Blackdyke Trout Fishery, Norfolk
After a really good week’s fishing with most anglers catching on Buzzers, the weekend was a complete wash-out! High winds and rain made fishing extremely difficult. Restocked Monday April 30th to liven things up and let’s hope the forecast improves.
Blithfield Trout Fishery, Staffordshire
One of the longest cold springs in modern memory has seen a very poor start to the season for many. That said, the mini-heatwave from a couple of weeks ago did trigger an intense flurry of hatches and terrestrial activity for a few days which gave the sport a much-needed boost. Despite the return of the chilly air, insect activity remains decent enough with many fish now happily taking Buzzers and nymphs fished a wee bit deeper than is usual for the time of year.
A great tale from the banks this week was that of Russ Davies who is new to both fly-fishing and Blithfield. Under the expert guidance of Steve Cooper, he fished from the bank at Dougies and recorded his first 4 rainbows, all caught on a Bibio. A solid start indeed and hopefully the first of many successful sessions.
Notable returns this week include on the 23rd for visiting rod Dave Roberts who recorded 7 fish from the South Lake banks on a Dancer pattern and on the 24th for season permit holder Peter Jeffries who returned a not-so-unlucky 13 fish including a tiger trout from the banks using a white and orange lure. It was lucky 7 all round on the 26th with permit holder Barry Turner and visiting rods Peter Stacey and Andrew Esplin braving gusty winds to each record total bags of 7 fish. On the 27th permit holder Graham Wood released a total of 20 fish, all caught from the banks of the South Lake on lures and Buzzers. On the same day visiting rod Alan Topping recorded a total of 12 fish from the South Lake banks, all on an Orange Hothead Damsel. Steve Cooper, in between his skilful tutoring of Russ Davies who caught 4 rainbows, managed an additional 9 fish on either Bibio or Orange Tadpole patterns while visiting rod R. Allcock recorded a total of 8 fish from the South Lake banks on black & green lures or Buzzer patterns. Visiting rod Lee Waldron braved a cold, drizzly day on Saturday 28th to venture out in a boat on the South Lake. His efforts paid off and he was rewarded with a very creditable 14 fish all caught on black and green lures and Damsel Nymphs. Rounding off the week season permit holder Phil Sadler returned 7 fish on the 29th with a stunning 3lb 8oz overwintered rainbow amongst them. The current rod average is 3.82.
Weekly stocking is continuing apace with a further 200 stunning tiger trout amongst the total number stocked last week. Unlike brown trout, which must be released unharmed, the faster-growing tigers can be taken if required.
Boat bookings are now being taken for the annual Cancer Charity Day on Saturday June 2. Last year boats booked up very quickly so please let us know as soon as possible if you wish to take part this year on 01283 840284.
Chalk Springs Trout Fishery, West Sussex
The weather has improved slightly and the banks around the lakes have started to dry up nicely. The fishery has been fairly busy, even through the bad weather, and the fishing has been pretty good. The average catch rate is over 90% most weeks and the average fish size over 2lb. As we move into the Spring properly, don’t forget that the fish will start to rise to dry flies, especially mayflies and sedges. Otherwise, the usual suspects are catching well – Goldhead Damsels, Hare’s Ears, Pheasant Tails and Daddy Longlegs. A lot of fish have been caught ‘on the drop’, so it’s always important to pay attention as your fly sinks through the water. A lot of people miss takes, as they don’t watch the fly sink. This is also where a good pair of polarised sunglasses really help. Conditions should only get better now as the weather warms up. The water is lovely and clear, so stalking is always a good way to target fish.
The annual April Fools competition was held at the beginning of the month. Now in its 20th year, it was a good turnout. Twenty-five anglers arrived to fish on the only sunny day of the week and do battle for the trophy. Paddy Hill was there to defend the title, but unfortunately his 3-times winning partner Chris Croucher was unable to make it. This meant Paddy was on his own. The fishing actually started off a bit slow, probably due to the southerly breeze, but by 10 o’clock the fish were coming out all over the place. At the weigh-in, it turned out that with the help of one big fish, Paddy had done just enough to hold on. Steve Burton and Kev Hunt were second with Tony Harrison and Graham Monet in third. Another cracking day – thank you to all who turned out to support it.
May should continue to produce some consistent fishing. There is plenty of fresh spring water flowing through the lakes, keeping them cool and crystal clear. Don’t forget that as well as our ever-popular membership ticket, we also do discounts for juniors (under 16) and we also do a ‘shared novice’ ticket which allows either an experienced angler to share with a beginner, or for 2 beginners to share a ticket. This is available on our 3 fish, 4 fish or 5 fish tickets. Please see the ‘prices’ page on our website, where you will also find information on all of our tickets, a weekly catch update, including a diary of pre-booked full dates, booking details and lots of other information.
Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Chatton are delighted to be hosting the Angling Trust Team England Fly Fishing (ATTEFF) National Bank Championships on Sunday May 6 when 24 anglers will compete for the title of National Bank Champion and a place in the 2018 England Bank Team. Dunnydeer Lake and Ross Lake will be fully booked on this day. Chatton Lake will be open as usual. Apologies to our regular anglers.
