Avington Trout Fishery, Hampshire
The fishing has been nothing short of fantastic over the past month and fish are chasing and hitting lures with great tenacity. It has still been difficult to stalk properly as the sun is not getting high enough and, combined with a lot of brisk winds rippling the surface, the conditions have been far from ideal. Despite this there have been plenty of big fish caught, topped by a lovely 14lb specimen from lake two to Simon Ramm. The same day saw another cracking rainbow of 13lb 8oz caught from lake two, this time by Crystal Waldmeyer on a Dog Nobbler. This was only Crystal's third ever trout yet she managed to land it all by herself while her partner looked on in amazement. Other noteworthy captures were a 12lb 8oz rainbow caught by Chris Neave on a Damsel, again from lake two, and a lovely fish of 10lb 8oz from lake three to Mark Robins, this time on a Bloodworm.
Fly choice is still dominated by fairly large flies offering a lot of movement. Damsels, Cat’s Whiskers, Fritz and the like are all worthy candidates, especially when fished quite quickly on a floating line. Though well spread, the fish are still tending to sit a bit further out, towards the middle of the lakes, so a decent cast will always cover more fish. Most of the fish are fairly shallow, within the top two foot of water, so a floating line and rod length of leader are all that is needed. The annual Troutmasters heat will be held on Saturday March 9.
Blackdyke Trout Fly Fishery, Norfolk
Top rod this week was Malcolm Foreman with 10 fish released on Sunday, all caught on a yellow-cheeked Buzzer. The next Bankmasters competition is on Sunday March 22, pick up a form at the fishery or visit www.iainbarrflyfishing.co.uk Blackdyke is hosting beginners trout flyfishing courses with Tim Gaunt Baker over the next few months, and will cover safety, casts, knots, types of lines, how to land a fish and the flies used. Blackdyke will supply all the gear, however if you have some kit please bring it along. The cost of the course is £30 per person, based on four people. The dates are March 7, 18 and 28; April 1, 8 and 25; May 9 and 27.
Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Chatton hosted Jim Tuck’s Fritz 'n' Flies 2014 Final on Saturday February 28 when 48 qualifiers caught a total of 170 fish in the morning session and 115 in the afternoon, totaling 285 fish caught for a rod average of 5.9. A sum of £103 was donated to the Great North Air Ambulance. Top rods on the day were Dave Mordue, from Sharpley Springs, winning £157; John Anderson from Ayr £147, Rob Frame, Ryan Matthews and Colin Stevenson all on £115.
Another exceptional week of sport at Chatton with fish being caught in the first four feet of water. On Ross and Dunnydeer lakes the fish are taking flies fished almost static while Chatton lake anglers have been commenting on fish following flies into the margins and being taken on the lift. Black has been the favoured colour (Cats and Bunny Leeches) along with Diawl Bachs, Bloodworms and Tinnies. A number of quality brown trout in the 3lb to 5lb bracket have been caught this week.
Chatton regular Kenny McMahon, from Illderton, Wooler landed 11 fish on Bloodworms; Scott Wearmouth, from Alnwick, caught 14 fish on Cat’s Whiskers and Orange Blobs; Peter Marshall, from Chester-le-Street, landed 18 fish on Diawl Bachs; Colin Gibbons, from Blackpool, kept five fish and returned 13 on a Black Cat’s Whisker; Neil Gibbons, from Longhoughton, kept five fish for 16lb 8oz and returned six fish on Kate McLarens and Black Cats. Andy Ferguson, from Wallsend, caught 13 fish on Black Bunny Leeches, while Andy Cooper, from Wigan, caught 18 on various nymphs.
Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire
Opening day on Saturday February 28 saw anglers enjoy a great day’s fishing despite the wind and cold. Both bank and boat anglers took bag limits and the rod average for opening day was an outstanding 6.9. Gavin Ferni, aged 11, boat-fished alongside his grandfather and caught his first ever trout, a lovely rainbow of 2lb 4oz that took an orange lure. Gavin Layton had a great morning catching his eight fish limit for over 17lb using a floating line and a Bloodworm. His catch included a fine overwintered fish of 3lb 8oz from the bank along Northfields. Gary How and Mark Searle boated more than 40 fish using Di-5s and various lures and Blobs. Lloyd Chantrelle and Neil Young had a similar day in a boat taking 16 fish and returning many more. Long standing season ticket holder Terry Pancoust, of Northampton, won gold at Pitsford’s Open House on Saturday February 21 when one of his 2014 season ticket returns was pulled out of the hat to win him a Gold season ticket to fish the new season for free.
Ravensthorpe Reservoir, Northamptonshire
The first three days of the new season saw some excellent sport for both bank and boat anglers. The star of the show was a 12lb 10oz rainbow taken by Richard Cooper who fished the Coton End with a Pitsford Pea on a Di-3 line. He also caught an overwintered rainbow of 6lb 10oz. The rod average for the first three days of the season was 6.2. James Day caught and returned a 30lb pike while pulling a Minkie. Bank anglers had good sport off the west bank platforms while boats did well off Coton End and the margins. The best fish on opening day was a 6lb 2oz rainbow taken by Jack Simpson using a GRHE from a boat. Boat angler Mr Kapp caught a 6lb fish. Angus McFadgen had 16 fish to the boat and returned a 5lb-plus rainbow. His fish were caught with Orange Blobs and Pitsford Peas on a Di-5 line. Mitch Brown and Ade Greenough had 17 fish to the boat.
Thornwood Springs Fly Fishery, Essex
On lake one, Damsels, Crunchers and PTNs are working well and fish are also turning onto Buzzers during warmer spells. If there’s a frost try an intermediate line with an Orange Blob. The recent heat of the Iain Barr Airflo Bankmasters saw 42 fish landed by 16 anglers, well done to all who entered. On lake two, Snake patterns on intermediate lines are catching most fish with fish to 9lb showing. Browns now moving in the margins. Crunchers and GRHE worth a try on the pools with fish to 8lb recorded.