Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire
In an exceptional week of soaring temperatures the trout were still happily feeding just subsurface and taking dry flies, particularly during the afternoons and evenings. As anglers are renowned for never being happy with the weather or conditions there was certainly plenty of comment and theories about air pressure and bright sun and their effects on the sport. The peak temperature at Blithfield on Thursday afternoon was just over 33C but despite this there were still fish moving about in the margins after pin fry and terrestrial treats.
We do need to remind all anglers about the importance of submitting accurate catch returns – these need to record fish killed AND fish released even if an angler has spoken to a Bailiff. Rod averages and stocking policies rely on these as well as our ability to keep angling charges to a minimum. Submitting a catch return is also one of the conditions for fishing at Blithfield and, indeed, at many UK waters and it remains one of the most helpful and responsible things an angler can do.
Creditable returns this week include on the 22nd for season permit holder Pat Burton with 10 fish to his boat, all caught on Daddies and Hoppers; visiting rod Pete Eville makes the report again this week with 23 fish to his boat on the South Lake; and proving that the banks are still productive were season permit holders Steve Cherrington who recorded 10 fish from the banks all on dry flies and season permit holder Paul Walker who fished from the banks for just 3 hours in the evening and returned 13 fish, missing many more takes in the process. On the 23rd temperatures began to climb to 28˚C and in very light winds permit holder Dr Ian Greaves recorded 13 fish to his boat in just 4 hours, all caught on Muddler patterns; visiting rod Tim Russell returned a very decent 15 fish to his boat between 10am and 2pm - this time it was Shipman’s Emerger patterns that proved irresistible to the trout, and visiting rod Mr Morris fished from the banks and recorded 10 fish including a brown trout which was safely released. On the 24th permit holder Bill Scarlett fished from the banks of the South Lake and returned 16 fish on a Cat’s Whisker. The week was rounded off nicely on the 28th with visiting rods enjoying the best sport – Paul Schonau recorded 8 fish from the South Lake banks whilst boat pairing Alwyn Ralphs and Mark Johnson returned a combined total of 18 fish to their boat despite pouring rain all day.
Best areas: Watery Lane; Dougie's; Rainbow Corner (Mon, Tues, Fri only for bank anglers); Ten Acre Bay; Gorse Bushes; St. Stephen's; Old Mans; drifts across the centre of the North Lake.
Best dries: Shipman's Buzzer; 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; Cruncher; Soldier Palmer; Teal, Blue & Silver.
Best fish: 4lb 2oz rainbow trout caught on an Orange Hopper from the banks of the South Lake by Mr T. Hatchard.
The current rod average is 4.34.
Elinor Trout Fishery, Northamptonshire
For the week July 22 – 28 the 58 anglers caught 164 fish of which 135 were returned. Best fish 5lb 6oz to Nigel Cheetham, from Thrapston, on a Black Buzzer off the boat. Best bank areas are coarse bank, east arm. Best boat areas pylon point and down middle. Best patterns
Red or Black Diawl Bach, Red Apps’, Damsel, Black/Red Buzzer, Olive Snake. Monday to Friday last week saw few anglers fishing in the heatwave. Those that did found the fish very reluctant to feed. Water temperature on Thursday peaked at 24.6C. The cooler conditions over the weekend switched the fish back on the feed quicker than expected.
On Saturday Paul Mortimer and Roly Stanford shared a catch of 14 fish to their boat using Bloodworm, Buzzer and Redhead Diawl Bach. Keith Chapman landed 7. From the bank David Lawson caught 6 from the coarse bank on Diawl Bachs.On a wet Sunday there were also some good boat catches: Lazloe Boden 18 fish on a Silver Muddler and Red Diawl Bach. Alan Rennocks 16 fish on a Candy Booby and Black Diawl Bach. Mike Edwards 8 fish on assorted Diawls.
Please take extra care when returning fish. Leave the fish in the net while still in the water and remove the fly without touching or gripping the fish. Although there is some algae there is plenty of clearer water to fish at the top of the wind.
Thrunton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Following another week with a huge variety of weather including strong winds, temperatures up to 25 degrees, thundery showers and varied atmospheric pressures, the fishing has been challenging. Early mornings and later evenings has been the most successful time for catching fish, and fishing lures on sinking lines have taken the majority of fish. Over the next week cooler weather and rain is forecast, which will hopefully provide a cooler water temperature and some better fishing conditions. The aerators have been oxygenating the water over the past few days, to help the fish during the warmer weather.
Jed Armstrong landed 10 fish between both lakes using Blobs, Buzzers and Bloodworms. Jed landed 5 fish over 5lb and 1 fish at 8lb. Keith Mortimer had a 'nice day' returning 5 fish to Coe Crag using a Yellow Dancer. D. Cromarty and D. Rylatt both used a Buzzer to return 4 fish each to Coe Crag having a 'good day'. Duncan Passmore from Ponteland safely released 3 fish between both lakes using Buzzers. John Seed landed 4 fish between both lakes using a Blob and Pink Bloodworm. John also landed his new PB, a 9lb rainbow. Mick Brown from Bedlington returned 9 fish to Long Crag including a 12lb rainbow using Damsel Nymphs. Father and son, Gavin and Joel Ellis had a 'nice morning' landing 4 fish between them on Daddies and Yellow Owls.
Fly box: Blobs, Buzzers, Bloodworms, Daddies, Yellow Dancer and Nymphs. Open daily 8.30am to 9pm. Monday & Saturday 5pm close.
Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire