Trout Fisherman Troutmasters Reports w/e September 16

img_6659While we’re waiting for the magazine’s new website to go live, these reports will be posted on the TF blog here atTaunted By Waters.

The following relate to w/e September 16:

Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland

Fish have been putting up a good fight this week with many anglers struggling to get them to the net. Sport has predominantly been top of the water with dries working well. Another week of lovely brown trout being caught and fish in the 4lb to 8lb bracket. D. Johnston from Coldstream caught a 6lb 4oz rainbow from Ross Lake using a Black Dancer. The fly box has been Sedges, Hoppers, Black Gnats, Daddies, Hare’s Ears, Spiders and Diawl Bachs. The Chatton Ladies Angling Club are meeting on Saturday September 17 at 9.30am in the lodge, everyone welcome to join in, £20 per person and £5 per child, The fishery is open to all other anglers on this day. The fishery is closing at 8pm this week.


Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire

It’s been a great week with a rod average of 5.57, despite the turbulent weather. With the changeable conditions anglers are reporting sudden feeding spells followed by quieter periods. Notable catches this week include 19 fish taken by Ryan Campbell in a single session. Simon Lucas took the best bag of the week with 25 fish taken mostly from the middle. The best rainbow was landed by Alan Taylor with a 4lb 1oz specimen. P. Rees came close with a 4lb rainbow. Boat anglers are catching most consistently in the clearer and colder water. There’s a variation of up to four degrees in the surface temperature between the bank and the deeper water. It’s worth moving away from the shallow banks and trying for the fish further out. The best techniques are to fish floating lines with fast glass tip, with Diawl Bachs and Crunchers strung between Boobies on the point and Hare’s Ears on the dropper. Fishing an intermediate and pulling quickly is also tempting lots of good fish.

Some of the best spots reported this week include Savages Creek, between the two boils (drifting), the middle (drifting), the dam, Rainbow Point, Sanctuary Bay and a return in form for G Buoy and Deep Water Point. Other areas worth a try are outside the nature reserve and off the fishing lodge car park, particularly on Shrimp patterns.

The bank fishing has been improving. Snails are still the main food source with shrimp and fry also popular food items. Diawl Bachs and Buzzers are producing when fished washing-line method and left to drift in an arc or retrieved on a slow figure of eight. Mander car park (at the fishing lodge) is a great place to wade with fish coming very close in during the morning and evening.

Bank improvement work continues with a walkway from the Seat to Sludge Point now re-opened. Give Sludge Point a try – wade out and cast into the reachable wind lanes. With the rocky ground and sunken stumps take a prod stick and don’t forget your Hare’s Ears and Shrimp patterns.

If you would like to volunteer as a bailiff to help marshal the banks during the Troutmasters Final on September 19 or to assist at the weigh in we would love to hear from you. There are morning or afternoon sessions, or join us for the whole day. Please email or call 07801 674683.

Due to stock taking please note that items of tackle etc will not be available to purchase from 11am on September 20 and 21. The Lodge will remain open for boat hire and permit sales.

The Anniversary Pairs Boat Match takes place on September 24. The match will be fished to relaxed international rules, drifting boats and no time bonus. With cash prizes and concluding with a barbecue with drinks it promises to be a very enjoyable day. Call the fishing lodge on 01480 810531 to enter or email

The Lure Angling Society hosted a predator match at Grafham this week. Perch were targeted and plenty were caught. The LAS will be back at Grafham for their Zander match on September 25.

Some very good fish were caught in the AMFC team event including a 3lb 7oz rainbow for Ashley Cannon (captain of RNRMAA) which was the best fish overall. Terry Bayes (captain Mid Northants TFA) took the best bag at 20lb 13oz. Team result:

1st Hanningfield FA, 6 points; 2nd GWFFA B, 5; 3rd RNRMAA, 4; 4th Mid Northants TFA, 3; 5th Invicta FFC ‘B’, 2; 6th Soldier Palmers ‘B’, 1.


PackingtonTrout Fishery, Warwickshire

The trout day ticket fishery re-opened on Saturday with heavy rain greeting the anglers on the first day. The fishing was really patchy with the new stock fish shoaling around the wires bank and anglers getting onto the shoals early had the best of the sport. Mr G. Hood of Nuneaton caught 11 fish, six up to 3lb were returned using small Cat’s Whisker on floating lines. Ben Stubbs of Atherstone also caught 11 fish including an 8lb rainbow which was safely returned. Cat’s Whiskers and Black Tadpoles accounted for all of his fish. By Sunday the wind had turned full circle and the fish were on the opposite banks into the old boat jetty corner and it was here that Kevin Burgess of Birmingham fished from a boat to catch eight fish to 4lb. As the weather cools the fish will spread out and make the fishing better, particularly for those fishing from the bank.


Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire

Anglers have enjoyed some good sport this week and combined with a fantastic match fished by members of the AMFC at the weekend, contributed to the rod average of 4.6. At the beginning of the week the south/south westerly wind and wet weather meant that most of the success was had by fishing from the Gravel Bank, Sermans and off Rigby Point. The boat anglers, still fishing in the Narrows and the main basin, dam and Sailing Club Bays, did catch but not in huge quantities as the fish stayed close in to the bank, feeding on shrimp and snail. Getting on the bank early has produced good results with plenty of fish rising and keen to take anything that was offered to them.

Later in the week the wind changed to a north westerly direction. Most boats recorded fish, especially Messrs Millard, Doutre, Jenkins and Thorp from Scotland who enjoyed a three-day holiday. There were two good-sized browns caught this week. One of 4lb 5oz was taken by boat angler Roger Griffiths and the other, taken by Dave Struthwick on a dry, came from the bank. Dave also had many other rainbows on Snail patterns.

Pitsford Water has hosted a number of competitions recently and here are some of the results:
Alex Booth Flyfishers – 1st John Marshall, 6 fish for 12lb 4oz; 2nd Jeff Savage, 6 fish for 10lb 8oz; 3rd Mike Smith, 4 fish for 7lb 14oz; 4th Vic Byrne, 4 fish for 6lb 8oz.

Police No6 Regional Qualifier – 17 anglers caught 62 fish for a rod average of 3.6. Mark Edgson-Wright was top rod with 8 fish for 16lb 1oz; Rob Price was runner up with 8 fish for 15lb 8oz. The best fish weighed 4lb 5oz and was caught by Roger Griffiths.

AMFC Group 1 result– Anglers caught 250 fish for a rod average of 6.9. Mike Laycock took the biggest fish at 4lb 1oz. The best bag (including time bonus) went to John Frank (Bewl) with 21lb 7oz. Lloyd Thompson (Fish Hawks) took second place weighing in 18lb 9oz. Peter Hartley (Grafham A) was a very close third with 18lb 8oz. Team results: Fish Hawks 6 points; Bewl 5; Rutland 4; Soldier Palmers A 3; Tunbridge Wells 2; Grafham A 1.

EMFC Results – Anglers took 60 fish for a rod average of 3. Gary Howe and Mark Searle won with a bag weight of 24lb 9oz. Pat Sweeney took the biggest fish at 3lb 5oz.


Ravensthorpe Reservoir, Northamptonshire

Sport has improved. Chris Johns landed eight fish from a boat drifting across open water. Chris used floating line with Daddies fished just under the surface. Pete Webb landed 10 fish from a boat with floating line and Orange Hoppers. Mick O’Farrell and Richard Slater opted to fish small dries and had 19 fish to their boat. Alan Duffin fished from the dam on Sunday and landed two fish with floating line and Buzzers. He also lost a couple. Best boat area is the Main Bowl, best bank is the dam.


Rutland Water, Rutland

Boat anglers have dominated sport this week. Anglers are catching numerous limits in the main basin with many other fish returned. One boat recorded 40 fish, many of them around 2lb 8oz. Boat anglers headed down the arms in pursuit of the larger specimens. Season ticket holder Toff Crowther, of Oakham, fished amongst the many weed beds in the south arm with fry patterns. Toff enticed nine fish including a superb brace of rainbows weighing 5lb 7oz (best rainbow of the week) and 5lb 3oz, plus another three rainbows and four browns. Keith Jones also travelled up to the Arms and returned eight browns, including the best brown of the week at 5lb 10oz. Keith also had three rainbows all over 3lb on the same day. Paul Wild fished on ‘soggy’ Saturday (the wettest day of the week) and was rewarded with browns up to and around 6lb. Large patterns, Snake Humungus etc are accounting for most of these fish.

A few bank anglers fished along the Normanton bank and the peninsula. Fish were showing in these areas but difficult to tempt.

Prospects look excellent with anglers anticipating a good ‘back end’ to the season. It looks like this is already under way – especially for boat anglers with quality browns and rainbows feeding on sticklebacks, snails and corixa. The huge shoals of this year’s roach and perch fry don’t seem to be included in the diet yet. Current tactics with fry patterns include Floating Fry, Suspender Minkies etc on floating lines. Alternatively try medium sink lines, Snakes, Humungus, Minkies stripped back almost immediately to good affect, upgrade your leader strength to 10 or 12lb breaking strain to avoid damage.
On Saturday October 8 the Autumn Pairs match will be fished from 9am to 5pm. This popular match has two sections; one rudder and the other for non-rudder. When booking please specify which section you will be fishing in. Normal prices apply with £5 per person pools money. Fished to reservoir rules so no fly size restrictions.


