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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


Fishing Reports

Rutland Water

Boat anglers encountered challenging conditions last week with strong winds and heavy rain. This didn't stop season ticket holder, Mick Lacey of Anstey taking 7 fish for 20lb 6oz including 2 rainbows of 4lb from the South arm. Peter Lane of Twyford also had 7 fish for 18lb 4oz including a
5lb rainbow. Kevin Bucknall and Simon Clarkson of Leeds took 16 fish all on black buzzers near the museum. Bob Fitzpatrick of Renfrewshire set out "to catch some better fish" on Saturday afternoon and returned successful, with 4 fish for 12lb 4oz having also returned a nice brown. Bob who boat fish old hall and hide away bay said "the buzzers did not work for me today, the pearly pheasant tail did the damage".
Bank anglers who fished the Old Hall Point as soon as conditions allowed were rewarded with one of the best evening rises of the season. Some quite large rainbows coming within 5m of the bank. Although these fish did not give themselves up easily, those that did were in superb conditions and had stomachs full of all kinds of items, including large numbers of sedge pupae.
Tim Russell of Keithley had success in stockie bay, taking 2 nice fish and losing one on a floating line and nymph.
The main diet for the offshore fish is Daphnia. These fish are coming in late evening for the sedges and green buzzers. There is also some pin fry activity in Whitwell Creek, Sykes Lane, Dam and Fantasy Island areas.Best rainbow 5lb 13oz taken by Pat McLintic (RAF match) Best brown 5lb 6oz taken by M Atkinson of Cleethorpes Best boat areas Old hall, Gibbitts, Carrot creek to Armley wood. Best bank areas fishing lodge, Normanton to dam, Old hall point, Yellowstone, Whitwell creek and Stockie bay. The best methods are Sinking lines with blob sparklers and boobies from the boats. Floating lines with nymphs for bank anglers.

Forthcoming events
Beginners courses 24 July & 7 August and throughout the season. For bookings please call 01780 686441 - 14 July - Shakespeare Match 20 July - AWFMI North of England Final - 23 July - AWFMI Midland final - 18 August – Anglian Water Loch Styl -19 September – TFEO Individual Final 25 September – Anglian Water Bailiffs Pairs

Grafham Water

Fishing at Grafham has been fantastic, with the bank and boat both fishing exceptionally well. Ray Bolton and Allan Riley of Bolton, really enjoyed their annual week's holiday, fishing Grafham Water. Ray took a magnificent over wintered rainbow weighing 4lb 5oz and declared that "they had, had a fantastic week's fishing taking 52 fish and releasing numerous others, including some big browns". Their success was down to the same method all week of floating lines, damsels, buzzers, hares ears and Diawl bachs. The bank has really bounced back with some great sport. G bank, Marlow stones and the North end of the Dam have all fished well with several limits being caught. The best methods from the bank have been floating lines nymphs, buzzers and muddlers. The best time from the bank has been the evening. Best rainbow 6lb 2oz taken by G Allsop of Warsop. Best bank areas G bank, marlow stones and north end of the dam Best boat areas G, K, S, A C & M buoys. Central drifts through the middle of the lake, north tower, bowl of dam, gaynes cove and valley creek. Best methods floating lines, slime line and buzzers, cats whiskers, ptn and damsel nymphs, block blobs and yellow hoppers and daddies/di3s tubes.

Ravensthorpe Reservoir

Bob Keeber of Evington, produced a brace of superb rainbows from platform 4 in the midst of the weedbeds. Bob's first rainbow weighed 11lb 14˝oz (a personal best) which took a green headed hares ear; it was followed minutes later by another double figure which he returned. Mark Salt again produced the goods with a cracking 10lb 2oz rainbow in his catch of 29 fish boat fishing the cotton end shallows. Other catches of note were Mick Daferon 9lb 12oz, Tom Twigg 9lb 6oz, Tom Holyoak 9lb.
Large hatches of olives and damsels have kept fish feeding in the top 3 foot of water. Crunchers, cracklebacks and a variety of emergers on floating lines have given excellent sport around the Margins of the reservoir (fish flies with a green content for best results). Best rainbow 11lb 14˝oz taken by Bob Keeber of Evington on a floating line with green headed nymph Best brown 5lb taken by Dick Haynes of Ravensthorpe Best boat areas Cotton end shallows and natural bank Best bank areas dam and platform 4

