Blakewell Browns

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As winter inflicts its final chill trout anglers can enjoy top rate sport with Blakewell’s handsome brown trout. Some fine browns have been tempted over recent weeks and their is always the chance of one of the double figure rainbows that are regularly stocked. A trip to a still-water is an ideal way to warm up for the start of the salmon season next that commences  on March 1st.

A floating line fished in conjunction with a long leader generally does the trick with a damsel nymph fished on the point or even a team of buzzers and nymphs. There are plenty of flies for sale in the well stocked tackle store along with a range of tackle from West Country Tackle company Snowbee.

Bratton’s Hard Fighting Browns

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Paul Grisley with a 5lb 1oz brown trout

I joined members of Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club at Bratton Water Fly Fishery on February 11th and enjoyed excellent sport with the venues hard fighting brown trout. it was a day of sunshine and hail showers with the occasional rainbow decorating the sky. The day started slowly for me three trout coming unstuck in the first hour. Paul Grisley fishing a few yards away showed the way and landed what was to be the biggest fish a of the day a stunning brown trout of 5lb 1oz in a total bag of 11lb 4oz.

The water at Bratton is generally crystal clear but heavy rain the previous day had coloured the water so it was likely that the normal small imitative flies would not work well. For this reason I persevered with black bodied lures with long marabou tails that fluttered enticingly in the water. After a couple of moves around the lake I eventually found  fish in the the top corner of the lake and converted several takes into a four fish bag in half an hour of exciting fishing.

My first brown trout of the day a stunning looking fish of the type that has built Bratton’s Reputation as a fine brown trout venue

After bagging up I enjoyed hot coffee from my flask and chatted to fellow club members who were also enjoying some great sport with Bratton’s brown trout.

All in all an enjoyable few hours at this picturesque fishery that is sheltered from most winds.  Fishery Owner Mike Williams told told me that improvement work is planned on the access road over the coming weeks.

Brown Trout sport at Bratton Water – With Dominic Garnett and Turral Flies

Angling Writer Dominic Garnett  http://dgfishing.co.uk/ sent me this report on Bratton Water. Dominic also works closely with local fly Tying specialists  http://turrall.com/
Bratton Water has been no pushover, but fishing quite consistently in the cold and wet recent weather. Simon Jefferies, Dom Garnett and Gary Pearson enjoyed a good session using a mixture of flies on the lake. Buzzer fishing proved slow, but the fish were more responsive to lures. The best patterns were smallish and dark, including a Black Woolly Bugger or Crazy Legs, fished on a floating line but allowed to sink for several seconds and then retrieved with a picky figure of eight retrieve. Tail nips were common at times too, leading to the trio scaling down a little or even trimming back longer tails! All the fish were in consistently good condition, with sizes up to nearly three pounds, all but one browns as opposed to rainbows. The fish tended to follow the wind, collecting where the breeze blew; not the easiest for casting at times, but worth the effort of moving spots and putting up with stray gusts!

Brown Trout sport at Bratton Water – With Dominic Garnett and Turral Flies

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Angling Writer Dominic Garnet  http://dgfishing.co.uk/ sent me this report on Bratton Water. Dominic also works closely with local fly Tying specialists  http://turrall.com/
Bratton Water has been no pushover, but fishing quite consistently in the cold and wet recent weather. Simon Jefferies, Dom Garnett and Gary Pearson enjoyed a good session using a mixture of flies on the lake. Buzzer fishing proved slow, but the fish were more responsive to lures. The best patterns were smallish and dark, including a Black Woolly Bugger or Crazy Legs, fished on a floating line but allowed to sink for several seconds and then retrieved with a picky figure of eight retrieve. Tail nips were common at times too, leading to the trio scaling down a little or even trimming back longer tails! All the fish were in consistently good condition, with sizes up to nearly three pounds, all but one browns as opposed to rainbows. The fish tended to follow the wind, collecting where the breeze blew; not the easiest for casting at times, but worth the effort of moving spots and putting up with stray gusts!

