England Troutmasters reports for week-ending March 18th, 2016

Blackdyke Trout Fishery, Norfolk
Restocking this week with some larger fish from 3lb 8oz up to 10lb so that there is more variety in the lake. With the settled weather some good buzzers hatches are expected. Cat’s Whisker and small nymphs have produced good limits this week. A couple of places are available for the introduction course on Saturday, £25 a head, please call to book your place on 07525 730447.

Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Exceptional sport this week and all three lakes are fishing well. Fish are approximately in the first six feet of water with Buzzers being very productive. The fish of the week was caught by Sonia Matthews from Newcastle who returned an 11lb rainbow to Chatton lake. Peter Walker from Gosforth had his best day ever catching 15 fish (two fish caught in the first 10 minutes) using a Yellow Dancer and a Cat’s Whisker. Dougie Purves from Ashington kept four fish and returned six on a Montana, one of his fish weighing 6lb. The three Bilborough brothers from Newcastle caught 39 fish in total using Buzzers, Montanas and Bloodworms. Stu Younger from Blyth caught 11 fish using Cat’s Whiskers and Buzzers. Peter Davison from New Hartley also caught 11 fish using Buzzers. Ali Tait from New Hartley caught 15 fish on Buzzers, his best fish being 7lb. Matty Devine from Hadston caught 18 fish using a Devine Dancer and PTN. Robert Hedley from Morpeth kept five fish and returned six using an Egg fly and a Bunny Leech. Ken Glenton from Ashington caught 14 fish on Bloodworms and Black Buzzers. M. Waton from Newcastle caught 17 fish on Buzzers. C. Bradley from Consett caught 14 fish also on Buzzers. Davie Parker from Newcastle caught 15 fish using Buzzers. Keith Watson from Stakeford kept five fish and returned 13 using a Devine Dancer. Matthew Terrent (aged six) from Alnwick caught a rainbow from Chatton Lake on a Red Bloodworm. He also returned a brown trout. The Ladhope Fishing Club had their first outing at Chatton on Saturday with all the members catching fish and thoroughly enjoying their day. Billl Swatton from the club caught a 5lb 1oz rainbow. Dod Bryson also landed a 5lb 3oz rainbow caught on a Black Dancer from Dunnydeer Lake.
The Chatton Ladies Fishing Club are meeting on Saturday March 19 at 9.30am.

Elinor Trout Fishery, Northamptonshire
The beginning of the week fished very well with two cracking doubles caught and released along with a further nine fish over 4lb. The best fish were 12lb 2oz taken by Dave Walker, from Grantham, on a Cat’s Whisker, and 11lb 4oz to David Cairns, from Newmarket, on a Green Cruncher. For the week March 7 – 13 the 57 anglers caught 128 fish of which 92 were returned. On Wednesday March 9 Elinor suffered from flooding, the water was badly coloured and fishing became very poor. Please email or phone the lodge for latest prospects before travelling.
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. The qualifying heat at Elinor will be on April 2. Full details and entry form at www.iainbarrflyfishing.co.uk  The Tommy Wood Memorial Buzzer Match takes place on Sunday May 15. This is a roving bank competition open to everyone. Floating line and buzzer imitations only may be used. All proceeds raised go to Sue Ryder, Peterborough.

Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire
Grafham has continued to fish well for both bank and boat anglers with an excellent rod average of 5.39. Season ticket holder Steve Battle, from Bedford, caught the biggest rainbow of the season so far, a cracking overwintered fish of 6lb 2oz taken at Hedge End on an orange thorax PTN on a sink-tip line. Bank anglers have had a great week with most points along the north shore giving good angling on floating or intermediate lines with Diawl Bachs, Crunchers, Snakes and black and green Tadpoles. The Seat and Sludge bank have also produced good catch rates by the same methods as the north shore. Boat anglers also enjoyed some great fishing with the north shore giving the most consistent catch rates, especially around G Buoy, Deep Water and Pylon Points, Hedge End, Stumps and the Seat. The best method for the boat anglers is to fish sink-tip or medium sink lines with Crunchers, Diawl Bachs, Snakes, Vivas and PTNs.
Anglers are reminded that brown trout are out of season until April 1. The winter fishing restrictions remain in place along the western end of the reservoir until April 1.

