News

GREAT NEW SEASON SPORT

What a great start to the 2016 fly fishing season this has been on the Bristol Waters.  Superb quality rainbow and brown trout being taken from all corners of both Chew Valley and Blagdon Lakes on a huge variety of methods.
Although the weather has seen cold winds and many layers of clothing have been required at times to keep warm, the trout have never been very deep and on Chew they are feeding hard on small black buzzer, while on Blagdon they are stuffed with daphnia.

Dry Fly!

Whenever the wind drops on Chew, the fish have risen to hatching buzzer and people were reporting catching on Dry Flies as early as the 18th March - the day after Opening day on Chew Valley!  This is almost unheard of on any of our reservoirs.

Teams of nymphs on Midge Tip lines have been very effective and on the colder, windier days, a DI5 with a bright Blob on the top dropper, a Black Diawl Bach Nymph in the middle and a Black Booby on the point has normally taken plenty of fish.

Buzzers everywhere

Every year the buzzer hatches on Chew seem to get earlier and definitely more prolific.  Black buzzers are already covering the surface of the lake and ducks, gulls, sand martins and swallows are feasting on them - as well as the trout!  Now that the winds have dropped recently, the nymph fishing is really taking off and some quality trout are being caught.

Pike slowly starting to feed again

Fishing for pike on the fly has been slow this season.  We are not sure why this is, but water temperature and possible spawning might be the reasons.  Every year the times that the pike spawn vary, so no-one ever knows how this affects the fishing. 
Thankfully a few have started to feed again as the days have grown longer and warmer - the best two being one of 32lbs and another big double - both taken while trout fishing on a Blob and Booby by the same angler; Dean Kibble from Wales.  Every year Dean catches big pike at this time of the year on small trout flies, so it's no coincidence.

Guided fishing on both lakes

Now that the season is in full swing, I am already heavilly booked for Guided Days, but still have plenty of mid week dates available throughout June and a few remaining in April and May.  The trout fishing should become more "top of the water" in the coming weeks and the pike fishing will become top drawer during may and June.

 

A cracking Blagdon rainbow
Anthony Tabor with a nice Chew Brownie
A nice Chew double taken on the fly

Last 3 Pike Trials Boats Available

In a new initiative by Bristol Water, I am doing 10 Guided Days in the 2016 Chew Pike Trials.  So if you are new to Chew Valley Lake's 1200 acres, not been successful in recent years or simply been unable to secure a boat for Europe's most popular piking days, then this is a great way to get yourself onto the water.

Demand for the days, which only went on general release last week, has been high and only 7th Feb and 16th Feb remain available for the Spring Trials and 7th Nov for the Autumn Trials.

To book one of the 3 remaining days please contact Woodford Lodge on 01275 33233901275 332339.  The cost per boat will be £300 and applies to 1 or 2 people, so is great value for money.  I can supply all tackle if you are new to pike fishing.

Amazing fishing on Litton

Last week I took Jeff Harris from Dallas, Texas for two days guided fishing.  Day 1 we went to Litton lakes and he sampled some top quality rainbow and brown trout fishing, with every fish full finned and fighting fit!  A floating Line and small gold head lures was the best tactic and by the looks of the trout, they had been eating well during these abnormally mild Winter months.
Jeff's best rainbow weighed around 4lbs while his biggest Brown was well over 3lbs.  All the fish were released and if anyone fancies a day out before the main reservoir season begins, just email me and it can be arranged.

Grayling at Avon Springs

The next day I took Jeff to Avon Springs Fishery near Andover to fish the Wiltshire Avon.  Jeff had never caught a grayling but we soon corrected that and by the end of the day he had plenty of grayling up to about 1lb but he also lost a brute of a fish which threw the hook in the fast water - we did see it though and it was easily 2lbs+.
This is a great venue to learn some river skills and stays open all season long.  With almost a mile of river plus the bonus of 2 lakes if the river is out of sorts, it is a perfect venue for a day's fishing or for a corporate day.

