Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire
At the start of the week ever-changing wind direction and pressure systems produced challenging conditions. From Wednesday and Thursday a huge deluge of water saw levels rise over 300mm in just 24 hours. This influx of cooler water promoted a massive improvement in insect life and consequently resulted in some spectacular ‘top-of-the-water’ sport. This has resulted in an unprecedented August rise in the rod average.
On Friday a visiting pair of boat anglers enthused that the sport was ‘unreal’ for August and that they were casting at rising fish all day to finally record a combined total of more than 60 fish, all to dry fly tactics. The excellent sport continued on Saturday and Sunday especially in the afternoon and evening sessions as can be seen from the summary. Spooned fish have revealed a varied diet of buzzers, small terrestrial black beetles, hoverflies and coarse fish fry.
Noteworthy returns this week include on 29th for permit holder Keith Buckley with 11 fish from the banks, all caught on Hoppers. The 30th saw a day of torrential downpours but the fish just kept on taking flies. Visiting boat rods Alan Topping and Bill Robinson recorded a combined total of 26 fish to their boat, while visiting bank rod Eddie Guest recorded 14 fish from the South Lake banks, all caught on Buzzers. After further overnight rain and the start of rising water levels on Wednesday 31st boat anglers fared well with visiting rod Clive Wilkins returning 12 fish to his boat on claret dries while season permit holder Peter Jeffries recorded 17 fish to various patterns including Shuttlecock CDC and Shipman’s Buzzers. August 1 continued in the same vein with season permit holder Rod Singer recording 10 fish to his boat on dry fly patterns while visiting rod Steve Heath fished from the South Lake banks to return 15 fish. On the 2nd permit holder Dr Ian Greaves returned 10 fish in just 4 hours with Sedge patterns proving very useful; visiting rods Martin Mason and Martin Dixon used lures to achieve a combined boat total of more than 30 fish; visiting rod Dougie Snape fished alone in a boat and returned 21 fish, all caught on dry flies including Daddies and Shipman’s Buzzers; and visiting boat pair R. Tilton and T. Buckett recorded a staggering 66 fish to their drifting boat, again with only dry flies being employed. Further great boat returns followed on 3rd with visiting rods faring well – Messrs. Greatbatch and Jobling recorded a combined total of 26 fish to their boat by using wet flies during the day and dry flies in the evening, while Messrs Booth and Nixon returned a boat total of 24 fish using dry fly tactics. Rounding off yet another superb week on Sunday 4th permit holder George Eardley returned 14 fish to his boat on Shuttlecock CDC patterns; visiting rod Paul Haselock recorded 16 fish to his boat, all on Hoppers, and visiting rods Gary Wright and Martin Griffiths had a phenomenal day with 80 fish to their drifting boat on Daddy Longlegs, Hoppers and Bob’s Bits.
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; Kate McLaren.
Best fish: 4lb rainbow trout caught on a Hopper from a drifting boat on the South Lake by Martin Page.
The current rod average is 5.49.
Pike and perch fishing dates have been announced – see our website for details or contact John Davey by email email@example.com
Elinor Trout Fishery, Northamptonshire
For the week July 29 - August 4 the 118 anglers caught 284 fish of which 201 were returned. Best fish 7lb 11oz Alan Rennocks, Kettering, UV Cruncher, boat; 4lb 14oz Mal Broughton, Grantham, Black Diawl Bach, boat; 4lb 12oz Tony Courtney, Northampton, Black Suspender Buzzer; 4lb 8oz Alan Calver, Oundle, Black Buzzer, boat. Best bank areas are Brookside, east arm, coarse bank. Best boat areas pylon point, down middle, dam end in a north wind. Best patterns red or black Diawl Bach/Cruncher, Foam Daddy, Black Hopper, Damsel Nymph, Candy Booby, black or olive Snake.
Another tricky week which is usual for July/August. Lots of fish continue to feed on damsels but they are difficult to tempt when concentrating on the adults. A Foam Daddy or Muddler/Booby pulled across them has been successful. Barring another heatwave the fishing should improve later on this month as the water has a chance to cool during the longer nights. For bank fishing in particular you stand a much better chance on a day with cloud cover. 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. Water temperature is at a reasonable 20.2C.
Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire