fly fishing sport fishing freshwater fishing
Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer





  

ARCHIVED ARTICLES Jan-June 2002

Are You Ready For The New Coarse Fishing Season? 26th June

June 16th sees the start of a new coarse fishing season on the rivers and streams of England and Wales, Until a few years ago there was a close season on all waters for the coarse fish species but today stillwaters and canals are open. I personally feel the opening of these waters was a mistake. The countryside needed a rest from anglers during this critical time of the year when everything was growing and reproducing. When I protested I was told the majority wanted our stillwaters opened up for year round fishing. How did the powers to be know, we were never given a vote. I believe money was the main factor. Personally I don’t fish for the coarse fish species between March 15th and June 15th both days inclusive though many of my friends do.

Rods Reels and Line


If you haven't done so now is the time to check over your tackle. All your rod guides should be checked for wear, line quickly gets weakened and chewed up if you have a cracked guide. Its now time to clean all the grime off your rod handles I use a small amount of liquid washing up soap, with plenty of hot water and use a nail brush for scrubbing the cork handle. Its amazing how quickly the rod handle looks like new. Wipe the screw winch fitting over with some WD-40 then polish the rod with some silicone floor polish.

Reels should be cleaned, grease in the gears should be replaced. Check all screws and tightened where needed, make sure you check the bale arm spring, replace if needed. You need replace the line on your reels. Line from last year will have deteriorated, it doesn't last for long as it gets worn by wear and tear, nicked by rocks and, various snags in the water. Now don’t just chuck the old line into the rubbish bin. Cut the line into small pieces, then if possible burn it, or deposit the waste line in the rubbish bin. Remember most of our rubbish goes to a tip where birds and wild animals often congregate. Nylon line is a KILLER. We must try NOT to leave line hanging from riverside trees, bushes, reeds or rushes. We must make every effort to retrieve lost line. Lets make sure a bird or animal doesn’t lose its life through we anglers being lazy or careless. The life of an animal or bird is far more important than catching another fish.

Before you attempt to go fishing you must have a VALID rod licence for everyone. 12 years of age or over, who fishes for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, or eels in England or Wales you must have an Environment Agency rod fishing licence. All monies collected from rod licence fees by the Environment Agency are invested directly into fisheries activities (enforcement, fish rearing and stocking, fish habitat improvement, monitoring fish abundance, disease detection, research and development, and fish rescues among other activities). 2002/03 Rod licence duties are: Licence Type
(a) Non-Migratory Trout and Coarse (b) Salmon & Sea Trout

Full.................(a)£21.00.(b)£60.00
Concessionary.(a)£10.50.(b)£30.00
Junior..............(a)£5.00..(b)£30.00
8-Day..............(a)£6.50..(b)£16.50
1-Day..............(a)£2.50..(b)£5.50

Where to fish Club, Syndicate or Day Ticket water

Before attempting to fish you must have permission to fish your chosen stretch of water. There is very little free freshwater fishing available. Most of the fishing is controlled by angling clubs, syndicates, councils or riparian owners who offer the fishing through a season, monthly, weekly or day permits. Many stillwater fisheries these days are commercially run, usually offering good value for money. Safe car parking and toilets. They are usually a place where the kids can fish in safety. Often the fishery will have a cafe on site. One of the best day ticket fisheries I have had the privilege to fish was on the river Lodden run by Wokingham & District Council. The surrounding countryside was very clean, it was excellent value for money, with safe car parking, good clean toilets and excellent fishing. I would give this fishery a ten out of ten. Many of the dog walkers were very responsible by cleared away the mess their dogs made, making it safe for children and adults.

Join A Club

The best advise I can give is join a club, your tackle shop should have information on the various clubs in your area. The season fees are usually cheaper than buying a day ticket, also you often have a better choice of waters. Many members will offer you help if your a newcomer and your helping preserve the fishery for future generations of anglers. Many clubs these days also have a car park where you can park in some safety. At the same time never leave anything on view. If you keep your rod in a tube make sure when you leave the car that tube is left with its top off. So the prospective thief can see there is nothing in the tube.

Syndicates

Many anglers today with an interest in a single species fish often get together and form a small syndicate, They will rent or lease a stretch of river or stillwater that holds the fish they are interested in catching. They could be a group of anglers who specialise in catching barbel, chub tench, carp, pike or bream. I have been a member of several syndicates over the years. Membership fees are usually a bit more costly than club fees. The fisheries have less litter, there is often a club hut on site. A car park with a fitted lock and members usually know one another.


Commercial Day Ticket Waters


Many anglers these days never join an angling club preferring to purchase a day ticket for a stillwater or river fishery of their choice. You should have a day ticket fishery near you. The advantage of stillwater day ticket fisheries, are they are usually fishable for most of the year. The only time you can’t fish them, are usually in winter, when the water is iced over. They usually have safe car parking, this is most important these days. Its often fairly safe for the kids, but parents should always check the place out. Stay with your kids for their first couple of days of fishing and ask all the necessary questions. There are usually toilets and no dog walkers. One book I can recommend is Where To Fish Lancashire Coarse Fisheries by Martin Salisbury Published by Sigma price £6-95 No doubt a similar book has been published for your area Ask at your local tackle shop. Anglers Mail every week have several pages of fishing reports covering stillwater and river fisheries where you can get a day permit.

Where ever you plan to fish stay safe, don’t leave any type of rubbish. If you see any rubbish please take it home and, help keep your fishery clean. Remember we anglers have a duty to protect the wildlife and birds, always park in a safe place. Never park in front of farm gates on the inside of bends or other place that might cause an accident. Always carry your rod licence, club or syndicate card and know the rules of the fishery. DON’T handle fish with dry cloths or dry hands. Always treat the fish with respect and return them to the water as quickly as possible. There is no excuse for keeping fish in a keep net where they can get distressed and die after being released. This is especially true in warm conditions with high water temperatures which often means low oxygen content. These are not my findings but fishery scientists. Remember there are always new anglers coming into the sport. Girls and boys, men and woman. Its up to all of us to pass on our knowledge freely to these people. We shouldn’t be charging to help others learn how to catch fish. We should give our knowledge freely. Lets all help the other angler. If you have any questions just E-mail me. Have a good season’s fishing everyone.
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Fishing News 25th June

River Ribble Good chub and barbel being caught on pellets and meat bait Anglers fishing with Muddler minnow in the fast broken water catching some nice chub.A perch of 3lb 3 ounces reported from Balderston by Manchester angler on three gentles fished on a size 14 hook but not confirmed. Sea trout being taken by anglers fishing syndicate water at Mitton please ring Ivan Duxbury 07973-268131 for ticket details.

River Hodder a few seatrout being caught on fly prospects quite good if we continue to have rain showers to keep rivers up a few inches.

River Calder chub in the fast water, floating crust and free lined meat baits tempting a few decent chub averaging 3lbs

River Wharfe good chub an barbel try fishing the faster broken water meat and pellets for barbel Free line fishing with slugs a good way to temp a few fish Use size 4 hooks you will get a better hook up.

Pendle view fisheries Clitheroe worth a visit and now the school holidays are with us its an ideal venue for the boys and girls. Just remember because many anglers these days are fishing with a pole you don't have to. Try fishing with float tackle and rod and reel. Also don't worry about the high cost of those little grubs, use bread, worms, sweetcorn or meat. We more experienced anglers should also give up some of our time to help the beginners young or old. Show them how to tie knots, cast a fly, make up float or leger rig. Give the youngsters a bit of bait. Make sure they have the right size hook and the spool of the reel has enough line. They are the future of this wonderful pastime.


Rutland Water Best fish of the week, a superb rainbow weighing 7lb 8oz, was taken by Phil Hall from Maidenhead while boat fishing the main basin. Phil’s fish fell to a Diawl Bach on a floating line. Best brown of the week fell to Derek Edwards from Dolgellau in Wales. This fish also fell to a Diawl Bach and was taken down the south arm in Hideaway Bay. Twelve year old Alex Waddington from Barnsdale, had a day to remember, fishing with his father Rob. Alex used a sinking line and a gold and silver tube fly to take a fine 5lb 2oz brown.

Fish have been moving mainly in the late evening, although fish are showing on this year’s pin fry in some areas throughout the day. Other than pin fry a few large and small black buzzers and good quantities of green bloodworm are showing up in stomach contents.

Best methods are floating line with nymphs also orange, black and gold and silver lures on various density sinking lines from slime to Di 7. Fish have also been taken on wet flies, the first time this season fished on floating and intermediate lines.

best rainbow 7lb 8oz taken by Phil Hall of Maidenhead on a Diawl Bach

best brown 6lb 9oz taken by Derek Edwards of Dolgellau, Wales on a Diawl Bach

best boat areas Top of the North arm, Normanton, Sykes Lane, Manton Bay and Lax Hill

best bank areas Tim Appletons to the Finches, Armley Wood, Normanton and Normanton Church
best methods Bank anglers -floating line with Diawl Bach, black buzzer, Hare’s Ear, pheasant tail and damsel nymph. Boat anglers similar methods and also wet flies, wickhams, soldier palmer, silver invicta on floating/intermediate sinking lines, try orange, black, gold and silver lures.

mid week boat winner - G Peacock of Stamford

fish stocked 4800

forthcoming events

Boat bookings - Please phone the lodge on 01780 686441 (8am to 4.45pm) for availability, as during the next few months the reservoir is very busy.

Pitsford Water This week’s best rainbow was taken by season ticket holder John Duffield of Stevington, Bedfordshire. A delighted John said this 6lb 15oz fish was his best ever from Pitsford.

Local season ticket holder Mick Foster of Brixworth reported some of the best fishing for years. Mick, who cycles down for the last hours to fish, caught two 5lb fish and a 3lb specimen off the front of the pines. Mick used the bung method shown to him by local Northampton angler Spencer Kimton. This is a method well worth a try.

Fish are still continuing to feed on a diet of mainly green buzzers. They seem to be feeding at a depth of about 4 to 6 feet. Methods to catch these are heavy buzzer fished deep down from the bank or boat.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir Ravensthorpe is rife with big fish. Andre Russell from Leicester took a 13lb 14oz rainbow on a damsel fished from a float tube. On his next cast he took an 11lb 4oz fish. Nine smaller fish later Andre managed a third double of 10lb.

Don Brown from Northampton caught a fine 11lb 1½oz Rainbow from the bank during a mid week morning session on a damsel nymph. Spratton junior Josh Budd, fishing with his father, season ticket holder, Jacob, stayed to the bitter end and landed a 10lb 4oz rainbow in the dark. Dad is now playing catch up!

Mornings seem to be the best time for boat anglers drifting, with cdc, GRHE and hoppers taking good catches. The drifts from the domes to the island are most productive. Productive bank anglers should fish a single damsel nymph from the Platforms to the Dome. When evening comes and the boats struggle for an offer bank anglers are taking fish on the damsel.

best rainbow 13lb 14oz taken by Andre Russell on a floating line and damsel.

best methods boat anglers – drifting with c.d.c, GRHE, and hoppers. Bank anglers – single damsel nymphs.

best areas boat anglers cotton to island, drifting is best. Best bank area is the platforms.

mid week boat winner - Ian Brown of Daventry

Grafham Water Most methods of catching fish are working from fast sinkers with large or small lures to small dries in the evening. The pin fry have returned to the water in vast numbers and the fish can be seen in some areas chasing these, giving the anglers a perplexing day of sport/entertainment. The average weight of the fish caught this week has reached 2½lb with fish feeding well this is likely to get even higher.

There have been some very large fish spotted in the bays along the North Shore taking sedge close to the bank in the evening. Unless the wind virtually drops off in the evening the fish are very reluctant to come to the surface to feed. The anglers either trolling or running down the wind on fast sinkers and gold and silver tubes are doing well in the central parts of the lake.

best bank areas The Seat, Sludge Bank, Gaynes Cove, plummers, south dam

best boat areas K-G-B buoys, Willows and central areas of the lake

best methods Floating lines with long leaders and nymphs (Diawl Bachs), GRHE, PTN or slime lines and nymphs. Fast sinkers with a variety of different coloured blobs. If fish are up on top they will come to either red or orange dries.

fish stocked 3330

mid week boat winner - T Betts of Whittlesey

forthcoming events beginners course July Ladies ‘have a go’ fly fishing

Saturday 6 July - a day especially for the Ladies. This is your turn to have a go at fly fishing on your very own day. Learn to beat your partner at his own game. Don’t be shy book yourself a place – telephone Grafham Water Fishing Lodge on 01480 810531

Grafham Open 4 August. Great prizes to be won bookings now being taken.

coarse fishing

Ardleigh It's been a very good week for carp anglers. Season permit holder John Cowler from St Osyth landed a real beauty (32 lb) from next to the Sailing Club. Another season permit holder James Diplock landed three fish all between 20 - 24 lb. A nice 5lb tench was caught at Noahs Ark by Tim Shelton from Clacton. Pike fishing continues in fine form. Mr Easter landed 5 fish from a boat, the best being 17 lb. Most fish came from the Western arm of the reservoir. Clive Baldwin also landed a 14 lb pike along with four nice bream from the bank at Noahs Ark. Three dates have been set for any youngsters wanting to have an introductory session for float fishing. All tackle and bait will be provided and tuition numbers will be limited to ensure everyone is well coached. Each session will last two hours and costs just £5. The dates are 29th June, 17th August and 26th October. Anyone interested please ring 01206 230642

Taverham Taverham Lake
This continues to fish well for Tench with fish falling to most baits. The biggest carp of the week went to day permit angler Bill Tugwell from London who managed to bank a personal best 25lb Mirror using Nash Tangee Squid boilies fished over trout pellet. An glian Water Warden Simon Wriggleswworth netted a further 15 tench to 6½lb taking his season;s total to 170 since 1st March.

River Wensum No big Barbel yet but plenty of quality Chub to 5½lb falling to worm and luncheon meat.

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Environment Agency Investigation Underway After Thousands of Fish Die 20th July

Environment Agency staff are attempting to discover how thousands of fish died in a canal in Middlewich, Cheshire.

About 5,000 fish, including carp, roach and gudgeon, have been found dead in the Trent and Mersey Canal. A half-mile stretch of the canal, between Town Bridge and Big Lock, is affected. First reports on Friday were of a smaller number of dead fish. But today the full extent of the fish kill has become clearer. A clean-up of the dead fish is being organised by British Waterways.

So far no obvious cause of the fish deaths has been found, but an Environment Agency investigation is continuing. Water samples will be analysed and post-mortems will be carried out on some fish in a bid to discover how they died. John Ellaby, of the Environment Agency, urged anyone who may know what killed the fish to get in touch.

"Whatever killed these fish has left no obvious trace," he said. "It is a tragedy that this canal, so popular with anglers, has been affected in this way. There was a major boat festival on the canal at the weekend, and if anyone has any information that could help solve the mystery they should contact the Environment Agency."

Anyone who can help the investigation should contact the Agency's free 24 hour emergency hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

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ROd Licence Dodgers Sent Reeling 20th June

More than 500 licence dodgers have been netted in an Environment Agency clamp-down on illegal fishing. The offenders were caught during a two-day blitz last weekend (May 25-26). In total 740 waters across England and Wales were hit and 7,971 anglers checked. Dodgers made up 6.5 per cent of those quizzed – a drop in the evasion rate of almost 2 per cent on a similar blitz last year. They now face fines of up to £2,500. Dr Dave Clarke, Head of Fisheries, said: "It gives us no pleasure prosecuting offenders. It means we’ve failed to make them realise that when they fish without a licence they aren’t just cheating the Agency, they’re cheating their fellow anglers out of money that would have been ploughed back into the sport.

"However, the drop in the latest evasion rate is very encouraging and shows that, through extensive campaigns, we are getting through to increasing numbers of people." The Agency has now launched an extensive national and local media advertising campaign urging anglers to buy a licence. Soccer legend Jack Charlton is fronting a series of radio adverts encouraging anglers to keep within the law. Jack, a member of England’s 1966 World Cup winning team and a keen angler, also stresses how easy it is to get a licence. There are around 17,000 Post Offices and other outlets which sell them direct; and for a small additional charge they can be purchased over the phone (0870 1662662) or from our web site –

One must ask the question Why use a convicted licence dodger to advertise rod licences.? Perhaps the EA would give us an answer.


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FIsh Stock In River Lune 20th June

The Environment Agency has joined forces with the Middleton Hatchery Group to stock the River Lune catchment in Lancashire and Cumbria with 35,000 young salmon.

Seven thousand salmon fry, about four months-old and about one-and-a-half inches long, will be released into five small tributaries in the Lune catchment. They were reared at a hatchery at Garsdale, near Sedbergh, from eggs taken from Lune salmon. The fish will be added to the River Lune at Aikrigg Beck, Springs Gill, Black Horse Beck, Deep Gill Low Gill and Wasdale Beck. At the same time the Environment Agency will also be putting about 4,400 sea trout fry into Aspland Deck – a tributary of the River Greta, near Ingleton. These fish are being stocked into the river to overturn the effects of a pollution incident that occurred last year.

John Cizdyn, Environment Agency Fisheries Officer, said: "The Environment Agency is delighted to be working in partnership with the Middleton Hatchery Group. These fish should thrive in the Lune and its tributaries, and are a major boost to the catchment."

Agency is responsible for maintaining, improving and developing salmon, sea trout, non-migratory trout, coarse and eel fisheries. The Agency carries out improvements to fisheries by improving habitat and fish stocks, and by providing advice to fishery owners.

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Federation Of Fly Fishers Life Member Mike Fong Dies

Mike Fong, renowned angler and publisher of Inside Angler, died very suddenly
Friday evening June 14, 2002 while returning from a fishing trip to Lake
Davis, California with his wife Christine. Mike was 61 years old and without
warning suffered an apparent aneurysm of the brain. Mike was a gentle
person, and a good friend to all of us.

Michael was a Life member of the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) after
receiving the FFF Arnold Gingrich Memorial Award in 1996. Mike, with
Christine as photographer, was Editor of the FFF Flyfisher Magazine and made
major significant improvements in magazine quality and content from
1977-1982. He also helped the Northern California Council FFF as time
allowed in his busy schedule.

Michael and Christine Fong both attended the California College of Arts &
Crafts in Oakland, California, and Michael received his Master of Fine Arts
degree from the University of Iowa.

In 1967, they sold their first article to "Outdoor Life" and have since been
published in nearly every national outdoor publication in the country.
Michael and Christine received The Ross Allen Merigold Complete Angler
Memorial Award from the Pasadena Casting Club. Mike was on the Editorial
Staff of Angler Magazine and was a contributing editor to "Fly Fisherman
Magazine" Mike and Chris have been featured speakers at the International
Sportsmen's Exposition since the show's inception more than twenty years
ago. For more than thirty-five years, Mike and Chris travelled and fly fished
extensively throughout the contiguous United States, and in Baja California,
Central America, South America, the Bahamas, New Zealand, Canada, Alaska and
Norway. Mike was a fly fisher's fly fisher.

Don Blanton write - Mike Fong's son-in-law called me at the house tonight to let me know that Mike Fong, one of my oldest and dearest friends had passed away. Apparently he and Chris were returning from a fishing trip (Friday night June 14th) and had some minor car trouble. Mike was checking it out when suddenly he had a
massive stroke. Let me tell you without qualification that Mike Fong was
one of the finest anglers I have ever known. If that is not enough he was a
great guy to boot, full of humour, a guy that could laugh at himself. He and his
wife, Chris, and I have fished many places. In the 70s we took our first
sailfish on the fly together in Panama. I have fished with Mike on the Smith
River (what a record steelhead bite we had there) on the Russian (he steered
me onto a pool loaded with fish one time), and so many places I cannot even
remember at this point. Cannot tell you the grief I feel. It is overwhelming. And I think of Christine and their daughter Coreene and the great loss they
must be experiencing.

Bob Nauheim Mike is the kind of guy who will never die! He will be
with us always. Please say a little prayer for him. God bless.

Ralph Cutteer writes I'm blown away. We met Mike, Christine and Don Rotsma at Lake Davis (on Friday 6/14) and Mike laughingly commented about the van (towing his Valco) making it back over the hill to the city. Half joking Lisa and I offered to
shepherd him home. I guess someone a lot bigger than us did the shepherding
and truly took him home. If it is any condolence - he had a great time on
the lake, caught some fish, and was as happy and outwardly healthy as I've ever seen him. Adios compadre,


I had a voicemail on my recorder this morning. It stated that the Golden
Gate Casting Club dinner was cancelled (Mike was the scheduled guest speaker).
That's all I know at this point. With respect, Ken Hanley


Mike was a gentle man, that you could not help but like, and a friend to all
of us. I called the Inside Angler number and their home number and was
doubly saddened to hear his voice for the last time on both answering machines.
Mike, Go with God. Marty Seldon
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Fishing News 20th June

Rutland Water

fish week2295 (season30141) returns731 (7316) rod averag3.13(4.11)

Paul Spalding of Willingham, Lincoln scored a double best this week. Paul took both the week’s best rainbow at 8lb 14oz and the best brown weighing 4lb. Phil Hall of Taplow, Maidenhead, took a superb 7lb 8oz rainbow whilst boat fishing. Phil used a Diawl Bach on a floating line with a 9½lb leader.

A party of six anglers from Kinross in Scotland enjoyed 5 days of tremendous fishing, with 128 fish. Allan Smith who organised the holiday commented "it’s been fantastic. I have fished Rutland many times before, but for two of the party of six, it was their first time and they were over the moon with the quality of the fishing that they experienced."

Boat anglers have taken good fish down the bottom of both arms, with Manton Bay, down the south arm and the transformer in the north. Bank fishermen have had sport along Normanton, Stockie Bay, Sykes Lane, Armley Wood and New Zealand point. It’s been a great week for nymph fishermen with black buzzer, diawl bach, pheasant tail and hare’s ear fished on floating lines using a very slow retrieve. Dry fly have produced one or two fish with c.d.c’s and shipmans the flies to try. There are a few fish showing on this year’s pin fry up the top of the south arm.

Competition news Police North East Regional championships 2002 58 anglers caught 167 fish, giving a rod average of just under three fish per rod. 1st Northumbria A with 23 fish for 42lb 14¼oz 2nd Cleveland A with 20 fish for 35lb 15¾oz 3rd North Yorkshire A with 16 fish for 35lb 7oz Top individual went to Pete Soloman of North Yorkshire with eight fish including time bonus weighing 20lb 10½oz. Alan Chapman of Northumbria A took second place with eight fish, including time bonus, weighing 17lb 10¼oz. Third position went to Gavin Breeze of Northumbria A with seven fish, weighing 13lb 6½oz.

