Monday, 20 February 2017

BFFA Competition at Innis Fishery 18th February 2017

I have not been to the Innis Fishery near St Austell before today and I have to report that I should have visited sooner!  Six of us met at the car park  for the competition which ran from 10am until 3.30pm.  The owner of the fishery and England Fly Fishing team member, Dave Johns, gave us information on where he thought the trout would be.  We all bought a three fish ticket which allowed us to fish two of the three lakes and the winner of the competition would be the member who netted the largest trout.

It was very overcast with misty patches about when we arrived but brightened up later.  There was a gentle southerly breeze that put a nice ripple on the lakes and with an air temperature of around 10C it wasn't particularly cold.  We all began by fishing on Sterrick Lake.  PeteP was very quickly into a trout using a white and lime green lure on a floating line.  PeterM had his on a pheasant tail nymph one of which took very close in under a small overhanging willow bush.  I tried several flies including nymphs, a white & green cat's whisker and an orange booby on both floating and sinking lines but, apart from one tug on the booby, I had nothing on the bank after 90 minutes.  I changed to a black & green nomad that has a small brass bead to make it sink slowly.  On a floating line with a 12' leader I had a pull first cast.  The breeze drifted the line across the surface and with a very slow retrieve that's all it took for me to net my three rainbows within the next hour. 

PeterM had several roach (or were they rudd?) on his small self weighted pheasant tail nymph plus his three rainbows.  Dave Johns came around the lakes several times to see how we were doing.  He told me that there were perch & bream in the lake, too, both of which will take a fly.  Later Dave was practising on the biggest lake, Carbis, for a forthcoming England match against Scotland.  He was using a #7 Sunray floating line and casting an unbelievable distance with relative ease even across the wind.  Must check that out!

Peter & I did consider purchasing a catch-and-release ticket for Carbis Lake to continue fishing in the afternoon.  But by the time we had lunch, chatted and had a look at the stew ponds we decided to call it a day.  A very enjoyable visit to a scenic fishery where we all caught good conditioned rainbows.

Here is the link to the fishery - www.innisflyfishery.co.uk

The results are :-  Pete Phillips - 1lb 14oz, 2lb 1oz, 2lb 15oz,  Peter Macconnell - 2lb 10oz, 2lb 10oz, 2lb 6oz, David Lye - 2lb 3oz, 2lb 6oz,  Kelvin Nikulin - 2lb 10oz, 2lb 3oz, 2lb 4oz, Stuart Payne - 2lb 10oz, 2lb 6oz, 2lb 5oz, Tony Hooper - 1lb 15oz, 2lb 1oz, 2lb 10oz.  Pete Phillips had the heaviest rainbow at 2lb 15oz and was declared the winner.


Dave Johns, the fishery owner, pointing out likely spots

It was a grey day when we arrived

Pete Phillips was soon into a fish on Sterrick Lake

In the net!

Peter Macconnell took this one on a Pheasant Tail Nymph close to the bank

and successfully netted it

Peter had several small roach on nymphs

David fishing Sterrick - Pete & Kelvin farther along the bank

Pete nets one for Kelvin

And PeterM does the same for David - Stuart & Kelvin either side

By lunchtime we all had fish

Stuart fishing a popular spot on Sterrick

Kelvin nets his third

Saturday, 28 January 2017

BFFA Competition at Burrator Saturday 28th January 2017

Seven members met at the parking area at Longstone to start fishing at 10am.  The weather was calm, the air cold at 8C with a Southwest breeze forecast for later in the morning.  I took the water temperature which was a very cold 4C.  I understand that rainbow trout have one of the broadest temperature ranges through which they will continue to feed.  Unfortunately for us at Burrator that range is about 6C to  21C which seemed to show that today we would be struggling even if the rainbows were right in front of us!

The breeze from the southwest picked up as forecast and that makes casting on the south side of Longstone Peninsula difficult if you are right handed.  Some of our members moved around to the more sheltered side but their efforts went unrewarded.  By 2pm we had landed nothing although Kenisha had contacted a trout that came off.  Although we all tried every method the day ended with a resounding 7 blanks and no winner.

I fished on here on Monday  23rd January and since then the water level had risen a little.
See here - https://www.southwestwater.co.uk/reservoirlevels
On the same date in 2016 Burrator was 100% full so there is a lot of water needed to reach that level.