Congratulations to Jim Tuck and Jamie Potts, the winners of the senior and junior Troutmasters fish-off competition respectively. There was a 'grand slam' for Paul Marshall from Chester-le-Street this week after catching 2 brown trout (1 at 7lb), 2 tiger trout, 1 blue trout and 6 rainbows. A few doubles have been caught this week. Robbie Bell from Berwick-upon-Tweed landed an approximate 14lb rainbow from Chatton Lake, Jimmy Drew from Wallsend returned 7 fish including a 13lb rainbow to Ross Lake using a Bunny Leech. Gordon Swain from Dipton returned a 12lb 8oz brown trout to Chatton Lake caught on a Dancer. Best flies have been Buzzers, nymphs, Bloodworms and dries. Chatton is closing at 9pm this week and 5pm on Saturday. Still stocking all 3 lakes weekly.
Elinor Trout Fishery, Northamptonshire
For the week April 23 – 29 the 158 anglers caught 975 fish of which 720 were returned. Best fish 7lb 2ozto Chris Selby, from Yaxley, on an Orange Blob; 7lb 1oz Paul Mortimer, Thrapston, UV Buzzer, boat; 7lb George Brock, Corby, Black Buzzer; 6lb 8oz Trevor Partridge, Corby, black/green lure, boat; 6lb 7oz P. White, Northampton, Buzzer; 6lb 3oz Chris Selby, Yaxley, Orange Blob; 6lb 1oz Chris Selby, Yaxley, Damsel; 5lb 9oz Mr Longfield, Northampton, Diawl Bach; 5lb 8oz Walter Kemp, Chatteris, black/green lure, boat. Best bank areas are coarse bank, lagoon, shallow bay, gravel bar. Best boat areas are west arm, gravel bar. Best patterns Black or Olive Buzzer, Black Cruncher, small Damsel, Tequila Blob, and white/green lures.
Despite the cold weather the fishing was superb. Anglers who braved the cold were generally rewarded with some great catches with a rod average of just over 6. Buzzers continue to be the top fly. Some anglers are using a washing-line now that the fish are higher in the water. Keep an eye out for where the birds are working the water as this will be where the biggest buzzer hatches are. Plenty of alder fly hatching. A splashy rise indicates the fish are taking them rather than a more leisurely head and tail of a hatching buzzer feeding fish. I expect the evening rise to finally begin this week with the more normal spring weather. It’s a month late this season. A large number of anglers are suffering broken leaders over the last 2 weeks. The average size of fish in Elinor is the highest ever. I’ve not been able to get hold of any good quality doubles this year so have spent the excess on bigger stockies. In the cool, well oxygenated water the fish are fighting hard so it’s worth upping your usual tippet strength.
The latest edition of Trout Fisherman magazine (issue 509) has a centre-page feature on Elinor and includes a DVD with Iain Barr and Gareth Jones bank fishing at Elinor.
On Sunday April 29, 8 pairs took to the water in a very cold north-east wind for the Scierra Pairs heat. The top 2 pairs qualify for the final at Grafham in August. 1. Shane Else/Jason Cooke, 12 fish 30lb 15oz (SJ Buzzers in West Arm); 2. Mick Griffin/Roger Kerrison, 12 fish 28lb 5oz; 3. Steve Johnson/Matt Tuck, 7 fish 16lb. Biggest fish 4lb by Pip Weatherington.
Foremark Reservoir, Derbyshire
The weather has again varied this week. The days have basically demonstrated significant cloud cover and rain although there have been some infrequent sunny spells. Towards the end of the week the rain has been coupled with a wind from the north east and hence the water temperature has dropped to less than 10 degrees centigrade. On Thursday, a further 230 fish were stocked, and they were put in by the Fishing Lodge pontoon to reduce the concentration of the fish in Flamingo Bay. Boat angling returns are on the increase and returns indicate that Carvers Arm fishing is improving. However, both from a boat and bank aspect Flamingo Bay is still the hotspot. The cold wet weather together with the north easterly winds have apparently moved the fish deeper since intermediate and sinking lines are indicating better fish returns. While this is the overall case on some of the infrequent sunny spells Buzzers have been yielding significant bags of fish.
On Monday Mr D. Handy fished on Verdun’s Point with Buzzers without success and changed to a sinking line with a White Booby and caught 10 fish. On Tuesday Messer’s Coley and Taft caught 13 fish from a boat using fast sinking lines in Carvers Arm. Mr R. Baker during a last 4-hour session had 6 fish on Diawl Bachs from Verdun’s Point. On Wednesday, which tended to be sunny and bright, Mr Savage fished on Verdun’s Point and after not having any takes on a sinking line switched to a floating line with Buzzers and landed 24 fish – this was the best bag of fish in the week. Thursday was again somewhat sunny and Mr R. Gout caught 22 from the bank on Orange Cat’s Whiskers, Blobs and Buzzers. Mr J. Fogg caught 15 fish from a boat. Friday was a bad day with it being cold, raining and an east north-east wind. Five brave souls fished and returned an average of 4 fish per rod noting that most anglers had left by lunchtime because of the inclement weather. Saturday continued with similar weather to that of Friday. Again, some anglers because of the conditions left at lunchtime. Mr K. Noble caught 9 from a boat on a Booby while Mr P. Cooper caught 10 from the bank.
