Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire
This week 2 season permit holders ‘spooned’ the fish they killed to ex-amine the stomach contents which revealed a small surprise. In addi-tion to the usual buzzers there were also unseasonably early sedge pupae. This approach to ‘matching the hatch’ will arguably increase the anglers’ chances to contact an early season or overwintered specimen. A particular special mention this week goes to Ian White who renewed his permit and went out to fish on the same day. He returned an out-standing 46 trout to his boat and declared “what a great day to renew my permit, best money I have ever spent!”
Other creditable returns this week (once again there were many) in-clude on Monday 6th for season permit holder Paul Walker who fished from the banks from 8.45am until 1pm and returned 24 fish and for vis-iting rod Dru Lunney who used lure tactics from a boat on the South Lake to record 30 fish. On 7th season permit holder Bill Scarlett re-turned 12 fish from the banks in just 4 hours while visiting rod Mr Sanders returned 25 fish from the banks, visiting rod Gary Freegard 15 fish and visiting rod Matthew Yarwood returned a very decent 31 fish from the South Lake banks on patterns including Damsels and Buzz-ers. The 8th saw permit holder Kevin Moore record 18 fish from the South Lake banks all on lures and spider patterns – not bad at all for an angler who is seated for much of the time thus proving you do not need to be actively wading at the moment. On Thursday 9th, despite cool winds, visiting rod Mike Oliver returned 20 fish and the 10th contin-ued to produce incredible results with visiting rod Alan ‘Fish Whisperer’ Topping returning 25 fish from the banks and visiting rods Andrew Esplin and Colin Nesbitt recording a boat total of 30 fish between them. Saturday 11th continued the theme with permit holder Harry Deakin re-turning 18 fish from the South Lake banks, including a 2lb-plus brown trout on various small wet flies and lures, while vising rods Messrs. Owen and Morris fished from a boat and recorded 25 fish. Rounding off another amazingly good week season permit holder Steve Cher-rington fished from the banks on Sunday evening and returned an ex-cellent 16 fish – all caught on Hoppers!
Blithfield also hosted 2 boat meetings on the 12th – The David Col-clough Meeting saw excellent returns producing a rod average of 14.4 whilst Foremark Fly Fishers enjoyed phenomenal sport with one triple hook-up, four double hook-ups and one angler returning 49 fish! The match was won by Ric Saccone with 10lb 15oz, second place was Jodie Younger with 10lb 8oz and third Barry Lord with 9lb 6oz. Di-3 and 5 lines were widely employed along with combinations of Buzzers and lures. The group declared it an ‘amazing day’ and we look forward to seeing them again later in the season.
An important note – the following dates see restricted or no boat avail-ability: Sunday May 19, Scierra Pairs competition, boats very limited; May 22 limited boats available due to pre-bookings; Friday May 24 ATEFF qualifier, no boats available to book in advance, boats very lim-ited for May 23; Saturday June 1 annual Blithfield Cancer Charity Day, no boat availability.
Best areas: St. Stephen's; Ten Acre Bay; Concrete Bowl; Dougie's; Rainbow Corner (Mon, Tues, Fri only for bank anglers).
Best dries: Shipman's Sugar Lump; Sedge; Black Bristol Hopper; Or-ange CDC Hopper.
Best lures: Montana; Bloodworm; Olive Tadpole; Blue-flash Olive Dam-sel; Cat's Whisker.
Best nymphs/wets: Montana; Black Buzzer; Diawl Bach; Olive Damsel; Prince; Olive Buzzer; PTN; Black Pennell.
Best fish: 5lb 10oz rainbow trout caught on a Pearly Pheasant Tail Nymph from the bank on the South Lake by Tim Buckett.
The current rod average is 6.59.
