Tuesday, 8 April 2014

EXTREME Fly Fishing at Bewl Water

Well we knew the weather would be wet, so we had the right gear on but it was still a bit challenging and when the heavens opened (which it did every time I said "I think it has stopped raining) it really poured and I ended up operating the bilge pump!
The good news was that Rob Barden (fishery guide/ranger and team England fisher) was on the water planning to fish,  and he offered to show us where it had been fishing well.  He also said the fish were on black buzzers. So we started at the top of Hook Straight.
I learnt a lot just watching Rob and how close he fished to the bank from the boat on the drift. We all found that strong winds and heavy rain put the fish down, but that as soon as the wind dropped and the temperature rose a degree or two, the hatches commenced and the fish were showing on the top.
Rob found it hard too and after a couple of hours he had touched several but only landed one. He had to go but we worked our way around the water looking for signs of fish. By this time we were really damp and a bit despondent. However as the saying goes "failure cannot cope with persistence" and we found fish off of Chingley Wood. So Malcolm caught his first trout from a boat and then got smashed by a monster and I came home with a brace of beautiful fish feeling shattered but pleased I had endured to the end!

Monday, 31 March 2014

Tough Day at Bewl

Well the company was good, Malcolm, Bryant and Gerald, the latter being a seasoned fly fisher.  It was Malcolm's first bank session at Bewl (he boat fished last week)  and the waders I loaned him fitted a treat.  It was Bryant's 3rd fly fishing session and his first on a big water.  He found out the snag of trying to wade deep whilst wearing my thigh waders!!  Fortunately he is a tough cookie and didn't complain about his wet foot.  The weather was over cast and cool but mostly the water was flat calm.  We fished both banks at Rosemary's Lane and right round into Tinkers Marsh with hardly a touch.  The only action was Malcolm pulling in a pike.  There seemed to be a lot of fry disturbing the slight ripple about 40 yards off of the north bank of Rosemary's but there were no trout disturbing the fry!
One chap had a pull whilst dragging a lure along the bottom but didn't keep it on.  We saw another catch a trout from a boat but apart from that it was very quiet. We started a bit late (10:00) and finished around 16:00. 
The night before I had been watching the World Fly Fishing Championships on You Tube and was amazed to see that even the experts sometimes "blank"! So that's why they call it fishing and not catching.
Now that's a nice Pike Malcolm!!!!!

Saturday, 29 March 2014


Janet in the Fishing Lodge has kindly sent me the weekly report, so here it is.
The 2014 fishing season - Bewl Water's 37th - got off to a good start on Friday 21 March, with many anglers catching their limits and very few nil returns. Rod average for the week is 4.86.
A weather change and colder winds just hours before the season started meant some areas on the north shore, such as Seven Pound Creek and in front of the playground - usually opening day "hot spots" - proved to be rather more challenging this year. However sheltered areas such as Rosemary Lane, Goose Creek, Dunsters and Overys Farm have fished consistently well from bank and boat. The far end of Hook Straight is also worth a go. Fish have been feeding on midge and top flies have been Cormorant, Viva, Montana and Damsel.
6000 of the popular Bulldog Trout Farm 2lb rainbows were stocked pre-season to add to a good head of overwintered fish and a further 1500 went in this week. A system has been set up where fish delivered from external farms can be loaded into a holding net allowing us to distribute to all areas of the lake as we always have done and this worked well.
The usual reminder: The more returns we receive, the more accurate the fishing report, and of course the chance to win the monthly prize draw for permit and boat hire vouchers up to the value of £79.50.
I plan to be there Monday!                                       

Monday, 24 March 2014

Report on this years first outing to Bewl Water

Well I could not wait, so I just had to go to fish Bewl a couple of days after the opening of the new season.  I had three pals, two of whom I had been teaching casting on grass, who I had promised some serious fly fishing.  So Malcolm, Niel and Reece (the latter two from the USA) joined me on a cool but bright morning.  Having given Malcolm and Reece a brief demo of what to do, with their boat moored to the jetty, I let them loose.  When Niel arrived he was glowing having just passed his driving test and we set off after the others. Having been briefed at the lodge and jetty we knew where to go.  Fishing on the drift was a bit tricky because we wanted to be close to the banks and were hindered by the wind shifting all over the compass!
Still cats whiskers, gold headed daddies (with rubber legs) and even a minkie booby did the trick.  The boys learnt all the things not to do, like fishing slack lines and lots of fish were touched and lost but eight did come to the boats and boy did those fish go.  The fish were nearly all 2lb plus and some were nearer 3lb.
Let the pictures speak.


