Bigwell Trout Fishery, Monmouth
A good week at Bigwell and the number of anglers through the gates has increased which was needed after the long, wet winter. The lodge pools have coloured up a few times over the last week with the heavy overnight rain gushing from the stream, but the flow of excellent spring water clears them quickly. The colour does not affect the fishing, with the trout ready to take flies that are presented to them. The gin pool and top pool remain clear at all times. Brian Sissons did well this week catching 4 good-sized rainbows from the lodge pools on black fritz flies, while Paul Barnfield took his bag limit of 10 on catch and release. Peter Morgan and father Richard Morgan caught 6 between them from across all pools. Graham Clifford landed 2 fish, Ashley Howard 2, Mike Ducket 5, Pip Ducket 5, Rob Hall 2, Ron Baker 4, Rob Britten 2, Phil Rees 2, and Bob Peak 2. Colin Gooch brought Steve Isherwood for his first attempt at fly-fishing, Steve is a coarse fisherman so it was a very different experience for him, but with Colin’s guidance he quickly got the hang of casting and landed 1 fish. Harry Webb caught his 2 to take home. Andy Griffiths, on a visit from Aberdeen, caught 1 blue trout and 3 rainbow trout from the gin pool all on a Klinkhamer dry, a floating line and 5lb leader, plus 1 tiger trout from the lower lodge pool on a Chamois fly. Popular flies this week have been Black Fritz, Chamois, Green Spider, Black Minkies, White Minkies, Black Buzzers and White Cat’s Whiskers. Bigwell is open from 7.30am every day.
Ynysyfro Reservoirs, Gwent
Statistics given out at the latest committee meeting for NRFFA were certainly borne out in the catch returns for the last week, with both ponds fishing extremely well. Again, the top pond produced the better catch returns with limits and brown trout being regularly included. On the top pond, day ticket visitor Luke Thomas recorded limits on successive days while Keith Higgins and Dave Howells also had 8-fish catches during the week. Bob Bradley landed 7 rainbows, with a 6-fish catch netted by Bernard Stephens. Mark Southwood, Ken Bowring, Terry O’Connor and Dave Reynolds all netted 5 fish, while Jeff Evans, Roy Jones, Graham Ingram Evans and Chris Daniels each landed 3 rainbows. A brace of top pond trout were recorded by Martin Lewis, Gareth Neale, Andrew Brann, Dave Hiscocks and Colin Jones. In most cases, fish were caught on Buzzer variations although a spell of warmer weather resulted in a few fish being landed on Baby Sun Fly patterns, mainly from the Hedge Bank. On the bottom pond, Ken Pascoe registered two 8-fish limits from the bank and the boat, while Luke Thomas added a second limit to his top pond returns on both of his tickets. Roy Jones added another limit to his season's total catch while Ken Bowring landed 4 to match his earlier top pond return. Martin Rees landed 3 good bottom pond rainbows, as did Lee Ashcroft, Brian Christopher, and Phil Morgan. A brace of trout were netted by Shaun Cotterell, Phil Morgan and Mark Cox. All of these returns were demonstrated in the monthly catch returns for March which saw 450 fish caught on the top pond and over a thousand from the bottom pond. With over 400 visits by permit holders and day tickets respectively, a very good early season rod average of 3.5 fish per rod was achieved. In addition, well over three dozen brown trout, all in excess of 1lb have been caught and released back into the top pond. Well over 60 season permits have been sold and with membership totals nearing 200, the committee of NRFFA are looking forward to a very good season. with both ponds having been well restocked.
The annual Troutmasters fish-off is scheduled for Saturday April 21 on the top pond, between 8.30am and 12pm. The pond will be restricted to competitors only for that time, but outside of the morning the pond will be open to all. There are no restrictions on the bottom pond for permit holders or day tickets alike.
Over the weekend catch and release limits were recorded for the bottom pond by Ken Bowring and Adrian Moyse, with the latter favouring the use of an indicator-style approach to fish Buzzers. Both added their limits to an earlier catch of 4 fish and 7 fish respectively, with the indicator style again proving worthwhile for Adrian Moyse. Phil Morgan also landed a brace of fish from the bottom pond on two successive days. Alan Voisey landed two trout from his regular Friday evening visit. Regular fishermen on the top pond, Keith Higgins and Gwyn Davies both recorded good catches, with Keith using Buzzers to land 6 rainbows, whilst a Baby Sunfly pattern fished from the Hedge Bank provided Gwyn with his day's enjoyment of 4 well-conditioned rainbows. Dave Woods netted an excellent 7 fish return when he fished the top pond. Day ticket visitor Gethin Bowes recorded a 5-fish catch, whilst Bernard Stephens and Dave Howells both caught 4 rainbows using small black flies. Another regular top pond angler, Cardiff member Ivor Thomas, caught a good brace of trout.
NRFFA are pleased to note that well over 40 brown trout have been listed as being caught and released from the top pond, with the majority of fish being identified as part of a stock of small fingerlings added to the pond at the beginning of the 2017 season.