Saturday saw the first Foremark tuition day of the 2018 season hosted by coach Kevin Hart. A group of 6 newcomers to the sport experienced a classroom session, followed by fly casting tuition, then plenty of rod-bending action over in Flamingo Bay. A great day was had by all and under Kevin’s watchful eye participants left with an addiction to fly fishing and trout for supper! Our next tuition day is on Sunday May 20. Please visit www.flyfishtuition.co.uk/prices to book. On Sunday the inclement weather continued, and the north wind seemingly reduced the ambient temperature. Mr R. Miller caught 9 fish from Verdun’s Point on a small Damsel on an intermediate line. Thornton Fly Fishers held a boat match for 6 anglers and the best bag of 3 fish weighing 5lb 3oz was caught by Mr D. Leavesley.
Siblyback Lake, Cornwall
The North Bank, Marshes and Two Meadows produced the best sport over the month, with anglers averaging 2.2 fish per rod. While a few fish were taken on Black Hoppers on calmer days, most were caught on sub-surface patterns, particularly Montanas, Black Pheasant Tails, Diawl Bachs and Buzzers, with pulled lures (such as Baby Dolls, Cat’s Whiskers and Tadpoles) and Boobies fished in the deeper water also producing results. The best fish of the month was a 13lb 8oz rainbow, caught by Ian Hicks from Liskeard, while fishing from the bank; Alec Hoare caught a 12lb 15oz rainbow from the bank at Two Meadows, using a Nomad.
Thrunton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
There has been some great fishing this week on both lakes, despite a week of varied weather. During the warm sunny spells fish were continuously rising meaning anglers found CDCs, Hoppers and Shipman’s Buzzers very effective. They have also experienced some ‘crazy evening rises’ despite the wind making casting difficult at times. Thrunton welcomed The Chopwell Chancers; who fished for the Darren McNestry Memorial Trophy. A total of 27 anglers fished, all catching, with a rod average of 6.1 fish. Congratulations to David Neilson who came first with a bag weight of 12lb 3.5oz, closely followed by Ross Dixon in second place with 11lb 12oz, third Dicky Bean with 10lb 13oz. Thank you also to all the Chopwell anglers who generously donated £315.95 to Breast Cancer Now charity. We also welcomed the Morpeth Chantry Trout Ticklers for their first outing of the season.
Durham angler, Robert Hopper safely released 14 fish to 7lb to Long Crag using Cat’s Whiskers, Buzzers and dries.
Jim Lumsden and Ken Ward from Cramlington used various flies to land 33 and 16 fish from Long Crag over 2 visits this week. Two of their fish were brownies, the rest were blues and rainbows. Elliot Guthrie from Cramlington safely released 20 fish over his 2 visits using dries, Buzzers and Diawl Bachs. Simon Guthrie, also from Cramlington, landed 14 fish over his 2 visits using dries and Diawl Bachs. Hadston angler Matty Devine returned 20 fish using lures and Diawl Bachs. His best fish was an 11lb brown. A. Edwards from Hexham landed 9 fish from both lakes, using an Olive Buzzer. Barwick angler D. Hare released 10 fish using Blue and Grey Buzzers. He said “excellent fishery with quality fish”. Gosforth angler Guy Nicholson safely returned 20 fish using Olive Zonker and Buzzers. He returned a beautiful 8lb-plus brownie. Willie Farndale from Rothbury landed 10 fish using a Damsel. A. Cook and I. Fitzpatrick from Consett released 12 and 11 fish to Coe Crag using Blobs and Bloodworms. Cory Dow from North Shields landed 13 fish using a Bibio and other dries, having a “10/10” day. Jonny Dryden had a “great mornings fishing” safely releasing 12 fish to Long Crag using a Yellow Owl, Buzzers and Hoppers. Angling coach Bob Smith enjoyed his evening session releasing 10 fish on GRHEs. Mick Brown had a ‘splendiforous’ session returning 20 on Buzzers and dries. Howard Croston from Morpeth had ‘an awesome’ session on Coe Crag returning 14 fish to 8lb. Matt Watson from Newcastle returned 18 on Buzzers from Long Crag. Alan Robinson and Rob Hall returned 13 and 9 on Buzzers, dries and Bloodworms. Ricky Usher from Pegswood landed 12 from both lakes using a Green Tinhead. Michael Hall from Cramlington fished Buzzers, dries and lures to attract 10 from Long Crag.
On Sunday May 6 Long Crag lake will be closed until 2pm for the Breast Cancer Now Charity competition. Coe Crag lake will be open as usual. Apologies to our regular anglers.