 

Neil Leaver with his 30lb pike caught with me during last Feb Pike Trials
Jeff Harris with his best Litton rainbow - look at that tail!
Jeff Harris with his first UK Grayling from the Wilts Avon at Avon Springs

2016 Season looming

Not long now before the new fly fishing season begins on our reservoirs.
Blagdon Lake opens for business on 10th March, while Chew Valley opens a week later on Thursday 17th March 2016.

The Winter so far has been mild, wet and windy - although we have had nowhere near the huge amounts of rain experienced in the North of England, Scotland and Ireland.  In fact, neither Chew Valley or Blagdon are overflowing yet, but they are only a couple of feet below top water so we expect them to be full within a few weeks and certainly before Opening Days.

Book now for Guided Days

I am now actively taking bookings for Guided Days in 2016 on both Chew Valley and Blagdon Lakes.  Fish for quality Brown and Rainbow Trout on either lake and of course there is the opportunity to target massive pike on the fly at Chew. 

If you fancy a lake to yourself, then why not try Litton Lakes with me from a boat.  It is possible to have not one, but both lakes to yourself for the day, along with exclusive use of the Fishing Lodge where we can barbecue lunch in a truly peaceful environment.

Just drop me an email on my "Contact" page and we can get a day or two arranged for the coming season.

Chew Spillway
Herriots Bridge
Enrico Pini and I with his 40:08 fly caught Chew pike last March

What a season that was!

Hard to believe that another fly fishing season is now complete - but what an awesome season it was!
Huge pike, enormous trout, monster perch and great competitions.

Vail, Colorado USA for 2016 World Championships

My best bit of news recently is being selected to represent Team England in next year's World Championships in Vail, Colorado.  The Youth Championships were held there this season and by all accounts the venues and organisation are perfect for a match of this magnitude.
My other England Team Mates are Howard Croston, Simon Robinson, Phil Dixon and Andrew Scott, with Paul Page as Manager.

Trout Season

Both Chew and Blagdon Lakes were on fire for the majority of the season.  Once again, massive buzzer hatches brought the fish onto the feed as early as March and the dry fly fishing on Chew was exceptional.  Although the rainbows are always in tip-top condition, it was the size and quantity of the browns that was staggering.
One of my clients, Chris Jarrett, landed a brown of over 14lbs while pike fishing with me in November - the giant brownie took a whole mackerel.
All through the season people were reporting catches of 5lb to 8lb browns - most of which were voluntarily returned to the water.  Which is great news.

Perch on Chew

For the 3rd year running, the perch showed up in large numbers on Chew Valley Lake.  Specimens of up to almost 5lbs were taken - mainly around the jetties and most on the fly. 
Late afternoon in the back end of August through until November was the key time to contact a PB Perch.  I fly fished one day with Ian Gregg and we struggled for perch all day - plenty of pike and the odd trout, but the perch were hard to locate.
Then just as the light started to fade and the wind dropped, Ian had a PB 3:03 perch then with the last cast of the day followed it with a 3:10.

Pike

The highlight of the season has to be my Italian client Enrico Pini's massive 40lb 8oz caught during March on Chew using a fly.  Vern Novy then had a 31:08 a week later and plenty of other pike came to my boat during the course of the fly fishing season.  Pike ranging from 2lb, through to double figures and also several 20's up to 28lbs 8ozs.
But during the Pike Trials, Dave Sproston had a 33:10 on a lure, while I had a 33:00 on a deadbait.  We also had 70 others on both fly, lure and deads from 1st October to mid November.

European Championships

I fished for Team England in Italy for the FIPS Mouche European Championships and had mixed results.  The rain and floods made a couple of my river pegs almost impossible to fish, but I did manage another 1st Place in my Lake Session.  As a team we finished in 8th place overall.

National Loch Style Final

After being the 2014 National Loch Style Champion, I qualified once again for the Final, but this year on Bewl Water.  It was a very tricky and testing venue, with 100 top anglers vying for the 28 places in next season's 2 Loch Style International matches.
Thankfully I finished in 5th place overall and have now qualified to fish the Spring International on Ireland's Lough Lein in May.

