBait Paste. More than 20 rainbows into double-figures have been stocked so far.

Elinor Trout Fishery, Northamptonshire
For the week March 16-22 the 196 anglers caught 710 fish of which 494 were returned. A busy week and although the fishing was a little harder the rod average was still a respectable 3.5. A feature of last week was almost constant north-easterly winds which kept water temperatures low and further delayed the buzzer hatches. Odd fish are rising but most are being caught at least four foot down. Bank anglers are doing well with a floater or slow intermediate with a Bloodworm, weighted Hare’s Ear or Damsel on the point with a black jungle cock Diawl Bach on the dropper. Otherwise an indicator with Bloodworm or Egg flies have done the trick. Boat anglers fishing open water have generally found the fish even deeper with Di-3 sinkers favourite or a floater with a long leader and a weighted Damsel or black and green lure.
Best fish this week included 7lb 10oz for Ray Ward, from Olney, on a Goldhead Damsel from the boat; 5lb 13oz to Chris Mcleod, Cambridge, on a Squirmy Worm; 5lb 12oz for Peter Oldham, Saffron Walden, on a Black and Green Cruncher; 5lb 7oz for Ray Ward, Olney, on a Blue-flash Damsel, from the boat; and 5lb 6oz for Tim Hill, Melton Mowbray, on a GRHE. Best bank areas are the dam, Brookside, boat bay and gravel bar while boats doing well anchored off dam, and Brookside.

Fontburn Reservoir, Northumberland
Mixed weather conditions dominated proceedings, presenting an early season challenge for bait and fly anglers. Those who took heed of the conditions and fished into the winds, favouring leger rigs and larger lures (particularly Cat’s Whisker and Humungus), reported the best sport. With water temperatures yet to rise, fish remained close to the bottom and fed sporadically throughout the week. Mr C. Keeley weighed in the fish of the week on opening Saturday with a 7lb 8oz specimen. Lee Bradley also enjoyed opening day, recording one of two £200 tagged fish caught through the week and weighing in an eight fish limit for a 16lb total. Scott Miller claimed the second prize-winning tagged fish using legered PowerBait Mice Tail from the dam wall into a strong westerly wind. Raymond Hardisty, from Chester-Le-Street, made hay on a mild Thursday, utilising his free Loyalty Day and weighing in 10 fish for the week’s best 20lb total. Rod averages peaked on a well-attended opening weekend with Saturday seeing 50 anglers weigh in 176 fish and Sunday 20 anglers took home 76 fish. 

Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire
Anglers are continuing to enjoy a great start to the season with a good rod average of 3.6 and 20% of all trout taken weighing 3lb or more. Best rainbow 4lb 3oz taken by Chris Thrasidoulou, of London.
Bank anglers have had a great week’s sport with the North Shore giving the most consistent catch rates. The most prolific bank methods have been to fish floating or intermediate lines with big black and green lures with Tequila Blob attractor and Diawl Bachs. The best areas for the bank anglers have been North Dam, Willows, G Buoy, Deep Water Point, Pig Bay and Hill Farm. Boat anglers have also had a great week’s sport with the North Shore providing the most consistent sport. The most productive methods from the boat have been to fish slow to medium sink lines with black and green lures, Tequila/Orange Blobs, Cat’s Whisker Boobies, GRHE, gold and silver tubes and Dawson’s Olive. The best boat areas have been Hill Farm, Pig Bay, Pylon Point, G Buoy, Willows and Sludge Bank.
Brown trout are out of season until April 1, any caught should be returned safely to the water. There are fishing restrictions on the western end of the reservoir. Please be aware of the bio security measures on the reservoir.

Grassholme Reservoir, Co Durham
After a cool, cloudy start to the season with an unproductive east wind, the weather improved later in the week to produce some excellent fishing. A highlight of the sport to date has been the large number of big rainbows coming to the net with dozens of fish caught over 3lb and several approaching double-figures. The largest of the season so far by Mr G. Dixon tipped the scales at 10lb 6oz. Gordon Hodgson, from Bishop Auckland, tempted a fish approaching 9lb using Pink PowerBait Eggs. This was one of an eight fish limit catch. Some great limit catches were recorded on the north bank near the white post, however, with the wind direction changeable the best results seem to have come from anglers who were willing to use roaming tactics. Many fish have been located close to the shoreline taking advantage of slightly warmer water so a short cast has offered best results. Best flies are Black Fritz and Orange Fritz. 

