Sunday, 4 October 2015

Winter fishing arrangements for Burrator and other SWLT Lakes

A few days ago Ben Smeeth emailed to let us know the SWLT plans for winter trout fishing over the end of 2015 and into the early months of 2016. Here is what he wrote:

" Dear All
Here are the following prices for Rainbow Trout fishing in November. Our usual prices will stay the same throughout October.

November Only
Kennick £8.50 for two fish
Wimbleball £8.50 for two fish
Siblyback £8.00 for two fish
Burrator £8.00 for two fish and £10.00 for three fish
Wistlandpound £7.00 for two fish
Stithians £7.00 for two fish
Drift £7.00 for two fish

Anglers may buy more than one permit if they so wish.

Burrator is the only lake which will be open all winter and it will be stocked. Tickets will be £8.00 for two fish and £10.00 for three fish during December, January and February. Burrator will then close at the end of February for two weeks until the new season starts in mid March 2016. Permits for Burrator will be available from the permit room in the Warden's Yard opposite Burrator Lodge. A winter season permit for Burrator will be available for £75.00 for four fish per week from 1st December to the end of February. It will be available to purchase by telephoning 01566 771930.

If you have any questions please get in touch.

Best regards to all...Ben"

So there you have it. Once again there is for those who want it, fishing at Burrator throughout the winter with the exception of two weeks at the beginning of March. According to Neil Reeves with whom I had a conversation on the matter in March of this year SWLT were very pleased with the take up by anglers of this winter fishing. Clearly it was patronised well enough to encourage a repeat this year.

Brown Trout Bonanza from the boat

A pounder in the net
Friday 25th September turned out to be a comparatively mild and sunny day with a soft westerly wind of about six miles per hour. This was just enough for us to get a number of comfortable drifts. We started at 10.30am and fished until 5.00pm. In that time we had three rainbows (all kept) and sixteen brown trout (all returned). The best two or three brownies were all around a pound or a bit more. Here's how it happened.

We began in the back bay behind the Longstone Peninsula and were able to keep to a continuous drift along the eastern side shore all the way to the limit of where fishing is allowed on the edge of the Wildlife Protection Area. Occasionally we crossed over and drifted along in front of the 'Lawns'. In both areas we we quickly got in touch with fish; overwhelmingly brownies.

Another hard fighting little fish
All through the day there were flies on the water and fish showing to them. Firstly there were sedges and then there were some kind of terrestrial red/brown beetle type insects floating on the surface, presumably blown from the bank-side trees and bushes.  We were able to 'match' these flies by using small Invictas (both standard and pearly) and red Mini-Muddlers.

Mini-Muddler and Invicta
By fishing light rods were were able to present flies in the surface ripple; and ripple was all it was. I fished two flies on my 10 foot 4 weight  rod while Jon had a similar set-up on a 5 weight.

By the 'Lawns'
Having had such a day of brilliant sport we went back this last Friday 2nd October. There was much more wind from a cold easterly direction and waves that moved the boat much more quickly; we paid for forgetting to bring a drogue. When we packed up at 5.30pm we had two rainbows and not a single brown trout to show for our efforts. Oh well, we were lucky to get that Indian Summer day the week before.

September Competition - The Day of the Daddy-Long-Legs

The killing fly - Daddy-Long-Legs
Our two previous competitions, in June and July, had suffered from low water levels at Burrator, low fish numbers being landed and comparatively low turnout by club members. So, having had quite a lot of rain over August and into the start of September, the waters levels were on the rise and Burrator was over 50% full. So we all hoped that our next club outing on Friday 18th September would prove more productive, and we were not greatly disappointed.

The competition was won by Bill Watson from Callington with five fish for 6lb 2oz, Stuart Payne was second with three fish for 4lb 6oz, Pat Power was third with three fish for 3lb 7oz, and Tony Vallack was fourth with two fish for 2lb 8oz.

Pat with his third place catch
As can be gauged from the above weights, the size of trout landed; all rainbows, was not large. The average seemed to be around a pound and a quarter and the 'Sweep' for best fish of the day (the princely sum of £9.00) was shared between Pat Power and Terry Denley who both had fish of 1lb 8oz. Having said that there was plenty of sport to be had. Many fish were hooked and lost. I had four fish in four casts come off after a short fight or at the net and Bill Watson hooked at least four or five other trout in addition to the five he took to win it.

Peter Phillips - A picture of concentration
Of the nine members who took part; Pat Power, John Jeffrey, Tony Vallack, Stuart Payne, Kelvin Nikulin, Peter Phillips, Bill Watson, Terry Denley and myself, only one failed to land a fish or two and that person shall, to spare his blushes, remain nameless.

The day begins to darken over Stuart Payne
Another pleasing aspect to the fishing was the availability of surface or near surface sport, with virtually all the fish caught found high in the water. Bill had all his fish on Daddy-Long Legs fished dry.