Bigwell Trout Fishery, Monmouth
The heavy snow brought the fishery to a close last week, which is unheard off. The lodge pools began to ice over, again very unusual for Bigwell, so the gates were closed on Thursday lunchtime and remained closed until Tuesday. Hughie Wilson managed to beat the snow last Wednesday to catch 4 fish, mostly on his small Black Buzzer and Cat’s Whiskers. The heavy snow followed by rain brought down a flood of coloured water into the lower lodge pools which put the fish down deep. Basil Freeman and Peter Atkinson both made it out on Tuesday and took 2 fish each on their catch and kill tickets using Blue-flash Damsels and Egg flies. All their fish were caught on the top pool which has remained clear despite snow. The gin pool has also remained crystal clear and the lodge pools are clearing. Bigwell is open 7 days a week from 7.30am to dusk.
Ynys y fro Reservoirs, Gwent
A very good opening few days to the new season in which over 400 fish were caught from the top pond plus 550 from the bottom pond giving a rod average of approximately 4 fish per rod for the 240 visits recorded. A return to some better weather, plus both ponds being restocked, has resulted in some excellent fishing with most fish being caught from the bottom pond around Pipe Bay and the Bush/Car Park Bank. Catch and release limits went to Keith Higgins, Shaun Cotterell, Terry O'Connor, Bob Bradley and Alan Rees all fishing on season permits. Day ticket members Bryn Burgess, Stewart Woodfield and Craig Bowles also landed 8 fish. Other returns worth mentioning include Dave Howells with 10 fish over two visits, Association president Martin Williams with 12 fish from two sessions and Brian Wareham with 7 fish from his two visits. Bernard Stephens and day ticket holder Richard Harry both netted 7 trout. Another day ticket member, Barry Jones caught 5 fish while 4 fish were landed by Roy Mealing, Colin Jones and Ken Bowring. Dean Connelly, Howard Davies, Dave Kane and Lindsey Kirkwood each netted a 3-fish catch with head bailiff John Mcindo adding a brace of trout to his earlier 3 fish record. On the top pond Cardiff Reservoirs secretary Jeff Wilson had two limits, Keith Higgins added a further 5 fish to his bottom pond catch, while Dean Connelly and day ticket members Paul Gould and Barry Jones also recorded a 5-fish catch. Ivor Thomas caught 3 fish when he fished the top pond with Norman Curtis registering a brace of rainbows, as did Dave Slocombe. Dave Lonergan also caught 2 trout when he fished the top pond on his visitor ticket. The Road/Railings Bank again proved the most successful area of the top pond, and on both ponds Damsel patterns, Montanas and Cat’s Whiskers caught most fish.
The latter part of the week saw some very good fishing, particularly from the bottom pond with numerous limits being achieved. These include Adrian Moyse, Ken Bowring, Colin Jones, Dave Slocombe, Richard Bateman, Gareth Neale, day ticket member Steve Docherty and day ticket visitors Dan Morton, A. Cross and Luke Thomas. Other returns worth noting include 5-fish catches for Keith Higgins, Roy Jones, Wynne Jones and visitor A. Ball. Chris Daniels landed 4 fish while a 3-fish catch was recorded by Martin Rees, Ken Pascoe and Alan Rees, alongside a brace of trout netted by Ivor Thomas, John Mcindo, Phil Harper, Andrew Bann, Shaun Cotterell and junior day ticket visitor, Daniel Jones. Both sides of the pond provided good sport with fish being regularly caught from the Bush, Car Park Bank, Pipe Bay and Pear Tree Bank. Successful flies included Damsel Nymphs, Cat’s Whiskers and Orange Blobs. On the top pond Gwyn Davies landed a catch and release limit from the Railings Bank when he fished a combination of weighted Buzzers and Diawl Bach nymphs with Dave Howells also landing 8 fish to add to his season's total. Three visits to the top pond saw Keith Higgins land a total of 10 trout whilst Dean Connelly netted three fish. Huw Johns fishing on a members' day ticket caught a brace of good fish with Luke Thomas, again fishing on a day ticket, adding a further 2 fish to his bottom pond return. In addition to the regular catches of rainbow trout, good early season returns of brown trout are being recorded. These include stocked fish plus trout from the previous season.
On Sunday, the bottom pond again produced some good fishing, with Ken Pascoe recording a limit, Shaun Cotterell landing 6 rainbows and Roy Jones netting 5 trout. In addition, Keith Higgins added a brace of fish to add to his top pond return, while Paul Gould used his member's day ticket for 2 rainbows. The area around Pipe Bay in particular, Pear Tree Bank and the Car Park Bank produced most catches. Lures including Cat’s Whiskers and Montana patterns landed fish. On the top pond in addition to Keith Higgins, Steve Curtis caught 5 trout with Bob Bradley fishing Buzzers for his 2 trout. The Road/Railings Bank again provided most catch returns.