Thursday 11 December 2014

Burrator Fly Fishers Christmas Dinner 2014

A good turn out of members met at The Jack Rabbit  at Derriford on Monday 8th December for the Burrator Fly Fishers Christmas dinner.  The Jack Rabbit is part of the Vintage Inn group.  I had not been there previously and was impressed with how welcoming it felt as we walked through the door.  We selected our own meals from the menu and several of us arrived with Vintage Inn wine vouchers that entitled us to a free glass of wine.  A little negotiation by Peter and we had enough for three bottles of wine which was a very good start!

The food was excellent, the staff polite and helpful and the evening passed very quickly - always a good sign of an enjoyable time.  Awards for competition wins, biggest fish of the year etc. were handed out as follows: Peter Phillips won the wooden fish plaque for the best weight in the annual Three Fly Competition, Pat Power won the new Geoff Riley Memorial Trophy (The Sunset Trophy) for the best fish of the year from Burrator and also won a bottle of Scotch for the best fish from any venue, with the same six pound plus wild brownie he caught and released at Burrator. And finally, Mike Duckett won another bottle of Scotch for the best overall weight in the Bake Christmas Competition. Mike also did a brilliant job of organising the raffle.

Sue & I had decided to take a taxi to the pub as our usual arrangement of sharing the driving  - me to the venue, Sue driving back home - was a little contentious!  Peter's wife Gill volunteered to drive us back to Compass House on the Barbican which was very generous particularly as they drove past their front door on the way - thank you Gill, much appreciated.

Sunday 7 December 2014

Christmas Competition - Bake Lakes

The 2014 Christmas Competition took place at Bake Lakes. Unfortunately there was a disappointingly low turnout by members. It is difficult to understand why this should be so. The weather was lovely. It was one of those bright and still winter days that, though a little chilly early on was easily warmed up by some splendid winter sunshine. So for those who chose to stay at home or go Christmas shopping we can only say that you missed a good day out and the chance of a fish or two. Six members came and all caught fish.

Not a breath of wind

Walk this way

Pat Power was the first to get his brace. He weighed in two rainbows for 3lb 13oz, which eventually gave him third place. Mike Duckett was the winner with two fish for 5lb 6oz, and Peter Macconnell was second with 4lb 9oz. Tony Vallack, John Jeffrey and David Lye had a single fish each.

Pat Power with two fish for 3lb 13oz.

A two and a half pounder to start the day for Peter

David about to land his first fish of the day

The proud captor!

Inquisitive wildlife

Thursday 4 December 2014

Recent reports from Bake Lakes

A beautiful day at Bake Lakes

In anticipation of our Christmas Competition at Bake Lakes this coming Saturday I thought it might be quite useful to share some recent information received about the fishing there.

Tony Vallack and Mike Duckett went about ten days ago, and they were followed by Kelvin Nikulin and Mark Clark last week. Tony reported that both he and Mike had rainbows of around three pounds while fishing fairly deep and slow with booby nymphs.

Mark then sent me a couple of pictures and a brief report from the visit he and Kelvin made last Monday. He described the fishing as difficult but the fish were there to be caught and were in superb condition. Again they fished deep and slow and in the end Mark had three fish and Kelvin one.

Three nice ones for Mark

It sounds like it will pay to try a sinking lines as well as floaters for the competition on Saturday. I hope to see as many of you as possible there.

You must be Codding!

Captain Vallack brings the SS Samaki alongside

After our somewhat foreshortened visit to Burrator last week (see previous post) Tony Vallack and I decided that we were more likely to be able to top up the fish drawer in our freezers with a bit of  sea fishing. Pollack and even the possibility of a late season bass were on our minds when, on Sunday morning , we set out in Tony's boat SS Samaki to see what was swimming around just outside the breakwater.

Once again the weather was kind to us in so far as there was no rain or wind to speak of. We were in for another bright but chilly day.

Tony with a nice codling

We used light lure rods to fish soft plastic jig-headed lures in water between 30 and 50 feet deep. Allowing the lures to fall to the bottom we then worked them slowly towards the surface. Unfortunately the pollack were not interested, or not there. However we did find a few nice codling between one and a half and three and a half pounds. Easily the most successful lure was something called the Black Fiish Minnow. It was best fished fairly close to the bottom.

Peter with one of the smaller fish

Fishing for these smallish cod is nowhere near as exciting as catching even medium sized pollack on the same gear. Where the pollack really dive when hooked, the codling have nothing like that turn of speed. Nevertheless they are dogged little fighters and, as you can imagine, make delicious eating.

Tony is not only a first class boat captain, he also shines on the culinary and domestic front. Firstly he rustled up lunchtime bacon sandwiches and cups of coffee with the stove in his little cabin, then, at the end of our short day, he gutted and filleted a few of the fish. These are now in our freezers and soon to be defrosted, battered and deep fried.

Ready for filleting

November Competition at Burrator

'Bloody Hell its cold in here!' - says Pat

Those of your that attended the last club meeting will know that, because of the very windy and wet weather in the week it was due to take place, our November competition was rescheduled for Wednesday 26th November at Burrator. In the event it proved a very good decision because the original date, Thursday 13th, turned out to be very stormy indeed. By the 26th the storms had gone but the cold weather had come in instead. So on the day we had only a small turnout of four members for what was a beautifully bright but seriously chilly early winter's day.

The winners!

In the end the four intrepid souls, Tony Vallack, David Lye, Pat Power and Peter Macconnell caught only two fish between them, though numerous other trout were hooked and lost. No one fished on beyond about three o'clock at which time Tony and Pat were declared joint winners with one 'schoolie' each, and we all went home to sit in front of our respective fires with cups of coffee or perhaps glasses of whisky.

Here are some more pictures:

Tony looks in vain for signs of rising fish
Pat wrapped up against the cold
'Is it time to go home yet?'