A BLAKEWELL BRACE

A week ago it was like summer today, it is like winter as I walk out to the Lake at Blakewell! Hail and snow flakes are driven by the icy North West Wind. A few moments later the sun is shining and the world looks a less hostile place.

I have a two fish complimentary ticket from the Christmas Competition and had not got around to using it as a result of COVID and the lake being closed so I was pleased that Richard & John allowed me to use it after several months. I had a plan to wander around the lake casting to individual fish seeing if I could spot one of the lakes doubles. The water was crystal clear but the gusty wind frequently riffled the surface making spotting fish tricky.

I fished several spots around the lake and failed to get a touch. I tried several patterns without success but did manage to spot a few trout cruising in the bay. A black bead headed lure on a long leader resulted in a twitch on the tip of the fly line. Next cast the line zipped tight and a spirited tussle followed before the fish came adrift! I checked the hook point and all was well. Next cast and again the line zipped tight….off came the trout. Third time lucky I thought when I hooked the next a couple of casts later…off it came. Still at least I had found the right fly and tactic. Ten minutes later the brace was in the bag.

Its always good when you find the right answer and yet I always wonder if the trout had simply switched on for some reason. This thought is reinforced as I walk away and notice that one of the other anglers has a well bent rod. Its mission accomplished anyway with trout for tea and spring proper on the way.

Kracking 33lb 9oz from Paradise

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AP resident guide Julian Chidgey decided to make the most of the beautiful weather at Anglers Paradise & this time he was catching them himself instead of helping their guests!

Starting on the Kracking Carp Lake, Julian landed a 33lb 9oz Mirror using Outlaw Pro Krilla boilies topped with fake corn. He then headed over to the Main Carp Lake where in 4 crazy hours he landed carp weighing 24lb 9oz, 21lb 4oz, 21lb, 19lb 12oz, 19lb 6oz,18lb 1oz, 16lb 15oz and 14lb 11oz. All of which were caught off the surface.

If you want to book Julian to guide you during your trip to the day ticket or residents lakes simply contact him through Facebook ‘Inspired Angling Services (Julian Chidgey)’, Instagram ‘Julian Chidgey’ or by phone on 07720556414”

Young ZAINE CATCHES A MONSTER

Zenia Gregorek reports :-
Our Son has only gone and caught a personal best 40lb Catfish!! He fought it like a little legend (poor boy, as he was fighting it, couldn’t stop saying, my arms hurt, my arms hurt!!!)
But he won the battle and has even beat his Mummy’s PB now!!!
Caught using a Dynamite Baits 20mm Squid & Octopus Hard Hookbait
topped with a Pineapple & Banana pop up glugged in Squid & Octopus Liquid Attractant
Anglers Paradise

A Gold and Crimson Reward from a sparkling stream

A brilliant blue cloudless sky and a North-East wind are never good for fishing but  despite this it was delightful  exploring this small clear water stream with a New Zealand style set up. This was challenging fishing with no manicured banks and plenty of branches and brambles to snare the flies. As I worked up stream flicking the team of flies into the deeper pockets and riffles it was both frustrating and encouraging to see plenty of trout darting for cover as they caught sight of me trying to be stealthy. I feel sure this will be easier in the evening when the sun is lower in the sky.

Two tiny trout succumb to a dry fly, images of perfection in the clear water their flanks a mixture of gold and crimson spots. It is also encouraging to tempt a small salmon par an indication that salmon have successfully spawned in this water during the winter.

The river weaves its way through woodland, fallen trees, lichen draped branches and wild flowers. Deer footprints in the muddy river side. A squirrel scampers across branches watching me warily. Marsh marigolds, primroses and the smell of wild garlic, Is there a better place than beside a trout stream in early spring?

Upper Tamar In Fine Form

Just a few of the  fine carp tempted from Upper Tamar Lake over recent weeks.

Upper Tamar is not just a carp water it also has a vast range of other options with specimen perch, roach and eels along with bream and plenty of silver making it a fine match venues.  (Below)Stuart Burridge had a cracking day at Upper Tamar with 42lb of roach and skimmers on the tip.

Jennetts Carp Brace

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Allan Jones and Karl Yates enjoyed their first fishing trip out since lockdown started. Jennetts was the destination and Allan was rewarded with a common of 19lb 6oz and Karl 23lb 2oz . Regulars to Jennets will be pleased that the fallen tree that has blocked access to far side has now been cleared away.

Out of Lockdown Trip to Wimbleball

I took advantage of the partial easing of lockdown on Monday and travelled to Wimbleball Reservoir high on Exmoor in search of the venues hard fighting rainbows. On arrival a cool breeze was blowing and mist shrouded the hills, with sunshine forecast later in the day it was likely that the best sport would come early in the day. The water was certainly cold as I waded out to begin searching the water. A floating line and long leader with small black lures proved effective and soon brought a few pulls before I eventually stayed connected to a hard fighting rainbow of around 3lb. This was followed by two more similar sized fish before midday when the sun broke through as forecast.

The lakes surface reflected the blue sky and shimmered brightly, birdsong reverberated all around, buzzards soared high above and a pair of greater crested grebes flirted in the spring sunshine. The croaking of toads drifted across the water and fresh buds where bursting out from the tips of the bankside trees. There is far more to this fishing lark than catching fish!

As expected the fishing went quiet for a while but a change to an intermediate line in late afternoon brought further action with a wild brown trout and a brace of superb rainbow the biggest estimated at over 6lb.

Throughout the day I changed my flies several times in search of the correct pattern for the moment. I often ponder upon the value of changing patterns and its actual impact on results. The six trout I tempted were tempted on the following patterns; black wooly bugger 2,  Blue flash and olive Damsel 2, black buzzer 1 and orange blob 1. It is important to remember that there are many other factors to take into consideration beyond the choice of fly/lure including feeding depth, light values and rate of retrieve. It is also worth asking the question as to whether we are trying to imitate natural food that forms part of the trout’s diet or trying to stimulate a reaction? Generally early season I tend to go for black or olive and probably had  a black lure of some type or a damsel on the point throughout 95% of the day and fished a team of 3 flies throughout. The biggest fish of the day fell to the orange blob yet I only put this fly on late in the day when I had swapped to an intermediate line and speeded up the retrieve. Most decisions are made on the basis of an educated hunch and for most of my fishing I stick to the tried and trusted though this has changed over the years as patterns have come in and out of vogue.

It is this continual search for the answers that keeps us fishing the fun part is that each day has a different set of questions and different answers.