Christmas Vouchers for Guided Days

Don't forget that I can provide Vouchers for Guided Fishing Days that make excellent Christmas Presents.  Just drop me an email and I can arrange it for you.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

Ian Gregg with his last cast 3:10 Chew Perch
Me with a 33lb Chew Pike
Chris Jarrett's 14lb Chew Brown Trout

Cold Spring but Great Fishing!

This has definitely been the longest and coldest Spring since I have been a fishing guide - it's now past Mid Summers Day and the winds keep on blowing!
Water temperatures are rising slowly and the weed growth on both Chew and Blagdon is heavy - due to the April sunshine apparently.

Still, in spite of all these cold winds, the trout and pike have fed well on all the Bristol Waters.  Average trout sizes on Chew Valley are 2lbs 15ozs at the present time - bigger than any of the UK's major reservoirs in fact.  And man do they fight hard!

Pike on Chew have been lazy - as usual.  However, catches are decent on overcast days and I have already had a 40:08, 31:08, 27:08 and several others over 25lbs this season on the fly.  I also went through a spell where my clients and I lost 11 pike on the trot as we simply could not hold them!  So pike on the fly is certainly worth a shot.

Lexus Team Heats

Last saturday we had a sell-out Lexus Teams Heat on Chew and 217 trout were caught by the 66 competitors.  Top Rod was Alun Williams of Cwm Flyfishers, whose 9 trout weighed in at 28lbs 1oz.  The biggest fish weighed 5lbs exactly and was landed by Steve Winstone of Team Airflo.
Congratulations to the 5 qualifying teams; Team Airflo, Anglo Welsh FF, Team Snowbee, Blagdon FF and The Water Rats. 
They will join 15 other teams at the Grand Final to be held at both Chew and Blagdon lakes on 15th and 16th August 2015.

Sky TV Tight Lines

Last Friday I was the guest angler on Sky Sports TV fishing show "Tight Lines".  We discussed plenty of fly action, both home and abroad for all species on the fly.  If you missed the show, then it is available on the Sky Sports Podcast.

With Keith Arthur in the Sky TV Studios
Cracking 27:08 Chew valley Pike on the fly
Fin Perfect 5lb Chew Rainbow

More big Chew fish!

The new Season is now well underway but recently the weather has spoilt the fishing - which up to now has been fantastic.  Strong winds have stopped all boats from going out on both Chew and Blagdon since Saturday, but tomorrow things look set to improve - for a short while at least!

Pike on Fly

My Guest Vern Novy has fished the Pike Trials with lures and deads several times and failed to land a pike.  However, his fortunes changed last Monday when we fly fished on Chew for pike and he first broke his duck with a jack - then followed it up with a PB of 31lbs 8ozs.
That makes it a 40+ and a 30+ to my boat this season - and Chew has only been open for 2 weeks!!!

Trout on Fly

Blagdon has had a slight brown algae bloom, but the fishing has still been good from boat and bank.  The Top End is alive with trout especially around Rugmoor.  Pegs Point and the North Shore has been good from the bank along with Green Lawns.

Chew has been hit badly by the winds recently, but just before they struck, the buzzer hatches were immense.  Trout had started to turn on to the buzzer and the nymphs were beginning to work well.  However, we need a day for the sediment to settle and I am sure the fishing will be just as good.  East Shore turned on big time last week and resident fish could also be taken at Stratford and Herriots.

Lexus European Flyfishing Championships

The first Heats of the Lexus will be held at Rutland Water this Friday (Individual Heat) and Saturday (Team Heat).  Places are still available for each day.

The Chew Individual Heats are next on 18th and 19th April.

Free Time with me on Chew

Bristol Water have arranged their free tuition days with me at Chew Valley Lake again this season and the first day is on Monday 13th April.  To book your slot, just contact the Fishing Lodge on 01275 33233901275 332339.

Vern Novy with his 31:08 Chew Pike
Simon Pledge with a cracking Blagdon rainbow
The 2015 Lexus European Flyfishing Championships

The perfect fishing gift...

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