Hanningfield Reservoir, Essex
Cold north-easterly winds dominated proceedings. However, fishing remains good, especially for anglers in boats near Hall Point and along the natural bank into School Bay. Heavy sink lines and buoyant flies are recommended during these early weeks as rainbows are feeding close to the bottom on daphnia. Best flies are Black and Green Blob, Orange or Coral Blob and Montanas. Alex and Rita Verbickaite were each rewarded with eight fish limits while spinning over deeper water on Saturday. Bright coloured legered PowerBait from the inlet bank and dam wall remain firm favourites with lobworm also currently a good alternative. Water levels are rising and the clarity improved after the strong winds. Reports of better fish from Boundary Bay and the small tower should make this an attractive mark in the near future.

Hury Reservoir, Co Durham
In some testing conditions Hury has had an exceptional start to the season with lots of 2lb-4lb fish coming to the net as well as two fish just under 10lb recorded and returned. One of the most notable statistics from the start of the season is the amazing rod average of 5.6 fish. Most anglers have taken advantage of the catch and release permit to return large numbers of fish with Mr N. Simpson highlighted with 31 fish returned up to 5lb. Others who netted more than 20 fish include Mr K. Young and Mr S. Young with 27 and 23 respectively. Malcolm Goland caught a fish of just under 10lb which he safely returned to the water. Most fish were taken on lures with a Dawson’s Olive the stand-out fly. Black Fritz, Orange Fritz, Bibio and Black Spiders also doing well.

Kielder Water, Northumberland
The season opened on Saturday March 14 with seven boat anglers braving the cold conditions. Shallow water and bays provided the best sport to date as fish take advantage of the slightly warmer water in these locations. The heaviest fish caught over the first nine days was recorded by boat angler Mr S. Gibson who netted a rainbow of 3lb 12oz on a worm. Paul Evans landed rainbows of 3lb and 3lb 2oz from the slipway at Hawkhope on worm and sweetcorn. The majority of early season bank anglers have been successful at Hawkhope, Tower Knowe and Little Whickhope. Best flies include Green Blob, various lures, pearl-bodied fritz and gold bead Tadpoles.

Packington Trout Fishery, Warwickshire
Last week 104 rods caught 499 fish for an average of 4.80. The fishery is in superb form with good catches, along with some excellent quality fish. The biggest fish of the week was an estimated 12lb rainbow caught by Terry Holder, of Leicester, who was fishing from the bank of Cocks Close. The fish fell to a black lure and was safely released. Mr D. Retmanski caught eight fish to 7lb 6oz from a boat on Cocks Close using a mini black and green lure. The Packington Fly Fishers held their challenge match on Cocks Close on Sunday with most anglers catching their five fish limits. Winner was John Salisbury with five fish for 15lb 15oz, which included a 7lb 6oz rainbow. These all fell to Buzzers fished on a floating line. On the members’ waters, both Great Pool and Park Meadow have been in great form. Mr and Mrs Edwards, of Claverdon, shared a boat on the Great Pool and caught six fish to 7lb 12oz on GRHEs fished on a floating line. On Park Meadow, Atherstone anglers Paul Fretwell and Mark Smith shared a boat and caught 17 fish between them with rainbows to over 3lb falling to black and green lures.
The best areas have been the old boat jetty corner and the high bank of Cocks Close, the shallower water and far side of Great Pool and the middle of the dam wall on Park Meadow. Top flies are Damsel Nymph, Bloodworm, Black Buzzer, CdC Emergers, Black and Green Tadpoles and Cat’s Whisker. There are plenty of fish moving on the top now so dries will become more effective as it warms up.

Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire
Anglers have had some great sport this week recording a rod average of 5.4 and many fish were released to fight another day. Boat anglers have enjoyed the best of the sport with the vast majority of the fish feeding on huge daphnia blooms in the deeper water. There have been several reports of 20-30 fish per angler, fishing Di-3 or Di-5 lines with Blobs and Boobies. When the wind allows bank anglers have had the same sport but often the fish have been holding out just out of range. The best boat areas are anywhere 70 yards from the bank and drifting till you find the daphnia feeders. Try Sailing Club bank, Cliffs and Narrows. Bank anglers have found Gorse, Cliffs and Bog Bay best. Patterns to try are Pitsford Pea, Orange Blobs or Boobies and Bloodworm patterns.

Press Manor Fishing Lakes, Derbyshire
The lake is now open seven days a week. Good bags of trout are being caught using small Buzzers or nymphs. Fishing a small Buzzer under an indicator seems the best method. Trout are rising, especially in the shallow end of the lake by the lodge but are proving difficult to tempt as they are smutting on small buzzers. Try a small Shipman's Buzzer to tempt them. Hot food available at weekends from the lodge.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir, Northamptonshire
The Reservoir is providing fantastic sport for both boat and bank anglers. Prospects look excellent with a really good hatch of buzzers in recent days. The best fish of the week was an 11lb 11oz rainbow taken by local angler Mark Draper. Mark was sharing a boat with Isaac Draper and the pair took 20 or more fish on Buzzers and floating lines. David Brady, of Orlingbury, Kettering, took 46 fish to the boat, all on a Red Holographic Buzzer and a floating line. Charlie Watts, of Yelvertoft, Northampton banked more than 10 fish, the best of these being 5lb 5oz. Edward Perrse, of London, fished Ravensthorpe last Thursday morning on his birthday. His best fish was around 8lb, one of 20 he landed. Best methods for boat anglers have been Black Fritz, lures and Orange Blob.