Swanswater Fishery, Stirlingshire

There was another excellent week of sport. The water remained relatively clear despite heavy rain on and off during the week. For the first part of the week the fish were just under the surface although they were a bit deeper at the weekend. They are looking to chase something at the moment so a relatively fast retrieve was necessary. A wide range of flies were working with almost anything black being the most successful. Favourite patterns included small black lures such as Ace of Spades, Ally McCoist and Black Fritz, nymphs including Cormorant, Buzzer and Diawl Bach, and wet flies like Kate McLaren, Black Pennell, Spider and Bibio. Although the fish were not interested in dry flies on Swanswater, quite a few fish were taken on CdCs and other dries on the small ponds over the weekend.

A good number of fish over 6lb were taken again this week with one lucky angler taking home four fish for nearly 23lb over the course of the week. Several golds and blues also featured in the catch returns. Many anglers are enjoying a lot of sport in the small ponds where the fish are often nearer the surface and the golds are very visible. The fishery is still open from 8am to 8pm every day.

Michael Cummings, Bannockburn, had a great week using his brand new 4wt rod. On Tuesday he landed two fish for 10lb 8oz including an 8lb 8oz rainbow, the first fish he had caught with his new rod. He returned on Wednesday and landed a cracking 9lb 6oz rainbow! Both fish gave a great fight and were played for around 20 minutes each. Later in the week he landed a 3lb rainbow.

Doing well from the boat was Gary Waugh, Cumbernauld, with five fish for 17lb 8oz including an 8lb 8oz rainbow and two golds, plus two caught and released. Also amongst the big fish was Martin Stewart, Glasgow, with a 7lb blue and 6lb rainbow. Other good bags included Danny Doherty, Denny, five for 13lb 8oz; Martin Watt, Airdrie, five for 10lb 10oz including four golds from the small ponds, plus one caught and released; Eddie McKillop jnr, Glasgow, three for 9lb 10oz including two golds and a tiger; and his father, also Eddie, three for 8lb plus two caught and released; John Kearney, Broxburn, three for 8lb 4oz; Robert Anderson, Crossgates, kept five from the Millpond, and returned a further 14; Arthur Martin, Dollar, caught and released seven.


Thornwood Springs Trout Fishery, Essex

Lake 1 saw a weekend of sport to fry patterns, Green Buzzers and Daddy Longlegs on top. On the hotter midweek days a Buzzer or Blob under an indicator was the only method. Good evening rises now and one full bank of lake one has been deweeded. Lake two fishing to Damsels, Snakes, Daddies, Shipman’s, Cat’s Whiskers, Dancers and Green/Black Buzzers. On very hot days fish were 10 feet under a bung. Great evening rises also on here. Lake three to reopen soon after the cooling rain.


Toft Newton Trout Fishery, Lincolnshire

For the week-ending September 9 the 59 rods caught 109 trout for a rod average of 1.85. Cooler evenings and cloudier days are needed and this should hopefully kick start some feeding activity. Best patterns have been orange dries and orange palmers fished through the surface. Also the washing-line with Diawl Bachs and small fry-type Booby patterns such as Cat’s Whiskers and Sparklers fished very slowly taking a good few fish. Many fish are showing a shift in feeding habits more towards fry now and the next few weeks should see some interesting sport with some full-tailed rainbows and browns putting in an appearance. For those that prefer a more active style of fishing a floating or slow intermediate line with a Humungus pattern stripped just under the surface can bring results.

Evening tickets are now finished but the ‘fish90’ promotion will run for a little longer. Purchase either a four or six fish ticket and bring a fishing colleague for free, sharing the bag limit of course. Remember to mention ‘fish90’ when you book or pay to qualify for the deal.


Witton Castle Lakes, Co Durham

The continued warm weather has kept the going hard with fish staying in the deeps and rising very rarely, if at all. Bag numbers have remained low and only the most patient of anglers have found success in these conditions. One dedicated angler with the patience to match was N. Puncheon who managed a bag of nine fish, far outweighing all other bags of the week. Mr Puncheon also caught the best fish of the week, an impressive 4lb rainbow. Anglers have resorted to a number of flies to improve the odds with CdCs, Hoppers and Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ears being the most successful.