Weeks best rainbow 8lb 14oz taken by Paul Spalding of Willingham Lincoln. best boat areas bottom of either arm, Normanton, Sykes Lane, Barnsdale steep bank.best bank areas Normanton, Sykes Lane, Armley Wood, Transformer, New Zealand Point, Spud Bay, old Hall point.best methods bank anglers - floating lines with nymphs, black buzzer, diawl bach, hares ear, pheasant tail, dries. Boat anglers – similar methods but also try various density sinking lines, with orange, black, gold and silver lures.

Boat bookings Please phone the lodge on 01780 686441 (8am to 4.45pm) for availability, as during the next few months the reservoir is very busy.

Pitsford Water fish week 558 (season7266) returns218 (2510) rod average2.5(2.9) Highlight of the week was an 11½lb rainbow, the season’s best, caught by season ticket holder Bill McColl of Towcester using a pheasant tail nymph on a floating line. Prevailing southerly winds have kept a lot of fish on Pitsford’s north shores, where boat anglers have enjoyed good sport using a variety of methods from blobs pulled fast on sinking lines to buzzers and nymphs fished slowly on floating lines.

Best bank areas have been Pitsford Creek, the Pines and North Farm Bay, with Damsel Nymphs fished slowly on floating lines. A good daytime bank method is a lightly weighted damsel on the point of a 15 foot leader, wth a hare’s ear on the dropper 6 feet away, fished slowly changing the damsel for a buzzer or diawl bach in the evening.

Grafham Water fish week 1066 (season9870) returns248 (2627) rod average 4.29(3.75) This week has seen Grafham continue on top form with fish spread out all over the bottom half of the lake with all anglers reporting great catches on a variety of methods from floating lines and dries to fast sinkers with pink or orange blobs. The boats are fishing better during the day rather than the banks but regular bank anglers are reporting plenty of rising fish in range of the banks last thing at night in and around the Seat and Sludge area and the south end of the dam with the nymph approach working the best.

Competition news Thursday and Friday saw the majority of the boats tied up with the RAF fishing in their English eliminator. Most of the anglers in these matches had heard of the powerful fish at Grafham but didn’t believe it until they managed to actually hook one and then their minds were changed forever. At the end of the final two days the 80 anglers each day managed a 6.24 rod average. The average fish over the two days weighed in at a staggering average weight of 2lb 12oz, proof that Grafham has never been so good. Even those anglers who can remember as far back as 1966 don’t recall a fishing season as good as this one.

We wish all of the anglers who qualified from the Eliminator good luck in the Midlands final at Grafham on 30 June, we will try to provide another good day’s sport for all. forthcoming events boat course 23 June beginners course July 14 details from the lodge Ladies ‘have a go’ fly fishing Saturday 6 July - a day especially for the Ladies. This is your turn to have a go at fly fishing on your very own day. Learn to beat your partner at his own game. Don’t be shy book yourself a place – telephone Grafham Water Fishing Lodge on 01480 810531 Grafham Open 4 August. Great prizes to be won bookings now being taken.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir fish week 228 (season7541) returns 64(1443) rod average3.59(5.23)

Reg Bellham recorded the season’s best rainbow at Ravensthorpe this week. Breaking the fishery record for the second time this year. (It had previously stood for 100 years!) Recently retired Reg is in possession of his first season ticket. He struck into a 16lb 13½oz specimen to smash his personal best and the fishery record. Reg took his fish from a boat off Mongers Point. He fished a ‘Pitsford Pea’ on a fast sinking line. This magnificent fish was the last of the day which had opened with another big fish weighing 12lb 7½oz, 10 others coming in between.

This week the reservoir played host to John Wilson and his team filming his latest ‘Go Fishing’ programme. With the new series being screened later this year. Highlights of the shoot included some superb fishing by John and boat partner Nathan Clayton and John’s first successful experience of ‘tubing’. Ravensthorpe’s fish were not ‘camera shy’ and one of the stars was Reg Bellham’s new record fish.

Fish are now well spread and working the surface layers of the water searching out damsel nymphs, buzzer and pin fry. Floating lines fished from a drifting boat with thinly dressed damsel, GRHE, diawl bach and c.d.c. variants in the top few inches are the best methods. Morning seems to be the best time of day.

The reservoir received a further stocking of quality fish this with nearly 20 giants weighing between 10 and 17lbs. These fish should quickly switch on to Ravensthorpe’s prolific food supply and provide fantastic sport in the coming months. best rainbow 16lb 13½oz taken by Reg Bellham of Duston, Northampton best methods floating lines with thinly dressed damsel, GRHE, Diawl Bach and c.d.c. variants best areas all areas for boat anglers and the platforms and natural bank for bank anglers. mid week boat winner C B Ungless of Walden, Herts.

Coarse fishing Ardleigh On Saturday 29th June there will be a number of short 'Introduction to Fishing' sessions available to all. Everything will be provided, including tackle and bait, for just £5. Each session will last for two hours and be strictly limited to just 6 anglers. To book a place please leave a message on 01206 230642.

Taverham River Wensum River fishing got off to a good start this weekend. Both weather and water levels produced perfect fishing conditions. The best catch was a brace of 9lb bream which fell to season permit holder Mark Steward from Sprouton. Several large barbel have been spotted cruising over the gravel in the shallow areas.

Ardleigh Several good carp have shown over the last few days. Roger Shipley had a 17lb fish from Lodge Bank South and a 24lb specimen came from the same area two days later. The pike are also very prolific at the moment, especially from the boats. Kevin Reynolds and Phil Harper managed 18 pike in one day ranging from 11lb to 17lb. Several other boats have reported 10 or more fish. Bream fishing remains productive in the shallower water and roach and perch are now being caught regularly up the A12 end of the reservoir. Saturday 29th June is our beginners day when two hour coaching sessions will be available to all. The £5 fee covers all tackle, bait and tuition charges and represents excellent value for money. Names in advance please to 01206 230642

Taking safety seriously whilst wearing a lifejacket, be aware of where the manual pull handle is, even if it is ‘automatic’. believe it or not it is mid-summer and the sun’s rays are very strong. Always wear plenty of sun block and take plenty of fluids.

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Be Prepared For Change 24th May

I cast some fifty foot of long line across and downstream, the bead head Prince nymph landed in the slack water close to the far bank I gave a small upstream mend, the fast water pushed the line downstream and across to my bank. As it did so I retrieved line imparting some life in the nymph as it bounced its way across the bottom I felt a savage take. The strip strike met solid resistance as a good fish powered off downstream. The strong wind whistled through the bent rod and pulled string I was a happy angler despite the strong wind and lashing rain.

After an eye test and picking up some home cured bacon and fresh baked bread, it was off to the river. Within ten minutes I had left the busy main road for the quiet of the Lancashire countryside. As I drove down the long drive to the river Ribble I spotted the White crow of Mitton, it was the first time in two years I had seen this bird which seems to come and go. What amazes me about this white crow, is, it doesn’t get mobbed by the other crows. It certainly seems to live a charmed life. For the first time this year there were lots of swifts hawking the riverside fields. They are certainly magnificent birds who live, sleep and feed on the wing. In the fields I could see some hundred or so starlings, swallows were about in profusion again it was nice to see so many birds. We anglers are certainly lucky to be able to spend so much time in the countryside. My friend Stephen Ainscow from Ramsbottom Lancashire was a lucky angler last week, he was fishing a northern river when around dusk he spotted a badger swim across the river to his bank. It spent several minutes roaming about before going back across the river. Stephen thought it had picked up his scent. Its these highlights that makes it so enjoyable being at the waterside.

I arrived in the car park on the banks of the river Ribble at Edisford Hall Fisheries as the rain started the sheet down as I opened car door I was greeted by a strong southerly wind. The river was two feet above normal and, the colour of medium dark vinegar. I was hoping to fish a dry fly, I had no chance today. After putting on the kettle, I unloaded the car, tackle, clothing and the food for lunch. No stodgy sandwiches, luke warm tea or coffee from a flask. It would be fresh brewed tea or coffee and a cooked lunch. As I waited for the kettle to boil, I glanced through the Anglers Mail then Ivan Duxbury the river keeper turned up. "Good morning Ivan your just in time for tea and a bacon sandwich" I said. As I climbed into my chest high waders we chatted about the fishing prospects. Ivan said "You will need a fast sinking leader today" This news came as a bit of a shock. When it came to river trouting, I was a dry fly river man or upstream nymphing. Ivan said it would be fishing down and across with heavy nymphs if I wanted to catch today. I accepted his advice knowing full well Ivan’s knowledge on this stretch of river was spot on.

I tackled up with a Thomas and Thomas nine foot, five weight rod, a reel loaded with a double taper floating line. To this I attached a fast sinking braided leader that Ivan had given me. I attached a nine foot knotless tapered leader finally tying on a size 12 Prince beaded nymph. Then broke off the barb. With the strong southerly wind whistling up the river I thought to myself. It would be nice to have a six weight rod today. After getting everything ready I said to Ivan "Where we are starting today"? he answered "The Minnow Pool" After shutting the car park gate I climbed into his wagon and we made our way upstream to the first pool. As I carefully waded out into the fast flowing river I made a mental note of the rivers height. The river was flowing left to right, the strong wind was blowing right to left making casting very difficult. As the wind increased in strength I changed to casting on the back cast.

It was typical down and across fishing, cast make a mend allow the line to drift down and across working the fly all the time. After every cast I took a step downstream. After a dozen or so casts I had a savage hit but missed on the strike. Two casts later I had a gentle pluck, the strip strike connected with a nice fish. A brown trout of some fifteen inches. Bringing it close to hand I bent down, retrieved the fly then watched the fish depart quickly. Three casts later I hooked into a powerful fish I had to give a few feet of line. "Have I hooked a seatrout" I said to myself. But know it was a good size and very fit brown trout. This wasn't a stocky, After a few minutes I had the fish close to hand where I could bend down and slip out the hook. It was a cracking brown trout of some twenty inches. I punched the air and turned to Ivan with a grin a mile wide. Though it hadn’t been caught on a dry fly it was still great fun.

I fished on down the pool until I reached the tail, and the riffled shallow water where I hooked another nice fish which shed the hook after a minute or so. I glanced at my watch it was 12-45 PM time for lunch and a mug of tea. I waded ashore and suggested to Ivan it was time for lunch he agreed. We made our way back to the cabin, the first job was on with the kettle followed by two frying pans, One to cook the bacon and eggs, the other to fry up the mash potato which had been prepared the night before. We also had some excellent bread baked in the old fashion way by Crabtree’s of Clitheroe who had also made some excellent Ginger cake for our desert. Over lunch we discussed the mornings fishing and how anglers must be prepared for change when we arrive at the waterside. Ivan told me I had fished well under the windy, fast and dirty water conditions. For one who normally fishes the dry fly, you fished that nymph as it should be fished under these conditions" I said "It wasn’t a new way of fishing as I usually fish down and across for seatrout" After a second mug of tea we went off fishing.

The afternoon session proved harder than the morning session the wind was much stronger and very gusty, the river had come up about six inches during our lunch break, making wading a bit more difficult in the fast swirling water. Thank goodness for a good strong wading staff I thought. After fishing out each cast, I would take a step downstream, this continued for some twenty minutes before I hooked a nice fish a brown of some fifteen inches after a brief struggle it was released. As I fished through the tail of the pool I allowed the fly to swing into the slow shallow water close to my bank. In five casts I hooked three good fish. All were hooked as I retrieved the fly with a figure of eight retrieve nice trout all around the fourteen - fifteen inches and hooked in the scissors making it easy to unhook them. I moved off downstream to the Bridge Pool. I spent some thirty minutes getting only one take which was off within a few seconds. With the wind increasing, the heavy rain being blown in my face I decided to call it a day. I had caught a few fish, lost one or two. We had eaten some good food and enjoyed a few hours in the countryside doing what I love best and that's fishing. Nothing beats it.

After fishing it was back to the cabin for a mug of tea. I sat there thinking back over the days events. First lesson I learnt was be prepared for change when you arrive at the waterside. I had planned to fish a dry fly, if I had done so I would have been fish less. Secondly I should have carried a couple of interchangeable leaders, thankfully Ivan carries plenty of gear, All my nymph were for fishing the river under normal conditions and fishing upstream. In future I will make sure I have a few heavy nymphs in my box. Apart from the fishing it was nice seeing all the birds going about their business. Lets hope your next fishing day is as interesting!


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Blitz To Net Illegal Anglers 23rd May

Environment Agency fisheries officers are blitzing waterways to flush out rod licence evaders.

Rivers, lakes and canals throughout England and Wales are being targeted in the latest in a series of national enforcement campaigns - one of which netted nearly 1,000 offenders in just three days during May last year.

Fisheries officers, who have identified evasion black spots, expect that everyone caught fishing without a licence will be prosecuted. Failure to produce a valid licence could result in a maximum fine of £2,500. The Agency's latest blitz begins on May 25.

Mark Diamond, the Environment Agency's regional Head of Fisheries, said: "Licence cheats deprive honest anglers of money that should be used to improve the sport. Selling fewer licences means less income for fisheries and planned work may not be completed.

"In May last year evasion rates were high. The Foot and Mouth outbreak contributed to this with some anglers not buying licences because of reduced fishing opportunities. This year there are no excuses."

Getting a licence couldn't be easier - there are around 17,000 Post Offices and other outlets which sell them direct; and for a small additional charge they can be purchased over the phone (0870 1662662) or from the Agency's web site - www.environment-agency.gov.uk/fish .

Across England and Wales the Environment Agency carried out 11,851 checks during the three day blitz last May and prosecuted 989 anglers for either not having a licence or failing to produce one.

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT THE PRESS OFFICE ON 01925 629469 OR 01925 653999 EXT 2621

1. Anyone aged 12 years or over, who fishes for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, or eels in England or Wales must have an Environment Agency rod fishing licence.

2. All monies collected from rod licences by the Environment Agency are invested directly into fisheries activities (enforcement, fish rearing and stocking, fish habitat improvement, monitoring fish abundance, disease detection, research and development, and fish rescues among other activities).

3. 2002/03 Rod licence duties are: Licence Type (a)Non-Migratory Trout and Coarse (b)Salmon & Sea Trout

Full (a)£21.00 (b)£60.00
Concessionary (a)£10.50 (b)£30.00
Junior (a)£5.00 (b)£30.00
8-Day (a)£6.50 (b)£16.50
1-Day (a)£2.50 (b)£5.50




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Fishing News 23rd May

Rutland Water

fish week 3783(season21398) returns 734(4567) rod average 5.15 (4.68)

Rutland’s rainbow record was broken this week. County Durham angler Mike Burnside has gone into Rutland’s record books as the new holder of the water’s record rainbow. Boat fishing down the bottom of the south arm, Mike connected with the superb conditioned fish, that sent the scales round to 14lb 4¾oz and measured 31 inches in length. This big fish beat the previous record set by Colin McLachlan in October 2000 by a mere 1¾oz. Mike hooked the fish on a fast sinking line and fry pattern while drifting through Manton Bay.

Other notable catches this week were an 8lb 8oz rainbow taken by Mr M Hepper of Sheffield and a brace weighing 13lb taken by Nic White of Clipsham. The reservoir continues to fish tremendously well with a rod average of 5.15 this week. Fish are being taken in many areas, with nymphs the best fly patterns to use with black buzzer by far the best bet.

Competition news

Rutland hosted a Midlands regional heat of the Hardy Greys International Flyfishing Championships. As ever the angling heartland of England produced some exciting action. Anglers from all over the Midlands were competing for places in the English National Finals of this prestigious championship, now in its 20th season. Subtle tactics were well rewarded as nymphs and imitation flies fished in the sub-surface were the order of play. On Thursday 90 competitors took 589 fish and an almost faultless performance by Ospreys Team Nomad (59 fish) gave them top spot. The day also produced the best fish of the week, a superb brown trout a fraction over 5lb, falling to Graham Watson (Defenders AC).

On the final day, with near perfect fishing conditions, top team was Potteries FF, closely followed by Humberside Angling Toft Newton FF in a very close match.

The qualifying teams move forward to the England Finals, scheduled for Rutland Water at the end of July. Chris Ogbourne says “All the signs are that some superb sport is in prospect at what is unquestionably the best competition water in the country.”

16 May

1st Ospreys Team Nomad 59 fish for 141lb 15¼oz

2nd Masterline stocks ‘A’ 53 fish for 132lb 145/8oz

3rd Renegade FF 55 fish for 129lb 57/8oz

4th Fish Hawks 51 fish for 122lb 63/8oz

5th Greenwell Persuaders ‘B’ 50 fish for 108lb 15oz

6th Defenders AC 45 fish for 98lb 83/8oz

7th Chequers Fly-tyers 45 fish for 98lb 4oz


Rutland continued

Hardy Greys 18 May

1st Potteries 41 fish for 82lb 7/8oz

2nd Humber Ang. Toft Newton 36 fish for 77lb 1 5/8oz

3rd Greenwell Persuaders 36 fish for 74lb 5 3/8oz

4th Greys Team RWFF 35 fish for 67lb 10 1/8oz

5th Bedlington Otters 32 fish for 60lb 1 1/8oz

6th Prince Albert AS 24 fish for 49lb 10 1/8oz


Tuesday night boat league

The first of the year went to Gordon Bloodworth, with three fish that weighed 6lb 10oz, including the best fish on the night a 2lb 10oz rainbow. Paul Wild took second place with three fish, Andrew Wells was third with two. This competition is open to everyone and continues right through till the middle of August.

Tackle news

We now have in stock the ‘Scierra’ MBQ breathable chest waders at £89.95 – a saving of £10 on the RSP and to compliment them the ‘Scierra’ Greyhound wading shoes at £45.

best rainbow: 15lb 10oz a new record – see report

best brown: 5lb 6oz

best boat areas: Normanton, Sykes Lane, Barnsdale, Transformer, bottom of the South Arm.

best bank areas: Old Hall Point, Normanton, The Finches, Sykes Lane, Whitwell, Stockies Bay.

best methods: Bank anglers are using floating line with nymphs, black buzzer, green (olive) buzzer, Diawl Bach, pheasant tail, weighted lures (try dries if fish are moving). Boat anglers -similar methods but include sinking lines with various coloured lures.

fish stocked 3000

mid week boat winner: Mr B Butler of Kidderminster

forthcoming events: Tuesday night boat league continues.
Orvis Pairs 30 May
IBM 31 May and 1 June

Boat bookings; Please phone the lodge on 01780 686441 (8am to 4.45pm) for availability, as during the next few months the reservoir is very busy.


Pitsford Water

fish week 976 (season4661) returns 305(1532) rod average 3.2(3.0)


Best brown this week was caught by David Lowe of Cople, Bedfordshire. David took this fish, which weighed around 5lb plus, from Pitsford Creek on a white lure.

Matthew Burn of Desborough, Northants attended a beginners course on 20th April and this week took a boat on Pitsford for his first day’s fishing. Matt took the warden’s advice on what to use and where to fish and took five trout. Matt was pleased as punch and is looking forward to his next trip.

Competition news

Mid Northants Bruce Richardson Trophy Sunday 19 May

24 anglers fished this annual boat match. Top methods were buzzers on the bung or orange blob on fast sinking lines

1st Pete Searle with Ashley Cooper, season ticket holder and Pitsford regular, 12 fish for 19lb 7oz

2nd Jim Collins and Graham Warren 12 fish for 19lb 1oz

3rd Mark Frost and Paul Hillyard 9 fish for 17lb 12oz

English Fly Fishers Association

27 anglers fished and caught 96 fish. Top method was the bung and buzzers fished static. A few anglers used lures in the afternoon to catch their limit. This match is relaxed with time out for lunch.

1st Bernard Hayes 8 fish for 16lb 2oz

2nd John Duffield 8 fish for 14lb 9oz

3rd Mike Wortley 8 fish for 14lb 4oz

best method: Fish are still feeding heavily on buzzers, black olive and brown, about a size 10-12. This week has seen some small hatches of damsels.

best boat areas: Small half, duffers to the gorse with lots of fish within 24 metres of the bank

best bank areas: Duffers Reach up to the Gorse Bank

fish stocked 600

mid-week boat winner: P Cotterill of Kingsthorpe

forthcoming events: 13 June – a heat of the Trout Fisherman
European Open will be held. Details from John Horsey on 01761 490367

Pitsford’s Wednesday night boat league starts at 6pm on 29 May. Contact the fishing lodge on 01604 781350

Grafham Water

fish week 951 (season 6552) returns 278 (1771) rod average 3.42 (3.69)

A busy week at Grafham with the highlight being a Midlands heat of the prestigious Hardy Greys International Flyfishing Championsips. The seasons best Rainbow was taken this week and stands at 7lb 1oz. Two anglers caught fish at this weight - James Kemp from Chesterford, Essex used a black lure fished from Pylon Point whilst Ian Heading, Grafham regular and season ticket holder from Great Staughton, caught his fish from the Dam on a red buzzer. Mick Irons from St Neots took a lovely brown on a black and red buzzer from the seat.

Grafham has fished well throughout the week with the best method being floating lines and buzzers fished either under the bung or just slowly retrieved.

Competition news

Midlands heat of the Hardy Greys International Flyfishing Championships 2002

Strong winds led to additional safety precautions and anglers were asked to keep to the south shore. Even so anglers found excellent sport in the calmer areas with exceptional water clarity. Subtle tactics produced the best bags. Bradley Gifford (Bob Church Tackle) caught the best bag with 7 fish for an impressive 19lb 10½oz which included several over-wintered specimens. The best fish went to John Brady of the St Edmunds Team, a fine over wintered rainbow of 4lb 11oz. Top team was ACA Masterline, finalists in 2001 and one of the strongly fancied teams for this year’s title. The top four teams qualify for the English finals at Rutland in July.

1st ACA Masterline 18 fish for 41lb 8½oz

2nd Bob Church Tackle 14 fish for 37lb 1¾oz

3rd St Edmunds 6 fish for 15lb 2oz

4th Salmon & Trout Ass. HQ 6 fish for 14lb

Also starting this week were the local clubs regional eliminators with the Mid Northants being the first. This day was bright and hot with flat calm. The same methods were employed as the Hardy competition with floating lines and buzzers under the bung.

1st Edward Foster 10 fish for 27lb 12oz

2nd Ian Pow 8 fish for 21lb 8oz

3rd Lee 8 fish for 19lb 4oz

The best fish went to Ed Foster (season ticket holder and owner of Elinor Trout Fishery) a fine rainbow of 4lb. The match rod average was 4.27.

