Sunday, 10 April 2016

Big fish as March ends

In recent weeks there have been some big (or bigger) rainbows reported from Burrator and elsewhere. However the last week of March seems definitely to have been 'Big Fish Time'. It began with an email from a friend of mine, Peter Reilly, with whom I worked for a number of years at Mount Gould Hospital. He is not a BFFA member but occasionally lets me know what he has been catching. Anyway on 29th March he sent me an email in which he described the capture of his biggest ever fish from Burrator. He wrote:
'I had just cast and was mending the line and felt just a faint pull before the line seized tight. The fish took a deep run and I was nearly down to the backing by the time it stopped. I never saw the fish for thirty minutes although it was all over the place and it was only later when it came into the shallows that it was visible in the very clear and calm water. The fish never jumped at all. I was using just a five pound tippet so didn't want to play it too hard. In all it took me about forty-five minutes to get it to the net. The killing fly was a small black gold-head nymph and I fished quite close to the old stone drinking trough on Longstone Peninsula. The photograph is one I took on my very low-tech phone so it is not the greatest. However the priest in the picture is a hammer handle eleven inches long so that gives some idea of the length of the fish. It weighed 5 lb 2oz.' 

Peter Reilly's best ever fish from Burrator - 5 lb 2oz.

The next report I received was from our own Ken Hindley who emailed me on 31st March to say:
'I was out at Burrator today and caught a 5 lb 8oz rainbow. I was fishing in the bay right next to the point at Longstone. In five hours of casting and retrieving it was the only take I had. It took a sparkle green fly with a white marabou tail, and took me about twenty minutes to land.'

One take one fish for Ken Hindley - 5 lb 8oz.

Our trip to Blakewell Fishery
In the meantime an outing to North Devon on 30th March proved to be a bit of a big fish bonanza for Kelvin Nikulin, David Lye, Terry Denley, Tony Vallack, Stuart Payne, Peter Phillips and me. The fishery, just outside Barnstaple, has a reputation for better than average sized rainbows and according to Peter and Kelvin who had fished there on a previous occasion the sport could be very good indeed. While Blakewell is far from being 'wilderness' fishing and has none of the beauty or ruggedness of Burrator it is nevertheless a very charming, well run, and pleasant venue, and the fish were certainly worth catching. In  the end we had twenty-six rainbows and two brownies between us. Not a one was under two and a half pounds and the best, which fell to Terry's rod, was over five. Here are some pictures from what was by common consent a lovely day out. Not the place perhaps where one would want to fish every day but great fun nevertheless. The bacon breakfast and afternoon tea were the icing on the cake (if you will forgive the mixed metaphors).

Some of the group and all of the fish

'Pedro' looking pleased.

Terry with the first fish of the day.

Remains of breakfast

'Everything stops for Tea' - a nice way to end the day.