Blackdyke Trout Fishery, Norfolk
An excellent week with top of the water action all over the lake. Hawthorns hatching off and dark olive mayflies dancing over the water – the trout have never had it so good! Buzzers around as well so now’s the time to get on the bank. David Cairns caught and returned a beautiful rainbow of 8lb 8oz on Tuesday. Fishery manager Paul Speed is leaving Blackdyke on May 28 to pastures new. The fishery will remain open as usual.
Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Sport has been exceptional with fish being caught on a variety of tactics from small dries on the surface to lures fished deep. Three double-figure fish have been caught this week: a 10lb 2oz rainbow from Chatton Lake by Liam McVittie from Durham, who used a Cat’s Whisker; Matty Divine from Hadston returned a 14lb 4oz rainbow to Ross Lake and caught a further 17 fish on Diawl Bachs and lures; and John Davison from Wooler returned 10lb and 6lb rainbows, he kept three and returned seven using CdCs. Anglers have comment on the size and quality of the fish being caught, many in the 4lb to 9lb bracket. The fly box this week is Black Buzzers, Black Gnats, Hoppers, Hare’s Ears, Pheasant Tails, Diawl Bachs and lures. Mark Dunlop from Belford enjoyed a three hour evening session, catching nine fish using Damsels and Diawl Bachs. Steve Cochrane from Guidepost caught 10 fish on dries and Beetles. Davie Bilbourgh from Gosforth caught 11 fish using a Black Fritz and his brother Steve from Cramlington caught 16 fish on Hoppers and dries. George Taylor from Alnwick was delighted with an 8lb rainbow he returned to Ross Lake using a Green Tapdole. Tony Robinson from Howtel caught 11 fish using Buzzers and nymphs. Mick Brown from Bedlington returned 18 fish using various flies. Stan Clerech from Nottingham returned 11 fish using a Black Buzzer and a Nomad. Kevin Levell from Hawick caught 12 fish, returning a 6lb 8oz brown trout. Chris Hopkins from Blyth caught 10 fish on Buzzers and dries. R. Lee from Swarland caught 10 fish on Pheasant Tails and Hare’s Ears. Jim Heaton from Lauder caugth 14 fish on Buzzers and Diawl Bachs. Ken Glenton from Ashington caught 13 fish using Buzzers and dries. Julian Bales from Wooler caught 10 fish also using Buzzers and dries. Fishery closing at 9pm, and 10pm on Friday and Saturday evening.
Eyebrook Trout Fishery, Leicestershire
Mike and Matt Bradbeer enjoyed some wonderful sport recently. Fishing Buzzers from the bank at the Hawthorns and Sam’s Dyke, the father and son duo caught and released many hard-fighting rainbows. Ray Buckland of Northampton also enjoyed his outing on the Willows Bank and took a fine 3lb 14oz rainbow on a Diawl Bach. Adrian and Chris Dutton of Nottingham also enjoyed great sport with Chris catching six rainbows while Adrian caught and released 15 fish including three brown trout. East Yorkshire Fly Dressers Guild all enjoyed their recent boat fishing competition. Arthur Sykes of Skegness and John Eaton of Horncastle each took a limit bag of rainbows on Black Buzzers from Sam’s Dyke while boat fishing. Kingfisher Fly Fishers held their annual Eyebrook boat competition at the weekend and 32 anglers caught 54 fish. The individual winner was Dave Allen with six rainbows for 13lb. Alan Brooking of Leicester accompanied Richard Warren on a boat recently. Richard had never fished Eyebrook before and was very pleased when he caught six decent rainbows using the washing-line method with a Booby and Black Buzzers. Gordon Price of Wigston had another fine catch of rainbows taken on size 16 Black Buzzers. Alan Riddell caught and released seven rainbows all over 2lb with four fish taken on a Kate McClaren. Keith Wood and party from Carlisle enjoyed a recent visit with the lads catching numerous hard-fighting rainbows and one or two brown trout.
Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire
Another outstanding week for both bank and boat anglers with a rod average of 6.8. The north shore has seen the most consistent catch rates for bank areas. Areas such as Hill Farm, Pig Bay, Deep Water Point, G Buoy, Marlow Stones and the north end of the dam. The best method for bank anglers has been to fish floating lines with black, red or olive Buzzers. The north shore is also the place to be for boat anglers, particularly Sanctuary Bay, Stumps, Hill Farm, Pig Bay, Deep Water Point, Willows and north dam. The Seat on the south shore is also fishing well. There have been two main methods for boat anglers; floating lines with Buzzers, Crunchers and Diawl Bachs or fast sink lines with Tequila Blobs.