Ynys y fro Reserviors, Gwent

The improvement in general weather conditions has allowed NRFFA to add a further stocking to include a number of good sized rainbows to the top pond. This should continue to improve fishing for both reservoirs as temperatures reduce, evidenced on the top pond by dry fly specialists Graham Ingram Evans and Gwyn Davies. Both fished the shallower waters from the Swan’s Nest to the Hedge Bank, with Graham landing two excellent fish of 3lb 8oz and 2lb 10oz caught on a Damsel pattern, while Gwyn used a Shipman’s Buzzer to catch his specimen fish, both weighing 2lb 8oz. On the bottom pond boat anglers continue to find fish, mainly off the dam. Keith Higgins and Shaun Cotterell shared a boat to land seven fish each whilst Cowbridge members Craig Bowles and Dave Smith caught five and two fish respectively on their boat ticket. James Francis preceded his afternoon/evening boat session, which realised four fish, with a session from the bank to land a matching number again from the dam. Around the banks of the bottom pond Ken Bowring included a further two limits to his season’s total as well as eight trout from two further visits. Roger Martin totalled 12 fish when he fished alongside Ken while Ken Pascoe caught 14 trout over three days. John James totalled six fish as did Gino Alonzi who then landed a catch and release limit of eight fish from a second visit. Steve Curtis recorded a further five rainbows while Doctor John Morgan landed a three fish catch. Catching a brace of fish were Del Haines, Colin Jones, day ticket visitor Carl Williams, Alan Rees, Eddie Ricci and Alun Paul. The majority of fish were caught on Damsels, Diawl Bachs, Shipman’s Buzzers and Daddies, while a Red Sedge pattern was particularly effective during late evening visits.

At the weekend Graham Ingram Evans continued his successful visits to the top pond with an excellent six fish catch and release total, including a rainbow trout weighing 3lb 4oz. The shallow water around the Swan Pond provided Graham’s catch, and again a Damsel fly was most effective. On the bottom pond, regular boat user Ken Pascoe caught five trout from the area in front of the dam, while the dam bank gave Martin Rees a catch of five fish, all taken on a Black Buzzer fished just under the surface. Roger Martin also recorded a five fish catch, while Dave Howells, Keith Higgins, John Eynon, James Francis and Fred Davies each landed two rainbows.


Trout Fisherman Troutmasters Reports


While we’re waiting for the magazine’s new website to go live, these reports will be posted on the TF blog here at Taunted By Waters.

The following relate to w/e September 9:

Avington Trout Fishery, Hampshire

Although the hot August weather meant some difficult fishing at times, the rewards have certainly been there for those who kept plugging away. An immaculate 15lb brown was caught from lake one by Shane Davis on a Black Stalking Bug. Shane found this fish very late in the day lurking in the shade under the tree right at the top of the lake. Mark Williamson braved the wet and windy conditions and was rewarded with brown of just over 12lb from lake two. He caught it using a Goldhead Blue-flash Damsel. A brown just shy of 11lb was taken from lake three by Ian Davidson, who stalked it from under the trees using a heavy stalking bug. Regular angler Richard Francis managed a lovely rainbow at just over 10lb from lake three. Adam Pagan caught a pristine 11lb 8oz rainbow from lake 2 using a small Black Buzzer. Regular angler Kevin Macey also managed to get in on the action with a lovely 10lb 8oz rainbow from lake two caught on a small Damsel. Fly choice this month has been difficult to determine with one day being completely different to the next. Lures have been most consistent in the morning period, especially the Damsel patterns, in the afternoon the smaller flies such as Buzzers and nymphs have produced a lot fish and the colour black seems to be the most popular. The fish are very reluctant to chase, so dropping the fly on their nose or slowly retrieving it past them seems to be the best method. The fishery will be closed for corporate events on September 7, 29 & 30; and October 7.


Chatton Trout Fishery, Northumberland

Early morning and evening have produced great dry fly sport, fish have been deeper through the day. Lovely brown trout have been coming to the net, also fish in the 4lb to 8lb bracket. Fly box this week has been CdCs, Buzzers, nymphs, Daddies, Bloodworms and small lures. Ben McDonald from Bedlington caught his first fish on a fly using a Green CdC. Jack Rowley (age five) from Longhoughton caught a fish from Ross Lake using a Yellow Dancer. The fishery is closing at 8pm.


Elan Valley, Powys

Some nice browns came from the Elan Valley reservoirs.

Mr Pritchard from Shrewsbury landed one of 2lb, and Mr Fordyce from Winforton caught one of 1lb 8oz. The reservoirs are filling fast, so fishing should be good for September. Hoppers and Daddy Longlegs should do well, and also Zulu and Montana. Elan Valley fishing season ends on October 17.