Packington Trout Fishery, Warwickshire
Last week 45 rods caught 237 fish for an average of 5.27. An excellent week with fish being caught all around Cocks Close by both bank and boat anglers. The largest fish of the week was a 9lb rainbow caught by Mr Jordan of Birmingham who caught it on a Buzzer while fishing from a boat on Cocks Close. Dave Bratby of Birmingham had a great day on the bank of Cocks Close catching 15 rainbows to 6lb on a small grey lure on a floating line. John Salisbury of Warwick fished from a boat on Cocks Close and caught 11 fish using small Damsel Nymphs fished deep on an intermediate line. Fishery bailiff Adrian Joyce fished the Park Meadow pool for a few hours and caught nine fish to 4lb, all off the top with small Black Glisters and Diawl Bach. The fish are really starting to move well now and lots are coming to emergers and small Buzzer-type patterns fished on a floating line. During the brighter spells the fish are going deep and pulling flies such as small Cat’s Whiskers and Goldhead Damsels are working well fished very slowly. The hotspots have been the high bank and the road bank of Cocks Close.

Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire
A rod average of 4.7 was reasonable considering the bad weather during the majority of last week. Only the hardy few braved the bank with sleet, snow and torrential rain, plus fish were not feeding due to changes in barometric pressure. A further 1500 rainbows were stocked last Monday but due to the weather the water has become quite clouded and this has made fishing more challenging for some. Pitsford regular Chris Butcher reported catching and releasing a fabulous rainbow estimated between 5 and 6lb. The fish have gone deep and about 60 metres off the bank, but many anglers report good sport with plenty of fish moving. Best lines have been either fast intermediate or midge tip and using lures, Diawl Bachs and Buzzers. The buzzers are starting to come off and with a more settled weather forecast the fish should switch on.

Press Manor Fishing Lakes, Derbyshire
Now open seven days a week. Anglers catching on Buzzers and nymphs under a dry or indicator. The trout want the flies fished slowly. Best areas are in the lodge end of the lake and despite the cold northerly Steve Lowe caught on the far bank on the silver birch pitch.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir, Northamptonshire
Gary Gillespie took the best fish of the week, a fine 7lb rainbow taken from a boat near the Coton car park. Gary used a sinking line and lure. Jim Foster took 25 trout during the week, fishing catch and release with Buzzers and floating line. Mick Griffin took 47 trout during three trips to Ravensthorpe. The most productive method is proving to be lures and fast intermediates, Di-3 or Di-5, Pitsford Pea, Minkies or Cat’s Whisker. On warmer days buzzers and diawl bachs are working.

Rutland Water, Rutland
Anglers enjoyed a great start to the new season despite the thick fog that enveloped the reservoir early on opening day. Bank anglers were recording limits as early as 9am. Boat anglers had to wait until late morning for the fog to lift, but were soon into the action. The overall rod average on the first day of the season was 6.37 with fish being caught by both bank and boat anglers from Normanton, Sykes Lane, Whitwell Creek, Yellowstones and East Creek. One of the first bank anglers to take his eight fish limit was Gary Crowther. Gary’s best rainbow was around 4lb. Season ticket holder and former Anglian Water Ranger, Martin Hearth, was back at the Lodge early morning with his six fish. Despite the fog delaying boat departures Leicester anglers Graham Herbert and Richard Dayman had taken 16 rainbows weighing 35lb by lunchtime. The pair used sinking lines and Goldhead Damsel Nymphs. The best fish to the scales so far this season is a 6lb 8oz rainbow taken by Frank Humphries from Brighton. Frank took this specimen off the Normanton bank on Saturday.
A number of out of season browns were caught and returned with Lincolnshire angler Dave Knutt catching off the harbour wall and Chris McLeod catching off the Normanton bank. Both of these  specimens were estimated at around 5lb. Season ticket holder Malcolm Shepherd of Oakham took a brownie on Sunday, estimated at 5lb-plus while fishing off Stockie Bay. A number of rainbows in the 3-4lb range have been caught, though some of these have been carrying a few eggs.
With steadily rising temperatures it was noted in quite a few areas that fish were already moving on top, taking advantage of the early season buzzer hatches. Some fish were within 10 to 12 feet of the bank. Lures were used in many different guises; black and green, Blobs, Cormorants and Boobies etc. Anglers fishing nymphs were rewarded with fish falling to Buzzers and Diawl Bach.
On Saturday members of Derby Fly Fishers held a bank competition with nine anglers fishing mainly off the Normanton bank near the church. 86 fish were recorded for a rod average of 9.55. The largest fish weighed 3lb 10oz and went to Phil Webb. Mike Weaver was top rod with 18 fish, Keith Smith was second with 15 and Ray Jeffrey third with 12 fish.
Prospects are very good particularly with early hatches of buzzers for the fish to feed on, along with bloodworm, small snails and shrimp (all of which have been found in stomach contents). Stocking continues with 2,000 more 900 gram rainbows going in this week.

