Thursday 21 March 2019

Re-stocking at Burrator 20th March 2019

The Burrator FFA had a meeting at the Discovery Centre in the morning.  Sam LeBailly, the West Devon Countryside Warden told us that there was a delivery of rainbow & blue trout due around 1pm. Over at Longstone Sam, me and Burrator FFA Chair, Linda met Paul Evenden from Milemead Fisheries.

In the two tanks on the back of his 4x4 pick-up were 250 trout.  Paul was soon netting them into the lake and within a short time the trout were swimming about in the bay.

While we were there a scientist from the Environment Agency arrived to take samples from the reservoir.  Later she told me that she had netted a good amount of insect life including caddis & mayfly larvae.  She said she didn't net any signal crayfish in the samples but I have no doubt that they are present in Burrator and probably in some numbers.

Paul nets the trout into the water while Sam takes a few photos
Linda, Paul & Sam
A scientist from the Environment Agency takes samples

An early 2019 season boat trip at Burrator on 19th March

Quite a few things have changed at the Burrator FFA and at the reservoir since the last blog back in May 2018.

We now have two Coulam boats that have replaced the 30 year old dinghies that were simply beyond straightforward maintenance.  I booked a boat for Tuesday 19th March as the weather forecast looked favourable.

I arrived at the Discovery Centre around 10am to book in before parking on the slipway to put my gear in the boat.  I have my own electric outboard and two 80ah batteries which are more than enough for a whole day of fishing.  The boats had plenty of water in them from the recent heavy rain but that was soon pumped out.  There was a very light SW wind, sunny intervals and an air temperauture of 13-14C.  The water was much chillier at 8C.

The new safety boom installed in October last year across the lake means that we are no longer restricted to waiting for the water level to drop several feet below below the sill.

A few trout were dimpling the surface as I motored away from the pontoon and headed up the lake. In the bay under the Discovery Centre I had one blue of about 1lb 4oz on a black & green Kennick Killer on a floating line which I returned.  I fished several places along the west shore until lunchtime and had lots of light plucks which could well have been brownies. I should have perhaps changed over to buzzers as there were one or two in the air.  Nothing more landed, though, so I went ashore on a little sandy beach to brew tea and have my lunch.  Burrator was looking absolutely stunning in the spring sunshine.

Back out on the water the breeze was a little stronger and more westerly.  I anchored for  while but then decided to motor over to the ever popular Longstone area.  Several anglers were fishing from the shore and I anchored a little way along the shore towards the Sheepstor Dam but only about 70  yards from the ruined manor and not far off the shore.  The water depth was around 25 feet so I stayed with the floating line and the weighted fly.  Later I changed from the black & green to a more fritzy orange one (see photo below).

I had another three rainbows and two blues.  I kept the two blues but returned the rainbows.  I did have lots more plucks at the fly but I have found that when the water is cold the trout don't seem to hit the fly but rather 'nibble' at the wavy marabou tail.

This was my first boat trip on Burrator for two seasons and the new - to us - Coulams are very welcome.  I have a boat seat that I made for fishing Chew Valley in the early 70's and it still going strong and is still fairly comfortable!  Being raised up and clamped to the thwart it makes for very easy fly casting.

The water well up the slipway

Drifting off Longstone

A vital Kelly Kettle brew at my lunch break

One of the excellent new Coulams 

A drift up the West shore

Anchored off Longstone Manor

The two well conditioned blue trout that I kept

The successful orange fritz nomad pattern

The black & green Kennick Killer