Chasing Wild Cornish Browns with the Fluff Chuckers

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Fluff Chuckers trout bank day at colliford lake, Cornwall.

We will be meeting in the main car park at 8am for a 9am to 5pm event.
There will be a prizes for the most trout landed and for the longest trout landed
Measurement from the nose to the fork of the tail.
This will be C&R event and barbless hooks only and all other swlt rules apply.
The idea of the event is to be a ideal chance for anglers old and new to sample the brown trout fishing to meet up and have some laughs and get on the water and have a great days fishing.
Colliford lake is a vast area to cover and you can fish where you fancy and we meet up at 5 pm to award the prizes at the main car park.
This event is not designed to be a ultra competitive competition more of a great fun day with a few prizes.
For the largest fish please provide your own measure tape and take a photo of the fish with the tape shown on the fish from the tip of the nose to the inside of the fork of its tail.
For the total amount of fish landed please account for them as you would for a normal catch return.
There is no big buck prize to give in false amounts of fish landed, and at the end of the day you are only cheating yourself by giving a false declaration.
But photo evidence will be required for the largest  fish landed.
There is no entry fee to compete just let us know that you will be coming and please pay your day ticket in advance to swlt in the normal way.
Look forward to seeing you there.

South Molton Anglers – Enjoy the tonic of Bratton Water

I joined South Molton Angling Club at Bratton Water to enjoy a Sunday morning beneath a cloud free sky. As my good friend Matt Kingdon commented it was good to feel the warm sunshine on the face as birds sang in the woods as if to welcome the forthcoming spring. As the gloomy news continues to prevail the tranquil waters we fish seem evermore important for our ongoing mental health. Casting a line and chatting with fellow anglers as nature goes on, a vital tonic.

Visiting this picturesque venue I must reflect upon the recent death of fishery owner Mike Williams who nurtured the fishery over many seasons. Mike always gave a cheery welcome even during recent years as ill health took its toll. Mike supported the local community on numerous occasions  hosting events for local youth clubs and beaver groups during summer evenings. I remember these events fondly when our son James attended. It was delightful to assist as a dozen or more young anglers attempted to cast a fly across the water with many delighting in the catching of their first trout. Whilst many may not have become lifelong anglers they will have gained an appreciation for this connection with nature. I also remember an evening spent with Bratton Fleming Cricket Club when we enjoyed a few beers and an evening BBQ. These special times were made possible by Mike and Jan. 

The lakes stocks had recently been boosted with a stocking of quality brown trout and several of these had already been landed when I arrived. The bright sun and crystal clear water were perhaps not ideal for fishing but I had every confidence that success would come. I set up with a 10ft 5 weight rod with a PTN on the point and  a cormorant on the dropper. After 20 minutes without a take I made a move to the next peg. First cast and the cormorant was seized by a stunning looking brown trout of close to 2lb. Success breeds confidence that was emboldened when another trout followed my flies to the surface before turning away at the last moment.

I fished persistently putting out a long line and allowing the flies to sink before commencing a slow retrieve. I completed my three fish bag after two hours fishing. All three fish were pristine brown trout of over 2lb.

With my bag complete I strolled over to chat with Matt Kingdon who had already banked one fine brown. Matt was fishing a team of small nymphs slowly inching them back through the clear calm water. As we chatted I watched the line tip carefully sharing in the anticipation. A couple of fish were missed and several fish broke the surface raising expectation.

I glimpsed the flash of a golden flank beneath the surface and as I uttered a warning to Matt he tightened into the fish his rod hooping over in success. The fish writhed on the line and we were surprised to see that Matt had hooked into two browns. The odds of landing both were slim but skill and perhaps a little luck resulted in a fine brace of trout safely in the net.

I was delighted to catch the result on camera before heading home for dinner with firm plans of future fishing forays during the coming months.

Club secretary Roger Bray later reported that all members had succeeded in catching their three fish bag the best a pleasing brown trout of 2lb 13oz.

“The event today was a great success with eight members attending. An encouraging start to 2022. 

We should thank Jan Williams for allowing the event to take place and to provide a well-stocked brown trout lake in weed-free conditions.”

We enjoyed some fine weather with an occasional breeze with everyone bagging up quite early with 2lb 13ozs the benchmark for the year, although it took the secretary until 2.30 pm to do so.

Bratton Water remains Open with some stunning brown trout providing exciting and rewarding fishing.