Grafham continued

best rainbow: 7lb 1oz

best bank areas: Hill Farm, the Stumps, Bowl of the Dam, south end of the dam, Seat and Gaynes Cove.

best boat areas: Hedge End, Hill Farm, Bowl of Dam, the Seat, Gaynes Cove, the Stumps and G Buoy.

best methods: Floating lines with long leaders and buzzers or slime lines and nymphs or fast sinkers with a variety of different coloured blobs.

mid week boat winner: Season ticket holder Ted Wady of Perry Cambs.

fish stocked 2000

forthcoming events: evening boat league commences Thursday 23 May

beginners course June 22 details from the lodge

Ladies ‘have a go’ fly fishing

Saturday 6 July - a day especially for the Ladies. This is your turn to have a go at fly fishing on your very own day. Learn to beat your partner at his own game. Don’t be shy book yourself a place – telephone Grafham Water Fishing Lodge on 01480 810531

Grafham Water Fly Fishers Association is hosting a fly fishing day on Saturday 25 May at Grafham Water to fish with the English Disabled Fly Fishers in a friendly angling competition sponsored by Anglian Water.
For further information please contact Gordon Watson on 01480 810857.


Ravensthorpe Reservoir

fish week 405 (6316season) returns 89 (1100) rod 4.5 (5.8)

Ravensthorpe has continued to produce excellent sport highlighted this week by Northampton angler Mark Bitten who returned 40 fish during an evening bank session from the dam. Mark found fish were feeding 10 yards out and willing to take a variety of nymphs.

Max Kemp from Birmingham took the best fish of the week with a 6lb 8oz rainbow taken from a boat near the causeway. This was equalled by Mark Flavin who’s 6lb 8oz rainbow was taken off the dam. Both fish, taken on PTN’s, were near perfect specimens.

Ravensthorpe continued

The olives that have been so prolific over the last months are thinning out. Buzzers are on the increase and we are waiting to see if the may fly hatch will again increase this year.
Message from the wardens if you want some cracking sport get down to Ravensthorpe but “K.I.S” “keep it simple”. Quite a few rods are over complicating their approach. Leave your poly leaders in the bay. Forget gold heads when there’s fish rising all around you and fish in the surface. The best patterns are GRHE, emergers, dries and Diawl Bachs. Damsels will be the next major food item especially for the bank anglers.

best rainbow: Max Kemp and Mark Flavin, both taking 6lb 8oz

fish stocked 385

coarse fishing

Taverham

Taverham Lake is still producing quality tench from most pegs. Biggest tnech of the week went to Mark Fay from Beccles who handed a perfect brace of 8lb 13oz and 8lb 2oz followed by a fish of 6lb 12oz. The 8lb 13oz was a male fish so the prospects of an even bigger female are good.

Carp have been spawning this week but were back on form for the weekend with the biggest falling to AW warden Simon Wrigglesworth who landed a 19lb 12oz mirror.

Costessey lakes

No 3 Lake is now coming into its own with Norwich angler Vinny Armiger taking the biggest common of 24lb 3oz and season permit holder Matthew Wilson, also from Norwich, taking a well earned second place with a common of 22lb.

Hollowell

Hollowell is to host its first match for a number of years. Knighton W.M.C. Angling Club will fish on 26 May on the Long Bank with 20 pegs. Please note that the Long Bank will not be available for fishing on this day only. Match hours are 9am to 4pm.

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Barbel Society Conference 19th May

Over 300 people attended the Barbel Society conference at Hinkley Leicestershire, It was certainly a who’s who of the angling world. Mrs Sue Stone was a most honoured guest who was given a very warm welcome by everyone. Sue the wife of the Society’s first President Peter was presented with a cheque by Fred Crouch the current President of the Society. We were also privileged to have some great names from the past the likes of Dave and Kay Steuart who have a superb record of catching big coarse, game and sea fish. I well remember seeing pictures in the angling magazines in the 1950’s of this husband and wife angling team being featured for their salmon catches from the Hampshire Avon. Another charming couple present were Peter and Madge Wheat, Peter is the Society vice President. Many of us remember the Anglers World Magazine that Peter edited so successfully, also his various books including Fighting Barbel.

The Conference was opened by myself with a few words of welcome to everyone followed by the customary minute silence for all anglers who have passed away since the last conference. This was then followed by an interesting Annual General Meeting with several questions from the floor. Its nice to see an AGM so well attended. I feel other angling clubs could perhaps have some attraction at there AGM’s which might encourage more members to attend. The first speaker was Dave Green who gave an enlightened talk and slide show on the Great Ouse which was then followed by lunch. A time or everyone to visit the various trade stands, meet old friends and generally socialise over a cooling glass of ale.

The afternoon session started with the presentation to Mrs Sue Stone of a cheque for £2000-00 for her chosen charity, the money had been raised by society members following the death of husband Peter. It just shows how he was fondly remembered. During the afternoon various guests gave talks and demonstrations. Steve Pope on the Lower Severn, Paddy Webb Modern techniques, Bob James casting, Fred Crouch the barbel’s sense of smell, hearing and other matters. This was followed by raffle and auction with the conference closing around 6-30pm. The organisers deserve a pat on the back for another excellent Barbel Society conference. Well done everyone.

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It's Been A Great Few Days 19th May

After spending two days closeted in the studio I now had five days to myself.
The first day was spent at the waters edge clearing away rubbish, it wasn’t anglers rubbish. It belonged to the building trade, farmers and the general public. Having said that it had to be cleared away by anglers as we are the only ones who care about the water ways and the countryside.

During my time at the waterside this week I have seen a pair of redstarts and bullfinches which is nice as these birds are not often seen today. On the river Ribble I have been able to watch several dippers and two kingfishers. Hawthorn flies have been about in profusion and the trout love them. A lot of Yellow may dun have been hatching on the Ribble but I didn’t see a single trout rise to them. When the wind drops and the sun shines there have been lots of large dark olives and buzzers.

Fishing this week on the river Ribble I was defeated by one good brown trout, it was gorging itself on what I reckon were micro buzzer nymphs. The fish was about a foot downstream of a bush making it difficult to get a good drift with either a dry fly or nymph. I tried buzzer nymphs in several colours down to size 18’s but no takes. Still that's what makes fishing so exciting and interesting. I just love to be able to see fish, then try to catch them, when they are difficult its even more interesting. I quickly tire of catching one fish after another and find it quite boring.

When we try to catch a difficult trout, it makes us cast with more accuracy and delicacy, we have to make sure our dry flies land like thistle down, if the river or stream we are fishing is gin clear and the fish are only a short distance away from the near side bank then we have to keep a low profile, we must also approach the water slowly and quietly. If your new to the river trouting having only fished stillwaters then my advice is, forget your seven weight reservoir outfit with its weight forward line. On most rivers the heaviest rod you need is a five weight with a double taper floating line. For small river and stream fishing, you can fish a two or three weight outfit. The beauty of river and stream trout fishing are the fish usually stay in one place so you can sit and watch your chosen trout as you work out the best approach, the type of fly to match and what they are feeding on.


Win a Gas Fired Barbecue

The river Ribble when I fished it on Wednesday was in excellent condition with a few inches of fresh and some colour. The sky was overcast with a light upstream wind. It was about ten o’clock in the morning when I arrived with Julian Bickford of CADAC and GoGas in the UK. We were going to field test some of the products including a gas barbecue which listeners to BBC Radio Lancashire At The Waters Edge programme could win in a free and simple competition. If you don't live in the BBC Radio Lancashire transmission area you can click on to my programme At The Waters Edge via the Internet. The site address is http://www.bbc.co.uk/lancashire/sport/fishing/05002/03/river_aire.shtml where you double click on this, then all you have to do is double click on the underlined At the Waters Edge where it says : Listen to At the Waters Edge A page will always have the latest show also all the previous programmes - which means the show will always have the same address - making it much easier for listeners. The great thing about putting the audio on the site is that you the listener can log onto the page and download each programme at any time - You will be able to download the programme today, the middle of the night or next year. You can also click on to my web site www.martinjamesfishing.co.uk

One item from CADAC/GoGas I was very impressed with was the Summit stove with wind shield, from the field tests I have conducted it will be an ideal gas stove for angling, wildfowling, bird watching and rambling. It fits into a small pouch which can be worn on a belt. The Summit stove is such a small and compact item that many mountaineers choose to use this particular model. Its an all weather stove that gives constant high performance, you simply swivel the gas cartridge from vapour to liquid power for use in extreme cold weather conditions. I will be taking this stove on my dog sledding next winter knowing I can quickly make a fresh brew.

These stoves are available from many sources such as Leslie's of Luton, Onward and Outward and Varey’s in Clitheroe, no doubt there is an outlet near you. After bacon sandwiches and fresh tea it was time to go fishing. I tackled up a nine foot four weight Thomas and Thomas rod, double taper floating line with a ten foot knot less tapered leader. On fly lines from two to seven weights. I tie in using a simple needle knot two feet of 30lb breaking strain line to the fly line, I then attach the leader. This gives a better presentation and better turn over. On fly lines eight

During the day several types of flies could be seen, large dark olives, hawthorns, yellow may duns and various buzzers most of these were what we call micro buzzers. I caught fish on Paythorn olives, Grey dusters, and Black gnat’s. In all I probably had ten nice size trout the best was probably eighteen inches. I packed up about seven PM having had a most enjoyable day. Within thirty minutes of packing up the river had risen some fifteen to eighteen inches and a dirty brown colour with lots of floating rubbish. No doubt the extra water would encourage a few seatrout to move up river. At this time of the year all the extra water is most welcome. It might upset the fishing for a day or so but don’t complain. All that extra water helps to keep the river or stream bed free of clodorpha weed, it dilutes any chemicals that might enter our rivers and stream from motorways, countryside lanes and riverside fields or factories. You can get a day permit for Edisford Hall Estates fisheries for twenty pound a day which is good value for money. If this fishery was in the south of England you could well be paying a hundred pound a day Telephone river keeper Ivan Duxbury on 07973 268131

Thursday was spent at Barnsfold Water near Chipping in Lancashire, its a two lake fishery of about twenty two acres. Its well known for its buzzer hatches. The weather was good we had warm sunshine and a light wind, Ideal conditions for buzzers and hawthorn flies at this time of the year. I was joined on his trip by Mike Osborne of Cumbria. Mike is new to fly fishing and before subjecting him to river trouting. I thought the best idea was to take him on a stillwater rainbow fishery. Last week Mike had been at the fishery with owner Frank Casson for some fly casting lessons and to learn something about stillwater fishing for rainbows.

I was most disappointed to find no hawthorn flies or buzzers, and with just a light breeze fishing wasn't going to be easy. There was just the occasional fish rising. I said to Richard Casson "What flies do you recommend" he answered "Dynamite" then said "Hopefully later this evening there will be some buzzers coming off. I chose to use my Thomas and Thomas five weight which I considered ideal under the prevailing weather conditions, I matched the rod with a double taper floating line to which I attached a 12 foot leader with a 3lb point. After sorting out two anchors and loading the gear along with food and drink into the boat we moved offshore. I anchored in an area where the breeze was at its strongest. With no insects on the water, I tied on a big black bushy fly on a size 12 for Mike which I thoroughly greased up. Within ten minutes of Mike casting out a fish ate his fly, it was missed on the strike.

Having got Mike fishing I tied on a black bushy fly greased up to ensure it would float high in the water. I cast some forty feet across the wind then sat watching the fly drifting along on the surface flow. Within minutes I had a rise and my first fish of the session was hooked. A nice rainbow of about three pounds after a brief struggle the fish was alongside the boat bending down it was quickly unhooked without being touched by hand. I have always felt that if no fish are rising, then its best to fish a big fly on the surface. I made another cast across the wind watching the fly float across the surface. Again another fish wanted to eat, fish number two was quickly unhooked alongside the boat. You will be surprised how many fish will come and eat your offering when you have a big bushy fly floating along on the surface.


Meanwhile Mike had been getting several good takes but sadly all were missed, mainly through striking to quickly, he was to excited. On take number six Mike waited a second longer then hooked his first trout. After a good scrap it was bought alongside the boat. I leaned over quickly unhooked the fish, we then watched it swim off strongly. Again untouched by hand as all the other fish had been. This is what we must do if the fish are being returned to the water. Do not do what so many anglers do and hold the fish in a dry piece of towelling or cloth then poke a pair of forceps down its throat. Most of them will no doubt die or get fungus covered. Remember fish are quite fragile. We ended the session with a nice catch of rainbows all on the black bushy fly. So next time your on a stillwater and there are no flies hatching or land based flies falling on the water, give a big black bushy fly a try. You might have a big surprise on the end of your line.

Friday I was joined by Stephen Ainsworth of Ramsbottom, we decided to fish the river Aire. This was a big mistake, we had a strong cold blustery wind, no flies hatching and of course no fish rising They didn’t have anything to rise for. On some of the exposed stretches of the river the wind was strong enough to create white horses. As anglers do we tried hard but nothing. With no insects we didn’t stand a chance, it really was a lucky dip. Stephen thought a fish might rise to a big fly, but they didn’t. After several hours we decided enough is enough, we collected up some rubbish left by the last flood and returned home. Having not been on the river Aire for sometime it was certainly nice to be back. The river looked good with, Marsh marigold, Wild garlic and Red campion were about in profusion adding colour and beauty to the riverside. There were swallows, martins, curlews, oyster catchers, blackbirds, thrushes and wagtails. So despite the strong wind and no fish rising it was still a great day at the waterside.

Saturday was spent in the studio from early morning five am through until one PM. On the way home I called in to see river keeper Ivan Duxbury for a chat and a mug of tea, I then visited the Prince Albert AS water to check on permits and take away any litter. Only two anglers were on the water, one had caught a nice seatrout of about three pounds from Hodder Foot. Arriving home I had a late lunch then sorted out some gear for my forthcoming trip to the United States. In no time at all it was time for dinner. If you plan a trout fishing this trip this coming week why not take the barb off your hook, its makes unhooking fish that much easier and if your casting isn’t s good as you like. Why not take a casting lesson, don’t think that buying a new rod will help as this isn’t usually the answer.

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Wheelyboat 18th & 19th May

This month’s Chatsworth Angling Fair May 18th and 19th will see the first official unveiling of a new, improved version of the Wheelyboat - a specially designed fishing craft, produced by the Handicapped Anglers Trust, which provides easy access for wheelchair-bound anglers (instead of them having to be lifted in or out) and even enables them to handle the boat by themselves.

A demonstration model of the Mk II Wheelyboat, to be named "Felicity", is being launched at 10.00 a.m. on Sunday, May 19 - second day of the annual fair, held on the world-famed Chatsworth House estate near Bakewell, Derbyshire.

The ceremony will be conducted by disabled angler Andy Beadsley, who first experienced fishing for trout at the age of 18, when he started studying for a certificate in gamekeeping at Hampshire College of Agriculture. Three months into the course, a motorcycle accident cost him the use of his legs. But the pleasure he is still able to get from the sport will be evident to everyone at the Chatsworth fair who sees him showing how to fish from the new Wheelyboat.

Now married and working as an accountant for a Horsham company, Andy also qualified three years ago as a Salmon & Trout Association instructor.
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Fishing News 15th May

Rutland Water
Twenty five years of angling at Rutland paid off for Tony Gray from Worksop this weekend. Season ticket holder Tony found fame when he took the giant Rainbow stocked for the 25th anniversary. Tony thought he had caught the new record for Rutland Water until fellow season ticket holder Thomas Graham noticed the blue tattoo on the fish identifying it as the Jubilee trout. Tony’s big catch wins him £250 in tackle vouchers. The fish weighed in at 15lb 10oz and measured 31½ inches in length. It was taken at Yellow Stone Creek on the peninsula on a black buzzer which Tony had on as a point fly. The big fish just kept coming this week with Martin Herbert from Sheffield taking an 8lb 8oz rainbow on a floating line with a black buzzer from the south arm near Laxhill. Season ticket holder Malcolm Janik from Spilsby took a superb conditioned rainbow of 7lb 10oz from Whitwell Creek on a black buzzer on a floating line. Jim Neil from Sleaford took a 7lb brown boat fishing from the South Arm on a sinking line with a tube fly.Nick White from Clipsham, near Stamford, and boat partner Colin O’Dell from Coleford, Gloucestershire enjoyed a guided day fishing with Dave Doherty on Friday 10th, down the South Arm, Bunds Wall area. They had a brilliant day with Nick’s excellent bag of 8 fish for 26lb 5oz including rainbows of 6lb and 7lb. Competition news A friendly competition between the England and Scotland fly fishing associations was a great success with 32 anglers catching 400lbs of trout! Scotland ran out winners with 118 trout to England’s 106. Top rod in this 8 fish limit event was Brian Linkleter from Kinross who had previously never fished south of the border.

Best rainbow Martin Herbert 8lb 8oz (see story)

Best brown Jim Neal of Sleaford, 7lb 10oz

Best boat areas Normanton Bank, New Zealand Point to Gibbett Gorse, South Arm, Bunds wall area, and Laxhill, North Arm, Dickinsons, Barnsdale, Tim Appletons to the Transformer.

Best bank areas Yellow stone, Normanton Bank, New Zealand point, Dickensons Bay, Barnsdale (cardiac Hill), Sykes Lane and Whitwell

best methods floating lines with black buzzers, diawl bach. Orange blob with sinking lines or orange and white lures.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir
John Edwards of Rugby took this week’s best rainbow, a superb 11lb 10oz specimen. John used a dry olive whilst boat fishing from the Coton End. The Coton End certainly proved the ‘hot spot’ with Nick Mead and John Tearle of London taking over 30 fish on buzzers and emergers. Bank angler Mark Flavin of Northampton took 25 fish in an afternoon session from the platforms on various nymphs.

Fish continue to look for olives, although spoonings on Sunday showed increasing numbers of black buzzer. The static buzzer will no doubt take plenty of fish but try classic ‘loch style’ tactics as a change to tempt takes close to the boat and on the surface.

Best rainbow 11lb 10oz taken by John Edwards

Best boat areas Coton End to Island.

Best bank areas Platforms and dam



Pitsford Water
Pitsford has produced some excellent fishing from both boat and bank this week. Season ticket holder Vic Sinfield of Newport Pagnell, went well into double figures on a recent visit along with Mr Sturges who took good quality fish whilst boat fishing. Colin Hunter put in the best returns for both rainbow and brown trout this week, both around the 4lb mark. However another angler preferred to remain anonymous with the heaviest rainbow of the week over 5lb. Anglers have been taking bag limits in the evenings near Bog Bay on orange fritz.

Best method Buzzers on a floating line, sometimes a varied fly selection including hares ear, green pea and fritz

Best bank areas depending on wind direction, Duffers Reach to Stilton Point and close to the Oak tree at Brixworth Bay

Grafham Water
This week saw the start of the main competition season at Grafham. The first event was the annual catch and release match run by local based Cambridge club Invicta. 46 anglers released a total of 172 fish with a rod average of 3.74.

This is all catch and release with the winner being the angler with the longest overall length of fish. The match was won by Alan Taylor, (seasonal warden at Grafham), with 15 fish with a total length of 6388mm including the best brown at 570mm in length. The longest rainbow, measuring 610mm, was released by Norman Shippey.



1st Alan Taylor 15 fish 6388mm
2nd Mike Smith 11 fish 4614mm
3rd Gordon Bloodworth 10 fish 4490mm

Wednesday saw the prestigious Bob Church/Trout Fisherman Classic. The pressure was on local angler Iain Barr to see if he could make it three classic wins in a row. With conditions very different from the practice day new areas and methods had to be found quickly. Stephen Peart from Durham succeeded and found fish whilst drifting out of Church Bay, starting on a Di 3 and cormorants and then changing up to a slime line and cruncher nymphs. Stephen ended the day with 16 fish.

Second place went to rising star Phil Dixon from Crewe. Phil is on a roll at the moment winning the Trout Masters last year at Grafham and the Hanningfield Masters only two weeks ago. Phil took 14 fish from Rectory Bay. In third position was Grafham regular and season ticket holder Jonathan Tomlinson who at 1 o’clock had caught only three fish. But Jonathan caught up well and finished with 12 fish from behind the North Tower in Hill Farm Bay. Huge congratulations to the youngest competitor in the match, 10 year old Kieran Jenkins from Wales, who took three fish for 6lb and was partner to local and international star Robert Edmunds. Moc Morgan, secretary of the Welsh Salmon and Trout Association said “Kieran is the brightest prospect from Wales for many years. He is already a champion fly tier and looks set for international success at a very young age”.

Top lady of the day was Julie Emerson who took 6 fish and finished in 27th place. Anglian Water presented Julie with a bouquet of flowers. Best fish of the match went to Allen Hayward with a cracking rainbow of 4lb 1oz. 94 anglers caught 344 fish and returned 55, giving a rod average of 4.24.

1st Stephen Peart 16 fish for 35lb 12½oz
2nd Phil Dixon 14 fish for 27lb 15¼oz
3rd Jonathan Tomlinson 12 fish for 23lb 13½oz

The third and final match of the week was the Ladies Mixed Pairs. Thirteen mixed pairs from all over the country took to the water. Winning pair was Margi Godwin of Northborough and Andy Linwood of West Perry with 16 fish for 45lb 5oz. Most of the fish came from the seat area on a variety of methods from the orange blobs on Di 7 to buzzers on the bung and floaters.

1st Margi Godwin and Andy Linwood 16 fish for 45lb 5oz
2nd Kay and Danny Peet 16 fish for 44lb 11oz
3rd Sue and Pete Shaw 16 fish for 40lb 11oz

Best fish of the match went to Jane Percy of Kent, with a beautiful overwintered rainbow of 5lb 15oz taken on a hares ear from the sludge bank.

Best rainbow 71b 1oz Ian Heading on s gold tube from a boat near the seat.

Best bank areas Hill Farm, the Stumps, Bowl of Dam, and south end of the Dam, Seat and Gaynes Cove.

Best boat areas Hedge End, Hill Farm, Bowl of Dam, the Seat, Gaynes Cove, the Stumps and G Buoy
Best methods Floating line with long leaders and buzzers or slime lines and nymphs or fast sinkers with a variety of different coloured blobs.

Saturday 6 July - a day especially for the Ladies. This is your turn to have a go at fly fishing on your very own day. Learn to beat your partner at his own game. Don’t be shy book yourself a place – telephone Grafham Water Fishing Lodge on 01480 810531

Grafham Water
Fly Fishers Association is hosting a fly fishing day on Saturday 25 May at Grafham Water to fish with the English Disabled Fly Fishers in a friendly angling competition sponsored by Anglian Water. Fishing is from 10am to 5 pm. Free refreshments will be served after the weigh-in. Fishing to reservoir rules with an 8 fish limit. Super prizes include a subscription to ‘Fly Fishing and tying’ magazine, fly reels and tackle, DVDs and scotch whiskey. For further information please contact Gordon Watson on 01480 810857.

Coarse Fishing

Ardleigh Season permit holder Stuart Huckins landed a very nice 22 lb. mirror carp from Noah's Ark last week. Two more carp were also caught at the weekend by Steve Brown from Dagenham. Fishing from a boat down the western arm opposite Harvey's Farm, both fish were commons weighing in at 6 lb.