Pitsford Water

Ivan Mealing from North End, Hampshire and his boat partner Chris Moore of Colerne, Wiltshire had a trip to remember. Ivan took a 6 fish limit of 18lb 8oz and Chris also weighed in a 6 fish bag of 17lb 8oz. Chris took the best fish a rainbow of 4lb 8oz but Ivan also had a rainbow of 4lb. They fished intermediate line and a fritz damsel (Ivan) and fritz lures (Chris). This is an example of the excellent sport on offer at Pitsford. With the cooler days, trout are feeding intensively on daphnia, out in the middle and they are in fantastic form. Drifting is the key to a good day on the boat using different sinking lines to find the depth at which fish are feeding. Leaders and fish playing skills are being tested to the limit at the moment. Best rainbow 4lb 8oz taken by Chris Moore of Colerne Best brown 4lb taken by Robert Dickie Best boat areas Pines, dam and Brixworth bay.Best bank areas Pitsford creek, pines and cliffs

Coarse fishing Ardleigh

With conditions more suited to cod fishing on the Suffolk coast, 116 anglers braved the elements mid week to fish the Anglian Water Championship at Ardleigh. Northampton proved the winning team by a slender margin with a total of 87 points. The top four teams were as follows: Northampton 87 points Boons Baggeruppers 85 points Norwich B 78 points Welhams Wagglers 70 points Individually Keith Dobson was the overall winner. Fishing on peg F3 Keith worked very hard to get 40lb 6oz of predominantly bream but also just enough roach, perch and rudd to pip Andy Tildesley who managed 36lb 2oz of bream from F11. Both anglers used feeders and chopped worm groundbait with worm, maggot or corn as hook bait. A close battle also occurred for section B at Pine Point with Andy Rice weighing in 29lb 13 oz finishing above Paul Elliot's 27lb 8oz. Pleasure anglers are now tending to get some really good sized fish, if not quite the numbers of early season. Danny Baker had a brace of 8lb bream and Jeremy Langren had a several bream to 7lb.

Competition news

RAF v England FFA 34 anglers took part in the match at Rutland on 8 July, taking 131 fish giving a rod average of 3.9. It was a very close match with the RAF winning by just 6oz. Steve Ottridge weighed in the best bag at 15lb 15oz. Pat McLintic weighed in the biggest fish (and best o the week) a 5lb 13oz rainbow. Local season ticket holder and Rutland Water Fly Fishers Chairman, John Maitland took 8th place with 5 fish for 10lb 11oz.

Intercommand Match

26 anglers took part on 9 July in the match at Rutland catching 139 fish giving a rod average of 5.8. Best bag was taken by Colin Faiers of Inverness, with 8 fish for 22lb (with time bonus). Colin took all his fish on a D13, diawl bach's with a boobie on the point. Local season ticket holder, Gary Legge of South Witham took the best fish a 5lb 5oz rainbow.

England Youth Fly Fishing Championships 2004

The big event at Grafham this week was the: New stars take England International places Forty young anglers from as far apart as Blackpool, Sussex, Northumberland and Bristol competed for places in next year's England Junior fly fishing team, at Grafham Water on Sunday. Many of the youngsters were fishing their first major boat-fishing competition but few were daunted by the strong breeze or size of Grafham Water and its big trout, with nearly ten pounds of trout being needed to make the top ten and a place in the international team.
Winner on the day was Sean Brooks (16) from Wadhurst, East Sussex who took 7 big fish for 17lb- 11 ozs, beating three other anglers who reached the 8 fish limit. Sean has been fly fishing for less than two years but had practiced hard at Grafham for the previous two days. Runner-up was Joel Beeney (15) also from Wadhurst with 8 fish weighing 16lb-1oz Joel also took his fish from near G-buoy, the hot spot on the day.
Third placed Scott Fenton from Houghton-le–spring Northumberland took 8 for just under 15lbs and fourth was the only girl to make the team, Scarlett Hodgson from nearby Ashington taking six big Grafham rainbows for 13lb 12oz. Amazingly Scarlett had only fished from a boat on two other occasions before practicing on Grafham over the weekend !Thomas Davis of Evington, Leicester caught five fish to take fifth place
Local lads making the team were Luke Shevlin, the current team captain who held his England place for the third successive year with 8 fish for
11lb 2oz and his Rutland neighbour Richard Copper placed 9th. The total catch of 131 trout averaged well over 3 per angler showing the very high standard of the competitiors. EYFFA Chairman Mike Childs thanked sponsors Anglian Water and Masterline and all the volunteer boatmen for their support in making this such a successful event.Next year's Home international will be in Wales but the Association is raising funds to send at least one team to the World Championships in the Czech Republic.

Martin James Fishing