Finally some mild weather on its way with rain forecast for most days this week. Winds are strengthening sadly so there may be more boat cancellations coming up. We strongly advise anglers to check forecasts carefully before booking. Similarly, the threat of thunder and lightening has been significant recently and has led to us making the difficult decision to cancel boat fishing on some days. Safety is paramount and being out on a boat on an open water like Chew or Blagdon significant heightens the risk of a lightening strike. We advise all anglers to take care and monitor changing weather conditions if fishing at this time of year. ALWAYS stop fishing IMMEDIATELY and head to the nearest shore if faced with the threat of thunder and lightening.
As reported in the last fishery report algae spells are now starting to show. The water clarity at Chew and Blagdon has been deteriorating by the day with even the beginners on our latest family fishing event finding it tricky to catch fish in our specially designed fishing pond containing 400 fish this weekend. Water temperatures are still fluctuating daily around the 20C mark although its noticeable that night time temperatures are seemingly dropping which may help in coming weeks.
The strong winds forecast towards the end of the week will be exactly whats required and will hopefully stir things up. Scattered showers will also help freshen the lakes up a little. We wouldn't be in the slightest bit surprised if next week fished particularly well at our lakes.
Fish have been seen feeding on some days with fish showing up on top in several areas, 'sipping' flying ants and small buzzers off of the surface. The finest of margins can make all the difference at present, a quick heavy shower, a cooler day or rain overnight can significantly increase your chances of getting a bag of fish together.
Be prepared to work hard for your fish at this time of year, they wont come easy. The fishing is challenging but there are plenty of quality fish showing in the lakes this season so the rewards can be worth the effort.
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Lastly, you may have seen come of our CHECK, CLEAN, DRY signs up around the lakes? Bio security is an important part of protecting our waters. Increasingly we will be looking to make our sites more bio-secure. Check out some of the things we are involved in HERE.
On to the fishing.....
Chew Valley- Res level 81% full
Stocking to Date: 27,234
Rod Average: 1.96
Average Weight: 3lb 1oz
Biggest recorded Rainbow (this period): 8lb
Biggest recorded Brown(this period):3lb
Noticeably weed beds are now shooting up, we've been lucky this season with most weed beds holding off for far longer than usual. The weed beds will hamper access in some areas so it will be best to head to deeper water marks like Nunnery Stones and Walley bank if you don't have waders.
Walley continues to be the most consistent bank in the last week or so although its not been easy. With the algae spell making things challenging the deeper water of the dam seems to have slightly better clarity. The addition of the aerators in this area also helps keep the water a little fresher than elsewhere on the lake.
For the early birds, the 'beach' area is still throwing up the occasional bigger fish along with Wick Green and the Oak Tree at Herons. Wading will be required in all of these spots but please remember to wade no higher than thigh level. We advise all bank anglers to wear life jackets when wading.
Flies, not a great deal of change in tactics of flies at this time of year. Red diawl bach's are still the go to flies for a lot of anglers visiting our waters. A few have caught on cormorants fished deeper down but this method may be restricted if fishing from the bank. Dries worth a try in the early morning or evening if fish start showing up on top. It may be worth trying something like a suspender or CDC to keep the flies just sitting in the surface layer. We haven't seen many fish 'head and tailing', most have been sipping small insects from the surface. Quite a lazy way to feed.
There's been a few fish caught around the cage areas recently which has been good to see. On flat calm mornings we have seen rising fish from the cages all the way up into Villice bay. Please note that yesterday our family fishing 'pond' net was removed. This will mean that there will be some particularly small fish around in coming weeks. Roughly 350 fish of around 1lb 4oz- 2lb will be swimming around somewhere. It's simply not possible to remove these fish after the event, there are too many obstructions between the jetties for nets to get caught on and ripped. Anglers are always welcome to release these fish if caught but please remember to take the time to release them properly keeping fish in the water at all times and taking time to support them until they are happy to swim off.
