Well...we're sure every angler around the country welcomed the heavy rain showers seen on Friday of last week. Much needed for all of our waterways if nothing more than just to 'freshen' them up slightly. As you can well imagine, water temps have been fluctuating day by day. 20-21C is common for most days although this can change by a few degrees with a spell of rain or cooler day.
Algae spells starting to increase at our waters now with a noticeable tinge of green to the water here at Chew in recent days. Blue green algae is increasing in counts so be wary to wash hands properly before stopping for a bite to eat whilst around the lakes. Generally speaking the water clarity, weed beds and water height still remain good for this time of year. Normally weed beds are far more prevalent by now and clarity is much worst.
Not much in the way of stocking recently. The lakes have plenty of fish in them at present as can be seen by the number of fish rising and splashing when out on the water. The fish are simply patchy in their feeding habits and anglers need to be prepared to face a tough day if fishing the lakes on the warmest of days. It really is a case of being selective of the days you fish at this time of year. Cooler days or days where rain showers appear can have a significant effect on the fish, getting them to feed better. We have had permits returned with blanks but we've also had permits returned with upwards of 20 fish to a boat! Choose your fishing days wisely.
Similarly to the above information about picking your days, also consider your tactics carefully. Often fish will not want to work too hard for their meals at this time of year. Pulling blobs on a di7 as fast as Lewis Hamilton drives his Mercedes probably won't get you the desired results that you are after. Fishing slow, almost static, will no doubt be a better option.
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On to the fishing.....
Chew Valley- Res level 83% full
Stocking to Date: 27,234
Rod Average: 3.56
Average Weight: 3lb 1oz
Biggest recorded Rainbow (this period): 5lb 12oz
Biggest recorded Brown(this period):6lb 8oz
Walley bank continues to fish well, especially early morning and late evening. The 'beach' area of Herons Green/Nunnery has also been good throwing up some fantastic fish for our season ticket holders in recent weeks. You'll need to get up early to secure a spot and make the most of the cooler temps. Try a floating or midge tip line with red diawl bach's and a small booby on the point. If you can get away with it, try a team of straight nymphs to keep flies down as deep as you can. Weed in some areas may hamper this so you may need to resort to the washing line method.
Unsurprisingly the dam basin has been the most consistent spot recently. The area towards the corner closest the over-spill seems to be holding the biggest concentration of fish although anglers have reported fish being caught on and around several of the aerators throughout the dam in the last week or so. Fish slow either on a floating or midge tip line with nymphs or deeper down on a di5 or similar with a booby and blob combination. Cormorants will be worth a try too.
On cooler days, try the margins of Villice bay and Herons Green. Alternatively the reeds near Herriot's and the open water of Stratford will also be worth a look. A few anglers have reported catching well on pulled hoppers when conditions are good and fish have been feeding high in the water. Dries have accounted for some fish too although sometimes what looks like feeding fish rising can be fish simply splashing. We don't really know why fish do this, there are lots of theories. Most likely this is something they do when stressed or trying to remove algae particles from their gills. Watch carefully as fish move, try to determine whether they are actually rising to a fly on the surface or not. Black ant have been seen on the water on a number of occasions now that we are in this warmer period. Try small black imitations, something like a Bobs bits or a black Shipmans will be worth a try.
Pike fly fishing has been good with reports of several mid teen fish being caught recently topped by a fish of 21lb on the weekend. As with all fish at this time of year, please take care when returning your catch. Try to keep the fish in the water at all times and do your best to get fish in quickly to aid with a safe release. The North shore, Wick and Herons have all thrown up some respectable fish. Jacks can be readily found near the margins using smaller patterns. A couple perch showing recently including a fish estimated 4lb from Wick Green yesterday
Blagdon - Res level 79% full
Stocking to Date: 16,504
Average Weight: 2lb 13oz
Biggest recorded Rainbow (this period): 5lb 8oz
Biggest recorded Brown (this period): 4lb
Rainbow and Green lawn have been the go to areas recently although Cheddar water has produced too. It can be challenging to fish from the banks in some areas due to the weed beds popping up so quick. We do our best to keep key bank areas clear when staff have time out on the weed cutter. Wading will be beneficial for most bank areas at this time of year although we remind anglers that this should be carried out no higher than thigh height.
Fishing a long line can have its advantages at this time of year. Using lines such as the 40+ range can help gain that little extra distance which will see you flies fishing in clearer water for longer. Similarly a longer leader than usual can also help. If you struggle with distance, be extra selective on times when you fish. Early mornings and late evenings can draw fish into the margins where they may feed on corixae and damsel nymphs. Dries will be worth a try when fishing very shallow areas or areas above dense weed beds. Don't go light on leaders as a fish that runs for the weed can be lost easily if fishing lighter tippets. Hoppers are generally good at this time of year offering an angler the chance to fish dry if faced with a rising fish or fished sub surface when fishing blind. Similarly an old fashioned Shipmans buzzer can also be used. As we move towards August, Daddy long legs should start to appear. Foam daddies are another great alternative as a point fly.
Much like Chew the dam basin continues to be the place to be. Anywhere through the dam basin down towards the corners of Cheddar Water and the over spill are worth a try. A few anglers have noted fishing close to the dam structure being slightly more productive than further out in the open water of the dam basin. Another reminder, there is an no anchoring area in the dam. Please take note of this area shown on the back of your ticket and on the map inside Blagdon lodge. Tying up to buoys is also not permitted. Drifting is the only way to fish in this area.
Long leaders with a damsel or heavy 'glue' buzzer on the point continue to produce the goods. Fish as slowly as possible but be prepared to have savage takes. The fish have been hitting flies hard despite the warmer weather. Pay particular attention to 'hanging' the flies. Often the fish will grab them just as you go to bring the flies slowly out of the water to recast. There have been a number of fish recorded containing lots of small green buzzers at Blagdon recently. Perhaps try some smaller buzzer imitations on the droppers, size 12 or 14 will be worth a go.
Patterns such as the Grey Boy buzzer and UV buzzers will be worth a go as point flies. Go large to help anchor flies down deep, size 10 or 8 will suffice. Alternatively a gold head damsel will also work. Don't neglect trying a small blob on your leader even when fishing almost static. A smaller blob in orange or candy colour will often draw a fish to our team of flies.
Those anglers who prefer to have wander around will probably be best heading to areas such as long bay or towards the top of Butcombe where trickles of fresh water enter the lake. We've seen this happen on a few occasions during warmer periods of weather. Fish will move into areas where a little cooler water or flow may be present.
Barrow Tanks- Res levels 82% full
Stocking to Date: 7,360
Rod Average: 1.12
Average Weight: 2lb 5oz
Biggest recorded Rainbow (this period): 3lb 10oz
Biggest recorded Brown(this period):3lb
Bank fishing only:
The weed still seems to be holding off on number 3 tank at Barrows. Surprising considering how warm it has been. Lots of anglers still reporting a good evening rise and a few commenting that fish have contained snails recently. It may be worth trying some sunken line tactics at Barrows if hitting the lakes soon. The infamous Barrow Mouse technique will work but similarly a small booby will be worth a go with a steady figure of eight retrieve.
As mentioned above in the reports for Chew and Blagdon, it really is a matter of picking your days at all of our waters at present. Cooler periods early morning or late evening will give you the best chance of finding some fish. We urge anglers to be selective of their fishing days and times. Forecasts are suggesting night time temperatures to start dropping early next week, this will hopefully spur some more consistent fishing.
No fishing currently available at Litton lakes. Re opening September 2019