 

 

Winter Solstice Reward

The Winter solstice, the shortest day of the year so with time limited and Christmas looming I decided on a short session at Bulldog Fishery in search of a winter trout. With a cold Easterly wind blowing this sheltered water was an ideal venue to grab a couple of hours sport.

I arrived close to 10:00am and was given a cheery welcome from fishery owner Nigel Early who was busy preparing Christmas turkeys.

The lake was crystal clear with very little weed growth remaining. I set up and took a wander around the lake glimpsing the occasional rainbow but none of the double figure browns or rainbows that have been recently stocked. I had tied on a small bead headed pheasant tail nymph and cast this to the middle of the lake where a few trout could be seen cruising high in the water. The first couple of casts resulted in missed takes.

The inlet area is often well worth a try and the sight of large trout rolling in the turbulent inlet water prompted a move to the far bank where I could cast my fly into the flow.

The line sailed out the small nymph dropping past the flowing water. I tightened the floating line and watched the tip intently. The line twitched and I lifted the rod connecting with a hard  fighting rainbow of around 6lb.

A large trout repeatedly swirled within my casting zone and I wondered if it was one of the lakes big browns? I persisted with the small nymph adding a couple more trout to the bag each full tailed rainbow in the 3lb to 4lb range.

The water was crystal clear yet the light was wrong to get a really good look into the water. The occasional good sized trout drifted into view but takes eased off a little. I experimented with a wet daddy longlegs to no avail then switched to the tried and trusted damsel nymph.

First cast a large rainbow followed the lure before turning away after following for a couple of feet. Next cast the line drew tight and the rod bent over in a satisfying curve as a large trout shook its head in an effort to shake the hook free. The flanks of a large brown trout flashed in the clear water and a tense tussle ensued before the fish was safely in the net. I admired its boldly patterned flanks and slipped the hook from its jaws. The brown trout looked to be about 7lb a very pleasing result to celebrate the turning of the year. I held the fish for a moment in the cool water until with a kick of the tail the prize was once again within a different dimension beneath the cold surface of the winter lake.

I fished on for a while changing back to the pheasant’s tail nymph to take a last rainbow before heading for home in time for an early lunch.

 

East Lyn Brown Trout Report.

Many thanks to Simon Francis for this excellent report on the East Lyn.
Having been away for a few months I was excited to see how the East Lyn would fish.
On Saturday and Sunday there had been good hatches and rises to ephemerids, but jobs to do around the house had kept me from fishing. The river levels were very good for this time of year, and a bit of wild swimming confirmed the water was pretty cool! Monday 26th July was a little cooler and I waited until 2pm to head off, upstream on the Watersmeet & Glenside fisheries water from our Primrose Cottage at Rockford, Brendon. (https://primrosecottageexmoor.co.uk/)
I fished my (now vintage) 7 foot Orvis HLS 1 ounce #4wt with an old Rimfly reel, a 9ft leader and 4ft 2.5lb fluorocarbon tippet. The rod was a gift to myself when I qualified as a STANIC game fishing instructor 21 years ago. It is easier under the trees in the height of summer than the 9 ft #3wt that offers a bit more line control. I fished a size 14 elk hair and CDC caddis all day as it worked all day, and has the advantage I can see it even in the gloom in the shady spots!
Whilst there wasn’t much of a hatch fish were moving, and came freely to the Elk Hair Caddis. Rises varied from a full on “smash and grab”, to the most discerning of sips.
I caught a couple of fish in every pool, and picked up the odd fish in the lovely little runs and pots between pools. It is a shame that so many people overlook these little holes where you get short drifts and instant takes, it’s the best fun!
I also love fishing the back currents that wash food back upstream, often close under the banks, or alongside big boulders. Whilst it challenges casting and mending to get a good presentation, it’s a great reward when an often better sized fish sips down your fly.
As usual I was accompanied by dippers, wrens, wagtails, martins, and swallows but was especially pleased to see the Pied Flycatcher back outside the cottage, as I sat with a cold beer, contemplating another great day on the East Lyn. All for £5.
See also  Dominick Garnetts  excellent write up below

South West Lakes Trout Fisheries Report April 2021

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South West Lakes Trout Fisheries Report

April 2021

 

All of South West Lakes’ trout fisheries continue to be operated under strict Covid19 restrictions, in line with the Angling Trust and Government guidelines. At the time of writing, the on-site permit huts are not yet open, so day tickets, season tickets and boats should be pre-booked online – www.swlakestrust.org.uk/trout-fishing.

 

South West Lakes are pleased to announce the appointment of Dil Singh to oversee the management and day-to-day running of its trout fisheries – Dil is an experienced fly angler and qualified angling coach, and is a welcome addition to the team.

