England Troutmasters reports for week-ending March 11th, 2016

Blackdyke Trout Fishery, Norfolk
There has been some great sport here. Trout love the cold conditions and probably fight the best at this time of the year. Best methods have been lures and small nymphs all fished on floating lines. Top rod was new angler John Hardy who caught and released 17 fish on Sunday.

Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Sport has improved greatly with the lakes clearing every week. Fish have been caught between three and five feet deep using Buzzers, black and green lures, Orange Fritz and nymphs. Scott Murphy, from Glasgow, caught 13 fish using black and green lures and Yellow Blobs. Peter Davison from New Hartley caught 18 fish using Buzzers. Conor Metcalf and Brad Mackie both landed 10 fish. Ron Martin from Amble kept fur fish and returned six using an Orange Fritz and a Black and Green Fritz. Ralph Holmes from Newcastle returned a lovely 7lb brown trout. Closing at 5pm and stocking twice weekly.

Elinor Trout Fishery, Northamptonshire
Elinor is starting to switch on with a good rod average of over five. For the week February 29 - March 6 the 85 anglers caught 429 fish of which 331 were returned. A few boats are venturing out and catching on mini lures on intermediates. Bank anglers are taking fish on floaters or intermediates with late morning onwards the most productive. In calmer conditions there are a few fish rising. The forecast rise in temperature at the end of the week should see fish feeding in longer spells. Encouraging to see some nice browns being caught and released as none have been stocked so far this season. Best fish of the week was a 7lb brown for Jason Cooke, from Roade. A 5lb 10oz rainbow was caught by James Sargeant, from Cheltenham, on a Montana. Best bank areas are dam, boat bay, and brookside. Best boat areas are lodge end and brookside bay. Best patterns are Montana, Cat’s Whisker, Damsel, Red Apps’ and Black Buzzer.
Elinor will be hosting the final of the Iain Barr/Airflo Bank Masters Final on Sunday April 17 with a first prize of £2000 and many other prizes. Qualifying heats at Elinor will be on March 13 and April 2. All entrants receive a fly-line and flies. Full details and entry form at www.iainbarrflyfishing.co.uk

Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire
Grafham has started the season in fine form with an excellent rod average of 7.84 over the opening weekend. Bank anglers enjoyed a great start with plenty of bag limits taken mainly from the north shore on floating or intermediate lines with black and green lures, Damsel Nymphs, Cat’s Whiskers and Diawl Bachs. The most productive areas on the north shore have been G Bank, Deep Water Point, Hill Farm and the Willows. Boat anglers have also had a great start with plenty of limit bags being taken mainly from the north shore with G Buoy, Deep Water Point, Willows and also the Seat. The most productive method for the boat anglers has been to fish intermediate or medium sink lines with Pitsford Pea, Damsel Nymphs, Vivas, Tequila Blobs and Crunchers. Best rainbow at 3lb 4oz was taken by J. Millard of Baldock, Hertfordshire. Anglers are reminded that brown trout are out of season until April 1 and any caught must be returned safely. The winter fishing restrictions remain in place along the western end of the reservoir until April 1.

Packington Trout Fishery, Warwickshire
Last week 52 rods caught 241 fish for an average of 4.63. Another good week despite the very cold weather conditions that saw frosts nearly every night.  Fish are starting to move freely around the pool, particularly in the afternoon when buzzer hatches are starting to occur. Small Buzzers, Diawl Bach, Bloodworm and other imitative patterns are starting to catch a high proportion of the fish along with Cat’s Whisker and Black Tadpole. The best fish of the week was a 9lb rainbow caught by M. Hood of Nuneaton who was fishing from a boat on Cocks Close. It was the best of his 10-fish catch, all taken on a Cat’s Whisker. Paul Fleeman of Redditch fished catch and release from a boat on Cocks Close and caught a total of 16 fish to 7lb on a mixture of Bloodworm and Cat’s Whiskers. Ian Reeve of Rugby caught seven fish to 7lb 8oz on lures. Fishery regular Dave Bratby of Birmingham fished from the bank of Cocks Close and caught 12 fish to 6lb using a Damsel on the point and a Black Buzzer on the dropper. The best areas have been along the road bank from the lodge corner down to the old boat jetty on Cocks Close.

Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire
Anglers recorded a rod average of 6.8 during the first week of the new season. This was very creditable considering the mixed weather conditions with snow, frost and bright sun all making an appearance. Dave Jarvis had some good sport with 18 fish on his first visit while Mr Howell had a nice overwintered rainbow of 4lb. The best boat areas are stone barn and causeway. Best bank areas are stone barn, sailing club bank and the cliffs. Slow sink lines and small lures and Blobs are doing the business. A further stocking of 2,000 fish is due this week taking the stocking to 6,500 so far this season.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir, Northamptonshire
The new season got off to a flying start with a rod average of 7.2 for the week. Many anglers reported catches of 20-plus fish including some big specimens with the best rainbow reported at 13lb. The main method producing results is sinking line and lure tactics. Pitsford Pea and Orange Blob combinations have been the most successful coupled with a fast glass line. Bloodworm and Buzzers fished static on a sink-tip are taking plenty of fish for those wanting a more imitative approach. Best boat areas are Cat Walk, Island and Coton car park. Bank fishing continues to be good when fish are feeding closer in, although at times the fish appear to be holding about 40 yards out. Best bank areas are platforms 3-6.

Thornwood Springs Trout Fishery, Essex
On lake one, great beginners’ bags to orange lures at one end, while at the other end black lures are tempting brownies when they are feeding. Lake two saw sport to Buzzers, both static and drifted, and emergers. Plenty of 4-6lb fish showing. On lake three Bloodworms and black nymphs are doing well with the best rainbow at 10lb (to Darren) and browns to 7lb.
Witton Castle Lakes, Co Durham

Opening day was hit with strong, cold winds, torrential downpours and spells of sleet for good measure. This unseasonably cold weather kept visiting numbers low but all the anglers who did brave the conditions were rewarded with lakes that fished extremely well. There were rods bending everywhere and most anglers managed the 15 fish bag limit. Anglers with maximum bags of 15 fish were G. Thompson, J.F. Walker, J. Walker, S. Freak, J. Pollard and A. Ross. The best fish of the day were two impressive 7lb rainbows caught by T. Ross and J. Pollard. Due to the conditions this year’s opening season flies have differed also with lures such as Zonkers, Cat’s Whiskers and Black Buzzers catching all the fish.