As part of Grafham Water’s 50th birthday celebrations, on Wednesday May 25 boats will be half price. All boats must be in the harbour at 1pm to greet HRH the Duke of Edinburgh who is visiting Grafham Water to launch the celebrations.
On Sunday July 3 there will be a pairs boat match with a terrific prize pot of £1000 (subject to the number of entries) going to the winner. This friendly flyfishing competition is to be fished to relaxed international rules (no anchoring or back drifting, any size fly is acceptable) with an eight-fish limit plus time bonus (2lb per hour).
The ELFF Mixed Pairs match on April 30, sponsored by Wychwood, was won by Martha Thomson and Rob Edmunds with 16 fish for 34lb 2oz; second Hilary Tomlinson and Keith Jones 15 fish for 32lb 7oz; third Eileeen Chatwin and John Vincent 16 fish for 32lb 4oz; fourth Sheena Goode and Steven Peart 16 fish for 31lb 8oz.
A great day was had by all at the annual Snowbee Floating Line match organised by Invicta on May 7. The day was hot and sunny and green and black Buzzers were the favoured choice of flies. The morning was very productive but as the day warmed up and the sun shone brightly the afternoon was more challenging. In first place was Bewl Bridge who all bagged up, second place went to Soldier Palmers, followed by Invicta A.
Packington Trout Fishery, Warwickshire
Last week 82 rods caught 279 fish for an average of 3.4 per rod. The warmer brighter conditions made sport a little more difficult with the fish responding mainly to small imitative patterns and dries. CdC emergers, Black or Olive Buzzers, Diawl Bach, Shipman’s Buzzers, Hare’s Ear Nymph, dry Olives and Hawthorns have been the main flies all fished on floating lines. The biggest rainbow was a 9lb 4oz fish caught by Rod Lacey of Nuneaton who was fishing from a boat on Cocks Close. It was the best of a 10-fish catch which included another one at 7lb 8oz and came to a Diawl Bach fished on a floating line. Regular visitor Harold Lewis of Knowle caught an 8lb rainbow on a Black Buzzer while fishing from a boat on Cocks Close. This was the best of a seven-fish bag. Mr G. Whittaker of Willenhall caught and released 11 fish to 7lb using small Black Epoxy Buzzers from Cocks Close. On the Park Meadow pool, Clive Squires of Coventry fished a dry Olive to catch 10 fish to 3lb. Tom Smith of Meriden fished from a boat on Park Meadow and caught a five fish limit to 6lb using small GRHE and Buzzers. The Packington Fly Fishers held their Jubilee Cup match on Sunday with the winner Mark Sturgess of Nuneaton catching a five fish limit weighing 11lb 8oz. These all came to a small dry Olive fished on a floating line from a boat on Park Meadow.
Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire
Boat anglers have had the edge this week with the fish moving out of the margins as we said goodbye to cold temperatures and strong winds, in favour of bright sunshine and warm temperatures. These good conditions have encouraged good buzzer hatches and the fish to feed. A fantastic rod average of 5.75 was recorded. Members of the England Disabled Fly Fishers could not have wished for better conditions for their first competition of the season here. They all had a brilliant day on Wednesday with the 13 anglers taking a total of 84 fish at an average of 6.46. They also caught and released another 39 fish, making an overall rod average of 9.46. First place went to Jim Watts with eight fish for 19lb; second Stewart Hume, eight fish for 18lb 13oz; third John Thomson, eight fish for 17lb 8oz; fourth Shaun Higgins, eight fish for 17lb 3oz. The best rainbow weighed 3lb 13oz and was caught by Jim Watts. Harold Pritchett took the best brown at 3lb 15oz. Most fish were taken on sinking lines and Tequila Blobs.
On ‘Super Tuesday’ Mark Bradbury and Terry Mitchell had a memorable day out on the boats, each reporting 30-plus fish to the net. Regular visitor Dave Jarvis took several 4lb-plus rainbows over three days and the biggest weighed 4lb 8oz. Sam Grzyb also had a 4lb 8oz rainbow during the week. Jim McGonigle also reported some nice rainbows with the best weighing 4lb 2oz and 3lb 2oz. It was great to welcome Bill, Ron, Dave and Jim last Thursday. This group proved you are never too old to enjoy your fishing with an average age of 74. They reported a great days’ fishing under the guidance of Robbie Winram and Al Owen, and they had 54 fish between them.
Successful fly patterns continue to be Green or Black Buzzers, Black Crunchers and Black Diawl Bachs on floating, midge-tip or intermediate lines, fished almost static. When the fish have gone deep Blobs and lures have been effective.
