Avington Trout Fishery, Hampshire
Avington has fished fabulously well this month. A number of doubles were reported, some to experienced anglers who target such fish, some to complete amateurs who managed to get a fabulous specimen to the bank with a large degree of beginner’s luck! Graham Tuck caught two beautiful specimens, one a rainbow just in excess of 13lb and the following week, a stunning brownie of 11lb.
Colin Batemen landed a fine 17lb brownie on a Blue-flash Damsel. Grant Ashby did it again with a 13lb 12oz rainbow on a Damsel. Richard Francis, with all the dedication and perseverance needed to catch so many doubles, landed a 15lb 8oz brownie. And at the very end of a corporate day, that saw 69 fish come out, a stunning 15lb rainbow, that had been lurking around all day whilst smaller fish were caught, only to succumb to a fly at last knockings. The above list is by no means exhaustive, and with water temperatures remaining cold, around 10 degrees, and high percentage of dissolved oxygen flowing naturally into the lakes, many anglers got a surprise when even relatively small 4 and 5 pounders took them for a long run for their money before succumbing to the landing net.
One point worth noting after one of the anglers took a photograph of a stunning tiny goldcrest at the fishery, is that there is so much more to fishing than the slavish pursuit of fish! The bird life at Avington is fabulous and the sharp eyed will certainly be able to list 30 different species without too much difficulty. See if you can spot, or more probably hear the Cetti’s warbler, or see the long-tailed tits and those beautiful little dabchicks (little grebe) on both the carrier and the lakes.
There has been an upheaval of staff at Avington, all in one month. Sam reached his 80th birthday and after 10 years and 10 months at the Fishery, decided to hang up his boots. Jordan, after two years at Avington, has also made a career change and joined Southern Water in their Flood Defence division. Finally, Dorjee, after 17 years, has also decided it is time to move on. We would like to wish them all, every happiness in their new pursuits. Avington have appointed a new fishery manager and two new assistants, all ex-Sparsholt College.
Blackdyke Trout Fishery, Norfolk
The 45 anglers caught 106 fish of which 94 were released. Catch of the week went to Rob Mortimer who caught a 5lb 4oz rainbow using a floating line with a black dry fly. Despite the cold winds there have been good numbers of surface-feeding fish on most days. Dries, Blobs, Olive Buzzers and Black Klinkhamers appear to be the best flies at the moment. The fish are packing on weight and fighting extremely hard. Fish are being taken from all areas of the lake. New website is www.blackdykeflyfishing.co.uk or call 01842 829154 / 07525 730447.
Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Chatton hosted the ATTEFF National Bank Final on Saturday and the Fritz 'n' Flies Pairs Final on Sunday. The ATTEFF National Bank Final had participants traveling from as far as Devon and Cornwall and congratulations go to Glen Appleby, the 2017 ATTEFF Bank National Champion. The 2017 Team England Fly Fishing Bank Team to compete in the International in Scotland in October will be Glen Appleby, Ben Race, Gareth Tilley, James Stephenson, Ed Upton, Colin Harris and Lee Cartmail (reserve). The winners of the Fritz 'n' Flies Pairs Bank Final were Lee Wilkinson and Connor Metcalfe, receiving £1000 prize money. Second place went to Gareth Tilley and Alan Mcphail, receiving £600, third David Neilson and Garry Thompson receiving £400, fourth Jim Tuck and Rob Frame receiving £300 and 5th Glen Appleby and Dean Appleby receiving £100. Well done to Jim Tuck for another successful competition.
Many doubles were caught over the weekend including an approximate 20lb rainbow returned to Ross Lake by Dave Johns from Cornwall using a size 16 Spider. Fishery open from 8am to 9pm this week including Saturday evenings. Stocking twice a week.