Eyebrook Trout Fishery, Leicestershire

Season ticket holder Lindsay Bates of Gretton recently enjoyed a morning boat session and caught 12 decent rainbows on a combination of Pearly Wickhams and Invictas fished on a floating line. Ken Haken and John Smith of Bulwell went afloat and caught eight hard-fighting rainbows on Silver Invicta Muddlers. Graham Ramsay and party, from north of the border, all enjoyed frenetic boat fishing with most anglers recording limit bag catches and many other trout caught and released. The lads fished with a combination of Blobs, Daddies and Buzzers. Other flies that have been catching fish are Bibios, Snatchers, Crunchers and dry fly patterns including Bob’s Bits, small Daddies and CdC emergers including the Yellow Owl.


Glen of Rothes Trout Fishery, Grampian

A good week for the dry fly with conditions for most of the time perfect for sport. Fish active and feeding hard on the surface, or just below, so Buzzers and nymphs also doing well. A Greenwells Glory, an old traditional pattern, was the pick of the bunch, along with the Kate McLaren. Ian Morrison had eight fish on Buzzers, George Black had eight, Pete Green had 10, again on Buzzers, Stephen Barrie had a beauty of 6lb on a dry fly, Jim Eddie had nine. Other anglers averaged three and four fish per session and there was quite a few returned around 5 to 6lb. Blues are starting to feature well and it won’t be long before the Zonkers and fry patterns will be doing well.


Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire
The best fish of the week was a lovely rainbow of 5lb 4oz taken by Pat Patel. This cracking fish was taken from the dam on a Black Buzzer. Mr Whitmore took a 4lb 4oz rainbow. Ryan Campbell landed 29 fish in a single session for the best bag of the week. The recent change in weather conditions has meant fish are reluctant to feed. Fish are right up in the water with anglers reporting that going beyond three feet is too deep. Remember though, that fish are more likely to spook when feeding in the surface layers.

Anglers are reporting mixed results with some taking bags over the 20 fish mark and others are struggling to get a pull. The best techniques are to fish floating lines with fast glass tips, Diawl Bachs and Crunchers strung between Boobies on the point and Hare’s Ears on the dropper. There are still plenty of snails about and these are abundant in stomach contents of the trout.

Areas fishing well include Savages Creek, between the two boils (drifting), the middle (drifting), the dam and Sanctuary Bay. Other areas worth a try are between G Buoy and the Willows. Rainbow Point has also been fishing well. The dam has been fishing very well with most fish coming early or late in the day.

We are doing some bank work around the Seat, cutting back overgrown grass and vegetation, to allow for easier access for anglers. It’s currently very shallow off the Seat, although wading out 20-30 yards to the deeper water is likely to produce fish, particularly on Shrimp patterns.

The start of the lure fishing season has been fantastic with plenty of fish landed. Perch up to 4lb have been caught with hauls of up to 200 perch per boat in a single session. A number of pike have also come out this week including two 20-pounders. Zander have also been on show with some fantastic doubles landed. Ash Bradley banked a trio of double-figure zander to 11lb and reported a total of 12 zander on the day.


Lllyngwyn, Powys

Heaviest fish of 6lb was taken by T. Eldridge, from Warwick, on a Buzzer. Best bag of three rainbows for 12lb fell to Harry Edwards, from Llandrindod. Rob Davies of Llandinam landed 14 fish but returned 13 – all on a Sparkler lure. Best flies are Buzzers, Montana, and small Damsels. The Llyngwyn Winter Competitions take place on Sunday November 6 (Rhayader Open) and Sunday December 18 (Fur and Feather).


Millbuies Trout Fishery, Grampian

The lochs have had great weather for fishing this week and fish have been rising well all over. Dries have done very well. Best areas are always around the margins and drawing fish out from under the tree lines as it’s a lot slower in the deeper water areas. Good returns of browns, blues and rainbows have been recorded and nymphs, Buzzers and wets have done very well. Lures are not as prolific on the lochs as it is a natural water and suited more to traditional methods. Best fish this week was 6lb 6oz.


Pitsford Water, Northamptonshire

The rod average this week is a healthy 3.6 with both boat and bank anglers enjoying decent sport. Fish are in the top couple of feet and willing to chase.

The main basin continues to fish really well with drifts across the open water proving successful. There are also reports of fish now beginning to appear in numbers in the Narrows. Bank anglers have had some success with the best areas being the Gravels and Northfield Shore. The fish in these areas are now clearly feeding on shrimp and anglers using imitation patterns fished in the margins have had most success.