I don't know about the others, but I just cannot wait to get back!  As we are all doing voluntary work at the London Temple, near East Grinstead, we will have to wait till next Monday, as Mondays are our one day off.  Roll on Monday.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Beautiful Afternoon at Boringwheel Trout Fishery

Having dropped my son off at Heathrow Airport for his 12 days holiday in the USA, I drove to the LondonTemple, near Lingfield and gave another one of my friends there a casting lesson on grass.  Then as the fog had lifted and the sun was shining I drove south to Nutley to fish Boringwheel Trout Fishery.  The location is just south of Nutley and you turn left onto Cackle Street and then follow this narrow winding road down hill for around half a mile.  The entrance to the fishery, which is on the left is not easy to spot as the name is on the gate and the gate is open.  The first time I went there I overshot and only spotted it after I had turned round.  You then drive up a paved road and park in the tennis court!
I was there to check out the water clarity (before I bring any more friends there) and I wanted to try the "gold headed daddy long legs" that had been so successful at Coltsfold Mill earlier in the week (see last post).  Well the water clarity was improved now that we had gone for some time without rain so I decided to fish and bought myself a 2-fish ticket. 
I tried the modified daddy down in the corner where the outflow is.  Third cast and I had a firm pull but did not hook up.  When I checked the fly, surprise, surprise, one of the rubber legs was missing! A few casts later and I was in, and I landed a perfect rainbow specimen.
I then walked round the lake and fished next to an elderly gentleman called Peter, he went on to catch on drowned sedges and a gold ribbed hare's ear.

Peter into a fish
I had a few pulls on a cat's whisker, then I tried several other lure patterns to no avail.  There was no breeze and the water was flat calm.  Occasionally a fish would show but usually just out of range.
When the time crept round to 5pm I decided to take the plunge (not literally) and take a boat out.  Now the boats are old but they are very stable and with a couple of pulls on the oars and you glide out into the middle of the lake.  You then need 360 degree vision because activity can occur anywhere.  I targetted fish that showed and eventually a blue flash damsel did the trick and I boated a cracking specimen who managed to pull the boat along before he surrendered.

The second fish like the first, was a cracker!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Beginners learning to fly fish at Coltsfold Mill Fishery, Oxted, Surrey, UK

Well the weather has improved (that is it has stopped raining) and I have been able to get to the waters edge at last.  The occasion was an outing for Niel, Bryant and Malcolm, the three chaps I have been teaching to cast on grass.  Today was the big test, had they been listening, had they understood, had they remembered and if the answer to all those questions was YES, then could their brains make their muscles do the right thing!  Well the answer was both YES and NO!  Sometimes they got it right and the line went out reasonable well and sometimes the timing was wrong, too much effort was used, the wrist was broken and the result was dumping and knitting.  However, we had fun, enjoyed the venue and three large rainbow trout were caught.
The venue was Coltsfold Mill, near Oxted, Surrey, UK, a well managed trout fishery.  The bailiffs Neil and Paul were most friendly and helpful. 
The pictures can speak for themselves.
 Mill lake
 Niel with the biggest fish
 Malcolm with one of his two
 Bryant fishing the lower cascade
 Neil the helpful Fishery Manager
The gold headed daddy longlegs (complete with rubber legs) that proved very effective.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Dawlish Storm Disaster: Fisherman's Cousin to the Rescue!

Road and railtracks destroyed where my wife and I use to walk along watching the sea and the trains.
When I heard and saw on TV that the storm had taken out the road and rail track 50 metres below where my cousin has his Bed & Breakfast business I decided I had better give them a call.  On the night of the storm, having just recovered their garden fence from the middle of the main Dawlish to Exeter road, my cousin Jerry and his wife Val retired to bed. Around 11pm they were roused by the police who wanted to use their house as an incident control centre to manage the evacuation of the poor souls living by the rail tracks.  The police could not have picked a better couple, although a bit older than me, Gerry and Val are very hands on helpful people and they made their house available and helped as much as they could.  Val told me that the people evacuated, complete with children and babies, came with absolutely nothing.  Apparently the whole community swung into action and hotels and caravan parks have taken people in, the supermarkets have provided food vouchers for the homeless and restaurants and cafes have provided free meals.  Isn't it great to hear that people still help each other in a disaster!
Now the current residents of Gerry and Val's B & B are the rail track engineers assessing how to repair the damage.

Gerry and Val's Sealawn Lodge B & B, Exeter Rd, Dawlish, where I have spent pleasant nights and enjoyed amazing breakfasts.