Elinor Trout Fishery, Northamptonshire
Another week with good numbers of fish feeding on the surface despite the cold north or north-easterly wind. For the week May 1 – 7 the 205 anglers caught 833 fish of which 541 were returned. On cloudy days the fish are in range of the bank anglers with dries and washing-line tactics scoring. Boat fishing has been consistent with a variety of methods although most fish are being taken in the top three feet. Water remains very clear and there are large fly hatches including a few hawthorn along with pond olives, black or olive buzzers and alders. Best fish 7lb 8oz to Greg Potts, from Whittlesey, on a Black Buzzer from the boat; 6lb 3oz Darren Oram, Aldwincle, Diawl Bach; 6lb 1oz Mr Phillips, boat; 6lb Matt Skinner, Rushden, boat; 5lb 8oz Clive Trundle, Towcester, Black Snake, boat; 5lb 2oz Richard Steels, Stanground, green/white lure, boat; 5lb Al Steels, Stanground, Olive Buzzer, boat. Best bank areas are gravel bar, shallow bay, dam, east arm. Best boat areas are west arm and down middle. Successful patterns are Olive Cruncher, GRHE, Olive or Black Buzzer, Black or Brown Hopper, green/white lures, White Snake, Tequila Blob/Booby.
Sunday May 7 saw the Alex Booth Fly Fishers bank match when 15 anglers caught 33 fish. Winner was Slater with six fish for 14lb 14oz on dries; 2. Roy Lewin, five fish, 9lb 15oz; 3. Rob Dobson, three fish, 7lb 2oz; 4. Mike Smith, three fish, 5lb 12oz; 5. Ian Footman, two fish, 5lb 7oz.
Also on Sunday May 7 the Kirby Fly Fishers pairs boat match saw 12 anglers catch 40 fish. Top pairing were Allan & Jimmy Pentney, 12 fish for 27lb 4oz on White Snakes; 2. Frank Parker & Russ Jackson, 12 fish, 23lb 12oz; 3. Wayne Lewin & Jim Stiles, five fish, 12lb 11oz.
Foremark Trout Fishery, Derbyshire
Despite the breezy east/north easterly wind during the last week the fishing has remained good with Damsels and Buzzers still producing the most fish. During the sunny parts of the day lots of hawthorn flies have been flying around. The odd angler has had a go with dry flies and had some results, however this has been a little patchy. The blue trout are still showing themselves with catches reported from most areas. The fresh stocking has kept the sport in Flamingo Bay going. When the wind has allowed the banks from the Sailing Club Bay all the way round to the Wires in Carver’s Arm have produced fish while the boats have had the better sport around Gorse Bay, the Wires and Bramble Bay. For the week the 144 rods took 274 trout and released 594 for a rod average of six.
Derby County AC members C. Wilkins and K. Smith took to an afternoon boat on Monday and netted 20 fish between them on FABs around Verdun’s Point, while D. Hudson took 12 fish from the bank. Season permit holder S. Wilson used Black Buzzers from his boat on Tuesday and took over 20 trout. P. Walker bank-fished with Booby and Buzzers and recorded 11 fish. The wind started to kick in on Wednesday but P. Ravencroft fished from a boat down Carver’s Arm and tempted nine fish on Buzzers. David Nimmo fished Damsel and Orange Fritz from his boat on Thursday and took 8eight fish. During a last four-hour session, A. Kearns used black dry flies to tempt five trout including three blues from in front of the trees in Flamingo. On Friday with the stong wind boat was by far the better option and S. Hawley and his boat partner B. Trussel boated 26 fish on beaded nymphs and Buzzers.
Strong winds again on Saturday, so again a boat was the best option J. Noble landed 21 fish, M. Carrig 18, N. Cozens 10, P. Ward 17, D. Allen 10. Sunday saw a drop-in wind speed if not direction, and most anglers opted for a boat where Buzzers and Damsels still topped the list of successful flies. Top rod was Mr Bristow with 20 trout, K. Lomas took six including a 5lb blue and Mr Dobrzycki caught 11 on Damsels.