Rutland Water, Rutland
An excellent start to the season. Although temperatures are still low quality sport has been had both on the bank and from the boats. Martin Hearth, of Hambleton, Oakham, a former warden at Rutland, took an excellent bag of stock fish with the best going 4lb off the bank at East Creek on his favourite Humungus pattern. Bank anglers recorded a rod average of 6.13 for the week with boat anglers taking an average of 5.3 fish. Fish are feeding well in many areas and generally close to the bank. Best areas for bank anglers have been East Creek, Church Bay, Normanton Bank, Whitwell frontage to the Mound and Old Hall. The Normanton Bank, Whitwell frontage, Belgrano and Fantasy Island have been most consistent for boat anglers. Overwintered rainbows have shown up with the new stock fish in a number of bags. Lures have accounted for the majority of fish but Diawl Bachs and Black Buzzers have also scored. Although not in particularly deep water the fish are down in the water column and either an intermediate line or floater with a weighted point fly has seen the most success. Various sinking lines have been employed by boat anglers, depending on the conditions on the day. Fish are feeding well on small buzzers, daphnia, shrimp, sticklebacks and even roach fry. On the warmer days numbers of buzzers have been hatching and if the temperatures rise expect buzzers to feature more prominently in catches.
Some winter restrictions are still in force. 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. If you have any questions please ask a member of staff at the fishing lodge, maps will also be on display.

Scaling Dam, Cleveland
It was a bitter cold start to the season with an east wind, which often renders fish inactive. However, that did not stop anglers locating feeding fish at the east end of the reservoir with 103 fish caught on opening weekend. There has been an abundance of quality fish caught throughout the week between the 3lb-4lb size and often anglers found them in very shallow waters and the margins. Both bait and fly anglers recorded some great catches including David Dandy, from Middlesbrough, who had eight fish weighing 19lb using a Red Honey Worm fished at the east end. Mr and Mrs M. K. Scott, from Whitby, also fished the east end next to the overflow area and caught 11 rainbows on bait and fly. The biggest fish were two at 4lb, one was caught at the west end of the dam wall on legered worm and PowerBait by Mark Underwood, from Redcar, and the second was caught on an Orange Fritz along the south shore by Mark Hammond, also from Redcar.

Thornwood Springs Fly Fishery, Essex
On lake one the fish are still deeper down and Bloodworms and black nymphs are most successful. This lake will be opening soon with more focus on beginners and youngsters with tickets starting at £15. On lake two fish are moving all day and taking Buzzers and small dries. It is also possible to stalk browns in the margins. Plenty of double-figure bags from here with rainbows to 9lb and browns to 7lb. The pools are producing to Buzzers and Shrimp patterns with fish to 10lb taken.

Toft Newton Trout Fishery, Lincolnshire
For the week-ending March 20, the 81 rods caught 207 trout for a rod average of 2.55. An 'interesting' rod average this week, mainly due to the fact that it may be on the low side as a few catch returns seem to be missing. These returns are very important in aiding accurate stocking of the fishery, if you can't find your return then please leave a note. On a lighter note not a lot has changed on the fishing front. Boobies on intermediates (fast glass) lines are taking most fish. White and green, orange or black patterns are all finding favour on different days. On calmer days floating lines and nymphs are certainly worth a shot but if you keep moving you'll find one or two regardless of what you've got on. Location is definitely more important than fine-tuning the method. With some better weather forecast this week there should be some heavier buzzer hatches.

Witton Castle Lakes, Co Durham
A varied week of weather, ranging from fog and beautiful sunshine to chilly winds and light rain. For the week the 55 anglers were rewarded with a very healthy rod average of nearly six fish. A few more familiar figures graced the catch sheets this week with the best of them being P. Appleby and N. Horner who both caught the 15 fish limit. They was closely followed by A. Grabham who caught 14 fish while S. Hibbard and E. Taylor also made double-figures with 11 fish each. The best fish of the week was a beautiful 6lb 3oz rainbow landed by junior angler Jack Pollard. The recent success of Bloodworm has waned a little this week with Black Tadpole, Yellow Tinnie and Olive Damsels the most effective flies this week. A reminder to anglers of the two tagged fish still in the lakes, as yet un-caught, each with a £50 bounty to be claimed. Anglers must pay an extra £1 with their ticket price in order to claim the £50 should they be lucky enough to land a tagged fish.