Ravensthorpe Reservoir, Northamptonshire
Catch of the week goes to Pat Flynn. Fishing from a boat with a Di-5 line and an Orange Blob he landed 57 fish. One of the rainbows he estimated to weigh over 10lb with several others around the 6lb mark. David Brady also had a great day fishing floating line, Buzzers and Red Diawl Bachs he landed 13 rainbows. Mick Clark fished from a boat last week, landing 20-30 trout with floating line and static Buzzers at the Coton End. Robert McWilliam caught a 9lb 8oz rainbow using a slow glass line with a white lure from a boat. Alan Duffin opted to fish the dam with an intermediate line and a lure and he managed six rainbow trout.
Rutland Water, Rutland
Rutland has been in outstanding form with great numbers of fish caught from many areas. This season’s buzzer hatches have been tremendous with huge hatches already occurring each day. Impressive numbers of overwintered fish are showing well, amongst them are quality browns that are averaging between 3 and 5lb. The majority of anglers have used nymphs during the day with black and olive Buzzers, Diawl Bach, Crunchers and Hare’s Ear also coming up trumps. Anglers favouring lures from Blobs to Snakes have also taken fish.
A group of anglers led by Ron Clarke used local guides Al Owen and Robbie Winram and were treated to a couple of days’ extensive Buzzer fishing along the north side of the peninsula from Carrot Creek up to Armley Wood. Al and Robbie anchored up between 15 and 20 feet for the best results. All the fish were returned including numbers of browns and rainbows in the 3-4lb bracket, with a rod average of just over 12 fish per day for each of the four anglers.
Rutland guide and coach Rob Waddington and regular guest Angus Langworthy fished straight-lined Buzzers on midge-tips and caught and released around 30 trout up to 4lb 8oz from the South Arm. The best fish of the week, a 5lb 7oz brown, was caught by Darlington angler Richard Adamson. Richard took the fish on the last cast of the day. Season ticket holder Malcolm Coles of Edenham, took the best rainbow of the week at 4lb 4oz whileboat fishing on the rudder.
The Troutmasters fish-off on Saturday May 7 was won by season ticket holder Toff Crowther of Oakham who was the first back to the lodge with his eight fish limit. Toff’s fish, taken on a Hare’s Ear fished on a floating line at long range off the dam, weighed 18lb 1oz. He will represent Rutland Water at the final at Grafham Water on September 19.
Thornwood Springs Trout Fishery, Essex
After a very hot Sunday and a stormy start to the week the fishing was tough going on all the lakes for a few days. Black Blobs on a sinking line was all the fish seemed interested in, but then all returned to normal on Thursday with the regular Buzzers and Shipman’s Buzzer fished in the surface film doing well. On lake one browns to 5lb and rainbows to 4lb were reported from the catch and release end with limits for all. Top rod was David with 15 fish from lake one, including eight browns, and three from lake two. Lake two saw plenty of fish in the margins and also rising in any ripple with a good selection of fly life showing now. Double-figure fish were landed and regularly seen. Success came to lures on sinking lines and dries on floaters. Plenty of fish to see and stalk on lake three with anglers reporting seeing fish in the 15-20lb range lurking under overhanging edges. While none have been tempted yet it only takes the right person with the right pattern to be lucky!
Toft Newton Trout Fishery, Lincolnshire
For the week-ending May 6 the 87 rods caught 484 trout for a rod average of 5.56. Warmer weather put the fishing back into top gear and an imitative approach has been by far the best with Buzzers, Diawl Bachs, Crunchers, PTNs and dries taking the vast majority of fish. A small Booby or FAB on the point also taking a few for those preferring washing-line style tactics. Big buzzer hatches have been a feature of late and this should continue into the first of the heavier sedge hatches in June. Season ticket holder Steve Smith managed 33 fish including several over the 5lb mark. Toft’s 'summer' season officially starts on Thursday May 12 with evening tickets available from 5.30pm (these tickets are available Thursday to Sunday only). Summer evening tariffs are £10 for catch and release or £14 to kill two fish then catch and release thereafter.
Witton Castle Lakes, Northumberland
After the spell of wintery weather the lakes welcomed more seasonal conditions with warmer temperatures and sunshine. Things took until the latter part of the week to pick up and there were 50 anglers through the gates. They still found the going a little tough, returning a rod average of a shade over three. Only two anglers made it to double-figure bags. They were P. Green and J. Campbell both with 10 fish each. T. Lynch caught nine fish while T. Ross, S. Hibbard, S. Simpson, A. Parker and J. Gargett all had bags of seven fish. The best fish of the week was a hard-fighting 10lb-plus rainbow caught by K. Chicken. The most successful flies have been Buzzers, although CdCs did find some success. With the big rise in temperatures towards the end of the week and the forecast for it to continue we’re expecting some prolific hatches across the lakes, which will no doubt bring the fish to the top.