Foremark Fly Fishers held a match with11 rods catching a total of 88 fish for a match average of eight. The overall winner was Chris Shreeve with 16lb 4oz (the only bank angler in the match). Second was D. Baxter with 15lb 12oz, third was L. Whitehead with 14lb 4oz. The best fish, a 3lb 12oz brown, was caught by B. Lord.
Dates for your diary: Beginners courses May 27, book early on 01283 703202; Graham Tagg Memorial boat pairs match September 17.
Packington Trout Fishery, Warwickshire
Last week 51 rods caught 220 fish for an average of 4.30 fish per rod. A mixed week with the cooler windier weather seeing rod numbers low but nearly everyone is catching a few fish. Lots of fish are moving on the top to olives, sedges and even hawthorns which are starting to hatch. Buzzers on floating lines has been the top tactic with olive or red Superglue Buzzers best. Some fish are coming to dries with Hoppers, dry Olives and Hawthorns all catching a few fish. The best fish of the week was a 7lb 8oz rainbow caught by Andrew Moulder of Dorridge who took it on a Suspender Buzzer fished on a floating line and it was the best of a 12 fish catch from a boat on Cocks Close. Dave Kimbrell and Derek Jones of Coventry shared a boat on Cocks Close and caught 16 fish to 5lb between them with most falling to Olive Buzzers but a few came to a dry. James Robbins of Kenilworth had seven fish to 5lb on a small Diawl Bach fished on a floating line while fishing from a boat on Cocks Close.
On Park Meadow, Mr Bayliss of Kidderminster caught eight fish to 4lb which all fell to a black goldhead fished on a floating line.
The best areas on Cocks Close have been opposite the old boat jetty and along the wires bank but fish have been moving on all areas. On Park Meadow, the dam wall and the middle of the pool have been best. The Fishery is open from 8am until dusk.
Press Manor Fishing Lakes, Derbyshire
The lakes are fishing really well and several bag limits reported. Buzzers hatching and hawthorn are being blown all over the lake by the wind. Floating lines to a slow sink the best tactics. Lures are working in the top three feet as fish are really looking up for their food. Dry fly action best after 11am and Buzzers and Diawl Bachs best outside this time. Open seven days a week, cafe at weekends. Press Manor is closed on Sunday June 4 for the TEFF National Bank Championships heat.
Siblyback Lake, Cornwall
Anglers averaged 2.4 fish per rod over the month, with most fish being caught from the North Shore and Stocky Bay, mainly from the bank. With buzzers hatching along Two Meadows, some fish were feeding from the surface and could be caught using Black and Peacock and Hopper patterns, although the majority of fish caught were taken either on lures (particularly Cat’s Whiskers, Baby Dolls, Vivas and Orange Fritz patterns) or smaller imitative patterns such as Diawl Bachs, Buzzers and Hares Ears. Intermediate and floating lines proved to be the most successful tactics. The best fish caught during the month was a 5lb 4oz rainbow caught by V. Tetley, closely followed by a 5lb 3oz rainbow, caught by C. Piper from Liskeard.
Thrunton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Matching the hatch has been key to success this week, with some good hatches of hawthorns and black gnats driving the fish into a frenzy and creating some spectacular top of the water sport. Despite the cold northerly wind later in the week anglers have had some good bags of trout, with Ross Dixon returning a 13lb brown to Long Crag lake. The Anchor Fly Fishers from Coldingham saw Jim Blair win the heaviest bag and Harry Muir the heaviest fish. The Castaways Club from Alnwick had a mini competition on Coe Crag with Dick Fraser winning the heaviest bag. The Bank Holiday Monday saw many youngsters out learning the art of flyfishing with their parents and grandparents which is always great to see. Eight-year-old Austin Tait from Morpeth caught his first fish on a fly, a 2lb 8oz rainbow taken on a Shipman’s Buzzer under the expert guidance of dad Ali.
