Avington Trout Fishery, Hampshire
The bright sunshine has made for some excellent stalking conditions over the month and a good number of doubles graced the bank. The vast majority of anglers recorded their bag limits and the average weights have also been extremely impressive. The biggest fish of the month was a stunning 15lb 8oz brown caught from lake two by Nigel Morden who had been stalking this fish for hours before it finally took his home-tied Damsel. He also managed another brown of 10lb from the same lake on the same fly. He nearly made it a hat-trick of browns but unfortunately lost a good one from lake three. Regular angler Matthew Rule managed a lovely 13lb 4oz rainbow from lake two on a Blue-flash Damsel, Matt also managed to bag another double of 11lb 8oz from the same lake on a small Buzzer. Regular angler Richard Francis managed two doubles this month, the biggest a pristine rainbow of 12lb caught from lake three on a Sid Knight Stalking Bug. He also caught an 11lb 8oz rainbow from lake one on a Martin Williams Cat’s Whisker. Brett White caught a 13lb rainbow from lake one using a Goldhead Damsel. Dave Humphrey caught an immaculate 11lb 12oz brown from lake one on a Black Caterpillar.
All three lakes have thrown up an even amount of big fish so keep on the move and pay attention to the quiet areas in which the fish often seek refuge from angler pressure. Fly choice this month has largely been dominated by lures, including Damsels, Cat’s Whiskers and Montanas. A Blue-flash Damsel and Black and Silver Humungus have also caught a good number of fish this month, so something with a little sparkle could well be worth a try.
On particularly bright and hot days sport has slowed a little in the afternoons but by switching to Buzzers or sight fishing with heavy flies the action can be kept coming. On the warmest of days the fish have noticeably pushed very deep so make sure your leaders are of a good length so that the fly can get down to the level of the fish.
A few corporate events are coming up that will see the fishery closed. These are May 5, 6, 17, 20; June 10, 24; July 8; September 29, 30.
Blackdyke Trout Fishery, Norfolk
Another good week with Buzzers and dries taking lots of fish. With the warmer weather on Sunday hawthorns were hatching and a Black Hopper was in great demand, working best in the choppier conditions to disrupt the sunlight along with a little Fuller’s earth to hide the tippet in the surface film. Mark Neilson bettered his personal best with a lovely 6lb 6oz rainbow.
Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland
Four double-figure fish have been caught this week, the first by Geoff Hobson from Holburn who landed a 16lb 8oz rainbow from Dunnydeer Lake using a Black Bunny Leech. John Tait returned a 10lb rainbow to Chatton Lake using a Yellow Blob. Max Fawcus landed a 12lb 10oz rainbow and Jim Tuck from Ashington returned a 14lb rainbow using a Chatton Chaser and went on to release a further 17 fish. Trevor Wadds from Craster caught 14 fish using an Apps’ Bloodworm. D. Hendry from Jedburgh caught 13 using Buzzers, with two fish over 5lb. A. Brannigan from Jedburgh caught 13 fish using Buzzers. Ken Glenton from Ashington caught 14 fish using a Bloodworm and Buzzer. Scott Wearmouth from Alnwick caught 13 fish on a Bloodworm and Yellow Dancer. M. McKenzie from Cramlington caught 14 fish mainly from Dunnydeer Lake using Hare’s Ears and Diawl Bachs. George Baurnes from Ashington, on his first visit to the fishery, caught 10 fish on Tinnies and Buzzers. Jimmy Drew from Wallsend caught 18 fish using black and green lures, Bunny Leeches and Yellow Bloodworms. John Robson from Newbiggin caught a 6lb rainbow using a Buzzer from Dunnydeer Lake. The Fishery will be closing at 9pm every night this week, still stocking twice weekly.