Some good bags of roach have been caught both at the A12 end of the reservoir and also at Harvey's Farm bank. Match secretaries should note that any matches booked for May and June are at a special rate of just £2 per peg. Please book on 01206 230642.

Taverham Lake
The biggest fish of the season so far gave visiting angler Aaron Rout from Colchester his personal best carp when he banked a tremendous 26lb 15oz mirror during a one night session. Aaron tempted the monstor fishing Active-8 boilies on a 2 bait stringer, casting just off the lily pads.

Anglian Water warden, Simon Wrigglesworth, had a sleepless night session this week, landing 20 tench to 6½lb in the first six hours. This takes Simon’s tench tally to 123 since March. Plenty of other fish are being caught despite lower temperatures and fish have been seen moving in all areas.

Costessey lakes
Continue to produce quality bream from No2 and good sized roach bags from No1. Carp have finished spawning on No3 with many very large fish seen cruising to the margins. With warmer weather forecast the prospects of a 40 pounder from this lake are looking good.



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Fishing Improves With Extra Water In The River 10th May

Since arriving back home from my Bahamas trip its been a mixture of work and pleasure. During my first four days back home I was kept very busy working on programmes and my new book. Come Tuesday I was back on the river Ribble with Stephen Ainscow to record some material for my At The Waters Edge programme on BBC Radio Lancashire Thursday Evenings at 7-30pm Saturday mornings at 6-00 am and shortly to be available on the Internet. Of course I would do some fishing. It wasn’t the best of weather. We had to contend with a very cold easterly wind blowing downstream. Not a single fly could be seen. Under these conditions you can fish two styles of angling. Wet fly fishing down and across and upstream nymph fishing. Both styles of fishing will work with upstream nymphing probably the more productive style.

Fishing a team of wet flies is a style of angling that has been practised on northern rivers for many years. Fishing an Orange Partridge on the point then tie in one or two short droppers to which I would attached a Snipe and Purple or Waterhen Bloa. There are other patterns you can use but those three patterns should make a good team.. Another good fly to fish on the point is a Black & Peacock Spider. The Black and Peacock can also be fished on its own either wet or as a dry fly. I suppose if I could only have one fly pattern, then that choice would probably be the B&P Spider The way these wet flies are often fished is by casting across and downstream allowing the flies to drift across the current coming to rest down stream on the dangle and often you will find a fish grabbing hold at this point. I think what happens is, as the line tightens the fly lifts in a natural manner and the trout grabs hold.

Upstream Nymphing

Some anglers seem to think that upstream nymphing is a new style of fishing, Not really its been around for a long time, its a very good way of angling. Some of the nymphs I have found effective are Pheasant Tail, Mayfly, Damsel Fly, Stonefly and Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear. When I choose to fish an upstream nymph I only fish one nymph and not a team. The tackle I usually use is a nine foot four or five weight rod with a double taper floating line to which I attach a nine foot leader with a three pound point. Several of my friends who do a lot of wet fly and nymph fishing use a ten foot rod feeling they have more control and no doubt they are right. All my flies are barbless patterns I don’t carry a landing net I just run my fingers down the leader then slip out the barbless hook

When fishing the upstream nymph I cover every likely looking spot casting a few yards upstream then retrieving the line as the nymph trundles downstream at all times keeping in touch with the nymph. After fishing out the cast, I then take a step upstream and repeat the process. This is also an excellent way to catch grayling. If like me your eye sight is a bit poor then mark the end of the fly line where it meets the leader with a tiny ball of orange Biostrike. It helps me spot those gentle takes and it will help you. When fishing your nymph do not neglect running the nymph alongside big rocks as fish often just downstream and out of the mainstream waiting for food items to drift bye.

The Fish Grab A Dry Fly

Back on the river Ribble I decided I didn't want to fish those two mentioned styles of angling, I wanted to fish a dry fly despite no flies coming off, I decided to follow Stephen’s example. He was fishing a dry fly and catching despite the lack of insects coming off the water. After a chat with Stephen he gave me a Klinkhamen Special " Try that he said" I looked at it closely to make sure it hadn’t been sabotaged with the point broken off. Then said laughingly "Stephen its a good fly with a point, Yes Martin your my friend" I made my way upstream to where I had seen a fish rise to the surface some time before. Casting upstream and across I watched the fly drift downstream. Nothing happened. I made another cast still nothing happened. The fish didn’t want to eat. On my fourth and final cast the fly drifted ten feet then disappeared leaving a small ripple to spread in ever widening circle. I tightened a good fish was hooked, I quickly bought the fish in close then bent down unhooked a nice brown of about fourteen inches and watched it swim away. It hadn’t been touched by hand. During the next hour I had three more fish two on a dry fly the other on an Eric’s beetle fished just an inch under the surface. I got to the stage where it was so cold I decided I had, had enough of this winter fishing in May.

Wednesday I was on the river Ribble upstream of Mitton Bridge known as the Edisford Hall estates fishery with river keeper Ivan Duxbury, I had come armed with frying pans, eggs, bacon, potatoes etc etc I would be cooking lunch today. I was also going to record a programme about the fishing available on this fishery. For just twenty pounds a day you can fish for brown and seatrout with salmon fishing at thirty pounds a day. A season permit costs three hundred pounds. After a mug of tea and chat with Ivan I got kitted out in chest high waders and fly fishing vest, I then made up a four weight rod with a double taper line attach a nine foot leader with a nail knot. A few olives were coming off, so I chose a size 14 Olive pattern. Clipping on a throat mike I made my way upstream recording my thoughts and telling the listeners all about the fishing on this delightful stretch of the river Ribble in the Ribble Valley in the delightful countryside of Lancashire.

Arriving at the Pipe Bridge swim I met up with Ivan, as we chatted Ivan said "That's a good fish Martin" I agreed. Ivan then said "Go up to the stile then work your way downstream so you can get below the fish, you might have a chance" I did just as Ivan suggested. Some forty feet below where the fish was seen I waded slowly and carefully out into the stream. Pulling off some line I made a couple of false casts then letting the fly drop some six feet upstream of the fish. It was a perfect drift but no offer. On the third drift I had the perfect take, one you couldn’t really miss. I tightened a good fish was on, it stayed deep then moved upstream. All the time I was telling my listeners what was happening I did say if it wasn’t a good brown trout it might be a chub then I thought perhaps it might be an early seatrout. After some minutes I started to gain some line. It was certainly a fit fish, it had even taken a few feet of line which is unusual with river trout. When I spotted the fish I realised I had got something special. It was a brown trout of twenty one or twenty two inches. That's a big river trout. It wasn’t a stocked fish. Bending down I run my fingers down the line then removed the barbless hook the fish disappeared with a flick of its tail. What a super fish. I had three more fish then decided it was time for lunch. After lunch I sat in the cabin reading the Daily Telegraph before hitting the river once more. I had several more fish all taken on a size 14 Olive pattern At five o’clock I decided to call it a day. If your interested in fishing this water call River Keeper Ivan Duxbury on 07973-268131.

Thursday I was booked to record a programme At Barnsfold Water near Chipping in the shadow of Beacon Fell. Its a two lake trout fishery of about twenty two acres where you can buy a full day, half day or sporting ticket. For further details telephone Frank or Richard Casson on 01995-61583. Frank was going to teach coarse fisherman Mike Osborn from Cumbria the basics of casting and answer dozens of question that Mike would no doubt have. I was the fly on the wall, all I had to do was record all what was said. My job would start back in the studio when I had to edit all the recorded material. It was a fascinating day watching and listening to Frank and Mike practising the casting and discussing all aspects of stillwater trout fishing. After lunch Mike went back to the waters edge to practise his casting. When I caught up with him later in the afternoon, he was fishing a fly pattern that represented a Hawthorn fly. "How are you getting on Mike" I said "Not bad Martin I’ve had three takes but missed them all, This fly fishing is certainly very addictive" It was about five pm when I arrived home I was ready for a mug of tea and some food. Tomorrow and the weekend I would be in the studio working a ten to twelve hour days but it had been nice to get out into the countryside.

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Fishing News 9th May

Rutland Water An amazing 800 people fished Rutland Water last weekend, the 25th anniversary of the start of fishing at what has become the most famous still-water trout fishery in Europe.

Sponsored by Anglian Water and ‘Trout Fisherman’ magazine, 250 anglers fished from boats, 350 from the banks and another 200 beginners enjoyed free fly casting tuition with local experts.

The £5,000 prize fish didn’t get caught but two of the £100 tagged fish were caught by John Henshall from Stockport and Cyril Procter from Carnforth, Cumbria, both fishing from boats near Normanton Church on Sunday.

There were prizes galore over the weekend with £100 tackle vouchers for the biggest fish going to Michael Loy of Dogsthorpe, Peterborough, David Tod of Peakirk and Geoff Scane of Orton Waterville. The catch return draw of £100 in tackle vouchers was won by Nicholas Smith.

Best fish by a beginner, on Sunday, was a 2lb rainbow trout from 9 year old Tom Joyce from Bakersfield, Nottingham, his first ever trout and winning him a range of fishing tackle. Matthew Newton of Scopwick, Lincoln took Saturday’s Junior prize.

Recreation manager from Anglian Water, David Moore said ‘This was a great weekend for everyone, we had anglers from the Isle of Man, Perth, Newcastle, Merseyside and Brighton travelling here to fish the reservoir on this special occasion. Even more rewarding were all the local people of all ages who came to learn about the sport and have their first try at casting a fly or catching their first fish.

Big thanks go to Lawrence Ball of River Gwash Trout Farm Ltd, who kindly sponsored the absolutely superb prize fish of 25lb. There is a reward of £250 in tackle vouchers for the capture of this big fish before the 30 June.

Fishery Manager Jon Marshall was even more excited about the charity auction he had organised on Saturday evening. ‘With the professional skills of Jeff Dale our local auctioneer the event raised £3,000 for Rutland Accident Care Scheme, County Air Ambulance and Water Aid thanks to the generosity of many local people and businesses associated with the reservoir and Rutland Water Fly Fishers.’


Ravensthorpe Reservoir ‘Magnificent’ was the word Rob Shuter used to describe his 12lb 13oz rainbow on Sunday. Twice the giant fish took line and bagging before giving in. Rob and brother John from Leicester fished self tied size 12 black p.t.n. nymphs on floating lines from a boat behind the island.

Mr Brankin Frisby of Illston, boated a 5lb 14oz overwintered rainbow from the Coton End shallows. A size 14 green olive emerger on a floating line accounted for this and 19 other hard fighting rainbows taken during the day.

Float tuber L Hodgson of Wellingborough braved the elements on Thursday to take 21 rainbows to 3lb, floating line with damsel and GRHE doing the business.

Prolific hatches of olives at the Coton End and the south shore have produced superb top of the water sport for many anglers. Light winds and intermittent sunshine giving the best hatching conditions to those hungry rainbows for some exciting action.


Pitsford Water Best fish this week was a 4lb 12oz rainbow taken from a boat by Pete Stevens of Milton Keynes. Best brown trout weighing 3lb 8oz was caught by Mr P Orpin of Corby.

Higham Ferrers FFA had a boat match on Saturday 4 May with 14 anglers weighing in 70 fish, best of which was a 3lb 1oz rainbow. The winner was Mr M Turner with 6 fish for 12lb 12oz.

The ladies have also been among the fish, with Gina Slater of Milton Keynes catching 6 for 12lb 6oz from the bank on a green thorax pheasant tail.

Best method Buzzers and or small nymphs such as hares ear, diawl bach,pheasant tail on a floating line and a long leader, pulled very slowly or just drifting round in the wind. The fish are not very deep (about one foot down).


Grafham Water Derek Lloyd and his young protégé Peter Proctor had a great 4 hour session from a boat landing 16 fish all on a floating line and nymphs from G Buoy area with the catch weighing in at 32lb 10oz. The second annual Invicta Catch and Release match was held on Sunday in strong winds. Grafham Water’s seasonal warden Alan Taylor took 15 fish and won for the second time.

Best rainbow 5lb 10oz taken by Graham Thompson of Cardiff in Gaynes Cove on a fast sinking line.

Best bank areas Hill Farm, the Stumps, Bowl of the Dam, South End of the Dam,
Hedge End, Hill Farm, Bowl of Dam, the Seat, Gaynes Cove, the Stumps and G buoy.
Best methods Floating lines with long leaders and buzzers or slime lines and nymphs or fast sinkers with a variety of different coloured lures.

Ladies ‘have a go’ fly fishing Saturday 6 July - a day especially for the Ladies. This is your turn to have a go at fly fishing on your very own day. Learn to beat your partner at his own game. Don’t be shy, book yourself a place – telephone Grafham Water Fishing Lodge on 01480 810531


Coarse Fishing - Ardleigh

Tench are now showing very well with excellent numbers of 4 - 6 lb. fish. Ian Rawlinson had a 5.5lb fish from Wick Lane. Congratulations to 4 year old Danny Brackpool who caught a superb 4 lb tench from Lodge Lane North.

Feeder fishing is accounting for most fish as it is the most popular method. However it is well worth waggler fishing the shallower water. Red maggot remains a consistent bait but sweetcorn is likely to become more effective as the water warms up. The bream fishing has become a little more difficult this week with the colder nights but there have still been some good bags to be had around Wick Lane.

The pike anglers are advised to book early for the start of the season beginning 1st June. Match organisers are able to take advantage of half-price pegs for May and June. Further details available on 01206 230642

Boats returned to the water on 1st May so do book early to avoid disappointment on 01206 230642.

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Rochdale Company Pleads GUILTY To Polluting Brook 9th May

Magistrates today (Wednesday) fined a Rochdale company £15,000 after it admitted polluting a tributary of Piethorne Brook with a bleaching agent that killed 400 fish.

P W Greenhalgh and Co Limited, of New Hey, Rochdale were also ordered to pay £2792.59 costs to the Environment Agency, which brought the prosecution.

Nick Webb, prosecuting for the Agency, told Rochdale Magistrates' Court that on 11 July 2001 the Environment Agency received a call from a member of the public who had noticed a smell of chlorine at Haugh Lane Bridge.

He went into the stream and saw lots of dead fish including rainbow trout and brown trout. The man walked downstream to the River Beal at Two Bridges and back up Piethorne Brook towards Peppermint Bridge noting more dead fish.

Environment Agency Environment Protection Officers (EPOs) Helen Smith and Peter Costello visited the area and saw dead fish at various points including the rear of Greenhalgh's premises. The dead fish had pink, grey and black blotches on their heads.

Agency officers checked a small stream that enters Piethorne Brook and runs parallel to the access road that goes to the back of the company's site. The stream runs through reeds and vegetation, and when disturbed there was an immediate smell of chlorine. A field test kit indicated a high chlorine level, above the kit's measurement range.

About 50 metres upstream, the officers could hear dripping water and saw three pipes in an embankment, which appeared to come from the company's premises. They could smell bleach and took a formal sample of the discharge from the clay pipe.

The court heard the officers went to the company's premises and took the shift manager to the pipe where the formal sample had been taken from. The following day Helen Smith returned to the area and saw about 30 dead fish in Piethorne Brook.

Two Agency officers waded upstream to assess the extent of the fish kill in the brook. They saw dead brown trout, with what appeared to be burn marks on their flesh. In the bottom of pools large numbers of invertebrates had been killed indicating a very serious pollution incident.

The dead fish ranged from juveniles to mature adult fish. There were no dead fish or invertebrates upstream of the company. It was estimated that 400 brown trout had been killed and a small number of other species.

On 12 July 2001 Environment Agency officers interviewed the company's managing director, Ben Greenhalgh. He told them that a pipe running from the sodium hypochlorite storage tank to the bleaching area in the factory had come apart at an elbow joint. The company could not locate any inspection records for the pipeline.

Greenhalgh explained that on 11 July 2001 they had a delivery of 12 tonnes to the tank, but now the tank only had 1,000 litres in it. The substance was released from the break in the pipe, into the pipe ducting and across open ground. It had then found its way into the tributary and Piethorne Brook via a drain.

The court was told the company accepted it caused sodium hypochlorite, a highly polluting substance, to enter controlled waters. This had resulted in a significant fish kill and serious impact on invertebrate species in the stream. The company had also failed to comply with a condition of its Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) authorisation issued by the Environment Agency.
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Fishing News 15th May

Rutland Water
Twenty five years of angling at Rutland paid off for Tony Gray from Worksop this weekend. Season ticket holder Tony found fame when he took the giant Rainbow stocked for the 25th anniversary. Tony thought he had caught the new record for Rutland Water until fellow season ticket holder Thomas Graham noticed the blue tattoo on the fish identifying it as the Jubilee trout. Tony’s big catch wins him £250 in tackle vouchers. The fish weighed in at 15lb 10oz and measured 31½ inches in length. It was taken at Yellow Stone Creek on the peninsula on a black buzzer which Tony had on as a point fly. The big fish just kept coming this week with Martin Herbert from Sheffield taking an 8lb 8oz rainbow on a floating line with a black buzzer from the south arm near Laxhill. Season ticket holder Malcolm Janik from Spilsby took a superb conditioned rainbow of 7lb 10oz from Whitwell Creek on a black buzzer on a floating line. Jim Neil from Sleaford took a 7lb brown boat fishing from the South Arm on a sinking line with a tube fly.Nick White from Clipsham, near Stamford, and boat partner Colin O’Dell from Coleford, Gloucestershire enjoyed a guided day fishing with Dave Doherty on Friday 10th, down the South Arm, Bunds Wall area. They had a brilliant day with Nick’s excellent bag of 8 fish for 26lb 5oz including rainbows of 6lb and 7lb. Competition news A friendly competition between the England and Scotland fly fishing associations was a great success with 32 anglers catching 400lbs of trout! Scotland ran out winners with 118 trout to England’s 106. Top rod in this 8 fish limit event was Brian Linkleter from Kinross who had previously never fished south of the border.

Best rainbow Martin Herbert 8lb 8oz (see story)

Best brown Jim Neal of Sleaford, 7lb 10oz

Best boat areas Normanton Bank, New Zealand Point to Gibbett Gorse, South Arm, Bunds wall area, and Laxhill, North Arm, Dickinsons, Barnsdale, Tim Appletons to the Transformer.

Best bank areas Yellow stone, Normanton Bank, New Zealand point, Dickensons Bay, Barnsdale (cardiac Hill), Sykes Lane and Whitwell

best methods floating lines with black buzzers, diawl bach. Orange blob with sinking lines or orange and white lures.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir
John Edwards of Rugby took this week’s best rainbow, a superb 11lb 10oz specimen. John used a dry olive whilst boat fishing from the Coton End. The Coton End certainly proved the ‘hot spot’ with Nick Mead and John Tearle of London taking over 30 fish on buzzers and emergers. Bank angler Mark Flavin of Northampton took 25 fish in an afternoon session from the platforms on various nymphs.

Fish continue to look for olives, although spoonings on Sunday showed increasing numbers of black buzzer. The static buzzer will no doubt take plenty of fish but try classic ‘loch style’ tactics as a change to tempt takes close to the boat and on the surface.

Best rainbow 11lb 10oz taken by John Edwards

Best boat areas Coton End to Island.

Best bank areas Platforms and dam



Pitsford Water
Pitsford has produced some excellent fishing from both boat and bank this week. Season ticket holder Vic Sinfield of Newport Pagnell, went well into double figures on a recent visit along with Mr Sturges who took good quality fish whilst boat fishing. Colin Hunter put in the best returns for both rainbow and brown trout this week, both around the 4lb mark. However another angler preferred to remain anonymous with the heaviest rainbow of the week over 5lb. Anglers have been taking bag limits in the evenings near Bog Bay on orange fritz.

Best method Buzzers on a floating line, sometimes a varied fly selection including hares ear, green pea and fritz

Best bank areas depending on wind direction, Duffers Reach to Stilton Point and close to the Oak tree at Brixworth Bay

Grafham Water
This week saw the start of the main competition season at Grafham. The first event was the annual catch and release match run by local based Cambridge club Invicta. 46 anglers released a total of 172 fish with a rod average of 3.74.

This is all catch and release with the winner being the angler with the longest overall length of fish. The match was won by Alan Taylor, (seasonal warden at Grafham), with 15 fish with a total length of 6388mm including the best brown at 570mm in length. The longest rainbow, measuring 610mm, was released by Norman Shippey.



1st Alan Taylor 15 fish 6388mm
2nd Mike Smith 11 fish 4614mm
3rd Gordon Bloodworth 10 fish 4490mm

Wednesday saw the prestigious Bob Church/Trout Fisherman Classic. The pressure was on local angler Iain Barr to see if he could make it three classic wins in a row. With conditions very different from the practice day new areas and methods had to be found quickly. Stephen Peart from Durham succeeded and found fish whilst drifting out of Church Bay, starting on a Di 3 and cormorants and then changing up to a slime line and cruncher nymphs. Stephen ended the day with 16 fish.

Second place went to rising star Phil Dixon from Crewe. Phil is on a roll at the moment winning the Trout Masters last year at Grafham and the Hanningfield Masters only two weeks ago. Phil took 14 fish from Rectory Bay. In third position was Grafham regular and season ticket holder Jonathan Tomlinson who at 1 o’clock had caught only three fish. But Jonathan caught up well and finished with 12 fish from behind the North Tower in Hill Farm Bay. Huge congratulations to the youngest competitor in the match, 10 year old Kieran Jenkins from Wales, who took three fish for 6lb and was partner to local and international star Robert Edmunds. Moc Morgan, secretary of the Welsh Salmon and Trout Association said “Kieran is the brightest prospect from Wales for many years. He is already a champion fly tier and looks set for international success at a very young age”.

Top lady of the day was Julie Emerson who took 6 fish and finished in 27th place. Anglian Water presented Julie with a bouquet of flowers. Best fish of the match went to Allen Hayward with a cracking rainbow of 4lb 1oz. 94 anglers caught 344 fish and returned 55, giving a rod average of 4.24.

1st Stephen Peart 16 fish for 35lb 12½oz
2nd Phil Dixon 14 fish for 27lb 15¼oz
3rd Jonathan Tomlinson 12 fish for 23lb 13½oz

The third and final match of the week was the Ladies Mixed Pairs. Thirteen mixed pairs from all over the country took to the water. Winning pair was Margi Godwin of Northborough and Andy Linwood of West Perry with 16 fish for 45lb 5oz. Most of the fish came from the seat area on a variety of methods from the orange blobs on Di 7 to buzzers on the bung and floaters.

1st Margi Godwin and Andy Linwood 16 fish for 45lb 5oz
2nd Kay and Danny Peet 16 fish for 44lb 11oz
3rd Sue and Pete Shaw 16 fish for 40lb 11oz

Best fish of the match went to Jane Percy of Kent, with a beautiful overwintered rainbow of 5lb 15oz taken on a hares ear from the sludge bank.

