The start of August brought a break in the heat with some very mixed weather, cooler temperatures, cloud cover and almost Monsoon like rains! As anglers we can often use the weather to justify fish just being fish! Too wet, too hot, too windy, the light levels being wrong etc, etc, etc but it’s not often you can use all those excuses in one week.
A few things in fishing don’t seem to change and that is especially true for our bank anglers with early morning and evenings still being the times to be on the bank, although first and last light are feeling more manageable now the nights are closing in. The fishing has been very productive for August with the lake water levels being high for this time of year.
Family open day
On the 26th of August Chew Valley hosted our Family Open Day! It was a huge success with the help and support of the BRFFA so thank you to everyone that gave up their Saturdays to make the event possible.
The happy faces and enthusiasm make it all worthwhile. We plan to make this an annual event so please look out for more in the future.
Another thanks to “The Woodford Lakeside Food” for providing all our volunteers with refreshments through the day!
The lakes have been exceptionally busy with competitions on both Chew and Blagdon. Our Ranger team have been kept on their toes with the influx of angers, hoping to get amongst the fish and as always, they strive to provide a first-class service for our anglers.
Competition results: Cortland Team Championships
“The Cortland” as they have been nicknamed by many is an event that has quite some pedigree, running for 22 years sponsored by Cortland and Turrels. 16 teams comprising of 96 anglers battled it out across Chew and Blagdon over two days making it one of, if not the biggest event of its kind.
On day one (Saturday) the display of angling was phenomenal with the top four teams catching over 60 fish and nine teams landing over 100lb of fish! The FNF Nymphomaniacs just taking the combined lead by less than 2lb over Team Airflo with Team Snowbee just over 2lb behind!
The slightly overcast conditions seemed very favourable with a mixture of methods producing fish with Washing Line and Tip Lines taking the lions share on both Chew and Blagdon, Dries picked off the odd fish on Chew but were more effective on Blagdon especially in the first few hours.
Day two saw brighter conditions and a rise in the atmospheric pressure. The pressure was also on for our anglers, with the top of the table being so close, everything was to play for!
With flat calm conditions we saw a split on Chew with half the boats starting at The Cages and half heading to the stones at Nunnery and to the Mouth of Herons Bay.
Whilst at Blagdon the Dam, Cheddar Water and the Mouth of Butcombe seemed to be the favoured areas.
In comparison the fishing was slower on the Sunday, perhaps the two practice days and first competition day were starting to take their toll on both the competitors and the fish!
Rod average for Saturday tallied up 7.92 and 5.54 on Sunday which was to be expected but not to be sniffed at just showing the class of both fishing an angler.
Before long Sunday’s results were in and counted with FNF Nymphomaniacs retaining their combined lead and taking first place, Team Airflo took second and Team Elinor climbed the ranks to push team Snowbee off of the podium!
Average fish weight was 2lb 3oz on Blagdon and 2lb 5oz on Chew. Best fish on Chew fell to Bob Cooper at 5lb 4oz and 5lb 2oz on Blagdon for Keith Lawrence. A huge Well done to all that competed with us over the weekend!
Congratulations to FNF Nymphomaniacs on the win and a big thanks to John Horsey for organising and hosting the event with us and also to Cortland for their sponsorship.
The highest rod average of the month was 6.2 fish in the week commencing 1st August. The monthly average was slightly lower at 6 fish but with an average fish weight of just under 3lb that is impressive sport for August!
The Ranger Team have been hard at work stocking Blagdon through August, just over 2100 rainbows made there way into the lake from our Lagoons!
Fly choice on Blagdon seems to have been “Back to Black” with Flying Ants, Corixa, nails and the odd Beetle forming the bulk of the trout’s diets the past few weeks. Black Nymphs or Cormorants fished Washing Line style with a Black Boobie, Blob or FAB depending on depth are producing a lot of fish.
Dries are still worth using early, late or if the fish are up and moving. Black Bobs Bits, Spiders and more recently Crane Fly/Daddy Long Legs patterns have all proved effective.
The boats are still targeting the deeper areas of the lake such as Cheddar Water across the Dam and slightly into Butcombe, don’t be tricked into thinking you need to be pulling the plug out, the fish are often feeding in the top 1/3 but have a preference for the more consistent temperatures the deeper water offers. Bank anglers are finding fish in similar areas such as Cheddar water, Pipe bay and some areas in front of the lodge are now just in wading distance.
Whilst on the subject of water levels please always exercise care when wading. Our Blagdon boat anglers will notice a curved line of white buoys around Home Bay point, this area currently only has a foot or so of water over the top. Please keep this to your left when exiting the jetty.
Chew Valley report
Another stocking of 2500 fish this month from our lagoons, bolstering the already impressive stock! With the water temperatures remaining relatively high the fish have continued to hold over the deeper water, much like at Blagdon.
Areas of note seem to still be around The Cages, Nunnery Point to the Mouth of Herons and the around the Dam. Flies to keep to hand have been Crunchers and Diawl Bach patterns especially with some UV or Red as a rib. FABs and Blobs retrieved at pace have also been productive, especially around The Cages when fished in conjunction with Intermediate or Di3 in the brighter conditions.
We have also been noticing some large shoals of fry forming around the Jetties and Cages, it can’t be long before the fish switch on to Fry feeding! Chew had a rod average of 5.1 for the month of August, only slightly lower than Blagdon.
Barrow Tanks report
The Tanks saw another stocking of 800 fish this month from our lagoons, these fish were spread across all three of The Tanks. The Fresh “stockies” are definitely up for a chase! Mini Lures and Blobs producing fish during the day, although Nymphs and Buzzers seem to be picking out the better stamp with regular reports of 4lb+ fish.
Dries, in particular small Black Bobs Bits and Daddys are picking up fish, a Foam Daddy can also be a useful point fly when fishing the Washing Line or fished in conjunction of a few pulling Daddys or Spiders.
Frustratingly the fish do seem to be pushing out into the central part of the lakes during the heat of the day meaning evenings still seem to be the most productive time to be on the bank as the fish drift into casting range.
The Evening rise window is closing as the nights draw in but that last hour of light seems to be the most productive time so don’t pack up to early!
With the levels fluctuating due to extraction and circulation we still ask our anglers to exercise caution on the freshly exposed bankside. Any inflowing or rising water does seem to be provoking a positive response!