Latest Fishery Report
A quick update on the fishing around the lakes. First and foremost, our new starters this season are settling in well, if you see some new faces out and about do say hello. Luke is our new tackle shop man filling in for Lee Senington who is happily enjoying retirement and we have Ciara, Alistair and Steve who are conducting patrols, getting your boats ready and assisting on the fish farm. For those of you who know Bob ‘Elvis’ Hillier we can safely say he doesn’t know what to do with himself and seemingly can’t keep away from the lakes. He floats around now and then but is very much enjoying a well-earned rest!
The month of September started well, welcoming back the Cortland Team Fly Fishing Championships across Chew and Blagdon. This event was a huge success with a massive 1,141 trout landed to almost 5lb. The overall victors were team Airflo with 86 fish totalling 188lb 11oz (with bonus) and top individual was Tom Pritchard with 22 fish 44lb 0oz (with bonus) across the two-day event. With only a handful of competitions remaining we are fast approaching the end of the season. Whist the fishing remains excellent we would encourage those wanting to get out to hit the water sooner rather than later. Don’t miss out!
Chew has seen some incredible sport over the past month. The best areas have been around the Dam, North Shore and open water off of Woodford bank and the false island. Most people have found washing line tactics productive with a team of Diawl Bach’s and a small booby or foam daddy on the point. FAB’s are another popular choice with pink and yellow split being popular along with the favoured tequilla colours.
The past week has seen the return of brighter and warmer conditions which has seemingly encouraged most of the fish to feed in open water rather than the margins. This has made bank fishing a little tricky of late. Most anglers have fished midge tips although intermediates and Di3’s have worked too at times.
This weekend the weather seems to forecast much cooler and more overcast conditions and with wind speeds picking up slightly this will hopefully stir things up a bit and encourage more active feeding. Much like mentioned in the last report there continues to be a small threat of thunder and lightning early next week so anglers need to be mindful that in the event of thunder and lightning anglers should stop fishing immediately and head to the nearest shoreline or the lodge and seek safety till it passes.
Fresh fish have been hitting the lakes in the last few weeks including just over 600 fish in the last few days. These fish have spread out a bit better than the last stocking. Some heading out into the open water around the false island and roman shallows even spurring on some lovely residents to feed well. A couple noteworthy captures include a lovely fish caught by Andy Stones weighing 10lb 6oz and Mark McCarthy’s monstrous rainbow hitting the scales at 10lb 8oz. Both fish were taken on daiwl bach’s and caught within days of one another.
Water clarity is still great on Blagdon. Another 2,500 fish have been added in recent weeks and as always it won’t take them long to start feeding on the ever-present natural food sources in the lake.
The Top End, Butcombe Bay and the Boils have still been producing fish to the usual methods of floating lines near the weed and sinking lines or flies fished incredibly slow from floating and midge tip lines when fishing the deeper parts of the lake. Early morning and late evening have been the best times, as is the way this time of year; especially on the brighter, warmer days.
Much like Chew when some cloud cover is present dry flies can pick out some better fish who are more willing to feed in these conditions. The next 10-day forecast suggests a little bit of a mixed bag. It’s always worth coming prepared with a range of flies and lines for changing conditions, fish can move up and down in the water column at the flick of a switch at times. We have a great range of flies and fly lines at our tackle shop at Woodford lodge, if passing why not take a look?
The infamous Tony Packer has been demonstrating that the weed beds up and around Top End have still been producing some excellent fish. He has had a cracking couple of visits recently. His ever-faithful red gold head buzzer tempting most fish. He even managed a couple of lovely brown trout specimens ranging around 4-5lb in weight and safely released for another day.
As ever we continue to encourage anglers to use strong nylon that’s up to the job, there are some serious fish about this season and we hate hearing about the ones that got away. It may make a good tale to tell but a better one is landing those lake monsters! If you need some strong ‘string’ look no further than Blagdon and Woodford Lodge where we have a great range of nylons and fluorocarbons.
We have had mixed reports of the Tanks recently with less frequent catches but a good average size. Fishing till last light can be very beneficial with some good rises observed over the last couple of weeks. Similarly to our last report, The Pipe on Tank 3 is perhaps the best spot for anglers to head for. Deeper and cooler water can be found here.
Damsels, buzzers and diawl Bach’s still working for the majority of anglers, however as mentioned there has been a few good evening rises so the dry fly is worth a go late evening as well as early morning.
In the last 2 weeks the Tanks have had 800 fish added to them with slightly more going into Tank 3. This we hope will further enhance the sport at the Barrow Tanks.
Algae levels have been high at times at Barrows of late but as weed beds die back and the days get gradually cooler, expect to see fish move into the margins where they will begin to prey on the abundance of sticklebacks in these waters.
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