Best rainbow 71b 1oz Ian Heading on s gold tube from a boat near the seat.

Best bank areas Hill Farm, the Stumps, Bowl of Dam, and south end of the Dam, Seat and Gaynes Cove.

Best boat areas Hedge End, Hill Farm, Bowl of Dam, the Seat, Gaynes Cove, the Stumps and G Buoy
Best methods Floating line with long leaders and buzzers or slime lines and nymphs or fast sinkers with a variety of different coloured blobs.

Saturday 6 July - a day especially for the Ladies. This is your turn to have a go at fly fishing on your very own day. Learn to beat your partner at his own game. Don’t be shy book yourself a place – telephone Grafham Water Fishing Lodge on 01480 810531

Grafham Water
Fly Fishers Association is hosting a fly fishing day on Saturday 25 May at Grafham Water to fish with the English Disabled Fly Fishers in a friendly angling competition sponsored by Anglian Water. Fishing is from 10am to 5 pm. Free refreshments will be served after the weigh-in. Fishing to reservoir rules with an 8 fish limit. Super prizes include a subscription to ‘Fly Fishing and tying’ magazine, fly reels and tackle, DVDs and scotch whiskey. For further information please contact Gordon Watson on 01480 810857.

Coarse Fishing

Ardleigh Season permit holder Stuart Huckins landed a very nice 22 lb. mirror carp from Noah's Ark last week. Two more carp were also caught at the weekend by Steve Brown from Dagenham. Fishing from a boat down the western arm opposite Harvey's Farm, both fish were commons weighing in at 6 lb.

Some good bags of roach have been caught both at the A12 end of the reservoir and also at Harvey's Farm bank. Match secretaries should note that any matches booked for May and June are at a special rate of just £2 per peg. Please book on 01206 230642.

Taverham Lake
The biggest fish of the season so far gave visiting angler Aaron Rout from Colchester his personal best carp when he banked a tremendous 26lb 15oz mirror during a one night session. Aaron tempted the monstor fishing Active-8 boilies on a 2 bait stringer, casting just off the lily pads.

Anglian Water warden, Simon Wrigglesworth, had a sleepless night session this week, landing 20 tench to 6½lb in the first six hours. This takes Simon’s tench tally to 123 since March. Plenty of other fish are being caught despite lower temperatures and fish have been seen moving in all areas.

Costessey lakes
Continue to produce quality bream from No2 and good sized roach bags from No1. Carp have finished spawning on No3 with many very large fish seen cruising to the margins. With warmer weather forecast the prospects of a 40 pounder from this lake are looking good.
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A Few Days In Paradise - PART TWO

Joel pointed then whispered "Martin good bone at twelve O’clock sixty feet". To keep a low profile we knelt down in the soft white sand, a good bone was slowly making its way up the tide looking for food. it was a good fish. I could feel my heart beating, my mouth was dry, perspiration had run off my brow causing a stinging sensation in my eyes. The fish stuffed its snout into the soft white sand to grab some item of food, the water turned milky white. The fish moved on in its quest for food, in seconds it was some twenty feet away. I rolled cast a size 8 Crazy Charlie it dropped with a slight pop some five feet ahead of the fish. Hearing the gentle plop it moved forward I gave a tiny strip the fish pounced. Setting the hook I struggled to my feet sticking the rod high. The reel revolved in a blur, line disappeared in a fast rate of knots the fish moved off fast through the shallow water. the line cut through the water as it did so it left an emerald green scar Life couldn’t get better.

Reaching the age of 65 I realised I had so much more to do with perhaps little time left. Every two or three months I hear about another friend who has gone from this world. Its a true saying "You can’t take it with you" or "Shrouds have no pockets". It was time to go off fishing, in my case to catch many of the exotic species on a fly rod. Fish such as tarpon, permit, bonefish, mutton snapper, sailfish, tuna, wahoo,redfish,dorado,snook and many more. It’s time to trade in my investments such as two thousand angling books, paintings, cane rods, centre pin reels then go off fishing. This year I have several trips sorted out. Bonefishing at Moxey Town in Andros Island in the Bahamas. Striped bass fishing in Connecticut and Massachusetts, Muskies in upstate New York sailfish, tuna, jack crevales, sharks, kingfish and wahoo in the Arabian and Persian Gulf, hopefully there would be tarpon in the Gulf of Mexico including a trip to North Carolina to chase the blue fish, false albacore and stripers during the fall season.

On my latest trip to Moxey’s bonefish lodge in Moxey Town in South Andros I left Manchester on an American Airlines flight to Nassau via Chicago and Miami. Arriving in Nassau around 9 pm I collected my small case containing a few cloths, hefted my rucksack containing cameras and reels on my back then made my way to customs. All I received was "A good evening sir have a pleasant stay" Making my way to the taxi’s I asked the first driver to take me to hotel for the night explaining I wanted the cheapest room available. Lets be honest why pay hundred dollars when you can get one for fifty, after all I was only going to put my head on a bed for a few hours. Within fifteen I had checked in, perhaps twenty minutes later I was asleep. At six thirty I was waiting for a taxi to take me to the airport, seven O’clock I was greeted by a very friendly check in girl on the Bahamasair check in desk. "Good morning my dear can I have a return ticket to Mangrove Cay please, that will be 110 dollars sir" I passed over the plastic card. The flight was due at eight thirty, but remember I was on Bahamas time. I left at ten thirty five arriving in Mangrove Cay about ten minutes later. At eleven O’clock I was at Moxeys bonefish lodge, after being shown my room I was left to do as I pleased. After a shower I dressed in shorts shirt and wading boots then covered myself with sun protection. I assembled an eight weight outfit collected a box of flies then headed off to the beach.

From my room it was sixteen steps and one hundred and twenty paces to the beach where I could catch bonefish. A light onshore breeze ruffled the surface of the bay, a few feet away I watched a turkey buzzard or vulture fly by. Under some palm trees that offered shade, a couple of old guys and two younger ones were sitting on a bit of timber that rested on a couple of oil drums one of them said "After the bonefish man" I said "Yes" I stopped then walked across to them. They made room on the makeshift seat I sat down among this group of friendly guys, two of the guys Ezra and Oscar Greene were bonefish guides at Moxey’s. Bonefishing, diving and the attractions of Moxey Town were discussed including the coming General election. An hour later on the advice of Ezra I was off along the beach to Small cove in search of bonefish. Stopping on the way I cast a fly to a snapper which quickly grabbed hold, this was followed by a blue runner then a small barracuda which after one jump threw the hook. What a fun way to enjoy yourself in the sun I thought to myself. I got as far as the Blue Hole when I was joined by Ezra "Hello man" he said. In his hand he had a fly rod, we walked side by side chatting as old friends. On reaching Small cove we quickly spotted a small school of resident bonefish. I watched Ezra slowly wade out on the flat for some yards, he then made a long cast dropping a Gotcha some three feet in front of a bone. In the blink of an eye he hooked the fish. I got great pleasure from watching him play the fish close to hand where Ezra bent down slipped out the barbless hook then the fish quickly moved joining the other fish in the school. It was certainly a great exhibition of angling. I told him so. We ended up the short session with two fish each. It was time for a beer and some dinner. Ezra was certainly an excellent fly fisher. Over dinner that night I discussed bonefishing tactics with a group of American anglers who were staying at Moxeys bonefishing lodge. Dinner finished. I went off to join the local guys in a nearby bar. It had been a good day.

Day two I was fishing with Joel Moxey, dressed in shorts, shirt and wading boots with a liberal covering of sun protection I went down for breakfast with Joel he said " We are going up Moxey’s Creek today, a boat trip of several miles. We will be wading some very big flats hunting big bones in very shallow water". Breakfast over I grabbed my kit while Joel grabbed the ice chest, it was just a short walk to the skiff with its fifty horse power motor. After getting everything in place Joel turned the ignition key, the motor purred into life slowly the throttle was opened as we reached the deeper water Joel pushed the throttle forward the bows lifted we skimmed across the lightly rippled surface of the ocean.. Fifteen minutes later Joel was bringing the skiff into Moxey creek to the left was Little Moxey to the right Big Moxey we turned right. Joel cut the motor, the only sound was the water lapping the side of the skiff. Joel said "Martin make yourself ready on the bows I’m going to pole us alongside those mangroves" My tackle was a Sage eight weight rod, Tibor reel, Cortland Ghost Tip Lazerline with a ten foot tapered leader. I pulled fifty foot of line off the reel then coiled it carefully on the decking making sure the first of the line was at the top of the coils. On Joel's advice I had tied on a red eyed Clouser. For the next hour or so we moved slowly along the mangroves seeing the odd bonefish, barracuda and shark.

Arriving off a shallow sandy point I spotted an Osprey sitting on a mangrove branch, Joel said "We will leave the skiff on the point and wade" I nodded in agreement then lowered my body over the side feeling the warm water against my legs, it felt wonderful. For as far as the eye could see there was nothing to be seen of the twenty first century, nothing had changed in the past five hundred years except the mangroves had grown a lot more. Joel pointed then whispered "Martin good bone at twelve O’clock sixty feet". To keep a low profile we knelt down in the soft white sand, a good bone was slowly making its way up tide looking for food. it was a good fish. I could feel my heart beating, my mouth was dry, perspiration had run off my brow causing a stinging sensation in my eyes. The fish stuffed its snout into the soft white sand to grab some item of food, the water turned milky white. The fish moved on in its quest for food, in seconds it was some twenty feet away. I rolled cast a size 8 Crazy Charlie it dropped with a slight pop some five feet ahead of the fish. Hearing the gentle plop it moved forward I gave a tiny strip the fish pounced. Setting the hook I struggled to my feet sticking the rod high. The reel revolved in a blur, line disappeared in a fast rate of knots the fish moved off fast through the shallow water. as the line cut through the water it left an emerald green scar. Life couldn’t get better.

.

The fish had probably taken some eighty ninety yards of line in its first rush , then kited to my left. I managed to get some line back on the reel, the rod tip was pulled down savagely, the reel screamed in protest as line was taken, once more the emerald green scar appeared around the line as it sliced through the water. Something I haven't noticed before in all my many bonefishing trips. For some minutes it was give and take but slowly I was gaining line, we waded through the water towards the fish gaining even more line. Soon I was able to get a good look at my first bonefish of the day. It was a nice fish perhaps five pounds, slowly it was bought to hand I bent down lifted the fish a few inches above the water. Joel shot a quick picture I slipped the barbless hook from the fish then watched it swim away strongly. That would be the only fish I would touch by hand, any other fish would be unhooked in the water, unless I had a ten pounder then I would want a picture. Why keep taking pictures of fish after fish. I have dozens of bonefish pictures at home.

After catching a few more bones we moved off to another big flat near Mangrove Cay Island a journey of some twenty minutes, time to have a sandwich and drink. A mile off shore Joel cut the motor and poled us towards the shore line. I spotted the odd good size bone in the distance, there was no chance of catching those fish. After anchoring the boat in some shallow water we slid over the side into the warm water where the bottom was so different from Big Moxey creek. Here the bottom was very firm sand with patches of turtle grass making fish spotting quite difficult, to make matter worse a big cloud obscured the sun. Joel said "At low tide you can walk out from the shoreline to Mangrove Cay island but if you leave it too long on the flooding tide you have to spend a few hours on the island, the island was well known in the old day as a stopping of point for the mail boats".

Grabbing my rod I followed Joel we had gone some hundred yards or more when Joel whispered "Bone at nine O’clock point your rod Martin, a bit more left" I spotted the fish it was some eighty feet away we stood still, barely breathing, my mouth was dry I strained my eyes to keep in contact with the moving fish. It moved closer, at around sixty feet Joel said "Shoot for it Martin" I made a roll cast two false casts then shot the line hearing it hiss through the guides. The size 2 Gotcha landed some six feet to the left of the fish. Not a good cast I thought. As I went to lift off for another cast, Joel said "Leave it Martin the fish heard the plop of the fly landing its moving towards the fly now, give a short strip it will see the puff of sand, strip strip" I could see the fish tracking the fly then it grabbed hold savagely I set the hook stuffed the rod high the fish moved off fast across the flat towards the deep water the fight was on. Seven or eight minutes later I bent down and slipped the hook free then watched the fish move off strongly.

It was now Joel's turn to catch a bone, we slowly moved across the flat shuffling our feet as we did so, this spooks any sting rays. After about sixty yards I said to Joel "Tailing bone fifty feet two O’clock" Joel spotted the fish immediately then made a roll cast, one false cast dropping the size 4 red eyed Clouser minnow in white and chartreuse four feet head of the fish which quickly dived for this morsel of food. In the blink of an eye Joel’s rod tip was being pulled down towards the water a good fish moved of fast. I switched my Nikon on to sports action then proceeded to shoot film. The light conditions were perfect for 100 ASA film Joel would gain some line, the fish would take it back, but the bones runs were becoming shorter. Joel was winning the fight, I then spotted a small lemon shark some sixty feet down tide and warned Joel, I moved between fish and shark. Joel cramped down hard quickly gaining line in another minute Joel had the fish to hand I moved in close to shoot a couple of quick pictures. We released the fish close to some mangroves where the shark couldn’t grab hold. We continued on in search of more bonefish catching several on the flooding tide until it was to deep to wade. We then moved of to another flat where we caught some jacks and a couple of bones. Joel Moxey had proved what a good guide he was.

Breakfast on my third day was bacon, eggs with lots of tea and toast, today I was fishing with Ezra on some flats about a fifty minute boat trip away. On this bonefishing trip we would go up Miller Creek, the home of very big tarpon, barracuda, sawfish, bones and permit. At eight O’clock I met up with Ezra at the skiff where he was loading the ice chest. "Good morning Ezra another great day in paradise". Answering he said "Yes its perfect weather for hunting bones" Sitting on the stern of the skiff I swung my legs into the boat then made myself comfortable in one of the padded seats. Ezra pushed us out over the shallow water until we had enough depth to start the motor, he climbed aboard turned the key in the ignition the motor came to life. Soon we were skimming across the glass like surface of the ocean the bows were high we left a creamy white trail at our stern.

We passed small palm tree lined island with beautiful sandy bays, occasionally an Osprey would appear over head on and on we motored twisting this way and that to miss coral reefs, which if hit would rip the bottom from the skiff. I marvelled at the wilderness it was great to be alive it doesn’t get better than this. I heard the engine noise change as Ezra throttled back up front I could see a big flat slowly we came to a stop. "Are your ready for those bones Martin" Ezra said I turned smiled and whispered "Yes" Picking up my eight weight rod I moved up in the bows, as Ezra climbed up on his platform. This was set about five feet above the stern. The water was flat calm, about foot deep with a very soft bottom, it was that soft you would immediately sink to your waist. There wouldn’t be any walking on the flats today. With no wind to ruffle the surface or to keep the horse flies away, I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, long lightweight pants, a hat with a big peak side and back flap to keep the sun off my ears and the back of my neck. The clothes would also stop the flies from eating me to bits. They were out in big numbers today, but because I had taken sensible precautions they wouldn’t bother me.

Ezra poled us slowly along the edge of the flat, I squinted into the water seeking one of those grey ghosts or as I call them the silver bullet, ten minutes later Ezra said "Bone at nine O’clock fifty feet I spotted the fish immediately made a roll cast one false cast then shot the line. A size 6 Gotcha landed three feet to the right and six feet in front of the fish, It was a good cast the fish only heard a slight sound, such as a shrimp would make as it moved through the water. The fish had picked up the sound it was going around in circles looking for the food item. I gave a tiny half an inch strip which kicked up a puff of milky grey silt I watched the fish turn towards the fly I gave another strip the fish pounced like a cat on a mouse. I set the hook my first fish of the day was hooked, it moved fast as always across the shallow water, the reel giving line. As the line cut through the water it had that emerald green scar. On and on went the fish until a hundred yards of line had gone, it turned then came back towards me fast. I wound like mad trying to keep in touch I quickly got a lot of line back on the reel. Tibor reels might cost around £450-00 but they are worth every penny spent. Slowly I was winning the battle soon the fish was mine I bent over the side of the skiff and released fish number 1.

Once more Ezra poled us along the flat, after some five minutes Ezra said "Bone at twenty feet, three o'clock I made a quick cast dropping the Gotcha within two feet of the fish it moved across inhaled the fly, fish number two was on. The fight resembled the first fish and soon this one was released. This fish wasn’t bothered by the boat or the fly dropping close bye, it was a very aggressive fish. Fifteen minutes later we heard a splash then I spotted a big pool of milky grey water a good bone was hunting inside the coloured water. Ezra whispered "Martin I want you to shoot for the spot" I looked at the distant mark, then looked at Ezra thinking this man reckons I can shoot eighty feet of fly line. I would give it my best shot. Turning to Ezra I said "Should I change to a Crazy Charlie Yes Man" answered Ezra tying on a size 2 Crazy Charlie I pulled more line off the reel then made a roll cast three false casts and shot the fly to the target. I watched with satisfaction as the fly landed in the middle of the coloured water "Well done man" said Ezra I let it sit then thirty seconds later I gave a two inch strip.

I felt something hit the fly then tightened with a strip strike but missed the fish I let the fly sit again in the clear water. The fish moved from the foggy water into the clear water I could now see the fish it was certainly a good one it was six feet from the fly. I gave a quick strip of some three inches, the fish immediately spotted the fly turned savagely and grabbed the Crazy Charlie. I set the hook, no mistake this time as a very powerful fish shot off across the flats. "Well done Martin" shouted Ezra "That was good casting" I watched the line disappearing fast from the reel first the fly line then a hundred yards of green backing followed by some of the red backing line before the fish stopped. I gained a few yards before the fish went off in another direction I could feel the power "Take it easy man that's a good fish" said Ezra. For some ten minutes it was give and take by angler and fish, slowly I was wearing the fish down gradually getting it closer to the boat. The runs from the fish were now becoming shorter, soon the fish was close enough for me to lean over the side of the skiff bend down then slide the Crazy Charlie from the fishes mouth. It weighed six pound plus, the best of the trip so far. I held the fish in the water for a couple of minutes until I felt it kick free watching with satisfaction as it made its way over the shallow water flat to find a better feeding spot. We fished on catching five more bones it was certainly great fishing in this tropical paradise.

Around twelve noon Ezra said "Lets go and find a nice spot for lunch Martin" as Ezra climbed down from his poling platform. The ignition key was turned the motor purred then as the throttle was opened up the motor roared the bows lifted and we skimmed across the smooth gin clear water heading for Miller Creek. Fifteen minutes later Ezra cut the motor and poled us to the edge of a flat. "Martin twelve o’clock fifteen feet big sawfish". I gasped. It must have been ten foot long with an awesome set of saws in front of its head. I was asleep in two feet of water. Boy was I glad I wasn’t wading with these fearsome creatures. Suddenly the water erupted, a huge silver scaled body rose from the water. A tarpon of perhaps one hundred pounds. What sort of fishery was this I thought. I peered into the dark deep water on the edge of the flat. A big, no a huge barracuda drifted bye. Why didn't I have my ten weight rod?. My eyes were once again drawn to the deep water channel as the water erupted this time two big tarpon rolling on the surface, the sun glinted on their huge silver scales. Close in to the mangroves a big hawksbill turtle surfaced then lay motionless in the sunshine no doubt sunbathing. During this fascinating lunch break I was amazed at the amount of aquatic life and fish. Jacks, various snappers grunts schoolmasters more big barracuda another huge sawfish drifted from the deep water up on the flat to seek food Just looking at these big fish sent a shiver down ones spine. They were awesome but fascinating. A couple of big rays drifted by the boat. I could hear lots of splashing coming from the mangroves as fish hunted crabs shrimps and other items of food. Ezra drew my attention to a big manta ray what magnificent creatures these are.

Lunch over Ezra started the motor, we slowly cruised further up Miller Creek until we reached a big flat on the right, switching off the motor Ezra climbed up on his poling platform we then commenced the hunt for bones. In quick succession I hooked and landed three bones all were taken within twenty feet of the boat in some eighteen inches of water. The bones were hungry and savagely grabbed any item of food. Ezra poled me into a backwater pool I spotted a tailing bonefish at forty feet I dropped a Crazy Charlie three feet in front of the feeding fish as it moved forward I gave a strip of about three inches the fish pounced I set the hook it was another hook up. Sadly after the first run, the fish shed the hook. We moved on five minutes later I hooked another bone this also shed the hook Strange I thought losing two fish in succession, I checked the hook, it seemed sharp enough but I decided to change. During the afternoon session I hooked up to several more good bones all landed without trouble. Around five PM Ezra said "Its time to leave Martin" I wound in all my line clipped off the fly and stowed the rod away then sat down in my padded seat. It had been a great day, one of my best ever on the flats I didn’t spook a single fish, hooked up to every fish I cast for and lost just two fish. Now that's what I call good fishing.

This was without doubt my best ever trip chasing bonefish. Moxey’s bonefishing lodge was excellent good food, nice room, very friendly and helpful staff. Most important of all its close enough to a bonefish flat where you can fish before breakfast and after dinner. The people of Moxey Town are nice and friendly, its very safe and your only a few hundred yards from the airport. Moxey’s Bonefishing Lodge Moxey Town Mangrove Cay Andros Island The Bahamas Tel/fax 242/369-0023 E-mail pax@bahamas.net.bs Website http:www.bahamas.net.bs/clients.moxeys.

I suggest you take an eight weight rod with floating line, a ten weight rod and floating line for the big barracuda permit and medium size tarpon. Why not pack a spinning rod. Masterline International have a nice telescopic rod which I have found to be ideal for bones, snappers, jacks and medium size barracuda. I always take some wire crimps and crimping pliers a few swivels. Don’t forget the sun protection lotion and lip balm. I drink bottled water but use tap water for cleaning teeth and for making tea. For further information E-mail me martin@flyfishing.plus.com Why not listen to At The Waters Edge on BBC Radio Lancashire Thursdays at 7-30pm Saturday mornings at six on frequencies 95.5 103.9 or 104.5 FM or on the Internet. radio.lancashire@bbc.co.uk



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Fishing News 3rd May

Rutland Water The weekend of 4/5 May will be special for hundreds of people around Rutland Water as they celebrate 25 years since the first fishing season started at the reservoir. Since that time around one million anglers from all over the world have fished here and this weekend they have the chance to catch a record fish and a prize worth £5,000.



