Saturday 30 June 2012

Black Snatcher wins the day - or at least the wine.

The afternoon and evening of Wednesday 20th June was the time arranged for our monthly club competition. Frankly, we couldn't have picked a more unsuitable day if we had tried. The weather was appalling with constant winds of more than 20mph and gusts up to twice that. From four o'clock onwards this was supplemented with heavy and unrelenting rain.

Only one fish was caught. It was a rainbow of 1lb 14oz. The killing fly was a Black Snatcher and the fish fell to the rod of Tony McCoy, who, shortly after, packed up a went home, saying that he was allergic to rain.

A Black Snatcher - The fly that won Tony the bottle of wine
Tony, Mike and I arrived about four thirty just in time to meet Linda who was packing up, having had enough of the inclement weather and the seriously slow fishing. But she left us a fruitcake she had baked earlier. We then found Terry Denley hiding under a bush to keep out of the, by now, torrential rain. He went home shortly after that.

We persevered but with only a few tugs and pulls to show for our efforts. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the fishing was the wind with its frequent strong gusts and its sudden changes of direction. The highlight was certainly our alfresco buffet supper of sandwiches, pork pies, scotch eggs and, the undoubted 'piece de resistance', Linda's fruit cake. It was worth getting drenched for. However by eight o'clock we were back in the car greedily consuming the last of the sandwiches and with the heater going full blast. Let's hope for better weather at Fernworthy next month.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Good sport thanks to the Hawthorn Fly

Today at Burrator there were Hawthorn flies on the water throughout the middle of the day. They were being blown from the surrounding trees and bushes and the trout were very keyed onto them, making big splashy rises to take the flies off the top or just below the surface. The Hawthorn is a terrestrial fly that for a few days or weeks in May and June can be an important food item for the trout.

Hawthorn Fly (Bibio marci)
Having realised what the trout were feeding on I fished a two fly cast of size 10 Bibio on the point and a  size 10 Clan Chief, another black palmer hackled fly, on the dropper.

Size 10 Bibio
I had sport more or less directly from the start at just after 12 noon. When I finished at 4.00pm I had caught around a dozen rainbows (of which I kept only two) and hooked and lost nearly as many again. The light varied between being bright and quite overcast and the wind from a light breeze to quite a stiff blow, but the hawthorn flies continued to appear on the water and the trout continued to take them. At around 4.30pm the rain came again in  another of the torrential downpours that have been so prevalent this week. So I packed it in and got back to the car as quickly as I could. I had hoped to call in to see Neil Reeves the SWLT Burrator Ranger but he was nowhere around. 

All in all a good bit of sport 

Sunday 3 June 2012

Still fishing well

Recent reports suggest that Burrator is still fishing well. my friend Jon and I fished it on Monday evening. When we got there at about 4.30pm there were a number of anglers around three sides of the water. We fished the Longstone Manor peninsula and met a group of visitors from the Bath and Bristol area who had all caught fish, including several on dry flies. 

It has to be said, however, that the overwhelming majority of the fish are rainbows of about 1lb 8oz to 2lbs, although I did make contact with a much bigger fish which I eventually lost. Neil the Ranger reports that a six pounder has been caught a couple of weeks ago. It would be useful to know if there are significant numbers of brown trout being caught. Perhaps we will find out when we have our postponed meeting with SWLT in the next few weeks.

Three rainbows from the 'Manor'
A bit of local history to go with the fishing