Tuesday 20 March 2012

Friday 16 March 2012

Opening Day

Well, yesterday, 15th March, was opening day. the weather was grey, misty and overcast. There was even a hint of rain. The wind came and went but was never more than a breeze. Several BFF members turned out and all but one caught fish. The best bag of the day was recorded by Terry Denley who had four rainbows for a bit over 7 lbs. Tony McCoy had three fish, also for around 7 lbs in total. They are pictured below:

The new daily bag limit is five rainbows (all browns have to be returned). Numerous non members also fished, and more than one angler achieved their five.

In addition to fish caught there was plenty of frustrating action from fish taking short; being there and then gone, and fish hooked and played for a time and then lost. One member commented that all his fish were hooked in the front and top of the mouth, suggesting that the trout were following and 'nipping' the fly from behind, rather than turning on the fly and being hooked in the 'scissors'.

The general stamp of fish seemed good, appearing to be a little larger, on average, than in 2011. Most had full tails, very sprightly in the fight, and well worth catching. Buzzers, Loch Style Wets, Montanas, and numerous others patterns were effective on the day.

Perhaps the highlight of the day was the shore lunch of bacon sandwiches (with HP Sauce for those who wanted it) provided by Tony Vallack and his trusty camping stove.

Neil Reeves the SWLT chap who manages all the Dartmoor sites was around, meeting anglers. It was good to have an initial shoreside discussion about some of the ways in which the Burrator fishing can be improved and how we can help ensure that the lake is not misused by irresponsible people, often to the detriment of our fishing. He promised an official meeting with the club in the next few weeks.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Burrator Opening Day Thursday 15th March

Don't forget that this Thursday 15th March is Opening Day at Burrator. It will be interesting to see, firstly, what head of fish have gone in and what is coming out, and, secondly, how many anglers turn out for it. The weather forecast is quite reasonable, so see you there.

Just to whet the appetite here are a couple of charming pictures of Burrator member Tony Vallack on a previous opening day, and a couple more from a coaching event held at the lake some years ago. Some people may recognise themselves. If memory serves the coach was Garry Champion, and a very good day it was.


Angling Trust "Building Bridges" Press Release

OK, its not a lot to do with fly fishing at Burrator but nevertheless this press release issued by the Angling Trust today. You can see it at Angling Trust - Building Bridges

Friday 9 March 2012

Angling Trust Press Release 9th March 2012

The most recent Angling Trust Press Release, which is on the subject of poaching can be read here

Wednesday 7 March 2012

More information about changes at Burrator and other waters

The following report is taken from the Kennick Fly fishers website and refers to a meeting that took place in the Autumn of 2011. All the items are of some interest to us but items 5 & 6 mention Burrator quite specifically and help to clarify the changes alluded to in the SWLT Booklet here.

Following a meeting back in November there was a Game Fisheries Consultation Meeting held with many SW fishermen to understand the future of Fishing in the SW and voice opinion / concern. These were the main points discussed with changes below. As agreed, Chris Hall and I have drafted a proposal for our game angling venues - it is attached for your information. The key changes to how we will operate include:

  1. More flexible season dates - including part-seasons and the opportunity to fish for Rainbows during the winter months (no stocking will take place between November and February).
  2. A big reduction in price and far greater promotion of the 'All Waters' ticket - giving better access for everyone.
  3. A 33% discount off boat hire for 'All Waters' ticket holders.
  4. An online booking facility will be available from March 2012 to give anglers the option to purchase permits and boat hire via the website.
  5. Changing of names to 'Rainbow Plus' (former Premiers) and 'Rainbow' (former intermediates and Burrator).
  6. Burrator will be upgraded to the same level as Stithians and Wistlandpound and stocked accordingly.
  7. 'Rainbow Plus' season tickets will only allow you to fish one venue (additional venues can be added).
  8. Brown trout season tickets will allow you to fish all three venues - at a reduced rate from the 2011 'Castabout' price.
  9. Fishing boats will be relocated to best accommodate anglers' demands and it is proposed that the fleet will increase in 2013 and 2014.
  10. Higher standards of boat preparation and cleanliness will be a key area of improvement.
  11. Stocking - increase the minimum fish weights and provide better clarity on numbers stocked per venue.
  12. Better and more extensive staff training - including Level 1 coach awards.
  13. Promote the recruitment of 'Volunteer Angling Officers' to assist the Trust's work and supervise other volunteers on the ground.
  14. Develop a 'Regional Advisory Group' to help steer still water game angling in the SW.
  15. Improve methods of communication at all levels.
I hope you will approve of the proposal and, as always, please do not hesitate to contact Chris, me or your local Area Manager if you have
any questions or comments. Best regards and may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Andy Parsons
Head of Operations
South West Lakes Trust
South West Lakes Trust
Lidn Park
Quarry Crescent
Pennygillam Industrial Estate
Cornwall PL15 7PF
Tel 01566 771930
Fax 01566 778503
Visit our website http://www.swlakestrust.org.uk
Email us at info@swlakestrust.org.uk