Thornwood Springs Trout Fishery, Essex
On lake one, Cat’s Whiskers, Damsels and Dancers are tempting rainbows, while Crunchers and Spiders are best for the browns. Lake two fish came to Buzzers all week and occasionally Bloodworms with fish to 8lb recorded. On lake three Red Buzzers tempted fish to 9lb. Emergers just starting and some evenings now seeing a good rise.

Toft Newton Trout Fishery, Lincolnshire
For the week-ending March 11 the 66 rods caught 420 trout for a rod average of 6.4. A definite change in feel to the weather towards the end of the week led to a surge in fish feeding activity. Lighter winds and settled conditions always spell better periods of fishing coming into spring. Matt Nuttall was top rod of the week landing 39 fish from the bank on small White Boobies, his best catch in 25-plus years of visiting Toft. John Steels took the best rainbow of the week at 7lb 2oz on a Minkie Booby. There's a shift towards the naturals just now and whilst a Booby or Blob should be present on the cast, don't forget black and dark olive Buzzers, Diawl Bachs and Pheasant Tail Nymphs. Fish are on the move much more so you need to be too, get the wind in your favour, drift the flies around and hold on.
When the clocks change at the end of the month Toft has decided to try concentrate evening angling to four nights per week. They will close at 7.30pm, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with the usual close at dusk applying Thursday to Sunday inclusive. Boat anglers will be asked to finish with their boats before dusk to allow safe time for removal of motors etc. Relevant times will be posted on the office board.

West House Trout Lakes, Cleveland
An open competition combined with the Troutmasters fish-off took place on Saturday March 12 and the runaway winner was Peter Crowe of Hartlepool who caught 18 fish to win the first prize of £100. In second place, winning £50, was Ryan Matthews who caught nine fish in the morning session but only managed one in the afternoon. Third was R. Hill and fourth Bill Bingham. A total of 101 fish were caught during the match and thanks go to Geoff Witt who cooked excellent burgers for everyone’s lunch. As the weather settled down later in the week the fish started to rise with some good sport to dries or flies fish just subsurface. Neil Jordan of Lanchester caugh 16 fish, the biggest 5lb, on size 20 Hare’s Ears. Local angler Ernie Craster from Norton caught 10 fish including three over 5lb. Best flies are lures fished under indicators if no fish showing, but switch to smaller patterns, Buzzers and dries as the day warms up and fish start to rise. The lakes are now open from 8am until 6pm every day. Free tea and coffee is now available from the lodge.

Witton Castle Lakes, Co Durham
The first full week of the new season started with freezing temperatures and torrential rain but improved greatly as the week progressed. The 52 visiting anglers caught between them 426 fish, giving an impressive rod average of 8.1. The best anglers of the week all managed the 15 fish bag limit, they were G. Thompson, J. Walker, S. Freak, J. Pollard, R. Mathews and M. Puncheon. The best fish of the week was a fine 7lb 8oz rainbow caught by T. Ross, closely followed by J. Pollard with an equally impressive 7lb rainbow. By far the best performing fly this week has been Black Zonker with Black Tadpoles and Blobs catching the majority of the rest.