Sunday 25 March 2018

BFFA Competition held at Blakewell Fishery on 22 March 2018

Another well attended competition with eleven members meeting at Blakewell Fishery near Barnstaple in North Devon.  We were due to start at 10am but a traffic accident near Exeter saw several of us held up for an hour in a long queue from Haldon Hill.  There was also a long queue through a mobile traffic control on the North Devon link road.  Valuable competition time was being lost!

Pete Phillips, Tony Vallack & Mike Duckett had left Plymouth earlier than most of us and missed the hold-ups so were able to begin fishing at the competition start time of 10am.  By the time the rest of us cast a line around 1045am they had already taken several rainbows.  I had not fished at Blakewell previously but the south bank was unoccupied so I headed that way. The fishery is a single five acre lake stocked with rainbows and brown trout.  Although we landed plenty of fish during the competition they were all rainbows and I was a little disappointed not to see any brownies.

There was light cloud cover all day, no rain and a fairly gentle breeze that seemed to shift direction from time to time.  The air temperature was 8-9C  and the water temperature was 9C.

I put on one of my own tied Black & Green Kennick Killers (very similar to the Nomad lure) and little later I hooked and lost a trout followed after a short while by a repeat when another trout 'came off'.  Examination of the fly revealed that the point had broken off at the barb - it pays to check before starting to fish!  Trout were being landed all across the lake and there were a few buzzers hatching.  It was another hour before my Kennick Killer - this time with a proper point - was snatched fairly close in by a powerful trout that surged after the fly creating a big bow wave.  Pete and Kevin were fishing nearby and after a lot of to & fro-ing with my Fulling Mill rod well bent, Pete offered to net what looked to be a good fish.

A few minutes later Pete deftly wielded his net and the trout was on the bank.  He weighed it for me at 8lb 6oz - a personal best trout for me on rod & line so my thanks to Pete for expertly netting it! As so often happens at the last the 6lb line parted at the fly when the trout was in the net.  On reflection the size of the trout that could hooked in the lake - rainbows up to 15lb & browns up to 12lb or so - warranted a heavier leader, perhaps 8lb or even 10lb fluoro.

Two brothers, Richard & John Nickell, own the fishery and at lunchtime Richard made bacon baps for everyone as we took a break for a chat in the cafĂ©.  Tea & coffee was also served.  All very reasonably priced, I thought.  There is also a well stocked tackle shop on site.

Terry fishing at the top of the lake

Pete trying a spot on the south bank

Anthony also on the south bank

The view up the lake- Bob on the left

Bob had a few rainbows from this spot

A personal best for me at 8lb 6oz
A Kennick Killer (very similar to a Nomad)

The results (to be updated later) are:

Tony Hooper 3 rainbows best 8lb 6oz (competition winner)
David Lye 4 rainbows best 5lb 0oz
Terry Denley 2 rainbows best 1lb 12oz
Mike Duckett 4 rainbows best 4lb 3oz
Pete Phillips 6 rainbows best 5lb 11oz
John Bright 4 rainbows best 3lb 8oz (A new personal best for John)
Anthony Waldren 4 rainbows best 2lb 8oz (Anthony caught 4 in quick succession and then moved a little way as two otters had turned up where he was fishing! )
Tony Vallack
Bob Eccles
Pat Power

A great day out for the BFFA members at a well run, well stocked fishery.