Clearly changes are on the way for the fishing at Burrator. It would be good if we could become a bit more involved in these discussions. Please note, in particular, the mention in Items 14 & 15 of a Regional Advisory Group and the intention to improve communication at all levels. The Burrator Fly Fishers would like to be involved in both these areas.

Monday 5 March 2012

Update on Burrator Prices and Fishing for 2012

It is now clear that things will be a little different at Burrator (and a number of other SWLT waters) for this coming season. The newly published South West Lakes Trust booklet for 2012 includes the following:

  • "This fishery has been upgraded for 2012, along with planned improvements to the anglers’ facilities. Fly fishing only for stocked Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout. Brown trout catch and release only.
  • "Fishing permits and boat booking will be available online from 1st April. please click on the BOOK NOW button at the top of the page." (that is the SWLT website page).
It is worth looking at the booklet in some detail. It can be downloaded here'

More information to follow on this.

New Members Welcome

In the last couple of years Burrator Fly Fishers membership numbers have fallen somewhat. So we would welcome a few new members whether male or female, an old hand, or new to the game.

Are you interested in fly fishing but never done it? 
If so then the Burrator Fly Fishers are happy to help you make a start. We do not claim to be great anglers or professional level coaches but between us we have a fair amount of fly fishing and fly tying experience that we are  only too happy to share. Whether you are young, middle aged or a senior citizen, the basics of fly fishing, sufficient to start catching trout, can be quickly learnt. Why not make contact with us and find out more?

Advice about tackle and equipment
Probably the best thing to do is to come and meet us  before you spend money. Members will be happy to discuss and demonstrate tackle suitable for trout fishing in both still and running water, as well as the various accessories and items of clothing needed. Additionally, perusal of the Snowbee, John Norris of Penrith, or Orvis websites (see list of Useful Links) will give you a good idea about cost and the range of tackle available.Typically you will need:

  • A carbon fibre fly rod. An AFTM 6/7 weight is usable for most sorts of trout fishing. 
  • A fly reel plus a spare spool, together with a floating and an intermediate fly line plus backing.
  • Leader material in 3, 5, and 8lb breaking strains.
  • A fly box and a selection of trout flies.
  • A landing net.
  • A fishing vest/waistcoat/bag to carry your stuff
  • A pair of waders.
  • A waterproof jacket.
  • Some sort of eye protection such as polaroid spectacles.
  • A 'priest' to administer the 'last rites'.
But remember, talk to us first.

Are you an experienced fly fisher?
If you would like to meet with other fly fishers once a month to talk about fishing and fly tying, and to fish together a few times each season then why not join us? Our competitions are friendly affairs and not to be taken too seriously. The prize will only be a bottle of whisky or something similar. The main thing is to take enjoyment from the day.

If you would like to know more then contact the Burrator Fly Fishers Secretary, Linda James, on 01752 569337, or the Chairman, Peter Macconnell, on 01752 560538 or 07738 378227 or email to psmacconnell@gmail.com

Burrator in Winter

Here are a few pictures taken in January 2012. The reservoir is quite full compared to how it is during the fishing season. In quite a few places it would be difficult to get a back-cast when the water level is so high. (Double click on a picture to enlarge and view in sequence).