Anglian Water is providing free fly-fishing tuition with experts all weekend at Normanton car park. On Saturday evening at 7pm in the marquee, a lively charity auction will be run by Jeff Dale with valuable items including top of the range angling equipment, sports and leisure vouchers, and meals and accommodation at Rutland’s most prestigious restaurants and hotels. With a signed football from the Arsenal team - finalists in the FA cup this Saturday! Proceeds from the auction will be donated to Rutland Accident Care Scheme, the County Air Ambulance and Water Aid. The event will also launch the Rutland Water Anniversary ale brewed specially by the Grainstore. The organiser of the weekend is Jon Marshall, fishery manager for Anglian Water says ‘This is going to be a great weekend with old friends meeting up after many years of pleasure at Rutland Water and raising funds for valuable charities. There will be visitors from all over the UK, many fished here on the exciting opening day 25 years ago’. The best fish this week, a superb 8lb 3oz rainbow, was taken by John Smalley of Peterborough on a pink booby. Paul Jones of Rotherham took a 5lb 4oz Rainbow. A number of good sized browns have been spotted. Over wintered fish are turning up regularly with 2lb plus rainbows being taken. Tackle shop staff Phil Brown and Trevor Ashby had a good day’s boat fishing up the top of the north arm fishing catch and release. They took 34 fish including some over wintered rainbows and a 3lb plus brown. All fish fell to nymphs, either under a bung or conventional nymphs.Fish are feeding hard on buzzers, with tiny black and large olive hatching in large numbers, with Daphnia showing inside some fish, particularly in the main basin. Best boat areas Sykes Lane, Normanton bottom of both arms. Best bank areas Sykes Lane, Whitwell, Barnsdale Armley Wood, the finches, old hall, barnhill creek Best methods bank anglers are using floating lines with weighted lures and buzzers. Boat anglers are using similar methods but include sinking lines with lures, orange, black, gold and silver.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir continues in superb form. Roy Swinfield of Leicester took the best fish of the week, which weighed in at 10lb 1oz. Roy’s fish fell to a size 14 buzzer fished on a floating line. This method proved a success in landing another 16 fish for Roy – an excellent day’s sport.

Competition news Ravensthorpe’s Troutmasters fish-off took place on Sunday. Season ticket holder Richard Slater of Northampton put in a good performance from the concrete ramp to take some quality fish to secure his place in the final at Grafham.

Best rainbow 10lb 1oz Roy Swinfield of Leicester best boat area cotton end. The best bank areas for best catches are from the natural bank between the lodge and ‘Gordon’s Seat’. Mornings seem to be the more productive than afternoons.

Pitsford Water Season ticket holder Richard Slater took a 6lb rainbow, the best fish of the week. The best brown this week, weighing 3lb, was taken by Mr Sissons. The Leicester Fly Fishers pairs match on 2lst was won by Rob Edmunds and P Sumner, who caught limits of 6 fish each in less than an hour. Other competitors followed suit before lunch. The Troutmasters fish off from the bank on 27th was won by Dave Elliot with 6 fish for 11lb 12oz caught in 2½ hours. Dave has qualified for the final at Grafham on 23rd September. Boat fishing on the same day was also very good with plenty of fish for the England Ladies Fly Fishing Association “friendly”. Best fish on the day was a 4lb 12oz rainbow.

Best method buzzers fished on a floating line with a long leader. Fish are being caught on a variety of methods, including lures on slow sinkers and boobies on fast sinking lines. Best rainbow 6lb taken by Richard Slater. Best brown 3lb taken by P Sisson best boat areas small half, causeway or big half, sailing dam, North Farm Bay best bank areas Sailing Club, North Farm Bay, Gorse Bank, Sermans

Grafham Water Mick Irons has once again managed to catch the heaviest bag of the week with 6 fish for 26lb 1oz. Mick also took the best rainbow of the week, a beauty at 6lb 9oz, on a floating line with a gold head damsel nymph. Norman Shippey of Cambridge has also had some incredible sport this week catching and releasing 16 fish on a floating line with nymphs and buzzers from the south end of the dam and seat area. Grafham Water has continued its fine form this week with a rod average of 3.83 with the majority of fish being caught on floating intermediate lines, with nymphs and buzzers producing the best bags, other methods which are having good results are fast sink lines with orange blobs fished fast and furious. best rainbow Mick Irons of St Neots 6lb 9oz best bank areas Hedge End, Hill Farm, bowl of dam, the seat, Gaynes cove, the Stumps and G buoy

Best boat areas Hedge End, Hill Farm, bowl of dam, the seat, Gaynes Cove, the Stumps, and G Buoy
Best methods floating lines with long leaders and buzzers or slime lines and nymphs. Alternatively fast sinking lines.

Coarse Fishing, Taverham Mill Fishery All lakes are fishing superbly.

Taverham Lake The Lily pads are now breaking the surface. Carp have spwned successfully over the last weekend. Good catches of tench from all pegs. AW warden Simon Wrigglesworth took a mega catch of 28 tench including 8 over 6lb, with the biggest rainbow weighing in at 7lb 2oz. Season permit holder Gavin Buck from Hellesdon took three carp including a fine specimen of 20lb 2oz. The week’s biggest common fell to Essex angler Paul Brazier and weighed in at 19lb. Local match angler Adie Moore, from Norwich, had a very pleasant afternoon taking 8 tench to 5½lb.

Costessey Continues to produce endless quality bream with school teacher Julia Humphreys obtaining a personal best with a fish of 10lb 12oz.

Ardleigh Big bags of bream are being caught in most areas around the reservoir with Wick Lane and the A12 end fishing particularly well, with several bags over 100lb reported. Tench are also showing well with an unconfirmed report of a 9lb specimen. The Butterfly Pond is producing good mixed bags with roach, rudd, chub and perch all being caught. Boats return to the water on 1st May so do book early to avoid disappointment on 01206 230642.


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Fishing News 23rd April

Rutland Water The best fish of the week fell to Richard Wightman from Mill Lane, Usk. Richard took a corking 9lb 5oz rainbow on a floating line and black buzzer. Gold season ticket holder Pete Bills from Papplewick, Nottingham, a Rutland Water regular, took a super 6lb 4oz brown while fishing the main basin. Local match angler Martin Introna of Worksop put his practice for the Bob Church competition to good use by taking a superb 5lb 4oz rainbow. On a recent beginners course Dennis Kerr, of Peterborough, used his new skills to take a lovely over-wintered 3lb 5oz rainbow. There have been tremendous buzzer hatches during the week with a good number of over wintered fish taken, especially for boat anglers fishing the bottom of the south arm.



Ravensthorpe Reservoir The biggest fish of the week fell to boat angler Julian Davies, of Northampton, who was getting in some practice for the Mid Northants Fly Fishers match at the weekend. Julian took the fine 7lb 10oz Rainbow from a boat at the Coton End on an orange lure and nymphs, along with 10 other fish.

With good hatches of midge and pond olives tempting fish, anglers have had a busy week. GRHE and Sawyer type PTNs make good pond olive imitations. Superglue or epoxy buzzers are spot on for the midge, try size 14 to 12. Floating lines are all that is needed



Grafham is in outstanding form. Anglers are reporting great fishing with a number of quality over-wintered fish. The fish are willing to feed during the brighter weather in the deeper water but move in during the late evening or at first light to feed on the high numbers of hatching buzzers. The boat anglers are saying that the fish have moved out from the shores and are lying in the deeper water about 400-500 yards off shore during the day and in bright weather but are moving in closer to the shore in the evening as the sun starts to fade. The predominant method seems to be floating lines with long leaders and red or olive buzzers fished deep and slow. Some boat anglers are catching on dark olive coloured dries and emergers along the north shore.



Coarse fishing - Taverham Mill Fishery The recent bright sunshine has encouraged anglers to the banks in large numbers.

Taverham Lake Both Carp and tench are falling to all anglers. Best fish of the weekend went to Anglian Water warden Mark Wiles who banked a tremendous mirror of 21lb 14oz. Warden Simon Wrigglesworth took a mirror of 20lb 6oz. Season permit holder Graham Beckerton of Taverham landed a fish of 21lb 8oz, part of a monster haul of 4 carp and numerous tench to 5lb. Biggest tench of the weekend went to Mark Fry of Beccles who landed a fine specimen of 7lb followed closely by Mark Shearing of Felthorpe with a fish of 6lb 10oz. All anglers had tench to 5lb plus with a few ‘babies’ weighing between 3 and 4lb for good measure.

Costessey Lakes Again fine weather brought anglers to the banks. No 1 lake was back on form with its quality roach and no 2 is still giving up plenty of bream to 10lb.

Ardleigh has been fishing exceptionally well over the last two weeks with plenty of big bags of bream. The fish tend to be in the shallower water especially down the A12 end. David Elder and four other anglers have all reported bags of well over 100lb. There has also been a large number of carp showing in the same area, with season permit holder Jonathan Coote landing a 23lb mirror. At Lodge Lane Paul Southgate went one better with a 24lb mirror. It is also pleasing to report several good tench with the largest tipping the scales at 7½lb. This was taken by Mr Taylor from Holbrook fishing the far end of the reservoir at Wick Lane. Boats will be available again from 1 May but anglers are reminded that the pike close season re-opens 1 June.

The Cold Spring Weather Isn’t Good For Trout Fishing

The cold easterly winds have certainly slowed up the fishing for brown trout on the northern rivers with little fly life showing. The rivers are bare bones and algae is starting to build up , in fact conditions are looking a bit grim. Its times like this when I fear for our rivers. Under conditions of normal flow levels a slight pollutant getting into the river would probably be diluted but in conditions of little flow we could end up with a fish kill.
Talking of pollution I have a problem on the river Aire from a landfill site where a pump that takes the liquid waste from the site to the local sewage works for treatment has broken down. I have complained to the EA. without any action. I have also written to Nigel Evans MP for the Ribble Valley who has been on touch with the Environment Minister Mr M Meacher demanding some action. In the latest correspondence from the Environment Minister Meacher states and I quote just one paragraph This is a ‘minor pollution incident which has a limited effect on water quality, normally only around the point of discharge, but including thin oil sheen or film extending over a larger area’
If this is a minor pollution, why have we had a pump working 24 hrs a day for several years taking the liquid waste to the sewage works?. If you were to see the state of the riverside field and the river water you wouldn’t feel its a minor pollution. This Government keeps telling us they care about the environment. I don’t believe it for one moment. Its only interested in power. Prime Minister Blair wants to be a President and he is certainly a good poodle of American President Bush who no doubt tells Prime Minister Blair how high to jump. Enough said for the moment but I have gone back to my MP demanding the pump be repaired.
On the river Aire from the A59 upstream to Gagrave on both banks where the fishing is controlled by Bradford City AA and Bradford No 1 The trees and bushes are at long last free of plastic sheeting and bags of all description. In the past three days I have either burnt or taken to the local rubbish tip some 24 large sacks of rubbish. Non of this rubbish is angler related, its all down to the building industry, general public and farmers.
During my days on the river, I have also spent some time rescuing small fish from an area of virtually stagnant water which had been left by the floods of winter. If I don't get these fish out in the next couple of week they will perish. On the river Aire from Carlton downstream to Kildwick and Silsden areas many people are abusing the close season for coarse fish on rivers by fishing for chub under the pretext of trout fishing. When you go trout fishing you don't need rod holdalls and seat boxes, then sit in one place all day as we have seen on the river Aire Its time the Environment Agency and the angling clubs made it fly fishing or spinning only. Also let have a rule where no fishing is allowed on sections of river where fish are trapped in that section of the river by low water levels.
Three years ago the late John Driver and I built a stile so anglers wouldn’t keep breaking down the stone wall. In those three years its stood all the floods of three winters. Many occasions the stile has been under water while sections of the stone wall have been broken down by the force of water. Even Rolls Royce cars needed some maintenance and that's true of the stile, this week its been done including putting in a new step and strengthening the rails. Some two hundred yards down river from the stile a swan had a tough fight for its life with a mink but sadly it died from its wounds. So my next job is to set up some mink traps and get rid of this the biggest killer in the countryside. I cannot understand those idiots who release this killer from mink farms. They tell us they care about the wildlife and the animal welfare. That's a lot of rubbish if they cared they wouldn’t let this killer loose. When have you seen any of these antis helping out in the countryside to enhance the habitat and improve conditions for the fish, birds and wildlife.
Rivers and streams countrywide have trees and bushes that will have plastic bags and other rubbish in their branches, no doubt your local stretch of river or stream has this problem. Why not give up a few days fishing to clear away all the rubbish. I can tell you now, you will feel a lot better for having done some work to improve your favourite fishing spot. Don't leave it to the other guy or nothing will get done. Bradford City AA have working parties every other week summer, spring autumn and winter but they only get a dozen or so and the average age is probably fifty five but they get a lot of work done. Other clubs that get a few members working to improve the environment and the fisheries are Prince Albert AS and Bowland Game Anglers.
Today Wednesday after working for some five hours I decided to have a few casts I made up an 8’6" rod rated for a five weight line it was built for me by Tim Damon E-mail info@damonrods.com The rod comes with a soft tip action and I find it perfect for dry fly fishing, My line was a double taper floater with a ten foot tapered leader down to a three pound point. Today with no fish rising no flies hatching off a very cold blustery east wind I decided to start off fishing a size 14 Eric’s beetle tied up for me by Stuart Bowdin of Pendle fly dressing Tel 01282-695296. Eric’s beetle is a favourite north country fly designed by Eric Horsfall Turner who at one time was the Town Clerk for Scarborough and a fine fly fisher who also fished Yorkshires only chalk stream The Driffield Beck. I had been advised to grease up the leader and fish the fly a few inches under the surface.
I slowly made my way upstream casting into all the likely spots that might hold a trout but no takes and no sign of a fish. After some forty minutes of fishing I decided to change over to a Richard Walker Mayfly nymph tied up for me by Alan Bithell Tel 0161-284-2825 Alan’s the man who thought up the Paythorn olive which I have found to be an excellent pattern when olives are coming off. With this heavy fly I fished all the deep water pools but nothing. The fish didn’t want to eat my flies today and after an hour and a half of fishing I went back to clearing rubbish. The forecast for the next few days isn’t good Its more of the same with frost at night. What we desperately need is lots of rain with a warm south-westerly wind. If you cast your mind back to last year I think you will find the weather was roughly the same. With the fishing not worth the effort, its time to get out clearing away the rubbish from last winters floods.

Anglian Water Trout Fishing Off To A Great Start

The cold easterly winds have certainly hit the trout fishing on the rivers of northern England, Even on the warmest of days
I have only seen a few sporadic hatches of large dark olives and a few micro buzzers. Occasionally I have been lucky to
take a couple of fish on dry flies but the best prospects are fishing nymphs. Its been a different story on some stillwaters
where the fresh stocked fish have proved easy to catch.

Rutland Water A spectacular start to the season, with a rod average of 7.4! Rutland Water’s senior warden John Seaton said
”We had a superb opening day, and with Rutland Water celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this year we could not have wished for
a better start to the season.” All boats were out on the water. Including bank anglers there were around 300 plus fishing. With
20,000 fish stocked pre-season and a further 17,000 planned in April alone, it looks like a season to remember”. The Rutland
Independence Trophy was won by local season ticket holder Stuart Young of Glaston. Stuart managed a fine 4lb 3oz Rainbow,
winning himself £45 in tackle vouchers, weighing in the heaviest fish by the 5 pm deadline for the trophy.
The best fish of the opening day fell to boat angler Derek Laxton of Leicestershire, who caught a superb conditioned 5lb 8oz rainbow off Gibbets Gorse. This fell to a size 12 black buzzer. Season ticket holder Alan Batch of Greetham had a great day recording eight fish for over 30lb. The best fish was a 5lb 4oz rainbow. Thirteen year old James Hunt from Ashby de la Zouch caught eight fish on buzzer and damsels from near the church.
Thirteen year Luke Shevlin of Oakham entered the record book by becoming the first juvenile to take a double figure fish from Rutland. On the second day of the season Luke hooked a 10lb 8oz rainbow. Boat fishing the Old Hall his fish fell to a silver lure fished on a slime line. The fish took ten minutes to land. It is an excellent start to a crucial season for Anglian Water sponsored England Youth team member Luke, who is aiming for a place at this year’s world championships.
Single man boats are proving very popular. These are new at Rutland this year and are only bookable 5 days in advance. You must be a competent boat handler and have a mobile phone with you whilst on the water.
best boat areas: mouth of Dickinsons Bay, Barnsdale steep bank, the mound and Whitwell frontage. Gibbets Gorse, old hall, Yellowstone and green bank.best bank areas: Normanton Bank, the dam, Gibbets Gorse, Yellowstone and the finches.
best methods: black and green lures. Black and green buzzers, damsels, dawson’s olive.

Grafham Water New beginner Nathan Watson aged 13 from Pertenhall took his first ever fish at Grafham from the Harbour Wall
on Sunday Nathan used a home tied black damsel gold head. The superb over-wintered rainbow weighed 3lb 11oz and was
netted by John Mees, Grafham Water’s senior warden. Best bag of the week went to John Sears of Great Gransden and John
Saddler of St Neots, both season ticket holders. The pair took 24 fish from the stumps on black boobies on Hi D lines for
51 lb 7oz with three over-wintered rainbows over 4lb in the bag, the pair also returned seven browns between them in their best
ever day’s fishing.

Season ticket holder Ian Heading from Great Staughton took a superb specimen weighing 7lb 1oz from the dam wall on a red buzzer on a floating line and long leader. Ian repeated his success the following day with another quality fish of 5lb 1oz using
the same method. Plenty of good quality fish have been taken at Grafham this week on all methods especially on the buzzer
and floating line method. best boat areas: the Seat, Gaynes Cove Point. Bowl of dam and Hedge End. Hill Farm and the Stumps. best bank areas: the Seat, South End of Dam, Bowl of Dam, Hill Farm and Stumps best methods: Floating lines with epoxy buzzers on a long leader fished slowly round in the wind. This method is very effective with the number of over wintered fish – around 200 so far. Medium sinking lines with lures, black,green, orange and white. Hi D’s with dark coloured
boobies.

Ravensthorpe With a rod average close to ten and big fish galore, Ravensthorpe is the place to head for.
Eric Kyte of Brixworth took the best fish of the week, a 13lb over-wintered rainbow whilst bank fishing near the Dome Bushes.
The fish took a GRHE variant fished on a floating line. Eric had a further 9 fish including a couple of five pounders. Eric has a tip
for fellow anglers – “check the knot or join between line and backing before you fish at Ravensthorpe”. Eric said “I’ve never seen
my backing so often”. Adam Mead, aged 12 from Ruislip fished with his Dad along with four other dads and lads. Adam boated
a corker of a rainbow which tipped the scales at 11lb 2oz. Adam’s friend 12 year old Bill Woodbridge, visiting from the Isle of
Man, took a seven pounder. The party of 3 dads and 3 lads took 100 fish between them, mostly on Adam’s own GRHE variant.

Charlie McCormack was in amongst the big fish. He boated a 10lb 1oz fish from the Coton end car park area. This heavyweight
brought Charlie’s total for the day to 31.best boat areas: Coton end to island
best bank areas: Platforms to dome bushes best methods: Buzzers and gold ribbed hares ears on floating lines
Pitsford Water continues to fish well with good sport for both boat and bank anglers. A variety of methods are proving successful and Anglian Water senior warden Nathan Clayton says “Floating lines with long fluro carbon leaders with black or red buzzer, size 12 with a heavy one on the point are working well. A two or three fly set will ensure you get the depth required. This method can be used on both bank and boat. Other top methods this week are boobies on a fast sinking line from the boats in areas like Bog Bay up to the cliffs. Cast out and retrieve slowly, remember catch and release can’t be used for this method.” Top spots for boats have been the Causeway and Bog Bay to the Cliffs. Best bank spots have been Stilton Point to No fish Point, the Gravels and Rigby’s Point.The small half is now officially open and it will be stocked this week. In the meantime why not fish it for an over-wintered fish.
coarse fishing Taverham Mill Fishery Easter has proved to be a successful weekend for all anglers at Taverham and Costessey. Although still early in the year for tench fishing, Taverham lake produced a tremendous number of fine specimens. Costessey No 2 still seems to be the place for quality Bream Taverham Lake Bob Anderson from Taverham had another terrific session this weekend and banked a total of 12 tench to 6lb. Anglian Water wardens Simon Wrigglesworth and Mark Wiles also managed to catch a few fish in between duties. Simon banked a common carp of 15½lb and three tench to 5lb while Mark, during his first full session on the lake, managed to land a total of 9 tench to 6lb. Most anglers caught good sized tench with several carp over 20lb thrown in for good measure. Costessey No 2 Season permit holder Gary Lawn banked a total of 30 Bream to 11lb and 1 tench over a two night session. Eleven year old Simon Weir from Bacton banked a beautiful 11½lb fully scaled Mirror Carp whilst on holiday from school. Costessey No 3“Single Scale” has made another visit to the bank at 39lb 4oz. Landed by season permit holder Andrew O’Brien from Costessey.Overall, all lakes have had a good start to the season and prospects for the rest of the year are excellent.
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Fishing News 21st April

Its Been Another Tough Few Days On The Rivers

Saturday and Sunday had been two long days in the studio working on a new series of programmes and putting together some trailers for future programmes. I suppose the high light of the weekend was interviewing Doctor Malcolm Greenhalgh who in my opinion is one of the greatest fly fishers not just in Britain but Europe. Malcolm like me fishes for everything in fresh and saltwater with a fly rod but he does it a lot better than me. If your new to fly fishing on streams and rivers then get hold of Malcolm's book Trout Fishing In Rivers published by Witherby its excellent. Another excellent book you shouldn’t be without is Matching The Hatch by Pat O’ Reilly. Its for the stillwater, river and stream angler. By the time I had finished work, it was to late to go out and cast a fly. Though I did sort out and pack some tackle for my coming trip to Moxeys bonefishing camp in Moxey Town, Mangrove Cay in the Bahamas.

Monday was a nice warm sunny day with a light easterly wind, No fishing today, I had a stile to build on one of Bradford City’s Angling Association waters near Skipton. Thankfully my mate Mike Osborn from Cumbria offered to come and help. It was about ten thirty in the morning when we arrived armed with a selection of tools and saws. The stile was to be built over a five bar gate which wasn’t in use, so the first job was to permanently close the gate. While Mike set about that job. I went off in search of timber for the stile. In no time at all I had enough timber for half a dozen stiles. Its surprising how much timber gets washed up on the river bank during the winter floods. It was quite nice working away in the sunshine, as we worked Mike and I discussed various piscatorial matters. Otherwise known as fish and fishing.

Having finished the stile we covered the gate with wire mesh which would stop young lamb escaping, these animals are like us humans, they think the grass is greener on the other side. After a break I took Mike off upstream to show him some big grayling, we also collected a couple of bags of rubbish. After watching the grayling we went off downstream to collect more rubbish. was also able to show Mike some good chub. Back at the roadside lay-bye we collected a huge bag of rubbish which had been left by the general public, fast food containers, soft drink cans and bottles, beer cans, plastic bags, wine bottles and plastic sheeting which had been left by some road building contractors. It was another day spent in the delightful English countryside, though we didn’t get to fish we both felt good at improving the habitat.

