A very delayed report unfortunately. So much going on around the lakes at present it's been incredibly busy. A highlight for us was hosting the English Loch Style National at Chew Valley which, despite challenging conditions, fished excellently! Faced with strong gusty winds and heavy rain overnight, getting boats prepped and ready for our customers is by no means an easy task. Making sure anglers are out on the water safely is number one priority. Some rather special fish were caught including two double figure brown trout and a cracking 8lb 12oz rainbow! Both brown trout were released unharmed.
Water temperatures now around 16.5C on most of our waters with clarity pretty good. Some slight colour to the water at Blagdon but it doesn't seem to be hampering catches. Fish remain high in the water with many feeding on corixae and buzzers. Daddy's have been prolific recently with numerous fish falling to a orange foam daddy on the point.
Trout fishing boats are available at Chew in coming weeks despite pike fishing being on. We strongly advise booking in advance to avoid disappointment. Numbers of available boats are limited on some days. Pike fishing isn't on every day so check out the calendar found HERE for further details.
Bookings on 01275 332339
On to the fishing.....
Chew Valley- Res level 69% full
Stocking to Date: 37,467
Rod Average: 6
Average Weight: 2lb 11oz
Biggest recorded Rainbow (this period): 8lb 12oz
Biggest recorded Brown(this period): 13lb 5oz
North shore has been the place to be recently with fish hugging the bank for the last few weeks. A variety of methods working although most are sticking with diawl bach's fished on floating or midge tip lines. A few anglers tempted by intermediate lines and zonkers now that conditions are getting cooler. There has been an explosion of fry at Chew this season so never neglect a fry pattern at this time of year. There are always some big trout lurking around.
Wick Green has been producing consistently with noticeable 'pockets' of fish moving up and down the bank. Perseverance will be key to accumulating a bag. Don't neglect a black blob or similar as a top dropper in this area, water snails are being seen bobbing in the surface on these shallower banks and fish can gorge on them at this time of year.
When winds swing northerly have a little look at Woodford bank, its heaving with fry at present so some small lures on sunken line tactics will be worth investigating with.
Be wary that pike bank anglers will be on the banks on some days so make sure you leave sufficient space when fishing from the bank.
The boat fishing goes from strength to strength at present with some simply awesome bags being taken. As mentioned earlier in the report the English National really was the highlight of the season for us and despite the weather gods doing their best to upset play we saw some cracking fishing. Blustery winds and heavy rain by no means made fishing pleasant but the quality of fishing spoke for itself and delivered smiles all round for those angler taking place in this event. Anglers from throughout the country descended upon the lake in hopes of qualifying to represent team England in the 2020 spring and autumn internationals. It was apparent from practice days that fish were spread and high in the water. A real mix of tactics worked with dries, washing line setups and pulled lures all taking their fair share of fish. Lots of anglers concentrated on fishing a dabbler or similar as a top dropper which tempted fish on the 'hang'.
A few anglers went 'oldschool' fishing dries on the first day of the event. Foam daddies as a point fly teamed up with hoppers or CDC variants worked well bring fish to the flies blind. Despite the slight colour in the water, from the decaying blue green algae only a week or two before, it was fantastic to see fish feeding so well and in a tip top condition. It was nice to see anglers from further afield having to do battle with our exceptionally strong fish that the angling world seemed to be talking about this season.
Inevitably some anglers did find that some of the lures patterns were starting to take their fair share of fish with blobs and small boobies being deployed on fast glass or di3 lines. The fish were spread with the middle of the lake still holding good numbers of fish despite a good thrashing only a few weeks before in the Cortland Team Championships. Other areas came to life like the eastern side of the lake around Spring bay and down to the East shore, the roman shallows and Moreton bank. Herons green continued to hold fish, especially through the open water down to Nunnery stones.
Some of the highlights included seeing a fantastic 13lb 5oz brown trout safely returned to the water after its capture by Mr P Sweatman and a 11lb 8oz brown trout on practice day by Mr F Sumnall, again a fish that was safely returned.
Overall, a fantastic event with several local faces qualifying to represent England in 2020.
Since then, the fishing has continued to be excellent with new pockets of fish being discovered by the day. The area behind Denny has been on fire recently although those anglers looking for a new challenge have also had some great sport with our famous perch in and around the structures of the jetties and fish pens.
