Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire
As we approach mid-July we would usually expect the margins to be too warm and fish to have moved out to deeper water by now. However, this year has proved to be exceptional for bank sport and higher water levels after June’s heavy rainfall, which has plagued so many river anglers, has been a very welcome phenomenon here. Fish are still moving into the weeds and margins feeding avidly on pin fry, emergers and small terrestrials blowing off the banks and trees and although boats are enjoying better coverage of the water bank anglers are certainly not missing out just yet. Later afternoons and evenings are incredibly productive times for dry fly enthusiasts with Sedge and Hopper patterns dominating the returns this week, closely followed by Shipman’s Buzzers and Sugar Lumps.
A reminder to syndicate anglers this week to please book in advance of your visit rather than just turning up on the day – this will avoid any disappointment if there are no rods available when you get here. Although with a 4-hour bank permit costing just £15 what’s not to like?
Creditable returns this week include on Monday the 8th for season permit holders Pat Burton and Peter Jeffries with 14 fish apiece from their respective boats, all caught on dry flies; visiting rod Clive Wilkins returned 23 fish to his boat on the South Lake using CDC and Hare’s Ear nymph patterns; visiting rod Ian Watson proved that the banks are still performing well with 13 fish, all caught on Daddy Longlegs; permit holders and regular boat pairing Brian Jones and Graham Wood also enjoyed great sport with 30 fish to the boat. The 9th saw visiting rods performing well with Mr. R. Tilton recording 16 fish to his boat, all caught on Hoppers, while Ian Jennings fished from the banks and returned 27 fish all on Buzzers. Wednesday 10th dawned with promising cloudy skies and settled conditions and certainly didn’t disappoint. Permit holders Eddie Biddle and George Eardley fished from a drifting boat on the South Lake and recorded 27 fish between them, again all caught on Shipman’s Sugar Lumps; visiting rods Yousef Dar and Steve Williams also drifted across the South Lake to record a phenomenal 75 fish to their boat on combinations of dries, nymphs and Blobs; visiting boat rods Terry ‘Wafter’ Coging and Geoff Stanley returned 23 fish between them, all caught on various dry patterns including Sedge, while visiting rod John Spencer made good use of Buzzer patterns to return 11 fish from the banks of the South Lake. On the 11th boat pair and season permit holders Pat Burton and Nigel Hodkinson returned 24 fish to their boat with Hoppers being the flies of choice for both anglers; visiting rod Graham England also took a boat out onto the ever-giving South Lake and recorded a very creditable 30 fish – every one safely released. The 12th saw gusty north westerly winds making conditions tricky for some but season permit holder Bill Scarlett returned 15 fish from the banks in just 3 hours’ sport whilst visiting boat angler Pete Eville used Crunchers and Diawl Bachs to tempt the hungry fish looking for pin fry and recorded 35 to his boat. Rounding off the week were visiting boat pair Roy Bailey and Jordan Riley who returned 15 fish between them – not a bad result considering that Roy has not been fly-fishing for very long.
The annual Blithfield Triathlon will take place on Sunday July 21. While fishing will still be taking place there are restrictions on bank angling between Rainbow Corner and Watery Lane and slightly stricter boat conditions until early afternoon. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Best areas: Watery Lane; Dougie's; Ten Acre Bay; Gorse Bushes; drifts across the centre of the North Lake; Pastry Point.
Best dries: Shipman's Buzzer; Sedge; Claret Bristol Hopper; Orange CDC Hopper; Shuttlecock CDC; Shipman's Sugar Lump; Red-butt Bristol Hopper.
Best lures: Orange Tadpole; Cat's Whisker.
Best nymphs/wets: Black Buzzer; Diawl Bach; PTN; Black & Peacock Spider; Cruncher; Soldier Palmer.
Best fish: 4lb 8oz rainbow caught on a Daddy Longlegs from a boat on the South Lake by Oliver Hingley.
The current rod average is 5.83.
Elinor Trout Fishery, Northamptonshire
For the week July 8 – 14 the 154 anglers caught 530 fish of which 340 were returned. Best fish 6lb 7oz to Darren Oram, from Aldwincle, off the boat; 6lb 6oz Chris Redhead, Whittlesey, Black/Red Buzzer, boat. Best bank areas coarse bank, east arm, dam (in a north wind). Best boat areas pylon point, down middle, dam (in a north wind). Best patterns Red Diawl Bach, Black/Red Buzzer, Damsel Nymph, dry Blue Damsel, Daddy, Olive Hopper, white/green lure, Tequila Blob, Black or White Snake.
On first glance the rod average of 3.4 last week was good for mid July. However the results were helped by a few boat anglers catching good bags: Nigel Cheetham, 24 fish, FAB and Buzzers, deep water off pylon; Andrius Papeika, 24, White Snake or dry Blue Damsel, anchored off dam; Alan Rennocks, 15 on Bloodworm and Red Diawl Bachs; Steve Loveridge 15 Candy Booby, Red Diawl; Chris Redhead, 14, deep Buzzers; Ian McGregor, 14, size16 Red-head Diawl; Matt Collerson, 14, dry Damsel, Sedge, Red Diawl. Bank fishing in particular was hard with 2 or 3 fish a good score. Plenty of boat anglers also struggled but every day last week there were a few boats who cracked the method.
Forthcoming competitions - Sunday November 10 Dave Hughes Memorial Fur & Feather.
Thrunton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Low atmospheric pressure has made fishing a bit of a challenge this week, anglers who regularly changed locations and tactics were having most success. Buzzers, Damsels and various lures have all been productive this week. We have been busy clearing weed from Coe Crag lake, in preparation for the UK Junior Troutmasters Final on July 20-21. If you are interested in coming to watch some very talented juniors, then come along; refreshments will be available throughout the weekend in the fishing lodge. GAIA will also be at Thrunton over the weekend, providing casting tuition to parents and children who may be interested in starting to fly-fish. We have also started to see some of the juniors getting in some practice, in preparation for the big weekend.
D. Stephenson from Crawcrook had a 'good day' returning 6 fish to Long Crag using a Yellow Chamois. Scott Batey returned 5 fish to Coe Crag using a Black Buzzer. Lawrence Taylor from Norham returned 3 fish to Long Crag using Daddies. Barry Nicholson used a Blob to safely return 3 fish to Long Crag. M. Robson used lures to safely return 3 fish to Coe Crag. Brent Taylor used a PTN and Damsels to land 4 fish from Long Crag. Jimmy Richardson safely released 3 fish between both lakes using a Yellow Owl. Arnie Birchinal used dries and a Montana to safely return 4 fish between both lakes. Stu Ward safely released 3 fish to Long Crag using Chamois.
Fly box this week: Buzzers, Damsels, PTNs, Chamois, CDCs, Daddies and various lures. Thrunton is open daily 8.30am to 9pm. Monday and Saturday 5pm close. PLEASE NOTE: Coe Crag Lake will be closed from Wednesday July 17 until after the Junior Troutmasters Competition. We will also be closing at 6pm on Sunday July 21.