The EFFA match on September 1 was fished against an Army team when 24 anglers caught 119 fish for a rod average of 5. EFFA anglers caught 59 fish with the Army going one fish better at 60. However, EFFA won with a 3lb margin. Top individual was Ian Peberdy with seven fish for 15lb 13oz. Sean Hanlon was second with six fish for 14lb 10oz. Third place went to John Gammon with six fish for 14lb 2oz. The best fish was caught by David Froggatt with a rainbow of 3lb 15oz. The anglers observed a minute’s silence in memory of EFFA member Michael Stevens who sadly passed away on August 10.


Ravensthorpe Reservoir, Northamptonshire
A week of mixed sport and on some days trout have been difficult to tempt with fly. Season ticket holder Grant Gibson enjoyed some good sport on Thursday, taking eight fish on a Claret Hopper. His boat partner also took three fish on dries. Frazer Duffy Junior had a good day on Thursday taking five fish on Bob’s Bits. The fish are up in the water and small dries fished on top have been the best method. Claret Hoppers, small Daddies, Bob’s Bits, and CdCs are all worth trying, drifting across the main bowl. Bank anglers have been catching one or two fish from the dam or Platform 5. Small dries, Diawl Bachs or nymphs on a floating line are the best method.

The GWFFA Dry Fly Day and BBQ on Sunday August 21 saw 16 members fish with dry flies only. The bright and very windy conditions proved challenging from drifting boats. Most fish were caught in the calmer water near The Clump, The Domes and The Tall Willows. All the fish caught were released. Top angler on the day was Brian Calvert using a size 16 green CdC to tempt 10 fish. Other anglers caught on orange and fiery brown Bob’s Bits. Martin Brocklebank caught seven fish and Harley Smith had six. Best fish at 2lb 8oz was taken by Paul Miley.


Rutland Water, Rutland

The best fish of the week fell to Phil Welbourne of Market Deeping, who caught a lovely 5lb ¾oz rainbow. Boat fishing was good in the main basin, especially around the aerators, with some boats recording 16 fish within 3-4 hours with lures on sinking lines. Rudder anglers drifting through the main basin capitalised on this as well, trailing tube flies/snakes behind the boat. Anglers venturing down the arms were rewarded as well with Keith Jones, Toff Crowther and Graham Hayward all reporting numbers of good fish of 3lb-plus around the weed beds of the north and south arms.

Bank anglers are taking a few fish up to 4lb around the shoreline. Try and cover as much bank as you can, particularly the weed beds.

Prospects look very good if the weather remains settled. Fish are feeding on sticklebacks, fry (roach and perch), corixa, snails and shrimp.

Predator fishing started well for both zander and pike anglers. Numerous zander to 8lb have been taken and pike to 27lb with reports of three other pike over the 20lb mark.

Due to stock taking in the tackle shop, please note that items of tackle etc will not be available to purchase from 11am on September 14 and 15. The Lodge will remain open for boat hire and permit sales.


Swanswater Fishery, Stirlingshire

A good week’s fishing with lots of fish showing on the surface, but unfortunately not much dry fly action to be had. Most fish are taking subsurface and down to a depth of around three feet, occasionally going deeper during the breezy spells. The healthy stocking of golds continue to provide an attractive target for anglers and figure highly in the returns. The bigger fish are also on the move and several cracking specimens of 6lb and over have been caught, with many of them being returned. The areas around the dam, the big tree and the island continue to be the most productive but the far bay is providing good catches too. The best flies varied from day to day with wet flies including Kate McLaren, Bibio and Black Spider proving the most successful. Other anglers caught on lures such as Hothead Damsel, Cat, Cormorant and Ally McCoist, while others had success with nymphs including Hare’s Ear and Diawl Bach.

Alan Burke, from Falkirk, caught two fish for 12lb 8oz including a 10lb 4oz rainbow; Davy Quinn, Dunfermline, three for 15lb including a 9lb 12oz rainbow; Robert Boyes, Linwood, five for 12lb 4oz plus five caught and released; Keith Lewis, South Queensferry, five for 13lb; Danny Doherty, Denny, five for 12lb including a gold; Tam Baillie, Kincardine, four for 14lb including a 7lb 8oz rainbow; John Moyes, Grangemouth, two for 9lb including a 7lb 8oz rainbow; George Dobbie, Glasgow, two for 6lb; Brian Kerr, Stirling, three for 7lb; Brian McNeish, Stirling, four for 9lb 8oz; George Gemmell, Falkirk, three for 15lb including an 8lb rainbow; John Smith, Renfrew, 5lb 8oz rainbow; Brian Eadie, Stirling, 14 caught and released; Henry Fulton, Greenock, two for 11lb including an 8lb rainbow; Willie Keevan, Cowdenbeath, four for 11lb including a 5lb 4oz rainbow; Alan Brand, Edinburgh, two for 10lb 6oz including an 8lb rainbow.