Tuesday I’m back on the river Aire this time to work on the Bradford No 1 Angling Association water. I worked a seven hour shift with just a fifteen minute break for a sandwich and coffee Most of the time was spent clearing riverside trees and bushes of plastic bags and sheeting. I pulled five car tires from the river, about one hundred yards of barbed wire was dragged from the river bed. this was a tough task as the wire was covered in all manner of plastic and other rubbish. I can honestly say this was hard physical work

During the time I was on the water I didn’t see a single olive or any other fly hatch off. I did see between a hundred and two hundred Daddy Longlegs or crane-flies under a overhang of the river bank. It looked as though they were mating. I have never witnessed this scene this early in the year. In his book A Dictionary of Trout Flies Courtney Williams writes on page 154 Some species of crane-flies appear in April and continues throughout the remainder of the fishing season. There was only one fly fisher on the water today, after checking Brian’s rod licence and permit, he commented on how nice the river looked upstream without all the plastic. I felt good that someone had noticed all the hard work which had been done over the past weeks. My last job of the day was loading some piping into the car which would be used by a local angling club who were trying to improve the salmon runs on the Hodder and Ribble. I arrived home tired and whacked after a shower and dinner I sat reading the paper for a while then went off to bed about 9pm sleeping through till past nine the next morning.

Wednesday I fished as the guest of Stephen Ainscow of Ramsbottom Lancashire, After a mug of tea we set off for the River Ribble, the weather wasn’t good, we had a cold blustery wind which during the day went from south east to a southerly direction. During our drive to the river we witnessed the flying skills of a sparrow hawk. At the waters edge we both tackled up to fish the dry fly rather than nymphs, had we chosen the latter we might have caught more fish. But I doubt if we would have enjoyed it, there is something special casting and watching a dry fly. The odd fish could be seen rising but they were not interested in our flies. As we made our way up river we could see a bush on the far bank with several large plastic bags of various colours hanging from its branches. Stephen said "It looks like Blackpool illumination" I agreed, reaching the area we waded across the river then cleared all the rubbish, it certainly looked a lot better when we had finished.

At 2-20pm a flurry of olives appeared, trout started to rise. Stephen being a true gentlemen said "There you go Martin" I suggested he should try first, but he wouldn’t have non of it. Several times I drifted a Paythorn olive over the rising fish but nothing wanted to eat. Changing to a rough olive I tried again still the fish ignored my offering. Finally I tried a a large dark olive still I couldn’t get a take. At 2-35 PM the fish stopped rising as the flies stopped hatching. A cool wind started to blow. Back at our starting point we had a sandwich and coffee, as we did so we discussed the days fishing, the lack of insects and admired some beautiful clumps of marsh marigolds as we listened to a chaffinch. A pair of pied wagtails were catching small insects on the wing which was quite fascinating.

After a good rest we moved off downstream, after some four hundred yards we found a group of rising fish. Casting a Paythorn olive up and across the stream I watched it drift down looking very life like, but it was ignored. Twice more I watched the fly drift over the rising fish which again showed no interest. On the fourth cast a suicidal grayling rose to intercept my offering. After a short struggle I quickly released the grayling, which was quickly followed by another fish. Realising all the rising fish were either grayling or smolts I moved on. Half an hour later with no sign of fish or insect we called it a day. Back at my place Stephen collected all the piping I had collected from the river Aire. Somehow we managed to get the lot into his car, Stephen then he went off to the angling clubs hatchery. After a shower and some dinner I answered some three dozen E-mail's One was from my friend Brandon in Maryland which read as follows Hi Martin,

Ivette and I headed to the Susquehanna Flats the second week that it opened in search of a big fish for Ivette. We had a good day catching fish from 6-10 pounds. Then I decided to drift into some shallower water where no one else was fishing. We hit about 3 feet and Ivette's rod doubled over and she looks at me and says, "I think I have a big one!". Well she sure did, she did a great job fighting it and we got it to the boat several times, finally got it right to the boat and I had my hand on the leader and about ready to get the fish out and it shakes it big head, breaks the leader and gets away before we could get a picture. But Ivette was happy, I estimate it to be about 24-25 pounds. Real nice fish. Then we drifted another area in about 2-3 feet and after about 15 minutes I felt like my fly got stuck on the bottom, then the bottom started moving like a freight train in the opposite direction. Well into my backing and still going, finally I stopped him and after about 10 minutes we got him to the boat, Ivette did a great job landing the fish, the boga grip said 28 pounds, biggest I have ever caught on the fly :-) Pictures attached. The fishing slowed after that, we picked up a few more, but then headed home after a good day.

Two days later Ivette and I headed over to a private lake we have permission to fish. Really nice largemouth in there. Ivette again landed a big one, I estimate it to be about 7 pounds which is excellent for around here. Picture attached. Of course when I go to land this one she looks at me and says, "Do not lose this one now." A true angler :-) I caught a few nice ones on the fly. Cheers Brandon. These Americans certainly do have some excellent salt and freshwater fishing I will be in Connecticut and Massachusetts in May hoping for a big striper on the fly. After dealing with all my E-mail's I went off to bed about 10-PM

Thursday I was fishing the river Ribble as the guest of Alan Roe, we left my home about ten thirty. Driving alongside the river I noticed what can only be described as a washing machine at work. At the bottom of a fast shallow run some 150 yards downstream of Sawley bridge the river makes a right hand sweep the bay was covered with a white foam. With our rivers at an extremely low level and low flow rate its quite a worrying time in case we get a pollution incident. I called the EA. on 0800-80-70-60 which was quickly and efficiently answered. After reporting the problem and location I was put through to the area pollution office. Some two hours later I had a call from an EA. officer at the scene who gave me a report on the incident. This time it wasn’t a major problem but it proved once again the pollution control team at the EA. in the North West do take action when alerted. Arriving at the waterside we put the kettle on. As the wind was quite strong I chose to fish a five weight outfit with a ten foot tapered leader with a three pound point. Having tackled up and finishing my tea I made my way upstream while Alan chose to fish a weir pool.

After an hour or so I made my way back to the starting point having seen no fish or insects. Alan hadn’t caught anything either. We decided it was time for lunch, as the fish didn’t want to eat. We dined rather royally on smoked salmon, salad and proper oven baked bread washed down with freshly brewed tea. The wind was very cold and blustery with rain showers not the best of conditions for fly fishing. Lunch finished I went off upstream once again where I spotted a nice trout rising under the far bank. I tried hard to temp the fish to rise and take one of the fly patterns in my box with no success. Every two or three minutes over a period of thirty minutes or so an olive would come drifting down stream but the trout would only rise about every ten minutes and take one. I didn’t have any luck. I felt I was fishing really good today. Casting a long line up and across I was getting the fly to land like thistledown followed by perfect drifts but it didn’t make any difference. The fish didn’t want to eat any of my offerings. During this session I watched and listened to a Spitfire going through a flying routine. It was a magnificent sight which took me back to my boyhood days during WW2.

With the fish not wanting my flies today I made my way downstream as I did so I spotted five swallows the first I had seen this year. There were also a lot of curlews calling to one another which sounded delightful in the beautiful river Ribble valley. Half a mile downstream I tried another fast run where I spotted a fish swirl, but again no takes. I gave up in the end and headed back for some fresh tea. Half an hour later we decided to leave for home. In the car park the sun appeared but only for a few minutes. Arriving home I filled all the bird feeders, then it was time for dinner. I spent the evening answering listeners letters.

Friday was warm and sunny, after doing some badly needed jobs I headed off to the river Ribble at Mitton. On the way I stopped off at the shops where picked up some bacon which had been home cured from local pigs, a large crusty loaf of real bread along with some fresh eggs. I was providing lunch for Ivan the river keeper today. Arriving at the fishery I was surprised to see several fish rising and lots of olives coming off. Before putting together my tackle, it was on with the kettle on for fresh brew. As I finished putting my tackle together, the kettle started to boil perfect timing. After tea and biscuits I made my way upstream to the Minnow pool. Reaching the Farmhouse pool I spotted Nick Hammond from New York with a pulled string and bent stick. After Nick had unhooked the fish I said "Good morning Nick what did you take that fish on" he replied "A size 16 black gnat". I then continued upstream as I did so several oyster catchers and four common sandpipers flew off a shingle bank.

Olives were coming of and fish were rising, I tied on a size 14 rough olive greased it up and made cast up and across it had drifted some three feet when a fish sucked in my offering. Fish number one was quickly played out unhooked and released without being touched by hand. Drying off the fly I made another cast as it floated downstream I thought to myself how lifelike it looked against the real olives. three time my offering was ignored but I had a nice trout on the next cast. In an hours fishing I had five fish missed three and had several drifts where my offering was ignored. I was thinking about lunch when Ivan the river keeper turned up to see how I was doing. We chatted for some minutes, finally I said to Ivan "Are you ready for a mug of tea and some lunch" Ivan said "That’s a good idea" We then made our way back to the cabin. Lunch over we had another mug of tea then I went off fishing. During the late afternoon several big Stoneflies (Plecoptera) hatched off. They reminded me of the big salmon flies on the Deschutes river in Oregon though the salmon flies are treble the size of our Stoneflies. The fishing during the afternoon session was even better than the morning session. It was great fun, all my fish were returned to their aquatic environment, being unhooked in the water without being touched by hand. After catching three out of season grayling all well over the pound mark I moved to another stretch of river where I spotted a duck with six, day old ducklings looking like balls of fluff. Casting only to rising fish I had a nice brace of brown trout around the 17 - 18 inch mark It was then time for tea and biscuits. Nick joined Ivan and myself at the cabin, while Nicks charming and friendly wife Delaine caught up on her sleep in the warm sunshine. After tea we made our way back to our chosen beats. Both of us catching more hard fighting trout. Around 6-PM we called it a day. I said my good bye’s to Nick and Delaine then headed off for home. It had certainly been a great day in the Lancashire countryside with nice people on the river Ribble which I consider. The Jewel in the Crown of Lancashire. Today was probably the nicest day of the season so far and its amazing what some sunshine with light warm winds can do for trout fishing.

Saturday its back on the river Aire to check on permits and rod licences, I also had to burn a mountain of rubbish. In total there were 24 large bags of rubbish to get rid of. Using fire lighters, a liberal dose of petrol inside some of the bags I soon had a good fire going. After some five hours all the rubbish had been burnt leaving just a pile of ash. Two non members were on the Bradford City AA stretch of water, they had come over a newly built stile which had a prominent notice stating Bradford City AA Private Fishing. These people reckoned they hadn’t seen the notice. What does one do with these people?. They did eventually leave without any problems or verbal abuse. I left the river about 4-PM after a six hour working session. Back home I had a shower some dinner then promptly fell asleep in the armchair waking up about 9-PM

Sunday I was off to the studio at 4-40 am, I was in a very happy mood even at this early time of the day, it was raining, hopefully it would continue for the next few days non stop but sadly by 11-am the rain had gone. I had planned to attend the Bradford City AA working party and interview fly dresser Stuart Bowdin of Pendle fly dressing but I had so much work I didn’t get away until gone 3-PM After a late lunch I had a look around my pond, checking the water temperature I noticed it had risen 2 degrees F from 48 to 50 degrees F. I then checked some frog spawn I was keeping in a tub where I spotted half a dozen tiny tadpoles. Back indoors I caught up on my correspondence both snail mail and E-mail. After making a pot of tea I sat down to read this months Trout and Salmon magazine also Fly Fishing & Fly Tying. In the T&S magazine I read two excellent features, Glorious Grafham and A Windermere spring. Both were very informative. FF&FT contained another excellent article from that master fly fisher Malcolm Greenhalgh, an interesting feature was Uprising in the King’s Domain. Its all about river trouting in the Spey. I also enjoyed Steve Thornton’s article Precious Stone, more so as this past week I have seen a lot of stoneflies on the river Ribble. I'm now off to try and catch some bonefish have a good weeks fishing.
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Fishing News 16th April

Rutland Water has continued to fish well and anglers have seen a steady number of over wintered fish. The best rainbow this week at 5lb 1oz fell to Iain Forbes of London. Browns are also featuring well with 175 recorded this week. The best two browns both went to season ticket holders. Terry Humphries of Barrowden took a 6lb specimen whilst boat fishing the main basin on a deeply fished lure. Al Ovenden of Wittering caught a splendid 5lb 5oz brown whilst competing in the RAF central league match.

This was taken on a black buzzer fished on a bung from a boat off Barnsdale steep bank and helped him win his second competion of the season with eight fish for 17lb 8oz. (Al won the RAF bank match earlier in April) best boat areas Normanton, Sykes Lane, fishing lodge frontage, Barnsdale, Dickensons,transformer, green bank and old hall. best bank areas old hall, green bank, yellowstones,the Mound, Barnsdale creek and cardiac hill

Ravensthorpe Reservoir continues to provide top class fishing. Fish are running the shallows at the coten end, giving excellent sport to both boat and bank anglers alike. Regular bank man and season ticket holder, Mark Bradbury of Northampton fished "Gordons Seat" on Sunday and was rewarded with a cracking 12lb 4oz rainbow. Mark fished a size 14 black suspender buzzer to take this fish and nine others in a morning session. Fourteen year old Jason Carno from the Isle of Dogs (on only his second trout fishing expedition) caught six nice rainbows including a 5lb 4oz beauty. His dad Fred added a further eight fish to the bag. All fish came to a gold head damsel.

Anglian Water Warden, Chris Allen, offers this advice when fishing Ravensthorpe. "Fish floating lines with long leaders at the top of the wind with size 12.14 black and green buzzer, damsels and hares ears and retrieve very, very slowly". best boat areas cotton end shallows best bank areas cotton end natural bank.

Pitsford Water The second best rainbow of the season has fallen to Pitsford stalwart Terry Pancoust of Northampton. Terry used an intermediate shooting head with a Pitsford Pea to land the 8lb rainbow, off gorse bank, which is a very good spot for big fish this season. England Youth Secretary, Denis Footman of Kibworth decided to have a short evening nymph fishing off the bank
and was rewarded with 4 lovely rainbows and returned another 4 to the water. Buzzers and bloodworm on a floating line were the successful method. As regular bank anglers are aware, the water level is rising quickly occasionally making fishing difficult. At these times Nathan, Anglian Water’s senior warden, says "find the banks with the deep water, and fish nymphs and lure on a floating line and as long a leader as you can manage". best boat areas all of small half, may tree bank, gorse bank and stilton point best bank areas may tree bank, duffers reach to gorse bank, stone barn point and north farm bay.

Grafham Water has seen another good week of fishing and the cold weather hasn’t put the fish off. Anglers are still reporting some great sport out of the wind especially in the shelter of the north shore. The preferred method is still floating lines with long leaders and a team of epoxy buzzers fished slowly round in the wind with either red or black buzzers doing the damage.

However there are still plenty of over-wintered fish being caught throughout the whole of the water on all methods from fast sinkers with boobies to floaters with buzzers of nymphs.

This was proven last week by regular boat angler Mick Irons of St. Neots, who took six quality rainbows from hedge end on a gold head damsel nymph and floating for a staggering 26lb 2oz, giving him the heaviest bag of the week.

coarse fishing Taverham Mill Fishery Taverham LakeThe lake is still fishing well for Carp despite a drop in temperatures. Season permit holder "Splash" Hardy from Yarmouth managed a trio of Mirrors to 16lb, a Common of 14lb and two Tench over 5lb.

Liam Hirst from Sprowston had a surprise when his first fish of the session proved to be a 15lb 8oz catfish that was tempted by his tangerine and squid flavour boilie. Costessey Lakes Costessey No. 2 is still producing many quality Bream to 10½lb to both day and night anglers.

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It's Been Hard Work On The River 5th April

Over the Easter holiday, some people spent their time driving to the coast or sitting in traffic jams, others were in the garden or being DIY enthusiasts. Some fished the lakes and canals for the coarse fish, others chased the rainbows on the many stillwaters countrywide. While a few more fished the rivers and streams for the brown trout.
In between working in the BBC Radio Lancashire studios, catching up on some writing, I've also spent some days on the river Aire working to improve the habitat for the fish, aquatic insects, birds and wildlife. It's been a tough, dirty sweating job, try working in chest deep water having to saw through underwater branches, not the easiest of jobs but it had to be done. By taking out many of the underwater branches I was soon able to get the water flowing which, to my surprise, quickly cleared much of the silt that had accumulated. Hopefully, by taking out these underwater branches, plastic bags and other rubbish will be a thing of the past.

Day two was another dirty horrid back breaking job. It was spent clearing away the unsightly rubbish from the riverside trees, bushes and the river bed. Plastic carrier bags from Morrisons and Tesco’s, beer and soft drink cans, soft drink bottles, green topped plastic milk containers often half filled, coal bags, fertilizer and animal feed bags in various colours, black plastic sheeting, sanitary towels, condoms and other rubbish enough to fill eleven large dustbin liners. All this rubbish being dumped by the general public and farmers. I didn’t find any anglers related rubbish - not even a few inches of nylon line. At the car park I cleared away another bag of rubbish.

Day three was another one of those days spent clearing rubbish from the riverside trees and bushes. Dragging rubbish filled plastic bags from the bed of the river was a tough job. Chunks of the riverside bank had collapsed into the river which I had to cut up, then drag up onto the bank. It's not an easy job when its all water logged. Day three was the toughest day by far. As in day two, all the bags of rubbish had to be taken back to the car then dropped off at the local council tip. But looking at the cleaned stretch of river bank I felt it had been well worth all the effort, all the more so when an hour after stopping work we noticed two good trout move on the shallows.

Back at the car park, I had an argument with a dog walker, who had allowed his two dogs to foul the footpath, he had no intention of clearing away the mess. To say I was an angry young man was an understatement, steam was coming from my ears and nostrils! After a heated debate and explaining "I had some photographs and his vehicle details", I then said "I was going to call the police". The dog walker returned to his car, collected some bags and removed the dog mess. He then quickly disappeared, but at least the children wouldn’t get the filth on their clothes and shoes.


The weather for the second half of the Easter holiday wasn’t good for fishing the dry fly. I suppose it was between 1:30 and 2:oopm on Monday when a few large olives appeared, the hatch probably lasting no more than five minutes, only the odd rise from a fish. I fished the area with a Paythorn Olive tied for me by Oldham fly tier Alan Bithell. I rose three fish missed two and pricked the other one. That’s what I call bad angling, I shouldn’t have missed all three of those takes.
The day started off when, Burnley angler, Kent Sherrington and I arrived on the banks of the river Ribble. After a mug of tea with river keeper, Ivan Duxbury, we got tackled up. Kent with nymphing gear, while I chose the dry fly. It was Kent's first day on the river so I offered to act as his guide.

After a walk of some eight hundred yards upstream we noticed the odd fish dimpling the surface. I suggested to Kent he should take my dry fly outfit and cast the small olive pattern, hoping a fish wanted to eat. Half a dozen casts later we moved on, the fish didn’t show any interest in eating imitation olives.
It was a chilly day with a cold blustery wind, not the best conditions for fly fishing. After a couple of hours showing Kent the various pools and runs and offering him advice on fishing the various fishing spots we returned to the cabin for lunch.
It's surprising how a fresh brew and a decent sandwich makes one feel more confident of catching.

After lunch we moved off downstream, where Kent fished upstream nymphs with sight indicator in all the pocket water and runs without success. Though he did get a couple of good takes. As previously stated I fished the dry fly without catching. At 3:00pm we called it a day returning to the cabin for a mug of tea before we headed off home. Though we hadn’t caught a fish we both enjoyed the experience. Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day.

Tomorrow wasn’t a better day - it was cold, windy and misty, no flies could be seen. I didn’t want to fish a nymph so I finished off the work I had been doing on the river Aire. At 4-0pm I called it a day after some seven hours of clearing away rubbish. I also planted a lot of new willows in the hope they would take root and in due course strengthen the bank side. I also dragged out some large dead branches that had laid on the river bed for a long time, they were covered with all manner of rubbish. It was amazing how quickly the silt was washed away. I erected some perches over areas where the minnows gathered. The kingfishers would now have a resting place where they could sit and preen themselves or dive for one of those minnows.

Today was one of those beautiful early spring days, with a light wind and warm sunshine. Arriving on the banks of the river Ribble I was greeted by river keeper Ivan Duxbury "Good morning Martin!"
"Hello Ivan. It’s a nice day, want a cup of tea?"
Within minutes the kettle is boiling and soon we are sitting at the waterside sipping tea and talking about the day's prospects. As we do so, a dark olive struggles to leave its watery birth place, suddenly we see a splashy rise, the olive has disappeared. A few more large dark olives come off the water, some escape others drop back on the water. As they glide downstream they are eaten by a hungry trout. Prospects looked good. I tackled up with a light soft action 4 piece rod made by Tim Damon E-mail info@damonrods.com A small JW Young's reel, Cortland five weight double taper line with a ten foot tapered leader with a three pound tippet. I tied on a size 14 Grey duster.

Ivan suggested we take a look at the Minnow pool, ten minutes later we were in position, as we sat watching the water an olive struggled to rise from the surface but a hungry trout had other ideas as the fly disappeared. Extending some line I cast upstream and across, the fly landed like thistledown it drifted two feet there was a swirl as a fish intercepted the imitation. I tightened a good fish was hooked. I looked skyward saying to myself this one’s for the Queen Mum who has sadly just passed away. After a good scrap I pulled the fish onto the shallows. It was a good brown trout 17"-18" certainly a fish worthy of the Queen Mother. Bending down I released the tiny Grey duster from the scissors of the fishes mouth then watched it swim off strongly. It felt great to be alive. I reckon Izaak Walton had rewarded me for all the work I had been doing to improve the river Aire.

Ivan and I watched the area for more trout but nothing was seen, we moved off downstream to another pool, again nothing was seen neither trout or insects. Arriving back at the fishery cabin I cooked eggs and bacon for lunch which tasted good, this was followed by lots of freshly brewed tea. After lunch Ivan had some fishery work to do, so I moved off downstream. Some fifty yards below the weir a fish was rising, five times I drifted a fly over it but nothing. Moving downstream I spotted a good fish rise, casting a couple of feet upstream of the rise the fly drift downstream, then it was gone. All I had seen was a tiny swirl, but I tightened a good fish was hooked. After a minute or so of excitement the fish was mine. Bending down I slipped the fly from the fishes mouth and watched it swim off, a nice trout of 14"-15" Barbless hooks are certainly the hooks to use, especially if like me you practise catch and release.