Colwick Park Trout Fishery, Nottinghamshire
The Troutmasters fish-off at Colwick was won by Tom Morton (CFFC member) with six fish for 12lb 14oz, his heaviest fish weighing 4lb 12oz. Tom had a stunning start going to Buzzer Bay, putting a floating line on with a long leader and fishing two Buzzers under a sight bob. He bagged up about midday, continued to fish catch and release and never had another pull. Second was Andy Hewkin with two fish for 10lb 10oz, best fish 6lb 10oz, and third Rosemary Gunn with one fish of 2lb.
Elinor Trout Fishery, Northamptonshire
For the week April 25 - May 1 the 137 anglers caught 601 fish of which 418 were returned. Best fish of 16lb 12oz was taken by Andy Hake, from Leighton Buzzard, on a Black Buzzer from the boat. Mr Roswell, from Gravesend, caught an 11lb 9oz fish on a black/green Bunny Leech. A 10lb 10oz rainbow fell to Boris Rasic, from Corby, on a Black Diawl Bach and one of 7lb 4oz for Finbarr McSweeney, from Rushden, on a Damsel. Best brown 7lb-plus to Sean Ballantyne, from Luton, on a Black Buzzer; 4lb-plus to Alan Weatherley, from Kettering, from an Olive Buzzer. A further 36 fish over 4lb werecaught. All bank areas are producing while the top boat areas are the west arm, gravel bar, and Goodfellow Bay. Best patterns are Black or Olive Buzzer, Black Diawl Bach, small Damsel, Candy FAB, Tequila or Coral Blobs and white/green lures.
Fish continue to feed three to six foot down on the large hatches of black or olive buzzers. Fish at the bottom of the wind are taking daphnia. The warmer temperatures this week should finally bring more surface activity. Best method from bank and boat is floating line, Blob or FAB on the point with Buzzers on droppers, slow or very slow retrieve.
The Tommy Wood Memorial Buzzer Match is on Sunday May 15, a roving bank competition open to everyone. Floating line and Buzzer imitations only may be used. Fishing is 9am - 4pm, free entry and all proceeds from the raffle go to Sue Ryder, Peterborough.
Eyebrook Trout Fishery, Leicestershire
Representing the Masons of Roundhill Lodge No 8639 Dave Carter’s annual Eyebrook boat fishing competition helped raise funds for Alzheimer’s charities. All competitors enjoyed Eyebrook hospitality with a wonderful buffet courtesy of Rose and Linda Carter. The winner with the best bag was Steve Dawkins with six fish for 15lb 7oz, Pete Maguire won the prize for the heaviest fish with a rainbow of 3lb 4oz. Gordon Price of Wigston wasted no time catching his limit bag while boat fishing at Sam’s Dyke, Gordon took all of his catch on size 16 Black Buzzers. Callum Fraser and party enjoyed their recent boat outing and caught and released good numbers of trout, mostly taken on Buzzers. Also enjoying the bank holiday weekend were David Nixon and party, visiting from Cumbria, and Fred Hodson and party who all enjoyed phenomenal sport with the Buzzer. Bob Wilkinson and Eric Dobson from the north- east enjoyed frenetic sport catching many fighting-fit rainbows on Black Buzzers. This week’s rod average is an incredible 9.9 fish which includes a lot of fish caught and released. With this in mind we do urge anglers to respect their quarry and do practise careful catch and release policy.
Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire
Grafham continues to provide excellent sport with a rod average of 10.88. Both bank and boat anglers have had fantastic results despite the windy, challenging weather with snow and sleet thrown in. Best rainbows, two at 4lb 8oz taken by Harley Smith and Gordon Watson. Best brown 4lb 8oz taken by Peter Oldham of Great Chesterford. The north shore is again the place to be for bank anglers, especially Hill Farm, Pig Bay, Deep Water Point, G Buoy, Marlow Stones and the north end of the dam. The best bank methods are floating lines with black or red or olive Buzzers, GRHE, Damsel Nymphs and large black and green lures. Boat anglers have also enjoyed great sport especially off the north shore. The most productive boat areas have been Sanctuary Bay, Stumps, Hill Farm, Pig Bay, Deep Water Point, G Buoy, Willows, north dam and the Seat on the South Shore. There have been two main methods for boat anglers; floating lines with Buzzers, Crunchers and Diawl Bachs or fast sink lines with Tequila Blobs, Pitsford Pea, black and green Boobies, Damsel Nymphs and Snakes.