Elinor Trout Fishery, Northamptonshire
For the week the 221 anglers caught 1178 fish of which 817 were re-turned. Best fish 7lb 6oz Gary Martin, Corby, black/green lure, boat; 6lb 4oz Steve Freeman, St Neots, Shipmans; 6lb 2oz Mr Harrison, GRHE, boat; 6lb 1oz Steve Quartley, London, Black Buzzer, boat; 5lb 12oz Greg Potts, Whittlesey, Olive Cruncher, boat; 5lb 7oz Mark Kirkland, Rushden, Olive Buzzer, boat; 5lb 6oz John Thomson, Corby, Orange Blob, boat; 5lb 3oz Darren Oram, Aldwincle, Orange Blob, boat; 5lb Steve Quartley, London, Olive Cruncher, boat. Best bank areas coarse bank, gravel bar, shallow bay, lagoon. Best boat areas west arm, east arm, down middle. Best patterns Olive Buzzer, Red Cruncher, Olive Cruncher, GRHE, Yellow Owl, small CDC, white/green lures, Black Snake.
The superb surface sport continues at Elinor with fish moving during most of the day. There tends to be a lull in mid-afternoon then a spec-tacular evening rise from 8.30pm onwards. Despite the bright condi-tions the bank anglers had a much better week than recently with the coarse bank and east arm producing during the day and gravel bar and shallow bay full of fish in the evening. Boat anglers are catching fish from most areas. A mixture of methods worked last week including floater/washing-line, dries, or Snakes/Damsels on an intermediate. The water remains crystal clear with some great fly hatches. Olive or black buzzers and pond olives are the main food source but some mayfly have also appeared this week.
Thrunton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Cold northerly breezes and some brisk showers don’t seem to have put the fish off feeding this week. One angler had ‘one of those days that will stay in the memory for a long time’ netting 17 fish on what was probably the coldest and wettest day of the week. Thirteen of them came in a mid-afternoon feeding frenzy while fishing 2 Diawls on a mid-intermediate line with fish hitting and fighting hard almost as soon as the flies hit the water. Other anglers have had great success this week with various dries and Buzzers. The Eyemouth Angling Club visited Thrunton on Saturday, where 12 club members fished 8 hours landing 78 fish between them for a rod average of 6.5. Robert Fawkes and Patrick Spence from Chopwell had a ‘great day’, Rob netting 12 and Patrick 9 on Coe Crag using various flies. Jim Smith from Blyth re-leased 11 on Cat’s Whiskers on Long Crag including 2 doubles. Julien Bailes from Wooler returned 12 to Long Crag using CDCs and Hare’s Ears. Joe Brown from Bedlington released 21 and kept 4 using Shuttle-cock Buzzers over his three sessions this week. Brian Bales from Chat-ton returned 7 over both lakes on Buzzers. Rob Hall from Mor-peth released 7 on Long Crag using dries and Buzzers. Ken Glenton from Ashington returned 27 to Long Crag using dries and Buzzers, over his two visits this week, including a nice 9lb rainbow. Chris Nichol from Gosforth had ‘a crazy few hours’ releasing 16 on Coe Crag and 1 on Long Crag using Diawl Bachs and dries. Bob Smith released 8 to Coe Crag including a 10lb rainbow and an 8lb brown. Lol Seddon re-leased 10 to Long Crag using dries and lures. Richard and Bill Colling-wood returned 10 fish between them over both lakes including a PB for Richard, a lovely 10lb rainbow. John Williams from Morpeth released 8 over both lakes using Buzzers and dries. Austin Churm released 14 us-ing Yellow Owls and Black Flappers. David Kay from Morpeth released 15 fish to Long Crag. Mick Brown from Bedlington released 20 fish over both lakes having a ‘magic day’ using Megs Favourites. Mick Kelly had a ‘great day’ returning 8 fish between both lakes using black dries. David Todd released 17 fish using dries and nymphs between both lakes, having a ‘brilliant afternoon’. John Pringle from Wooler released 11 to Long Crag using dries and Bloodworms.
Fly box this week: Buzzers, dries, Bloodworms, Bunny Leeches, CDCs and Hare’s Ear Nymphs. Bigwell is open daily 8.30am to 8pm. Monday & Saturday 5pm close.
Please note that Long Crag lake will be closed on Saturday May 18 for a Charity Competition, Coe Crag lake will remain open as usual, and Long Crag will be open from 1pm. Apologies for any inconvenience caused to our regular anglers.
On Thursday May 23 at 7pm Bigwell is hosting a talk on saltwater fly-fishing featuring Gavin Platz, Australia’s foremost leading saltwater fishing guide. All welcome, £2.50 admission.
Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire