Friday, 1 December 2017

BFFA Bank Clearance Day at Burrator - Monday 27 November 2017

Some of the working party at Longstone

Kelvin, Sam, Richard and Pete

Sam sawing some of the willow assisted by Bob

Lunch break

Stuart and David

Kelvin making light work of it!


The weather early on Monday was very cold, overcast & grey with heavy rain and not at all pleasant.  Eight Burrator Fly Fishers members plus Sam Le Bailly from the South West Lakes Trust arrived at Longstone around 10am.  The plan was to make fly casting easier in a few areas by removing some of the undergrowth and the invasive, fast growing willows.  The willows had been cut down previously and had since put out long new shoots from the stumps  ensuring that a less than accurate back cast would be easily snagged.

Sam told me that he only recently joined SWLT but he soon had us organised and under his expert guidance we made a successful start on the clearance. I think he will be an asset to the Trust and we look forward to working with him in the future.

The water level is currently high and when fishing in these conditions, even wading a little way out, it is difficult to avoid overhanging branches and bushes on the shore.  If this plan is to be successful in the long term we will need to ensure regular visits to keep the growth in check.  I understand that in the long term SWLT intend to clear more of the bank around Longstone where willow and rhododendron have invaded the shoreline.  They would like to encourage wild flowers to re-establish themselves on the peninsula where there is currently a mass of brambles.

The rain eased away after a couple of hours and Linda drove to the Burrator Inn to collect a tray of excellent pasties for lunch.  Two Kelly Kettles were soon bringing water to the boil for very welcome mugs of tea.  Lunch was rounded off with slices of Linda's delicious home-made Dundee cake.  It was a bit of a struggle to resume work after all that!

We did manage another couple of hours before packing up in the afternoon as the grey skies threatened more rain.


Thursday, 2 November 2017

BFFA Competition at Blakewell Fly Fishery 19 October 2017

Six members made the journey up to North Devon to fish at Blakewell Fly Fishery. Despite early rain and mist on the way up, the day turned out to be dry and cloudy with virtually no wind which made casting very comfortable.  We opted for a variety of tickets ranging from 2-fish to 6-fish.

From the start we could see plenty of trout moving, mainly just under the surface.  Frustratingly though they seemed to be really sluggish, and despite our best efforts our flies were being ignored in the flat calm conditions.  Bob suggested that they may react to something to chase, and tried stripping back a black and silver lure at speed.  Within minutes he had a lovely rainbow of 4-3 in the net.  Pat and Tony switched to the same tactics and both soon had fish on the bank, and eventually I did too.  Ten minutes later Tony completed his two fish ticket and was left watching and netting fish for the rest of us!

Higher up the lake David and Stuart couldn't find the fish, but a move down improved their luck with Stuart landing what turned out to be the best fish of the day at 4-6.  Sport went quiet for a while but we enjoyed plenty more action after lunch, this time mainly on buzzers. As ever at Blakewell all the fish were in beautiful condition - hard fighting, fully finned and a very good size, averaging around three pounds with three topping the four pound mark. Unusually, no browns were caught on the day.

The results were:
Stuart Payne         5 rainbows to 4-6  (Winner)

Pete Phillips         6 rainbows to 4-4
Bob Eccles            4 rainbows to 4-3
David Lye              4 rainbows to 3-7
Pat Power             2 rainbows total 7-0 approx
Tony Vallack          2 rainbows total 5-12 approx


Bob worked out the right tactics

And here's his catch to prove it  - all three pounds plus, best 4lbs 3ozs


David searches for that killer fly

Tony bagged up too quickly!

Stuart's worthy winner - 4lbs 6 ozs.  David, Bob and Pat in the background

Pat concentrating hard

They all put up a strong fight.  David and Stuart in the distance.




Pete tries to bring his four pounder under control



The trout were in top condition

Thursday, 27 April 2017

BFFA Competition at Innis Fishery, St Austell on Tuesday 25 April 2017

 Eight members went to Innis Fishery at Penwithick near St Austell for a 10am start.  There was a very cold northerly wind blowing and I noted that the air temperature was 5C.  The water was much warmer at 12C.  We had a squally shower or two on the drive down from Plymouth but at Innis it remained dry all day with lots of sunshine although the wind remained very cold & occasionally gusty.