Mark fishing towards the point at Longstone

Short lived excitement as Kenisha snags the bottom




Kenisha & Mark wait for the Kelly Kettle

Mark & Tony
Tony fishing beside the fence



Mark at Longstone with the Discovery Centre beyond

Sunshine & showers as Kenisha & Pete fish Longstone

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A still day at Burrator - 23rd January 2017

As usual first stop was at the dam to check water levels and I was surprised to see it was almost as low as back in the summer.  The South West Water website is showing 54% full (about 48% at the lowest level last year) which indicates how dry the weather has been.

Around at Longstone Peninsula  I spent a while casting various flies near the point.  I didn't have a touch there so moved farther into the bay for a Kelly Kettle brew.

By then it was early afternoon and I tried in front of the ruined manor house.  I had one pull followed a little later with a rainbow of 1lb 12oz on the bank.  Both times I was using a sinking line and a single orange booby, letting it sink to the bottom before slowly retrieving.  The air temperature was 8C but the water was a very chilly 4-5C.  I was glad of my thermals under my new zippy waders!

Flat calm conditions
The Kelly Kettle again


Thursday, 19 January 2017

BFFA Competition at Newhouse Fishery 18th January 2017

The club's first competition of 2017 was held at Newhouse Fishery at Gara Bridge near Loddiswell in South Devon.  The day was quite cold under a clear blue sky when we started at 10am with an air temperature of 7C which was the same as the water temperature.  A light easterly breeze picked up later bringing a small ripple to the water surface.  Four BFFA members fished the two ponds and we mostly opted for sinking lines.

First into a trout was Pete who landed one of about two and a quarter pounds.  The fishing hut beside the bigger lake provided welcome shelter to have lunch.  The sun hardly got over the tops of the trees but in the afternoon everyone except me landed their 3 fish limit!  At the weigh-in at 3.30pm Bob had landed the biggest rainbow at 3lb 3oz  and was declared the winner.

The owner had visited us in the fishing hut at lunchtime and as the only trout by then was Pete's,  he generously suggested we could try casting in the beginners pond (or as someone put it - the baby pond!).  As most of us had a limit by the end of the competition the offer was not taken up.

Final results were:  Bob - 3 fish - 3lb 3oz, 1lb 13oz & 1lb 3oz.  Kelvin - 3 fish - 2lb 0oz, 1lb 10oz & 1lb 3oz,  Pete 3 fish - 2lb 3oz, 1lb 10oz & 1lb 7oz, Tony - 1 fish at 1lb 6oz.

The valley was calm when we arrived

Bob casting into the Main Lake

Pete landing one from the Middle Lake

In the net!

Tony, Bob & Pete on the Middle Lake and Kelvin fishing the Main Lake
Kelvin fishing the Main Lake from the platform by the fishing hut

Thursday, 22 December 2016

BFFA Christmas Supper 2016



Twenty-two members and wives met at Zuzimo's Restaurant in Plymouth for the annual BFFA Christmas Supper on Monday 12th December.  The owner, Mo, greeted us as we arrived for a start time around 7.30pm.  We had pre-ordered our meals from the Christmas menu and the BFFA had donated two bottles of wine for each table of four guests.

The restaurant has a good atmosphere, good service and good food.  As usual the hospitality was second to none and the owner, Mo, even bought some of our raffle tickets and then won a prize in the draw.  Between us we covered the whole menu and there was nothing but praise for the quality of all the courses.

Members gather in the bar at Zuzimo's.  Mo is on the right




After the meal Peter presented Kelvin with a bottle of whisky for winning the Christmas fishing competition at Newhouse Fishery a couple of days earlier on the 10th December.  He had a rainbow of 3lb 8oz in a total bag of 7lb 4oz.   See the previous blog for Peter's report of the competition

Peter presents Kelvin with the prize for winning the Newhouse competition


Next it was the turn of our chairman, Kelvin, to present the three trophies won by members during the year. 
'The Sunset Trophy' is for the biggest rainbow from Burrator and that was won by Ken Hindley with a trout of 5lb 8oz.  Ken could not be at the supper.   The new engraved glass 'Traveller's Trophy' for the biggest trout taken on an 'away day' at a fishery other than Burrator was won by Terry Denley with a rainbow of 3lb 12oz taken at Tavistock Fishery.  He  was also presented with an engraved glass paperweight to keep.  'The Three Fly Trophy' for a competition of the same name at Burrator was won by Tony Hooper with a rainbow of 1lb 10oz.  The trophy is a superb carved trout with a new one given each year by Tony Vallack.