The dam basin continues to be the most productive area on the lake although Villice bay has been good on occasions too. Fishing around aerators isn't easy. The flow and bubbles can prove problematic when it comes to trying to control your flies. Sometimes using a sinking line can be better as the flow tends to drop the deeper you go down. Floaters and midge tips can see lines consistently needing mends to keep in contact with your flies. Fish as slow as possible, we haven't heard of any fish being caught with a faster retrieve recently. They simply don't want to chase and who can blame them!
Black patterns often stand out best in colored water if faced with algae plumes. Older patterns like Montana's and pea heads both worth a go. A team of nymphs among a couple cormorant patterns will also be worth a try.
If you fancy exploring the lake don't dismiss a quick drift around Stratford and Moreton. Last week our team popped out to locate abandoned anchors on the lake. Approaching Stratford it was noticeable that a number of fish were moving. Although this will not be a true representation of every day in this area, if conditions are right it may be worth a quick look. Stratford and Moreton always hold fish, especially resident fish, the question is whether or not you hit these areas on the right day.
Surprisingly pike fly fishing continues to be good with more reports of some respectable pike being caught. Quite a number of mid to late teens seem to be showing at present. The pike are definitely more active than our trout. Noticeably, fry shoals are also pretty strong with shoals being located in several different areas. Try behind the island or in the open water around Morton. Make sure you take the time to recover the fish and try to get fish in as fast as possible.
Quite a number of small 2 inch perch around so a darker pattern of a smaller size may be worth a try.
Blagdon - Res level 78% full
Stocking to Date: 17,039
Average Weight: 2lb 11oz
Biggest recorded Rainbow (this period): 4lb 6oz
Biggest recorded Brown (this period): none recorded
Its been tough on the banks at Blagdon although with quite a strong Westerly wind forecast for Saturday we may well see some weed beds broken up and fish feeding better again. The shelter of Rainbow point/Wood bay will be worth a look if the forecast does what it says it will.
Green Lawn and Cheddar Water will continue to be worth trying in coming weeks. If we do get the rain and wind that is forecast the fresher weather may well induce fish to feed in the margins again. Much like Chew it is noticeable that there are heavy concentrations of fish in the dam basin at present. These fish should start to move back into the shallower water with cooling temps and fresh rain.
It does get repetitive but washing line tactics will continue to be the way to go. A little hares ear booby or similar is always worth a chuck as a point fly at this time of year. We do get strong hatches of sedge at times and a pattern looking a little beaten up can sometimes work well. Similarly to Chew, red diawl bach's and buzzers on the droppers.
Echoing comments above on boat fishing at Chew, the dam basin continues to be the most productive area on Blagdon with the nearby Cheddar water and Pipe bay also throwing up fish. A couple reports of fish being taken in and around Holt bay has also been encouraging and perhaps the first sign that fish are starting to move around a little more and feeding better.
Whilst most boat anglers are fishing the main dam basin, it may be worth venturing across the open water adjacent to Green lawn. This area holds some of the deepest water in the lake and there are a few nearby aerators. Its rare that this area gets fished heavily so could reward those anglers who are prepared to have a little scout around.
There is a noticeable change coming in the next few days with some rather wet and windy days forecast. This may well be the stir up we need so going into next week don't neglect the usual haunts like Wood bay, Rugmoor and Butcombe. The fish in these areas may just well switch on. Night time temps are dropping too so this will all help with providing better conditions for fish to feed.
Barrow Tanks- Res levels 83% full
Stocking to Date: 7,360
Rod Average: 1.4
Average Weight: 1lb 14oz
Biggest recorded Rainbow (this period): 3lb 2oz
Biggest recorded Brown(this period):none recorded
Bank fishing only:
Fresh fish being stocked into tanks 1 and 3 today should see improvement in the fishing at Barrows. The usual haunts will be worth a try along with some small lures in coming days. Fresher fish will often chase flies and with the recent rain showers they may well be active. Try a slow sink line with a small booby on the point and an orange blob or similar on a dropper.
No fishing currently available at Litton lakes. Re opening September 2019