England Troutmasters reports for week-ending March 4th, 2016

Avington Trout Fishery, Hampshire
The fishing this month has been nothing short of fantastic and the fish are really active. Stalking conditions have still been difficult as the sun is not quite high enough in the sky yet. Brisk winds rippling the surface caused problems for anglers trying to pick out the bigger fish. Despite the difficult conditions there have been plenty of good fish coming out, Gary Styles started the day on lake two where he managed to lose what he described as a “monster” in the first couple of casts. Nevertheless Gary persisted and finally produced the goods with a lovely 14lb rainbow caught on a Blue-flash Damsel. Lance, accompanied by regular angler Nigel Morden, caught a fin-perfect 10lb 8oz rainbow from lake two using a small Black and Red Buzzer. Regular angler Richard Francis managed a 10lb rainbow from lake one, using a Humungus lure. Eight-year-old Alfie Saunders caught a personal best rainbow of 5lb 8oz from lake one.
The fish have broken out of their big shoals and are now a lot more spread out. Fly choice is still largely dominated by the larger flies such as Damsels, Cat’s Whiskers, Montanas, Taddy, Fritz and Humungus, especially when fished on a floating line combined with a quick retrieve. The fish are still sitting in the upper layers of the water so a floating line is recommended. Let the lure sink for 5-10 seconds before using a quick retrieve.
The Troutmasters fish-off competition will be held on Saturday March 5.

Blackdyke Trout Fishery, Norfolk
The Iain Barr Bankmasters heat at the weekend was won by Bart Farmer with 12 fish off seven pegs. Second was Charlie Abraham with six fish off six pegs, third Bill McIlroy with six fish off five pegs, fourth Kevin Knights with five fish off four pegs, and fifth Martin Smith with four fish off three pegs. A total of 55 fish were caught with Buzzers, Cat’s Whiskers, nymphs and Snakes all effective. The second heat, due to take place this Sunday (March 6) has been cancelled so the lake will be open as usual. The lake is closed on Saturday March 5 for a corporate event.

Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
The Fritz 'n' Flies Final saw 266 fish caught by 54 anglers, with only two blanks recorded. Three double-figure fish were caught and a total of £4170 was raised. Robbie Dodds from Lancester collected £201.50; Howard Croston from Ellington £170.50; Dave Mordue from Sunderland £170.50; and Brain Davis from Dudley collected £155. Congratulations to Jim and Tracey Tuck on another successful and well organised competition. Sport is improving as the lakes have started to clear and stocking is taking place twice weekly. Best flies have been black and green lures, orange lures, Bloodworms, Buzzers and Nomads. Closing at 5pm this week.

Packington Trout Fishery, Warwickshire
Last week 71 rods caught 306 fish for an average of 4.31. It was a very good week despite the colder weather. There were some really nice fish caught, topped by one estimated at 18lb, caught and returned by fishery regular Rod Lacey, of Nuneaton. He was fishing from a boat on Cocks Close and he temped it with a Black Buzzer on a floating line. Paul Flanner, of Worcester, fished from a boat on Cocks Close and caught and returned a total of 23 fish including one at 11lb 4oz. These all came to his own tied Black Limiter fly fished on an intermediate line. Tom Lyon, of Yardley, fished with a small Buzzer on a floating line to take 11 fish including one at 10lb 5oz while fishing the bank of Cocks Close. Mark Goldney, of Nuneaton, fished the bank of Cocks Close and Park Meadow pools and caught eight fish to 9lb on an Olive Damsel on a floating line. The best patterns are Cat’s Whisker, Black Tadpole, Minkies, Black Buzzer, Diawl Bach, Goldhead Damsel and Bloodworm. The fish are starting to move about more and as it warms up more floating tactics will be successful, so expect Buzzers and emergers to start providing good sport soon. The best areas have been the road bank and the high bank of Cocks Close.

Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire
Anglers recorded an excellent rod average of 5.8 during the opening weekend. There were lots of healthy hard-fighting fish caught. Among those anglers with outstanding catches were Rick Barlow who caught and returned 23 rainbows and John Archer who had 21. All areas of the lake have produced fish but the best areas are Northfield shore, Stone Barn, Duffers, Bog Bay and the Cliffs. Best methods are slow sink or sink tip lines with black and green lures, Orange Blobs or Cat’s Whiskers. Bloodworm fished static under a bung has also scored well.

Press Manor Fishing Lakes, Derbyshire
Anglers are catching on black and green flies such as Montana, Viva, Green Fritz and Montanas. Egg Flies under an indicator are catching good bags, and anglers who move frequently are having best success. Best areas are the ‘boat peg’ in the shallows and the dam. Boat anglers are catching near the reeds in the shallows.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir, Northamptonshire
The new season at Ravensthorpe got off to a fantastic start last Friday. Alan Worley was one of a number of anglers to enjoy some awesome sport, taking the biggest fish of the day – a rainbow of 15lb 8oz which fell to an intermediate line and a Pitsford Pea. A rainbow of 12lb 8oz was caught by John Kembery (on an intermediate line with a Pitsford Pea). Derrick Bass took an 8lb 8oz rainbow on a fast sink line and a Minkie. Peter Bass took a 10lb rainbow, again on an intermediate line and a Pitsford Pea. A 12lb rainbow fell to Rob Keber with a neutral density line and an Apps’ Bloodworm. The super sport continued on Saturday with Alan Duffin taking a 13lb rainbow off platform 4 on a Bloodworm pattern with an intermediate line. John Smith and Mick Griffin had over 40 fish to their boat, fishing floating line, Diawl Bachs, Buzzers and black and green mini lures. Anglers enjoyed plenty of action on Sunday with lots of quality fighting fish falling to a variety of methods.

Rutland Water, Rutland
Rutland trout season opens on Friday March 11. There will be 12,600 fish stocked pre–season. Over the winter the reservoir’s water level has crept up steadily, and is now standing at 95% full. Twenty boats will be available from opening day (winter restrictions) through till the March 31. From April 1 the whole fleet will then be available again. There will be bank restrictions in some areas in the same period, view these spots by going on the Rutland Facebook page. Anglers will be given maps, and they will also be printed and erected around the fishing lodge/permit huts and the respected shorelines.

Toft Newton Trout Fishery, Lincolnshire
For the week-ending February 26 the 76 rods caught 259 trout for a rod average of 4.97. In spite of fairly cold weather the fish have remained very cooperative with many in the 3-7lb bracket reported. Ron Holroyd had two of the big fish in his 20-fish haul taken on a floating line. Best methods have been floating, midge-tip and intermediate lines teamed with Damsels, Buzzers, Apps’, and small Cat’s Whisker Boobies. Anglers are advised to wrap up warm and take a hot drink, it's amazing how keeping warm really helps with concentration levels. Methods remain unchanged from previous weeks with an intermediate and two small Boobies being the pick of the bunch. The best colour combinations are either Cat’s Whisker or Sunburst fished on slow to medium paced retrieves with an occasional twitch to induce a take. The coming week should be much the same, expect a mixture of sizes of fish including some mint-conditioned browns, and if you get the method right, double-figure catches fairly achievable.