Kelvin addresses the gathering
Terry receives the 'Travellers Trophy'













 
Tony is presented with 'The Three Fly' trophy


Tony Vallack, in his splendid Christmas jumper, had been selling raffle tickets throughout the evening and the draw for prizes was eagerly awaited.  The table was groaning under the weight and members were invited to select a prize when their ticket was drawn.  Some members won several prizes and generously allowed a re-draw.

The draw prizes

Mo selecting his draw prize

Pete had several winning tickets but kept just the line tray!

Another very successful and really enjoyable evening in good company!





Newhouse Christmas Competition

Bob plays a fish - with Mike in the foreground

As in previous years the BFFA held a pre-Christmas Competition on the Saturday before the Christmas Supper. This year we went to Newhouse Fishery at Gara Bridge, near Loddiswell, South Devon, on Saturday 10th December.

The weather on the day was not as bad as the forecasters had led us to expect but, nevertheless, it was intermittently wet and windy. Those overly pessimistic predictions by the weatherman had led one or two of our members to decided they preferred a warm fireside to a cold and windy valley, and who is to blame them?

In the end six brave, intrepid and hardy members wrapped up warm and dry, and with the occasional respite provided by the Newhouse Fishing Hut, persevered and were rewarded for their perseverance.

Mike fishing in the typical conditions of the day

Kelvin, our esteemed Chairman was, I understand, the first there (by his own admission he doesn't get out enough). He was also the first to catch a fish which, it turned out, was the best fish of the day at almost three and a half pounds. Also making the effort were  Bob Eccles, Pat Power, Mike Duckett, Tony Vallack and Peter Macconnell.

Officially the start time was 10.00am and the finish was at  3.00pm. We all had three fish permits. The results were as follows:
Kelvin - Three rainbows for 7lb 4oz.
Mike - Two rainbows and a blue trout for 6lb 8oz.
Bob - Three rainbows for 6lb 4oz.
Peter - Three rainbows for 6lb 0oz.
Tony - One rainbow for 1lb 10oz.
Pat - One rainbow for 1lb 8oz.
There were many more 'takes' and one or two fish lost in the fight and at the net. So it was quite a satisfactory day overall, in terms of fish and sport.

Three of Peter's fish and two of Mike's

It is quite common on these occasions for Tony Vallack to bring  his calor stove, frying pan, bread rolls and a pack of smoked back bacon. He did so today. So in addition to our own snacks and flasks were were able to have a bacon 'butty' to warm us up. Usually we also have tea from Tony Hooper's Kelly Kettle and cake from the fair hand of Linda James, but those delights remained untasted on this day. Still, a good time was had and a few fish were caught. As ever, the owners of Newhouse made us feel very welcome and were of help to Mike who, rather disabled these days, would have found getting to the waterside something of a strain without vehicular assistance.

Tony cooks the bacon

A goose and a duck - wanting a bacon butty?

I think the whole thing got us in the right frame of mind for the Christmas Supper.

Monday, 21 November 2016

BFFA Competition held at Burrator on Saturday 19 November 2016

Perhaps the weather forecast had deterred members from fishing the November competition at Burrator as only four of us were there.  Calm & quite sunny conditions greeted our start but it soon clouded over.  The water level is still very low with the reservoir at something like 48% of maximum capacity.  The air temperature was about 6C and the water 9C.  

We all fished on the south facing side of the Longstone Peninsula where only an occasional breeze disturbed the surface.  Pat landed the first (and only as it turned out!) rainbow.  A rather slim and dark one of 1lb 4oz that took a "sparkly fly".  A little later I had a 10oz brown trout take my black & green Kennick Killer. The Burrator brownies really are stunning with a huge variation in markings and colouration.  By midday the cloudy skies had darkened and the first of several very cold, heavy showers spattered the lake.  The Kelly Kettle provided us with a gratefully received cup of tea - Bewleys Irish Blend - but by 2pm we decided we had had enough and declared Pat the winner. 

There had been a stocking of rainbows two weeks previously so it was disappointing not to land a few more.  I think that the odd fish we saw dimpling the surface were probably brownies - I saw no fly life at all.


A calm lake & blue skies at first


Pat into the first rainbow

My beautifully marked 10oz brown trout

Glassy calm at Longstone 

The Kelly Kettle included in a tea break 'selfie' with me, Mark, Bob & Pat

A heavy shower as were brewing tea

An even heavier shower mixed with hail

The smoke from the woodburning stove at the Discovery Centre looked inviting!