Fly fishing

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

Amazing sport on Chew & Blagdon

 The opening few weeks of the fly fishing season on the Bristol Waters has been nothing short of amazing!  Buzzers have hatched in their millions on sometimes the coldest of days and the trout have gorged themselves on them.

For the last 2 days I have fished Blagdon then Chew with Trout Fisherman Magazine taking photo's for articles.  I also worked with Guido Vinck and Bruno Chermanne from Belgium last week along with Tony Donnelly doing pics for a Belgian Magazine called Le Pecheur Belge.  Each day was incredibly productive and we landed rainbows of up to 7lbs and browns to 4lbs.

When the cold winds drop, dry fly tactics or floater/midge tip lines with nymphs are the best methods, but when it gets cold and windy, nothing seems to beat a DI5 with a combo of Booby, nymph and Blob.  However, I have not yet had the need to fish the flies fast - a steady figure of eight seems to work much better.

Pike on the fly

The pike have now definitely spawned and some days the sport is very good.  Locating the pike has been tricky at times so I have used plenty of petrol looking for good areas.  The water temperature at the moment is around 13 degrees C and this time last year it was a mere 4 degrees C!  That was a cold Spring.

On Good Friday I had my first 30lb pike of the new season - 30:04 to be exact.  And it was a cracker of a fish - one of the deepest pike I have ever caught on Chew.

As usual at this time of the year, several very big pike have been caught by trout anglers using Black Boobies.  I weighed a 21:08 pike on the weekend caught by visiting angler Graham Bodsworth hooked fair and square in the top of the mouth on a size 12 Black Buzzer!

My 7lb Chew Rainbow
Tony Donnelly with a cracking Chew brownie
John Horsey's 30lb 4oz Chew Pike

Blagdon's Fantastic Opening Day

What a stunning opening day we had on Blagdon today!
The weather could'nt have been better - light winds and overcast skies - perhaps a tad warmer, but hey - it is mid March!

We couldn't get a touch for the first couple of hours, but by midday, when we moved the boat closer to the shorelines - we hit the proverbial jackpot.
Simon caught the first 3 rainbows - all on the pointfly; a Gold Head Montana, fished on a floating fly line.
I fished a team of nymphs on a floater and started to get take after take on either a Black Buzzer or a JC Black Diawl Bach Nymph.

We never changed from floating lines all day!

There was no appreciable difference in the weather conditions during the afternoon - it didn't feel warmer, but things started to happen.

By 4:00pm, we had both caught over a dozen trout each and had released most of them - the surprising thing was that the best areas were within 50 metres from the bank.
Bells Bush at the Top End was sensational, as was Wood Bay and Green Lawns.  Butcombe fished it's socks off and we did one last drift into Polish Water before going home - both of us releasing 2 rainbows.

If you are going to Blagdon in the next few days, I hope that you have as good a day as we have just enjoyed.

John Horsey Fly Fishing
John Horsey Fly Fishing

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