I sat watching the water for more fish to show, but nothing. I moved further downstream where I could see some tiny swirls, but it wasn’t possible to see what the fish were eating. I cast up and across watching the fly drift downstream, there was a light dimple on the surface. I tightened and hooked a small fish. It was an out of season grayling about 10" which was quickly released. I caught two more small grayling and a salmon parr then realized I shouldn’t be fishing the area and moved on. Half an hour later I was back at the cabin having a mug of tea. With no more rising fish it was time to leave, as I arrived home the rain sheeted down. It was the end of a delightful day at the waterside. If you would like to join this fishery syndicate give Ivan Duxbury a call for further details on 01254-826782. Tomorrow I am on the river Aire.


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OBITUARY 31st March

The Passing Of A Great Lady Fly Fisher 1900-2002

Saturday April 30th 2002 was a very sad day for fly fishers countrywide with the announcement that the United Kingdom's best known and loved fly fisher The Queen Mother had passed away.
Fly fishing was given that extra respectability by this great Lady who spent many hours fly fishing for salmon and brown trout in the rivers and lochs of Scotland.

At one time, the Queen Mum was Patron of the Salmon and Trout Association, a position now held by her eldest grandson, Prince Charles, himself a keen fly fisher. No doubt he was taught the noble art by his grandmother.
I am sure when we flyfishers next visit the waterside we will have a silent thought for a great Lady fly fisher. I feel privileged to have met the great Lady and may she Rest in Peace.

Martin James


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It's Great To Be Back River Trouting 31st March

I have been very busy over the past couple of weeks since the coarse fishing season ended. I have been working on my new book, putting together some programme material for my 'At The Waters' Edge' programme, on BBC Radio Lancashire Thursday at 7-30pm and Sundays at 5-30pm.
All my coarse fishing gear has been sorted, cleaned, then put away in my tackle cupboard until June 16th. I have managed to get some work done in the garden, the two garden sheds have been cleaned and tidied up.
Last week, I had a couple of days fly fishing on the river Ribble catching one ten inch brown trout on a size 16 Paythorn Olive. It was wonderful to be back. Unlike Lancashire, where the trout season opened on March 15th.
The new trout fishing season in Yorkshire didn't start until Monday 25th of March.
I spent the first few days on the river Aire, loving every minute of the experience though I haven't caught a fish, I did miss one on a dry fly. No doubt, if I had chosen to fish a nymph I may have caught a couple more brown trout but I wasn't bothered, it was just great being back in the countryside with everything that means. On one of my visits to the river Aire I had Stephen Ainscow as a guest though we didn't catch, we both had a great day. Not only did we see some good fish, we did spot a kingfisher on two occasions. In one riverside field we spotted a pair of greylag geese which is a very rare sight especially at this time of the year. As we walked up river towards the Otter pool a big hare got up from just in front of us, then dashed across the fields towards a distant hedgerow. Robins,Fieldfare, Wrens, Oystercatchers, Green Plover and Curlews were seen during our day.

On a stretch of the river Aire controlled by Bradford City AA several fly fishing members have been spending every other Sunday, when the weather has been suitable, on the river doing habitat work and repairing the damage caused by the big floods. Just below Railway Corner, a big willow had crashed down in the winter gales where it was causing the river to silt up. Lots of rubbish was also getting caught up in the branches. Not only was this an eye sore, it wasn't good for the aquatic habitat.
As I work at weekends I don't often get the chance to attend working parties, so I spent a day this week cutting up the tree, taking out all the plastic bags and black plastic sheeting which I noted was all farm related. Clearing away this tree and all the rubbish meant I couldn't fish, but I didn't mind as the work needed doing.
During the next few days I will be spending some of my fishing time taking out all the plastic bags and other rubbish from the riverside trees and bushes on the stretch of the river Aire where I fly fish.
Why don't you give up some of your fishing time and improve your stretch of river or stream? It will certainly benefit the aquatic environment, it will make your fishery look so much nicer without all the rubbish.

What has disgusted me on both the river Ribble and Aire since the coarse fishing season ended, are the number of people fishing with worms under the pretext of fishing for trout. We all know they are fishing for the coarse fish species. If you're worming for trout you don't need a big rod holdall, seat box, rod rest etc because you don't sit in one spot for several hours. These people are bending the rules and are a disgrace to the sport of angling. Why don't the Environment Agency bite the bullet and bring in a bye law which only allows fly fishing and spinning from March 15 until June 15th both days inclusive. Don't forget, as from Monday 1st April, you must have a new Environment Agency rod licence. If you are caught without a rod licence you can end up in court and face a hefty fine.
Please make sure you don't leave any litter at the waterside and remember nylon line is a killer. Have a good Easter holiday

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Grafham, Pitsford & Ravensthorpe Waters 27th March


Grafham Water made an outstanding start to the season with plenty of over-wintered fish showing to the floating line and buzzer approach.

The heaviest fish on opening day was taken by Steve Payne of Bedford from a boat in the bowl of the dam on a black and green Cats Whisker. Steve’s prize winner weighed in at 6lb 8oz to take the New Lodge Trophy and £70 in tackle vouchers. Steve’s bag of 7 fish weighed a total of 18lb 1oz, although this was outweighed by Rob Appleton of Rugby. Rob’s eight fish weighed 20lb 2oz. They were all taken on floating line and black epoxy buzzers from the south end of the dam. Robert’s best fish was another fine 4lb over wintered fish with others at 3lb 12oz and 3lb 8oz.


The warm bright weather on Saturday soon had the fish in a feeding frenzy with most of the action towards the dam end of the lake. The order of the day was floating or slow sinking lines with long leaders and buzzers or small nymphs from both bank and boat. There was lots of action from the over wintered fish throughout the day. Anglers using the natural approach had most success, many of these fish were in the 4lb plus bracket.


A good number of over wintered browns were caught and returned safely. Top angler of the day, Steve Payne, reported returning a beautiful brown of 4lb 8oz.

best boat areas: bowl of dam, G-buoy, Hill Farm, Plummer Park
best bank areas: bowl of dam, G-buoy, Hill Farm, Plummer Park
best methods:floaters/ slow sinking lines with long leaders and buzzers and small nymphs also fast sinking lines with boobies.


Pitsford Water It was a big fish weekend at Pitsford. Season ticket holder Kevin Height of Stanion broke not only his personal best but the fishery’s season record. Kevin fished off poplar bank hot spot ‘stone barn point’. He used an intermediate line with a dawson olive to tempt a 9lb overwintered monster. The fish had been feeding all winter and was a very fat long specimen. Kevin was thrilled with his catch and said “I think I will have to put this giant in a glass case”.


The action continued with Phil Gregg of Oakham locked into another big fish. Phil was delighted with the 7lb 11oz fish which was also his personal best. Phil, who holds a season ticket and is a Rutland Water regular, banked the overwintered fish from the Gorse Bank on a damsel with an intermediate line.


Season ticket holder Dave Doherty, of North Luffenham, travelled across from Rutland to boat fish with Pitsford regular Mike Mason of Birmingham. They drifted close into the bank from the car park up to the Cliffs. Using a variety of methods they found that fishing deep buzzers on a floating line worked for a short time, they then swapped back to sinking line and lures. Trial and error paid off when they reverted to deep buzzers. Well worth it for 20 rainbows released throughout the day.


Pitsford’s Senior Warden Nathan Clayton says “With regular stocking this season is tipped to be one to remember." The fish are well spread out in all of the usual places like the Pines, round to Pitsford Creek and Rigby’s Point. Other top spots are stone barn to north farm bay. Nathan’s top advice this week for boat and bank anglers “for a better catch rate, move around”.



Pitsford hosted the first beginners course of the season last Saturday. Six budding anglers experienced a morning of theory and casting practice, followed by the chance to catch the real thing. Four of the course members felt confident enough to take advantage of the new Starter season permit, designed especially for anglers who attend Anglian Water’s beginner courses. It allows a day limit of two fish, catch and release, with a season limit of 70.


A safety message for all anglers and members of the public. Track repairs are being carried out on all areas of the cycle track and car parks at Pitsford Water. Please take care when using the track, there is a 10m.p.h speed limit on all parts.

best methods:fish are being caught on buzzers. Lures and intermediate for fast sinking fly lines also worth a try.
best areas:pines round to Pitsford Creek and Rigby’s point. Stone barn to North Farm bay. Fish are between 6 and 12 feet below the surface.


Ravensthorpe Both boat and bank anglers at Ravensthorpe are enjoying the time of their lives with an outstanding rod average of 7.52. Fish have switched on to prolific black and olive buzzer hatches. In the shallow margins of the reservoir size 12 holographic buzzer and damsel variants are the order of the day. Local angler and season ticket holder Dick Haynes of Ravensthorpe returned 49 rainbows boat fishing off the Coton End car park. Dick alternated buzzer and GRHE on a floating line. Digby Lewis of Banbury took 16 fish boat fishing the island, including a superb brace weighing 5lb 4oz and 4lb 1oz. The fish came to size 12 GRHE on a floating line.

Michael Panter of Kettering, attended a Beginners Course at Pitsford last year and won a questionnaire draw for a Starter season ticket. Michael put his prize to good use this week taking fish to 5lb from the bank. Tim and Paul Polito of Medbourne, Market Harborough, were again successful boating 64 fish to 5lb. Floating lines and nymphs were the successful method.

best boat areas:North shore and Coton End shallows
best bank areas: Platforms and natural bank.



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Male Fish Fertility Affected By Endocrine Disrupting Substances 27 march

For a long time I have campaigned about the problems of fish changing sex but no one wanted to admit there was a problem. Governments kept silent, but, now it seems, there is a major problem as you can read from the following.
I believe this is one of the reasons why the fish stocks on the river Aire are so low and there a very few young fish. You, the reader, can rest assured I will not stop campaigning in my fight to have the problem solved which can be done.
Water authorities should be made to invest some of their huge profits in solving the problem.
We owe it to the children of tomorrow not yet born.
I am not a scientist, I don't have a PhD but I am a countryman naturalist who observes changes. Please read the last few lines of the following then ask questions of your MP, we must have answers. I believe there could be a risk to humans if we should eat the fish that might have these problems. I don't believe everything we are told by scientists as they have been proved wrong in the past.

MALE FISH FERTILITY AFFECTED BY ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING SUBSTANCES

Oestrogenic hormones are affecting the reproductive ability of male fish, which could put the sustainability of fish populations in rivers in the North West of England at risk, the Environment Agency said today.

Publishing the most recent scientific research on hormone disruption in fish in the UK, the Agency said that oestrogenic steroids - natural and synthetic hormones in sewage effluent - have been shown to be more potent than previously thought, with the synthetic steroid 17a ethinyloestradiol (the contraceptive pill), showing effects in fish at concentrations below 1 nanogram per litre (a thousand millionth of a gram).

Evidence of harm to fish, including male fish developing eggs within their reproductive organs, has now been shown in some cases to reduce their ability to reproduce. This "feminisation" of male fish is of sufficient concern, the Agency said, to develop a risk management strategy and require serious consideration of changes to sewage treatment technologies.

The Agency's Head of Chemicals Policy, Steve Killeen said: "While we do not know what impact oestrogenic substances might have on the long term viability of some wild fish populations, we believe there is now sufficient evidence of harm to fish to develop a risk management strategy for oestrogens in sewage effluent.

"The strategy may require changes in sewage treatment practices, possibly meaning the development of new technologies for some sewage treatment plants. However, not all fish populations will be affected so action has to be carefully targeted according to risk."

Fertility…2
Over the next two years, the Environment Agency will work to identify which sewage treatment works (STWs) in England and Wales should be considered for action. Preliminary risk assessments are already underway to determine which STWs are likely to discharge oestrogens at levels that could affect fish, but more work is needed to refine these estimates.

The Agency is now looking to the water industry to investigate effective sewage treatment technologies for the removal of priority oestrogens, including the natural and synthetic steroid hormones.

The Environment Agency wants to see a collaborative programme, involving the water industry and other stakeholders, to develop a common approach to assessing the impact of oestrogenic effluents, identify priority sewage treatment works and to evaluate the effectiveness, costs and benefits of treatment options.

Steve Killeen said: "We need to be confident that potentially major investment in treatment options will be effective. The environmental benefit - the degree to which damage to fish can be reduced - will have to justify the cost."

The research published today was undertaken by scientists at Brunel University and Exeter University, and funded by the Environment Agency, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Research Council.

Research involved studying wild populations of the coarse fish species roach and gudgeon in 10 river catchments in England and Wales receiving effluent from sewage treatment works. The study confirmed the presence of feminised male fish in both species, and scientists believe it likely that similar species will also be affected.

Researchers found that the reproductive capability in moderate to severe intersex male roach was reduced, and that one third of the fish failed to produce sperm - even after spawning hormone treatment. Experiments also showed that sewage effluents induced some of the oestregenic effects seen in wild fish, establishing a firm 'cause and effect' relationship. Spawning rates will depend on local risks which are now being characterised for England and Wales.

The research conducted focused on feminising effects in fish, their causes and consequences and did not generate any information relevant to public health.

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Angler's Mail March 23rd

The front cover of this week's Anglers Mail features a common carp of 35lb 10 ounces. Inside this weekly magazine there are several pictures of big roach which is nice to see.
On page 7, Tony Gibson of Northampton, is pictured with a magnificent looking perch weighing 5lb 1 ounce.
Throughout the magazine there are several pictures of big fish. The New Gear feature covers such things as; fish finders, pole floats, bivvy dome, boat rods and a new reel plus clothing.
If you're thinking of buying a new reel for barbel fishing then pages 12 and 13 will interest you.
Other features are a Special report on the Day in the life of a pike trial which makes fascinating reading.
For you carp anglers there is Carp World and Danny's Pitch. Want to know where to fish this weekend pages 25 - 33 cover dozens of freshwater fishing venues. For you sea anglers there are several pages covering this popular branch of angling which is followed by match reports from around the country.
The Anglers Mail is available from your newsagent.

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Kaufmann's Steamborn Inc Launch Catalogue 21st March


The 2002 Edition of the Kaufmann's Steamborn catalogue is now available. In it's 32nd year, it has everything for the flyfisher.
The first few pages cover all those holidays we all dream about. The Seychelles, Chrismas Island, Iceland, Russia, Central America and dozens of other locations around the world.
Throughout this catalogue you will find details of rods, reels and luggage from Sage. Rods from Winston and Scott, with reels from Bauer,Abel,Tibor, Loop, Ross,Lamson, Hardy, Bellinger and Pflueger.
The catalogue also contains reel accessories, knifes, rod cases, line winders and fly lines. Leaders and tippet material, accessories, handcrafted nets, polorised glasses, forcepts, pliers, floatants, waders and wading boots, jackets and vests. Clothing for the tropics, bags, packs and fly boxes.
There is an excellent range of fly fishing books which includes the bible for bonefishers. This book titled Bonefishing is the best book on the subject. I cannot see a better book being published in the next fifty years, Randall Kaufmann the editor has covered it all, apart from the bones he covers Permit Tarpon and Trevally, remember there is no tax or vat on books.
You will find videos, fly tying tools and materials. For those who like to buy some well made flies there is a good selection of well tied flies covering both fresh and salwater.
E-mail kaufmanns@kman.com for a copy.


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Upper Indian River And Mosquito Lagoon Florida 19th March
It's been a long run of rough weather and dirty water, which hit the fly fishing. It's hard to fly fish when you can't see the quarry. However, the past week has been fairly nice, and the last couple of days have been beautiful. The water in the lagoon system is still very low. On Friday last week professional guide John Kumiski guided Carl Chambers, a fly fisher from Colorado. There were plenty of fish in the Mosquito Lagoon, though Carl struggled with his casting, he was finally rewarded with a beautiful 5 pound trout.
Saturday and Sunday John guided Rit Thompson, a fly caster from the DC area. On Saturday, Rit got two trout to five pounds and four redfish to ten pounds. Sunday, there was a 20 knot wind and it was overcast. The water got muddied up and only one trout of about 5 pounds was caught. John then took his kids kayak camping at the north end of Mosquito Lagoon, where they found a nice school of redfish behind an island, catching five of them, all on flies, nice fish of 7 or 8lbs. Thursday, he took the kids out of Port Canaveral, looking for Cobia; two were hooked and son Maxx put a 22 pounder in the boat.
A crevalle of 35lbs and 6 tripletail to about 12 pounds were caught.
If you're visiting Disney World then why not have a days fishing with John - he is an excellent guide. You can E-mail him at spottedtail@spottedtail.com


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Pitsford, Ravensthorpe & Hollowell Update 19th March

Pitsford Water opened for bank and boat fishing on Friday 15 March with 245 fish recorded over 2lb in the first two days of the season.
There was plenty of big fish action in Pitsford Creek. Congratulations to John Mansell of Queniborough, Leicester who took the best rainbow so far this season at 6lb. John bank fished with a slow sinking line and black and green to tempt this superb over wintered plump rainbow. Season ticket holder, Rob Layton of Northampton, was also into the big fish with a huge 7lb 4oz brown trout using similar methods to John.
Please note brown trout must be returned until the lst of April.
Jim Egan of Denton, Northants boat fished and took a lovely bag with his best fish a 5lb rainbow. Boat angler, Mr O Miller, bagged a 6 fish limit at 16lb, including a 5lb rainbow. Pitsford’s Senior Warden, Nathan Clayton, has a top tip “Try this for a set up. Use a large epoxy black buzzer on the point with a size 12 olive buzzer in the middle. Put a diawl bach or hare’s ear nymph on the top dropper. Fished on a floating line with a slow figure of eight retrieve”.
Season ticket keys – don’t forget these are now available at Pitsford. The locks at Pitsford were changed over the opening weekend, so if you want a key or have an old key you will need to contact the fishing lodge. The Lodge will be open 7 days a week. A key costs £20 refundable deposit plus £20 per year. The benefit is access to all of Pitsford 7 days a week.
Best methods; floating with buzzers is an effective method on warmer days. Slow sinking lines with small lures black and green tadpoles, or small orange lures. Best boat areas; Duffers Reach up to Gorse Bank.
Best bank areas; North field shore, stone barn point, pines, Pitsford Creek and North Farm Bay.

Ravensthorpe The new season at Ravensthorpe is proving to be a roaring success with a rod average of 5. Regular boat anglers Paul and Tim Polito enjoyed a splendid sport on Saturday, boating 30 fish to a variety of lymphs and lures whilst anchored off the island.
Season ticket holder, Graden Smith of Cambridge, one of Ravensthorpe’s most consistent anglers was rewarded for his persistence on Sunday with a 10lb 11oz fish. This was a personal best Rainbow for Graden, the fish coming to a flash-back GRHE on a floating line close to the Coton End Pines.
Warden Chris Allen used his extensive knowledge of the water to return two super over wintered 6lb Rainbows from a spot behind the island, a flash back nymph again proving the successful fly. John Williams, of Northampton, was top tuber of the week claiming 12 fish to nymphs on a floating line.
Best methods; boat and bank anglers are enjoying great sport fishing floating lines with bright nymph patterns the best option – occasional buzzer hatches from around the island.
Best boat areas: north shore between Island and Coton End
Best bank areas: Platforms and lodge end of dam.

coarse fishing

Hollowell

Hollowell is open all year round. Season tickets are available from Pitsford Fishing Lodge on 01604 781350. Pike are beginning to spawn, however plenty of Tench have been spotted on the move.


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Great News For Welsh Fisheries and The Anglers Who Visit The Principality 19th March

In the past, anglers countrywide plus many from abroad, have looked to Wales for its excellent salmon, sea and brown trout fishing. Sadly, over the years the sports fishing has deteriorated on many Welsh rivers and streams. This has meant the loss of thousands of jobs from guiding to B&B. Today, those visiting Wales can still find some excellent river fishing for trout, seatrout and salmon but improvements are needed. Those improvements are now going to happen and I for one am more than happy to see £2.4million is being invested for game fishing in Wales.
We should all applaud the Welsh Assembly for taking a hand in helping the future of sports fishing prospects, it will also see an increase in job prospects and the environment which will greatly help the wild and birdlife. As we get better quality fishing so we will see an increase in the number of Kingfishers, wagtails and Otters, to name a few, everyone will gain and Wales will attract more visitors.

The Welsh National Assembly has agreed to invest an additional £2.4million in inland fisheries over the next three years. Significantly, the money is tied to specific achievements. One of the targets is that by 2008 the salmon stocks of an additional ten Welsh rivers should be increased to at least meet their conservation spawning limits. Environment Agency Wales intends providing fish passes to bypass obstructions on the rivers Neath, Taff, Usk, Clwyd and Ebbw. Salmonid habitat improvement programmes on these rivers and on the rivers Dwyfor, Mawddach, Seiont and Llyfni will also receive a boost; there, the participation of the angling clubs of Gwynedd has been key to the success of work undertaken to date.

While sea trout in Wales are on a high, its once famous wild brown trout - in the Usk and upper Teifi for example - are not doing so well. Part of the money will fund brown trout habitat improvements, extending recent pilot programmes on the Usk, Towy and Teifi. There will also be funds for introducing newcomers to the sport, and for the development of coaching via the angling governing bodies in Wales.

The opportunity is greater than it may seem. Much of Wales is covered by European Objective 1 status, and the Environment Agency and angling interests are working together to attract European money for improvements to the environment and angling worth £6million over the three-year period. The Wye, which is in a European Objective 2 area, will also benefit, and the Environment Agency and the Wye Foundation are working on a project bid to Europe.
Why not write to the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff giving them your support. Its not often we read about politicians supporting our great sport.
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Barbel The Number One River Fish 18th March
THE BARBEL MUST, WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, BE THE MOST POPULAR RIVER FISH IN ENGLAND AND WALES THESE DAYS.
MAY 19TH IS THE DATE FOR ALL YOU BARBEL ANGLERS WHEN THE BARBEL SOCIETY AGM AND CONFERENCE TAKES PLACE AT THE SAME LEICESTERSHIRE VENUE AS LAST YEAR, THE HANOVER INTERNATIONAL HOTEL AT HINCKLEY. IT'S A GREAT DAY WITH GOOD SPEAKERS, TACKLE STANDS, PLUS FOOD AND BEER WHICH IS AVAILABLE FOR THOSE WHO WANT IT.
FURTHER CONFERENCE DETAILS NEARER THE DATE - KEEP CHECKING THIS SITE
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Big Pike From Baltic Sea 18th March

Several pike over 20LBS have been caught in the Baltic sea off Sweden. The pike season has started extremely well along the Baltic coast.
During ice fishing for pike in January-February, several specimen over 20lbs have been caught and released.
One angler, in the middle of January, caught four 20lb plus pike. The best fish caught in February weighed some 26lbs all the pike caught were released back to the water.
Catches are remarkable due to the fact that the pike fishing in this region is normally is done during June-August, so the coming season is filled with hope and promise. During the summer season, popular baits for the Baltic predator are Rappalas or Jerk baits, but fly fishing has become more and more popular among locals and tourists.


Martin James Fishing
Email: info@martinjamesfishing.co.uk