Thornwood Springs Essex

Lake one continues a good run of youngsters catching their first fish when guided by a parent. Newcomers all going home with a few fish from here. Montanas with marabou tails, Cat’s Whiskers, Damsels and Blobs under a bung are working on still, bright days. If there is a good ripple try Daddies on top. The far end of this lake is now producing browns again and is now clear of weed. Lake two has been great on dry fly and lures, but also on Bloodworms and Blobs 10 feet down. Stalking pool opening soon and autumn fresh stocking arrives shortly.


Ynys y fro Reservoirs, Gwent

Following the restocking of the bottom pond there has been a marked improvement in fish returns from both boat and bank anglers, with the bonus of some evening activity on the top pond. Dry fly specialist Graham Ingram Evans landed two good fish including a specimen of 2lb 10oz from the top pond. On the bottom pond boat anglers have concentrated on the areas off the dam and Farmhouse Bay. Lee Carroll and Keith Higgins both returned limits, while Shaun Cotterell caught his eight fish over two session. Mike Price and Andrew Taylor shared a boat to catch seven and five trout respectively. A brace of fish was recorded by Ken Pascoe and Hugh Davies, with the former adding a further limit from another boat session. Bank fishermen have found Farmhouse Bay providing most sport, with Keith Higgins moving from boat to bank to land an eight fish limit using Orange Blobs. Further limits were landed by Ken Bowring and James Francis, with the latter having a particularly good week having landed five fish from an earlier visit to the dam, using Diawl Bachs and Pheasant Tail patterns, followed by a further four fish from Farmhouse Bay. Roger Martin and Ken Bowring also fished in Pipe Bay to take 12 and eight fish respectively from three visits. Colin Jones fished three evening sessions to land a total of nine fish. Terry O’Connor also fished an evening session for his three fish. Two afternoon visits gave Cardiff member Ivor Thomas a total of five trout, and Alan Rees three fish. .Another evening visit provided Martin Rees with two trout when he fished Farmhouse Bay. Following a successful boat day earlier in the week, Craig Bowles added a further three fish to his season’s total from the bank while D. Bowles caught a brace of trout, including an excellent specimen of 4lb 2oz. Fellow Cowbridge member Dave Smith also landed two fish. Successful patterns have included Diawl Bach, Shipman’s Buzzers, Hoppers and Damsels, while fast-stripped Orange Blobs and fritz patterns have been effective, especially for boat anglers.

The weekend saw the dam on the bottom pond provide some excellent fishing, particularly during late afternoon/evening. Cardiff member Jeff Wilson used emergers to take a catch and release limit while Ken Bowring landed seven fish on a Damsel pattern. Roger Martin used the same fly for his five fish with fishery treasurer Colin Jones catching four rainbows on a Shipman’s Buzzer. A Shipman’s combined with a Diawl Bach nymph provided James Francis with three trout. Day ticket visitor Steve Docherty also fished the dam for his five rainbows, while a boat session realised a brace of fish for Les Murphy. On Saturday morning James Francis added another six fish to his weekend total, landing five in Farmhouse Bay and one fish from the boat bank. A Claret Shipman’s Buzzer and Diawl Bachs proved the successful method. Saturday also saw head bailiff John Mcindo land five fish using a Yellow Blob, while Ken Pascoe fished from a boat to land four fish, a number matched from the bank by Alan Rees.

The monthly returns for August record that despite some difficult weather conditions, over 400 fish were caught, with the vast majority coming from the bottom pond. The 500 members and day ticket holders gave a rod average of 0.8.

Frandy uncovered

Issue 487 of Trout Fisherman, out on August 17, will include a feature on Frandy Trout Fishery in Scotland. As promised in that article, I have set out below some pictures of the southern shore at the time of my visit, which we didn’t have space for in the magazine.

With water levels being low when I was there, you will note that they provide an idea of the terrain over which you are casting when normal levels  apply. Without always knowing why, I’m intrigued by this kind of revelation, although that may just be me…

Top-left and bottom-right pics are of the bay to the west of the lodge (ie on the left as you walk out of the building) just before you reach the neck, where the fishery turns and narrows. The remaining pictures show the shore as you walk towards the dam at the eastern end.

Why drink and flytying don’t mix…

Flies and mugThe picture is of the grimy plinth on which my office computer stands. I could clean it but, like many blokes, my tolerance for muck has progressed little from where it was when I was nine.

The foremost cup, bearing the scars of a thousand morning coffees, is also mine, the two flies perched above it the left-over remnants of some feature long since published.

Overall, should you tie your own flies, it is a tableau with which you may be familiar. In which case, a cautionary tale.