Part of the forthcoming Grafham Water 50th anniversary celebrations is a boat pairs match on Sunday July 3. 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).
Packington Trout Fishery, Warwickshire
Last week 57 rods caught 239 fish for an average of 4.19. Another decent week despite the very cool and not very spring-like weather causing the number of anglers to drop. Even in the cold winds the fish have still been rising well and Buzzers fished on floating lines has been the top tactic. Black, Olive and Red Superglue Buzzers or small emergers have been the top flies this week. There are still fish also to be caught on Damsels, Black Tadpoles and Cat’s Whiskers. The largest fish was a 6lb rainbow which was safely caught and released by Birmingham angler Ray Inman who was fishing from a boat on Cocks Close. It was the best of a 13-fish catch caught on Black and Green Buzzers. Regular angler Dave Bratby of Birmingham also caught 13 fish to 4lb including a brown trout using small Buzzers on a floating line from the bank of Cocks Close. John Riley of Atherstone caught 10 fish to 4lb from a boat on Cocks Close using a Stimulator pattern. Pete Ward of Redditch caught eight fish from a boat on the Park Meadow pool and these all came to a GRHE fished on a floating line. The fish are moving on most areas of Cocks Close and Park Meadow but the high bank and the old boat jetty corner on Cocks Close have been the hotspots.
Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire
Pitsford is on fire at the moment with a fantastic rod average of 5.8 and plenty of overwintered fish between 3 and 5lb. Boat anglers are enjoying the best of the sport as the fish are holding 40-50 yards off the bank. Bank anglers fishing early in the morning will pick up fish before they move out. Buzzers are featuring on the menu with the odd fish now starting to reveal damsel nymph in the spoonings. Floating or midge-tip lines with Buzzers in black or olive or Damsel patterns should do the trick. The best areas for boat anglers are the Small Half, Causeway and Brixworth Bay. Bank anglers should head for Gorse, Sermans and Holly Tree.
Pitsford’s Troutmasters fish-off was fished on Saturday and won by Mick Griffin with six fish for 14lb. The Angling Trust Team England Squad had a team session on Saturday and in a five hour boat session 14 anglers caught 180 fish for a rod average of 13 with Buzzer tactics accounting for the majority of fish.
Ravensthorpe Reservoir, Northamptonshire
There were some fine specimen fish taken last week including the best fish of the week, a superb 13lb 8oz rainbow taken by John Eccles who used a silver lure and an intermediate line. Bob Draper took an 11lb 10oz specimen off the dam wall near the Cat Walk. Boat angler Paul James landed an 11lb 12oz rainbow to the boat on a Snake near the Coton End. Alan Duffin took a 9lb 12oz rainbow on a Black Buzzer off the Domes. Last week’s cold and windy weather had an adverse effect on the rod average. Buzzers are still catching but due to the cold weather they haven’t been hatching. This should change with much improved conditions forecast. Best boat area is the Coton End, best bank area is the dam wall.
Rutland Water, Rutland
There are huge columns of buzzers around the entire reservoir and with such exceptional water quality the trout are gorging. Subsequently, anglers employing Buzzer tactics have been the most successful. Bank anglers sporting floating lines with teams of Buzzers and utilising the wind to swing them round have enjoyed good sport. Boat anglers are using similar tactics; either at anchor or drifting with floating lines when cloud cover persists and midge-tip lines as the fish drop in the water column when brighter spells occur. The bung/indicator is also working at times for bank and boat anglers. During times of adverse conditions and stronger winds mini lures and sinking lines are also proving effective. The best boat areas have been Green Bank, Church Bay, and the Normanton Bank; Old Hall, Armley Wood and Sailing Club. Best bank areas have been Old Hall, Barnhill Creek and Savills Travels, Steep Bank, Barnsdale and the Sailing Club.
