Tuesday, 26 March 2013

2013 Opening Day and After

Friday 15th March 2013 was opening day at Burrator and, as is traditional, it was a competition day. The weather was not our friend. It was bitterly cold, very windy, as the day wore on, it rained 'cats & dogs' as well. From the reports coming back it would seem that only five members turned out, the rest having more sense. The intrepid fivesome were new members Jon Perry and Pat Powers, together with Tony McCoy, Mike Duckett and Peter Macconnell. Only two of us caught.

There were other anglers about and we met up with Alan Behan one of the volunteer bailiffs and he had landed three or four rainbows. As to our competition it was won by Jon Perry who had his limit bag of five rainbows for 9lb 11oz. Runner up was Tony McCoy with a single fish of 2lb 10z. Mike, Peter and Pat were the ones who failed to land a fish.

Deep wading and casting into the wind was needed
Jon with his 'limit'
Alan Behan ready with the net
Whilst Opening Day was something of a washout for most of us the following few days proved more reliable. Reports came in of several limit bags taken on Sunday 17th of March and Pat Powers reports that on the following Wednesday he had his five fish limit for a total weight of 14lbs. This is a very good bag indeed, with an average weight of 2lbs 12oz per fish. Peter Macconnell fished on Tuesday and had a limit bag in two and a half hours with several fish lost; some almost at the net. By comparison, his bag weighed only 7lb 2oz.
Since last weekend the weather has become very cold with strong easterly winds, so only the most hardy souls will have been making the effort to get out. However, early catches suggest that once the weather settles down we should be in for some good fishing.
An early season limit
Pat plays and lands a fish on a bitterly cold day

Friday, 1 March 2013

2013 to see Boats at Burrator - A club exclusive

The Wheelie Boat at Burrator - Rowing Boat to follow soon

We are pleased to announce that following discussion between ourselves, the Burrator Fly Fishers, and South West Lakes Trust, a decision has been taken to have a couple of boats on Burrator for the 2013 season. These boats will be, firstly, an ordinary 13-14 foot boat as used at Kennick and Siblyback and, secondly, a wheelie boat for use by anglers with significant disability such that they cannot easily access either the bank fishing or an ordinary boat.

This initiative comes about following representations made by the Burrator Fly Fishers and others who have, for some time, pointed out how limited the bank fishing access at Burrator is, especially when water levels are high as they were for almost all of 2012. Additionally, water levels notwithstanding, there are areas of Burrator that are too rocky to safely walk and wade, have soft mud which is too difficult to walk through, and have no room for backcasts. We have been aware that SWLT staff have been sympathetic to the difficulties of Burrator anglers and wanted to be helpful. They have now come forward with this proposal for some boat access and we are strongly supportive of it. It seems that in the past the main sticking points for SWLT have been the cost of caring for and booking the boats when there is no full-time ranger on site at Burrator, as well as some health & safety considerations. The proposed way around these issues is for Burrator Fly Fishers to deal with bookings and look after the boats, and for them, in the first instance, to be available only to club members Our understanding is that 2013 will be an experimental season to see how this all works out.

Matters remain to be finalised between SWLT and the club but, in outline, the use of the boats will be managed as follows:
  • Membership of the Burrator Fly Fishers will be a prerequisite for being able to book a boat. Applications for membership will be available from the Club and from SWLT. The annual subscription is currently £12.50. This will not apply to acompanied juniors.
  • Boats will be booked and permits issued by a nominated Burrator Fly Fishers member or their substitute. In the first instance this will be the Chairman Peter Macconnell, whose contact details are on this site and will be circulated by SWLT.
  • When only one boat is being used there must, for health & safety reasons, be two persons in it.
  • Juniors (under 18yrs) must be with an adult.
  • The Club will issue and receive payment for the boat permit. Permits to fish will need to be purchased in the usual way. The club will remit all payments to SWLT on a monthly basis (at minimum). No financial benefit will accrue to the club.
  • Oars, anchors and bouyancy aids will be provided. Bouyancy aids, either the ones provided or the angler's own, must be worn when in the boat.
  • Electric outboard motors will be allowed but not petrol motors.
  • SWLT will have the final decision, on any particular day, about whether conditions are safe for the boats to be used. For example boats cannot be used when water levels are very high and the dam is overflowing.
  • Boats must be treated with care and rubbish removed after use. This is especially important to protect wildlife. The Club will clean and check the boats on a regular basis.

14th February at Rose Park

The best fish of the day - for Peter
Thursday 14th February 2013 began with torrential rain, However by the time our competition started at 10.00am the sky had cleared and the rest of the day was dry but pretty cold. Only five well wrapped up members managed to get themselves from in front of the fire and make it out to Altarnun to fish at Rose Park. There were fish to be caught, however, and all but one angler managed to do so. The competition, as ever, was for the best brace and this was won by Peter Macconnell with two trout for 6lbs exactly. The other catches were:
Mike Duckett  - 2 for 5lbs 4oz.
Tony Vallack  - 2 for 4lbs 6oz.
Tom Turner    - 1 for 2lbs 7oz.
Linda James had the rottenest luck of the day, having numerous takes and fish lost, only to come away with an  empty bag.
Three of us packed up early (Mike, Tony & Peter) and decided to visit the splendid tackle shop at the Homeleigh Garden Centre in Launceston. To quote Arthur Ransome of Swallows & Amazons fame:
"The pleasures of fishing are chiefly to be found in rivers, lakes and tackle shops and, of the three, the last are least affected by the weather. The sight of rods in a window brings a fisherman to a full stop...In such weather as we have been having, when fishing is all but impossible, a fishing-tackle-shop has a magnetic power that can be felt over a considerable area"  (from Rod & Line by Arthur Ransome, Oxford University Press, 1929).
Suffice it to say we came out poorer than when we went in.
The next competition is on Friday 15th March which is opening day at Burrator. See you there.