Half-way through an afternoon that had seen a fair wad of papers of all types cross my desk, I noticed both flies were missing. First job at day’s end, I decided, would be to retrieve them from the bottom of my pencil mug, seen at the back of the photograph.

An hour before time, I took on board the last dregs of my coffee, thankfully more by way of a reflective peck than a triumphant slurp. Just as I was wondering why, for the first time in 15 years, Peterborough’s water should be so hard as to leave limescale deposits suspended towards the bottom of my mug, the Yellow Owl connected with the inside of my lower lip.

Whoever it was among our contributors who tied the offending fly, my heartfelt thanks for going barbless. It was but a tap compared to a full-on take (and I suppose I can now claim to have taken ‘method journalism’ to its utmost) but that did nothing to diminish the embarrassing splutter with which latte and flies alike exited my mouth, to the bafflement of my colleagues across the aisle (their magazine involves motorbikes: inadvertently ingesting spark plugs is presumably unheard of, even on a Saturday night).

A briefly sore lip, of course, is the least of it. Had either fly tsunamied towards my throat and beyond, I shudder to think in what dismal waiting room I would have been obliged to fritter away my Friday evening.

The lessons are twofold. Fly anglers keep at least 12 inches between fly and any beverage and they develop the tendency to sip rather than quaff. Just to be on the safe side.

Trout Fisherman issue 477 – Black Loch feature

As promised in the latest issue, where we feature Scotland’s Black Loch Fishery, a photograph of the flies which work well there at various times of the year is set out below. The flies were kindly provided by Black Loch regular George Learmonth, who showed me around when I visited the Stirlingshire water last month. Dressings for each fly accompany the photo.

Black Loch flies

1 – UV Cormorant – hook: size 10 B175; thread: black Uni; body: uv tinsel; wing: black marabou; cheeks: jungle cock

2 – Peacock Buzzer – hook: size 12 B170; thread: black Uni; body: peacock herl; rib: yellow synthetic quill; cheeks: Mirage

3 – Single Decker – hook: size 12 B160; thread: Light Cahill Uni; body: pale yellow seal’s fur; rib: dark brown thread; wing: CdC; tail: Coq de Leon fibres

4 – Black Loch Sedge – hook: size 12 B830; thread: olive Uni; butt: Orkney peach seal’s fur; body: blend of deer hair and hare fur; wing: CdC sedge-type roof; hackle: dark red game

5 – Dry Kate McLaren – hook: size 12 B170; thread: black Uni; tail: golden pheasant crest sunburst; body: black seal’s fur; rib: silver wire; wing: CdC; legs: knotted black cock pheasant; front hackle: dark red game

6 – Green Beetle – hook: size 14 B175; thread: black Uni; body: peacock herl under Loco foam; hackle: black cock

7 – Squirmy Booby – hook: size 6 Short Shank Special; thread: fire-orange Uni; tail: hot pink single squirmy; body: black and blue 16mm Fritz; eyes: yellow foam

8 – Candy Floss Booby – hook: size 10 or 12 B175; thread: fire-orange Uni; tail and wing: candy-pink marabou; body: Mirage, coloured underside with neon-yellow Sharpie pen; eyes: yellow foam

9 – Cat Booby – hook: size 12 B175; tail: white marabout with uv tinsel under; body: fluoro-yellow chenille (small); wing: white marabou with crinkle flash; eyes: 4mm white foam; head: micro-red uv Fritz

Flies 8 and 9 are pictured in more detail below…


Trout Fisherman issue 477 – grayling feature

The latest issue of TF features an article on Dave Downie fishing the Clyde. Pressure of space means that not all the flies that Dave uses when fishing for trout or grayling on this Scottish river could be shown on the printed page, so the remainder are pictured below.

All flies shown here and in the article can be purchased at Dave’s website.


The reel deal? Call it 25 grand for this line holder…

Reel 1Not terribly au fait with America’s fishing hierarchy, I’m struggling to get my head round the idea of paying over $25,000 dollars for a fly reel.

I had wondered if it might be the fact it’s made by Jack Charlton, although whether even the handiwork of a 1966 World Cup winner who’s reinvented himself would run to 25 large, I had my doubts.

Turns out it’s not that Jack Charlton.

As for the reel’s original recipient, whose monogram is sculpted into its casing, there’s more on Ed Rice here. Clearly no stranger to a disgorger.

But 25 grand? It seems almost surreal for eBay, which I customarily treat as the online alternative to Poundland.

Even I, however, might be prepared to extend my usual pricing parameters, were video footage to go on sale showing the moment when the successful bidder’s spouse returns home and asks, “So what have you done with your day…?”

Oh yes; put me down for a tenner.