Regular visiting angler John Slavin had a superb week alongside local expert Al Owen. They boated more than 100 trout with many overwintered fish between 3-4lb. They fished mainly Buzzers but turned to mini lures and sinking lines when conditions turned. Eight-year-old Henry Weaver had a surprise when his self-tied Brown Buzzer was taken in Barnhill Creek by a personal best 6lb 1oz brown trout. Seasoned angler Graham Pearson and his boat partner had an outstanding day on Saturday, boating a double limit using a midge-tip line and Epoxy Buzzers from the South Arm. Amongst the fish was a 6lb 3oz rainbow, the best of the week.
Don’t forget Rutland Water’s Tuesday Boat League starts on 10 May, roll up at 5pm for a 6pm start.
Thornwood Springs Trout Fishery, Essex
On lake one rainbows are falling to a variety of flies from Mayflies and Klinkhamers to Buzzers, nymphs and Damsels. The brown trout end saw most action to fry patterns. Best brown of week at 5lb. Lake two saw stunning double-figure browns patrolling the margins with a nine-pounder recorded on a tiny Buzzer. The flies of the week on here are Buzzers, Hawthorn, CdCs, F-Fly and Daddies with mainy rainbows in the 4-6lb class. A fair few anglers achieving bags into double-figures. An evening rise to match the best anywhere this week. Lake three saw browns and rainbows to 7lb this week.
Toft Newton Trout Fishery, Lincolnshire
For the week-ending April 29 the 51 rods caught 233 trout for a rod average of 4.57. This week’s much colder wintry weather kept the vast majority at home, those that ventured out put in some good catch returns helping us to improve on last week’s rod average. The pick of the bunch was Derby County Angling Club member Ken Phillips with a fine 12lb 3oz rainbow caught while fishing a short session from a boat. This was one of several fish for Ken. The main methods this week have been nymphs and Buzzers. The anglers in boats have done well fishing them deep on a floating line and long leader (team of three flies) whereas the anglers on the bank have used small FABs on the point to let the flies move through the layers a little slower. Improving weather should see the return of surface sport with Shipman’s and emerger patterns being amongst the favourites. The scheduled Scierra Pairs heat at Toft had to be cancelled due to a lack of competitors.
West House Trout Lakes, Cleveland
Forget about your lures, all of the best sport at the moment is to dries or Buzzers. Natural patterns are the order of the day: small olive dries, Black or Olive Buzzers fished in the top 12 inches. As soon as the sun comes out the fish are rising to the hatch. A bumper stocking this week with rainbows up to 18lb introduced. The lakes are now open until 8pm every evening. Plenty of fish caught this week, the best a 9lb rainbow caught by Mr Morisson from Stanley who tempted the fish on a Crisp Packet Buzzer. Other notables catches included 18 fish landed by Peter Johnson of Leyburn, most of his fish falling to small olive dries. David from West House landed nine fish, the best 5lb, all caught on an Olive Buzzer with red cheeks. Graham Watts caught 12 fish using a selection of Buzzers and nymphs. The lakes are now open from 8am until 7pm every day. Free tea and coffee is now available from the lodge. On Saturday mornings free bacon rolls for every angler.
Witton Castle Lakes, Co Durham
What a week it’s been weather-wise with a dip back into some serious wintery conditions. Freezing temperatures, snow, rain and hail all conspired to make the weeks fishing very uncomfortable for visiting anglers. Those very hardy anglers who did brave the conditions donned their waterproofs and returned a hard-fought rod average of 3.2. The conditions also kept the bag numbers low, the best of them being N. Puncheon who caught 10 fish, M. Sedgewick had six fish while J. Campbell and R. MaCullagh both had five fish each. There were no notable big catches either with the average coming in at 3lb. With the drop in temperatures Wicked Whites, Zonkers, CdCs and Diawl Bachs were all used. With a rise in temperatures forecast this should bring on some hatches and get the fish rising.