We all fished on a 3-fish ticket on Carbis Lake.  Pat had a rainbow early on which at 3lb1oz proved to be the biggest of the day. Bob Eccles was very successful taking his bag limit of three fish by early afternoon  He also netted some roach the biggest of which was around 12oz.  Kelvin had two rainbows and I had one.  Everyone had the occasional tug on the line but it was clear that the very cold wind ensured there was no fly hatch and very little surface activity from the rainbows.

The weigh-in was at 3pm and the results were:
Pat Power 1 trout 3lb 1oz
Bob Eccles 3 trout 2lb 14oz, 2lb 10oz & 2lb 9oz
Kelvin Nikulin 2 trout 2lb 0oz & 2lb 10oz
Tony Hooper 1 trout 1lb 15oz
Bob Prout, Tony Vallack, Tony Waldren & Peter Macconnell submitted nil returns.

Pat was declared the winner and will receive the bottle of wine.


Members meeting in the car park

Bob Prout on the south bank of Carbis

Bob Eccles netting number three

Pat fishing a breezy corner from one of the wooden jetties

Peter on the north bank of Carbis

Pat bends into the best fish of the day

Bob, Pat and Tony Waldren


Tony Vallack nets one for Bob

Tony Hooper took his only trout from this spot

Kelvin gets ready to net rainbow number two





Sunday, 23 April 2017

BFFA Three Fly Competition at Burrator Saturday 22 April 2017

An excellent turn out saw 13 members arrive at Burrator for the competition.  Three different flies were handed out - a Cat's Whisker, a Damselfly Nymph and a Hawthorn Fly.  The flies are usually tied by three different BFFA members but at the March Club Meeting new member Wes Ower generously offered to tie all of them for the competition.  Several members joked that the Hawthorn Fly that Wes tied was too good to be used for fishing!

The weather was dry with occasional sun, a cool northerly breeze was coming down the reservoir but on the south side of the Longstone Peninisula it was very sheltered for most of the day.  The air temperature was around 14C and the water 12C.  The water level in the reservoir had dropped back to 91% from 100% full a few weeks ago.  With so many of us fishing we were spaced out around the Peninsula while BobP started over on the western shore of Burrator near the Discovery Centre.

A few trout were rising here & there but there was no real surface activity during the competition.  One of the flies I mentioned above was a Hawthorn and on cue we saw a few of them around the trees on the sheltered lee side of Longstone.  They are of course terrestrial but the breeze was not strong enough to blow them out over the water.  Although we tried the Hawthorn fished dry there was not a lot of interest from the trout although I did have one swirl that 'drowned' the fly.

Kevin took the best fish of the day at 3lb 2oz.  He had three others which gave him a total bag of 7lb 1oz and he won the competition by a clear margin.  Both the Bob's had a bag weight of over 3lb.  Several blue trout were caught

Pat was soon into a fish here

Bob Eccles casting at Longstone Point

Steam up! Tony Hooper's Kelly Kettle in action again

David preparing a brew with his Kelly Kettle

Bob Prout fishing the sheltered water below Longstone Manor

Bob Eccles about to net one of his three fish


Peter & Terry fishing at Longstone

The breeze occasionally came around the Point and blew along the shore. Here Anthony is trying a few casts across the ripple

Some of the Club members who fished the competition

The Three Flies tied by Wes Ower - Cat's Whisker, Damsel Nymph & Hawthorn

The real thing - a Hawthorn Fly


The results are:
Kevin Sellars 4 trout for 7lb 1oz including a rainbow of 3lb 2oz
Bob Eccles 3 trout for 3lb 12oz
Bob Prout 3 trout for 3lb 7oz
Pat Power 2 trout for 2lb 12oz
Peter Macconnell 1 trout at 1lb 6oz
David Lye 1 trout at 1lb 6oz
Terry Denley 1 trout at 1lb 4oz
Anthony Waldren 1 trout at 1lb 2oz

Bill Watson, Richard Peel, Keniesha Miller, Ken Hindley & Tony Hooper put in nil returns.

Kevin was declared the winner and will receive the carved wooden trout trophy and a bottle of wine.



Monday, 20 February 2017

BFFA Competition at Innis Fishery 18th February 2017

I have not been to the Innis Fishery near St Austell before today and I have to report that I should have visited sooner!  Six of us met at the car park  for the competition which ran from 10am until 3.30pm.  The owner of the fishery and England Fly Fishing team member, Dave Johns, gave us information on where he thought the trout would be.  We all bought a three fish ticket which allowed us to fish two of the three lakes and the winner of the competition would be the member who netted the largest trout.