 

Fishing:

Kennick – The water is starting to warm up, although cool easterly winds and cold nights (and even some snow!) have meant that this is a slow process. Fish have started to show on the surface, particularly in the mornings and evenings, and are feeding eagerly on buzzers (both mid-water and from the surface), with anglers catching on all depths of line.

Rods averaged 3.8 fish per angler over the month, with the fish well distributed around the lake, and both bat and bank anglers enjoying success. Successful patterns worth mentioning included Buzzers, Damsels, Diawl Bachs and Montana nymphs, as well as Orange Blobs, Cats Wiskers and Boobies. In addition to some excellent bags (several anglers caught over ten fish in a session, with Simon Jeffries and son Ollie catching 22 fish between them), Phil M-R caught a superb 5lb rainbow, Malcom U caught a 4lb 4oz rainbow and Geoff V caught a bag of eight rainbows up to 4lb.

Siblyback – The fish are now becoming more active, with plenty of fish rising to feed (particularly in late afternoon) – some taking flies delicately while others slash violently at the fly. Anglers averaged 2.4 fish per rod, with Stocky Bay, Two Meadows, The North Shore and Small Marsh producing the best fishing. Floating or Intermediate lines are the most productive methods, and with buzzers hatching, Black Buzzer patterns are proving popular, along with Damsels, Bloodworms and Montanas. Productive lures include Orange Blobs, Tadpoles and Cats Whiskers. David Ryder caught the best fish of the month – a 4lb 4oz rainbow caught on a black and green Cats Whisker.

The Snowbee Team of Four Team Floating Line competition was held on 25 April. With a strong southerly wind and bright sunshine, casting proved challenging, especially as the fish moved further offshore as the day progressed. Most anglers caught well however (averaging over four fish per rod), with Rodney Wevill catching the best fish of the day – a 3lb 8oz rainbow. Nine teams competed – the competition was won by the Innis Fishery team (23 fish for 30lb 5oz), with Kennick ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams coming second and third respectively.

Three boats are now available at Siblyback and must be booked in advance.

 

 

Burrator –Boat and bank anglers enjoyed some excellent sport, with the best fishing at Longstone, Pig Trough, Discovery Point and off The Pines. Plenty of fish have been showing, particularly mornings and evenings, feeding off midges and small buzzers. Anglers averaged 4.9 fish per rod over the month and, depending on the weather conditions, could be caught on dry patterns (Bristol Hoppers, Beetles and Bumble Claret), down deep with heavy lines and lure patterns (Green Fritz, Cats Whisker, Orange Blobs or Tadpoles), or somewhere in between on a wide variety of nymph patterns (particularly Buzzers, Montanas and Damsels). Although no particularly large fish were caught, plenty of full bags (including some wonderful blues) up to 2lb 8oz were caught, with Kevin K catching five fish including a beautiful 40cm blue.

 

Stithians – Fish are now starting to feed eagerly at Stithians, with plenty of surface activity, particularly in late afternoons and early evening, when anglers have been catching fish on black beetle, hopper and emerger patterns. Floating or intermediate lines have been the method of choice, and fish have been well spread out around the fishery, with Mossops, Sluice Bank, North Shore, Chapel Bay and Pipe Bay all producing consistent sport.

 

Successful sub-surface patterns have included Diawl Bachs, Damsels and Montanas, with larger lure patterns (Orange Blobs, Boobies and Tadpoles) catching well in the deeper water by the dam. Plenty of full bags were caught, with John H catching eight rainbows to 3lb, Stephen T catching 13 fish to 2lb 4oz and Simon P catching six rainbows to 2lb 8oz.

 

Colliford – The water temperature here has now reached 12ºc and fish are feeding eagerly from the surface, particularly on bright still days when static dry patterns produced good results, with one angler already reporting some hawthorn flies in the air. The fish are well spread out and, while some fish have been taken on deeper fished lures (Tadpoles and Woolly Buggers), the majority of fish have been caught on dries (Beetles, Sedges and Hoppers) or nymphs/wets fished on a floating line (Buzzers, Bibios, Spiders, Soldier Palmers and Montanas). Simon W caught 13 browns on a selection of beetles, crunchers and Soldier Palmers, while Mark K caught eight fish on a Bibio.