Pike fly fishing has been a bit temperamental and we haven't seen many anglers hitting the water recently. Dead bait and lure fishing has started with some respectable results including a brace of 30lb+ fish to one lucky angler. Most boats still concentrating in the areas around Stratford and Moreton, very few trying other areas so were hopeful of some more fish as boats start to explore the lake a little more.
A polite reminder that tying to buoys and dropping anchors within 50m of the jetty areas is not permitted. Boats are permitted to drift into this area and fish but not anchor or tie up to buoys. Similarly, please be respectful of bank anglers if fishing from a boat. Boats must keep a minimum of 50m's away from bank anglers. Thank you.
Blagdon - Res level 68% full
Stocking to Date: 25,962
Average Weight: 2lb 9oz
Biggest recorded Rainbow (this period): 6lb 5oz
Biggest recorded Brown (this period): 5lb
Green lawn has been chucking up fish although they have been a bit sporadic in this area of late. Most anglers fishing a floating line or sink tip setup with a washing line method being deployed. Try a slow roly poly if faced with stronger winds, this can help keep in contact with your flies on windier days.
The fish remain high in the water and have occasionally been seen rising freely in calmer conditions. There are pockets of fish in and around the dam area still so exploring Cheddar water will be worth a try if suited and booted with waders.
Butcombe is holding fish and there are fish tight to the bank near the overspill. The Mike Gleave memorial match on Sunday saw boats catching readily all throughout Butcombe with fish being found over the tops of the weed beds near the margins as well as in the open water of the bay. If the water is showing a little colour try a intermediate line with some lures such as a orange blob or booby. Pull fast after a few figure of eights down. Don't be surprised if fish grab the flies on the first pull or two, they can hit hard so make sure nylon is 8lb+ to avoid snap offs.
The dam basin continues to throw up the most consistent fishing at present although don't neglect drifts down towards the front of the lodge over the shallow water. A memorial competition on Sunday saw boats catching consistently from Cheddar water all the way down to the shallow spit in front of the lodge. Fish remain high in the water so don't fish too deep. On windier days it may be handy to have a fast glass or similar at hand to help with turnover of flies. Try a blob on the point teamed with diawl bach's on the droppers and a fab or booby on the point. Try fishing fast with long pulls or a roly poly retrieve.
Butcombe and the area around the overspill are holding fish. It's been noticeable recently that there have been small pods of fish moving around this area. A drift may see a short spell of action with longer spells of inactivity. Make sure flies are hung before casting off as this has accounted for some respectable catches recently.
If conditions allow try a washing line setup on a floater or midge tip, keeping in control of your flies will be important. When the winds are swinging a little, having a line that can anchor your flies down a little bit can help. A sink tip or faster sinking line may produce better results.
The winds of late have put halt to areas further down the lake being explored although some anglers have noted fish in the area around Holt bay falling to fry imitations fished a little faster. Try a black zonker or similar, you may be rewarded with a slighter bigger fish that tend to feed more so on fry than anything else.
Barrow Tanks- Res levels 88% full
Stocking to Date: 9,610
Rod Average: 1.58
Average Weight: 1lb 15oz
Biggest recorded Rainbow (this period): 3lb 4oz
Biggest recorded Brown(this period):none recorded
Bank fishing only:
The natural bank on two has been producing although anglers are now starting to fish lures on site rather than nymphs and buzzers. A few returns in recently suggesting that boobies or cormorants have been working reasonably well. Some fresh fish will be hitting the lakes shortly and they will most likely be up for chasing patterns so try some brighter, larger imitations if struggling.
The usual haunts of 'stockie' corner on number 3 will always be worth a try and its around now that the larger brown trout in the lakes start to wake up. Have a wander around number 1 tank, especially near the outfall in the far corner. Big brown trout have consistently been seen chasing sticklebacks in this area over the years at this time of year. Snakes or zonkers will be worth a try especially if we get a colder spell move in.
Rod Average: 5.2
Average Weight: 2lb 12oz
Biggest recorded Rainbow (this period): 4lb 3oz
Biggest recorded Brown(this period):2lb 12oz
Wow, some excellent returns from Litton of late. We now have boats on both lakes for anglers to use. Quite a number of fish in the 3lb range hitting the scales with a few 4lb+ fish too. The bottom lake has been the only one really fished heavily recently with a boat on the top lake only being added recently. As always a black tadpole or Montana teamed with nymphs wont send you too far wrong.
Litton can suffer after heavy rain with water colouring up slightly. Don't dismiss a pattern or two like an orange or black blob fished slowly if the clarity is poor.