Blakewell Christmas Competition – Tackle Testing Rainbows

Thirty of Blakewell Fisheries regular customers gathered to fish the eagerly anticipated Christmas Competition and they were not to be disappointed as several tackle testing trout were hooked and landed. It was frantic action at the start of the competition with many anglers hooking trout on their first cast of the day. This fast and furious action of course eased off after an hour as the presence of thirty anglers casting into the clear water deterred the trout from feeding. Most anglers ended the day with their limit bag of six fish with an average weight of well over 3lb.

Trout were tempted using a wide range of flies and lures with damsel nymphs and cats whiskers amongst the most successful. Conditions really couldn’t have been any better with an overcast start to the day and mild conditions considering the time of year. As always the event was very much a social affair with many anglers setting their rods aside after landing their quota to chat with fellow anglers and compare notes.

The competition was punctuated by a welcome plate of chilli-con-carne cooked by the venues resident chef Richard Nickel who worked very hard with his assistant from the Blakewell Team Mia Bryant to play the perfect hosts to the anglers.

(Above) A fine rainbow of 15lb 13oz

Results –

1st – James Burdus – six fish for 33lb 14oz

2nd – John Buxton – Six fish for 31lb 2oz

3rd – Peter Furze – Six fish for 29lb 4oz

4th – Mike Bowles – Six Fish for 27lb 9oz

5th – John Sheppard – Six fish for 26lb 4oz

(Above) James Burdus – rainbow trout 15lb 13oz

(Above) John Buxton – Rainbow Trout 13lb 5oz

(Above) Peter Furze – rainbow trout 9lb 15oz

(Above) John Sheppard rainbow trout 9lb 13oz

Two double figure rainbows were landed and two others very close to double figures;  in addition there were several tales of the ones that got away! Numerous quality brown trout were also banked including a fine brace of browns weighing 5lb 6oz and 5lb 4oz to the rod of Mike Bowles.

(Above) Mike Bowles with a fine brace of browns weighing 5lb 6oz and 5lb 4oz.

(Above ) Paul Grisley hold a 4lb 8oz brown trout

(Above) Ethan Hoggins – with a pleasing brown trout 4lb 6oz

Richard Nickel also gave a fine demonstration on how to fillet trout making it look all too easy. I have to confess that on trying the same technique on my return home I found my results somewhat lacking compared to Richards. My blunt knife probably didn’t help though I feel sure Richard would have produced a more appetizing portion of trout.

As the Reservoir trout season ends its time to turn to the smaller stillwater’s

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Lottie Ava Kinnear aged 8 caught her first brown trout on a cats whiskers lure from Bratton Water. Her parents say that she really enjoyed herself and can’t wait to go again.

Bratton Water will start to fish well now as the cooler waters of late autumn and winter arrive. Last winter saw some stunning brown trout caught from the fishery with several over 5lb. (Below) Danny Ford with one of last winters stunning brown trout caught at Bratton Water.

Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club fished the last day of the season at Wessex Water’s Clatworthy Reservoir where the rainbow trout that the fishery is renowned for played hard to get. Only three of the ten members taking part in the event fishing for the Secretary’s Shield managed to land trout. This was despite the lake being well stocked with good numbers of trout that were times visible in the clear water.

David Rudman was the winner with a rainbow trout scaling 1lb 151/2oz. Dave Mock and Danny Ford tied in runner up spot both landing rainbows of 1lb 15oz. (Below) The three successful anglers.

Despite the lack of fish members enjoyed a day in beautiful countryside with trees surrounding the reservoir in splendid autumn colours.

As members gathered at the Fishing Lodge reflecting upon the past season they were treated to a delicious offering of Lemon Drizzle Cake from the local Clatworthy Fly Fishing Club. We all hope be to back at Clatworthy in the spring when it generally offers superb sport with some of the West Country’s hardest fighting rainbow trout.

With the reservoir trout fishing season at an end it is time to turn to the small still waters where sport is at its best through the colder months.