Bigwell Trout Fishery, Monmouth
A great start to the week with clear pools and an abundance of cool clear water flowing through from the well. The fish were in a feeding mood and regular Rob Britten quickly had 3 for the table. Exmoor Fisheries delivered 135 pristine rainbows including fish over 4lb and spread throughout all pools in readiness for the Troutmasters fish-off on Saturday. Please be aware there will be restricted fishing on Saturday between 8am and 12noon for the fish-off, then normal fishing will resume. George Dickman and Tony Talbot had great sport, both landing 2 fish, Tony fishing on a Buzzer down deep with a slow figure-of-eight, while George caught his on a GRHE. Carl Williams was on form when he caught his first fish in the lower lodge pool on a Grey Duster fished off a dropper and a Black Buzzer on the point, then went on to catch his bag limit. Husband wife team Mick and Jean Fahy had their usual competitive day, Mick caught 4 rainbows his largest fish at 6lb 8oz has been entered into Troutmasters competition, and Jean caught a small perch. Popular flies this week have been Blue-flash Damsels, Klinkhamers, Buzzers, Daddies, Sedge and Grey Dusters. Bigwell is open every day from 7.30am.
Ynysyfro Reservoirs, Gwent
The onset of more spring-like weather has seen far more fish taken on dries and nymphs on both ponds, with boat anglers on the bottom pond finding good fish to duck flies, an Irish description of buzzers. Regular boat user Ken Pascoe caught 2 limits plus a further 7 fish from 3 boat sessions, with Howard Davies and Roy Mealing also taking limits from their boat ticket, again with duck flies. For bank fishermen on the bottom pond, Ken Bowring added 11 trout to his season's total, Phil Harper totalled 6 fish from 2 evening visits using Damsels and Shipman's Buzzers, while Adrian Moyse netted a 5-fish bag. Association president Martin Williams recorded a 4-fish return, with a brace of rainbows being landed by Ken Pascoe, Craig Bowles, Bob Bradley, day ticket visitor Mark Gunter, John Mcindo and Gareth Neale, while Ian Oxley's bottom pond return included a specimen rainbow of 3lb 4oz. On the top pond, catches continue to be very good. Keith Higgins totalled 13 fish from 3 sessions, with Terry O'Connor netting 10 trout, again from 3 visits. John landed 6 trout from 2 evening sessions, with Colin Jones netting 5 fish alongside John. Shipman's Buzzers proved the effective fly. Rob Evans recorded a 5-fish return with 4 fish being landed by Steve Curtis, Mark Roberts, Ken Bowring, Phil Harper, Paul Jennings and Dave Wood. Howell Woods netted 3 good rainbows, with 2 trout being landed by Graham Ingram Evans, Shaun Cotterell, Dean Morgan and Chris Daniels who included a 4lb rainbow in his return.
Pride of place at the weekend was taken by the Troutmasters Fish-off on the top pond and was won by Adrian Moyse with a 2-fish kill result of 5lb 10oz. In second place came Colin Poole of Monmouth with a total weight of 4lb 4oz, followed by Colin Jones with a 2-fish total of 4lbs 2oz. Others taking part included Terry O'Connor, Phil Harper and Gary Wharton. Many thanks are due to Ann and Steve Kean for their work in arranging the competition, and also to those anglers who forsake the attractions of the top pond to allow competitors the freedom of the banks. Preceding the competition, some good returns were made on both ponds, with day ticket visitor Ben Jailler taking a limit from the bottom pond alongside Gethin Bowes and Wynne J. Jones. Alun Paul and Phil Morgan both landed 2 fish. On the top pond Keith Higgins, Dave Woods and Ken Bowring all netted 5 fish, with Dave's brother Howell Woods, recording a 4-fish return. Early season returns have seen Keith Higgins and Paul Gould successfully submit claims for Troutmaster's badges with Daniel Jones being awarded a Junior badge when fishing under the guidance of Adrian Moyse. Both ponds are well stocked with fish being caught on Buzzers, Diawl Bachs and some goldhead lures.