It was very overcast with misty patches about when we arrived but brightened up later.  There was a gentle southerly breeze that put a nice ripple on the lakes and with an air temperature of around 10C it wasn't particularly cold.  We all began by fishing on Sterrick Lake.  PeteP was very quickly into a trout using a white and lime green lure on a floating line.  PeterM had his on a pheasant tail nymph one of which took very close in under a small overhanging willow bush.  I tried several flies including nymphs, a white & green cat's whisker and an orange booby on both floating and sinking lines but, apart from one tug on the booby, I had nothing on the bank after 90 minutes.  I changed to a black & green nomad that has a small brass bead to make it sink slowly.  On a floating line with a 12' leader I had a pull first cast.  The breeze drifted the line across the surface and with a very slow retrieve that's all it took for me to net my three rainbows within the next hour. 

PeterM had several roach (or were they rudd?) on his small self weighted pheasant tail nymph plus his three rainbows.  Dave Johns came around the lakes several times to see how we were doing.  He told me that there were perch & bream in the lake, too, both of which will take a fly.  Later Dave was practising on the biggest lake, Carbis, for a forthcoming England match against Scotland.  He was using a #7 Sunray floating line and casting an unbelievable distance with relative ease even across the wind.  Must check that out!

Peter & I did consider purchasing a catch-and-release ticket for Carbis Lake to continue fishing in the afternoon.  But by the time we had lunch, chatted and had a look at the stew ponds we decided to call it a day.  A very enjoyable visit to a scenic fishery where we all caught good conditioned rainbows.

Here is the link to the fishery - www.innisflyfishery.co.uk

The results are :-  Pete Phillips - 1lb 14oz, 2lb 1oz, 2lb 15oz,  Peter Macconnell - 2lb 10oz, 2lb 10oz, 2lb 6oz, David Lye - 2lb 3oz, 2lb 6oz,  Kelvin Nikulin - 2lb 10oz, 2lb 3oz, 2lb 4oz, Stuart Payne - 2lb 10oz, 2lb 6oz, 2lb 5oz, Tony Hooper - 1lb 15oz, 2lb 1oz, 2lb 10oz.  Pete Phillips had the heaviest rainbow at 2lb 15oz and was declared the winner.


Dave Johns, the fishery owner, pointing out likely spots

It was a grey day when we arrived

Pete Phillips was soon into a fish on Sterrick Lake

In the net!

Peter Macconnell took this one on a Pheasant Tail Nymph close to the bank

and successfully netted it

Peter had several small roach on nymphs

David fishing Sterrick - Pete & Kelvin farther along the bank

Pete nets one for Kelvin

And PeterM does the same for David - Stuart & Kelvin either side

By lunchtime we all had fish

Stuart fishing a popular spot on Sterrick

Kelvin nets his third

Saturday, 28 January 2017

BFFA Competition at Burrator Saturday 28th January 2017

Seven members met at the parking area at Longstone to start fishing at 10am.  The weather was calm, the air cold at 8C with a Southwest breeze forecast for later in the morning.  I took the water temperature which was a very cold 4C.  I understand that rainbow trout have one of the broadest temperature ranges through which they will continue to feed.  Unfortunately for us at Burrator that range is about 6C to  21C which seemed to show that today we would be struggling even if the rainbows were right in front of us!

The breeze from the southwest picked up as forecast and that makes casting on the south side of Longstone Peninsula difficult if you are right handed.  Some of our members moved around to the more sheltered side but their efforts went unrewarded.  By 2pm we had landed nothing although Kenisha had contacted a trout that came off.  Although we all tried every method the day ended with a resounding 7 blanks and no winner.

I fished on here on Monday  23rd January and since then the water level had risen a little.
See here - https://www.southwestwater.co.uk/reservoirlevels
On the same date in 2016 Burrator was 100% full so there is a lot of water needed to reach that level.

Mark fishing towards the point at Longstone

Short lived excitement as Kenisha snags the bottom




Kenisha & Mark wait for the Kelly Kettle

Mark & Tony
Tony fishing beside the fence



Mark at Longstone with the Discovery Centre beyond

Sunshine & showers as Kenisha & Pete fish Longstone