Even with high water levels there is no overflow

The Longstone Farm Entrance
The Farm

The Water Trough
The Alderman's Visit
A Good Fishing Spot ?
Walking round the reservoir the most immediately striking feature is the amount of tree felling that has taken place. Presumably, this has been a necessary response to the discovery of Larch Disease in the timber. See  http://www.swlakestrust.org.uk/pramorum for further details.

Sunday 4 March 2012

South West Lakes Trust 2012 Permit Arrangements

South West Lakes Trust have now published the 2012 pricing structure for all the lakes under their management. Full details can be found on the SWLT website at:
From our point of view the most notable feature is that the cost of fishing Burrator has increased by around 30%. The details are:
Full Day Permit          £16.00 
Concession Day          £13.50
Child Day                     £4.00
Full Season Permit   £250.00
Concession Season   £215.00
Child Season              £50.00
These price increases are on the face of it rather large and one wonders what is going on in the minds of the SWLT managers. Are their costs escalating by 30% or more, or are they planning to change the stocking levels at the reservoir such that Burrator is no longer a 'Budget Fishery'. It is noticeable that that phrase is nowhere to be found in the 2012 descriptions of the fisheries. Burrator, along with Stithians and Wistlandpound are described as 'Rainbow' waters, whereas Kennick, Siblyback and Wimbleball are described as 'Rainbow Plus'. 

As in previous years Burrator Day Permits are available from the Texaco petrol station just by the Yelverton roundabout, and from Snowbee at Drakes Court, Langage Business Park. The Texaco station is usually open until 8.00pm. Their telephone number is 01822 853339.

Burrator Season Permits are available from:
Summerlands Tackle
16-20 Nelson Road
Westward Ho!
North Devon EX39 1LF
Tel: 01237 471291
Fax: 01237 470002
Website: www.summerlands.co.uk
Email: nick@summerlands.co.uk
Season permits can be purchased over the telephone by using a Debit/Credit card or by the usual cheque in the post.

Further information about Burrator and other South West Lakes Trust fisheries can be obtained from http://www.swlakestrust.org.uk/  or by telephoning Ben Smeeth
on 01288 321712 or emailing him on bsmeeth@swlakestrust.org.uk

Club Meeting & Fishing Dates published

Once again Mike Duckett has produced a list of event and meeting dates which we hope will prove convenient for all and will also provide a variety of fishing venues for members to visit.

The club meeting dates: are all on the second Monday in the month, and start at 7.30pm  The meeting place continues to be at the Travelodge (next to the Jack Rabbit Pub) Derriford. The actual dates are:
12th March
  9th April
14th May
11th June
  9th July
10th September
  8th October
12th November
10th December Christmas meal at Jack Rabbit Pub
Please note that there is no meeting in August.

The fishing events are:
Thursday 15th March Burrator Reservoir (Opening Day)     - From 10.00am
Saturday  14th April   Bake Lakes (Three Fly Competition) - From 10.00am
Wednesday 16th May Burrator Reservoir (Evening)         - 5.00pm to Dusk +
Wednesday 20th June Burrator Reservoir (Evening)         - 5.00pm to Dusk +
Wednesday 18th July  Fernworthy Reservoir (Afternoon/Evening) - 3.00pm
Thursday 20th September Innis Fishery (Near St. Austell)     - From 10.00am
Thursday 11th October Tavistock Trout Fishery*                   - From 10.00am
Saturday 10th November Newhouse Fishery (South Hams)   - From 10.00am
Saturday 8th December Bake Lakes                                          - From 10.00am

*Please note that Tony Vallack will be providing cream cakes for all who attend the Tavistock event on 11th October because it is his birthday.

Any queries about the meetings and fishing events should be directed to Mike Duckett.

Bake Lakes 25th February 2011

A difficult day at Bake Lakes
The first Burrator Fly Fishers event of the year took place at Bake Lakes on Saturday 25th February when seven members turned out. For most of us it was the first chance this year to take out the fly rod and get our casting arms moving. There were also plenty of fish moving on or near the surface. However, despite the obvious willingness of the fish to feed, all but one member found it to be an extremely frustrating day. Whether it was buzzers, traditional wets, or lures, the trout seemed preoccupied with something else. Peter Macconnell was the only member to winkle out fish, catching a couple of rainbows for a total weight of  5lb 7oz. He lost another rainbow and a very large out of season brownie at the net.