The Morpeth Chantry Troutticklers organised another of their junior sessions and it was great to see 14 children fishing with many catching trout including Ryan Foggon who landed a 4lb 9oz rainbow on an F-Fly. A big thank you to Sid Dixey, Lance Burton, Barry Mitchell and Kevin Arkle for coming along to coach and organise.
Colin Perkins from Pegswood enjoyed two sessions this week, releasing 19 fish on Diawl Bachs and dries while Alnmouth angler John Woodford netted 10 on Hawthorns and Hare’s Ears. Richard Lee from Swarland also enjoyed two productive visits having “fantastic top of the water sport” and returning 20 fish on Black Gnats and size 16 PTNs. His brother Andrew released nine on Buzzers and Black Gnats. Stu Ward from Westerhope enjoyed his three sessions landing 12, nine and eight-fish bags on Hoppers, Hawthorns and Chamois. Ashington angler Ken Glenton released 16 from both lakes on Bibios and dries. Dry fly fishing was also successful for Michael Hall of Whitley Bay bringing 15 to the net. Jim Burtle from Newcastle and Ali Tait of Morpeth both made the most of the prolific hawthorn hatches bringing 17 and 18 to the net.
Elliot Guthrie from Cramlington gave his dad Simon some healthy dry fly competition, with a draw on their first two visits and Simon just outfishing the youngster with a 14/7 win on their final visit. Chopwell anglers , Ross Dixon, Paul Snaith and Richard Bean enjoyed their day catching 17, 18 and 17 respectively on Apps’, Blobs and Shipmans. Paul, from Snaith, took home a bag of four to 11lb 12oz, best one at 5lb 6oz on a Black Bunny, while Ross, from Chopwell, was delighted to with a 13lb brown from Long Crag lake on a Red Apps’ Bloodworm. T. Phillips from Liverpool brought 15 fish safely to the net from Coe Crag lake on Hoppers. Alan Robinson from Lynemouth had a “great day” catching 14 fish, keeping four to 15lb 10oz from Coe Crag lake. Brian Johnson, 12, from Newcastle caught his first ever fish on a fly, a 3lb 6oz rainbow on a Griffiths Gnat.
Top flies are Hawthorns, Buzzers, Diawl Bachs, Black Gnats, PTN, Hoppers, small black dries, Apps’ Worms, Shipman’s and Bibio.
Thrunton is now taking bookings for a GAIA casting instruction day for both adults and juniors on May 27. There will be two sessions – 10am – 12noon and 1pm – 3pm. Cost is £20 for adults and £10 for juniors. The sessions will be led by GAIA instructor Barry Mitchell and a number of other qualified GAIA instructors will also be coaching. Please contact the fishery to book your place on 01665 574400.
Toft Newton Trout Fishery, Lincolnshre
For the week-ending May 5 the 81 rods caught 193 trout for a rod average of 2.38. Strong north and easterly winds played a big part in slowing sport a bit this week - more from the angle of it being harder to get the presentation spot on for the buzzers which is what the fish are eating at the minute. Spoonings of killed trout have revealed masses of buzzers in predominantly dark olive and black with tan/orange cheeks (sunburst biots go a fair way to imitating this in your flies). Martin Rowson caught perhaps the pick of the fish this week with a fine rainbow between 6 and 7lb. Some settled weather this week should see the sport pick up a lot and we would expect to see bigger bags of fish again - lower wind speeds would help greatly as would a little more warmer weather. It's worth altering approaches to try different parts of the water column. If you’re not seeing many fish rising then an Epoxy Buzzer on the point will get you down. This can be changed to a small Booby or FAB when they're higher in the water, or dries when you are seeing a few fish move on top.
Evening tickets available from 5pm Thursday to Sunday fishing until dusk - £10 C&R, £12 2 fish. Gate closes 7.30pm prompt Mon, Tues, Wed.