Fernworthy – There have been some large hatches of small black upwings at Fernworthy, which means Black Gnats, Beetles and Hawthorns have worked well; otherwise a wide selection of  nymphs and wet patterns fished on floating or midge-tip lines produced good results, with fish well spread out around the lake. Some quality browns have been caught, including a 55cm (3lb) brown caught by Matt B on a Goldhead Montana and Rodney Wevill catching a 3lb 1oz brown (both excellent fish for this acidic Dartmoor water).

Roadford – Boats have been fishing well, with a lot of fish still in the deeper water in the central areas, as well as Grinnecombe and Wortha. Woolly Buggers, Tadpoles and Goldhead damsels fished well, along with Zulus and Bristol Hoppers. While plenty of browns were caught, no notable fish over 2lb were taken.

Please visit the South West Lakes website (www.swlakestrust.org.uk/trout-fishing) for the latest Covid19 updates, as well as details on ticket prices, fishery information, clubs, competitions and boat availability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evening brings prizes of gold and silver

I took a stroll around Wistlandpound Resevoir rod in hand as afternoon drifted into evening beneath a cloudless blue sky. It was good to be out enjoying these longer Spring evenings as birdsong fills the air and fresh growth is bursting forth all around. With just a few flies in my waistcoat pocket, a net on my back and a five weight rod I had no intention to stay in one place.

It felt good to cast a line out across the calm water. A small bead headed PTN on the point and small black spider on a dropper. The open bank brought no interest in the flies so I moved on to the inlet shallows where shoals of Rudd were cruising amongst the weed. I flicked the flies into a passing shoal and watched a red finned Rudd divert to converge with the fly. The line zipped tight and a colourful Rudd was brought to hand. Flanks of burnished gold and silver, fins of crimson red a pleasing prize that was quickly followed up with another sparkling jewel.

I moved on and began a search of the windward bank casting the flies out and allowing them to drift around in an ark taking  a step along the foreshore with each cast. Suddenly the line zipped tight and the rod took on a pleasing curve as a wild brownie dashed to and fro.

A pristine wild brown trout slipped into the net. The barbless spider slipped easily from its jaws, I admired its golden spotted flanks illuminated in the evening sun as I slipped it back into the gin clear water.

To book online visit –https://www.swlakestrust.org.uk/book-now#e

 

 

 

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?

Wild Brown Trout on the East Lyn

Many thanks to Simon Francis who sent me this inspiring feature on the tumbling waters of the East Lyn.

Wild Brown Trout on the East Lyn

The season for wild brown trout has sprung into life on North Devon’s East Lyn. Having bought my ticket from Barbrook Petrol station, I fished the National Trust Watersmeet and Glenthorne fishery, especially the stretch from Crooks Pool (that used to be called S Pool) up through Rockford, to the Meadow Pool in Brendon.
Whilst cold on the opening days plenty of fish were taken. Mostly from noon to 3pm. Almost exclusively they took the point fly and invariably this was a barbless bead head hares ear, or pheasant tail. I tried shrimp and caddis patterns, but it was the gold head hares ear that took the majority of fish.
The fish held just off the main current, and takes on my New Zealand rigged setups were pretty gentle, just a pause, a dip or the wool just drifted under. I saw just two rises on the first two days, presumably parr, most fish were sat right on the bottom.
A few Grannom, a rare March Brown and a couple of Stone Fly were hatching. Heron, Dippers, Nuthatch, Treecreepers, and Ravens kept me company, but the Otter spraint from previous weeks was absent.
Whilst I’ve not fished the river this week, I’ve walked it every day, it’s dropped and has cleared, and is crystal clear now. The fish have risen in the water column, and a hatch will trigger surface action. I’ll be out in the next few days armed with some elk hair caddis, March browns, but also general attractor patterns.
I saw one, quite large, sea trout or grilse quite high up the river, and will return with something heavier than my 3wt and 2.5lb tippet!
For anyone that hasn’t tried the East Lyn before, you should. It is stunningly beautiful. It’s wild fishing. It’s as far away from bashing put and take rainbows as you can get (fun though that can be). It’s not for the wobbly, or faint hearted, as some of ravines and rocks are hard work, but the rewards of wild spotty in your hand are more than worth it.
If you are passing Primrose Cottage www.primrosecottageexmoor.co.uk in Rockford, pop in for tea and tell us how you are getting on, or for emergency flies!
Rod Licenses are required. Fish barbless. Leave no trace of your presence and pick up any other rubbish you see. Tickets are available at the Barbrook Petrol Station,Barbrook Filling Station, Barbrook. Tel: 01598 752248 or the Tourist Information Centre, Town Hall, Lynton. Tel: 0845 6603232
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