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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


Game and Coarse Fishing News October 4th

Rutland Water is in fine form with a rod average in excess of 3.8. Boat fishing is very hectic with plenty of limits again being recorded. Rutland Warden Paul Friend had a cracking day with eight rainbows weighing 23lb, all of the fish were in tremendous condition and had been feeding on daphnia. Paul used his gold and silver ‘friendly’ tube to great effect using a steady stripping action with a wet cell II line. All fish came out of Manton Bay. Welsh anglers Eirig Thomas and Frank Jenkins recorded nine fish weighing 22lb 5oz, the best fish a rainbow going 6lb 5oz. Leicester angler Steve Ward had a memorable day with seven fish including a 5lb 8oz brown and a 5lb 3oz rainbow, plus two over 3lb, the rest were all over 2lb.

Bank fishing is coming on very well with the best fish of the week taken off the bank by season ticket holder Roger McCarthy from Melton Mowbray. Heeding the advice of warden Nigel Savage, Roger fished Whitwell Creek and landed a splendid 6lb 9¼oz brown using a minkie on a floating line. Roger hurried around to the fishing lodge for photographs taken by senior warden John Seaton who also confirmed the weight of the fish. Fellow Melton Mowbray angler, Ted Kuzniar, got amongst the fish, taking his six fish limit whilst fishing off Whitwell front. Fry feeding is picking up, especially with this year’s stock of brown trout. They are hammering the millions of roach and perch fry along the shoreline. One or two rainbows have recently started to show an interest with some big fish seen moving.

Grafham is in outstanding form with superb Autumn sport. The quality of the fish is second to none. Mick Whittle took the week’s best brown of 4lb 4½ oz on a Humungus from Rainbow Point on Sunday. This is Mick’s best fish since he started fishing only two years ago. Another brown making a big splash was returned to the water by visiting day ticket angler Richard Hodgson of Lincolnshire. Richard estimated the fish to be around the 6lb+ bracket. It was caught on Deep Water Point a favourite area at the moment for bank anglers, on a corixa pattern.

Day ticket bank regular Eugene Hughes of London enjoyed two good days. On Thursday he took 6 fish - 5 rainbows and 1 brown of 3lb14oz for a total weight of 16lb 7oz. With the bank fishing being so good Eugene stayed another day and was rewarded on Friday with another tremendous bag of 8 fish, 7 rainbows and 1 brown. One of the rainbows tipped the scales at 4lb 1oz, with a total weight of 22lb 8oz. All of the fish on both days were taken on floating line and a selection of traditional wet flies. Other bank anglers are reaping the rewards of the good bank fishing were regular blue season ticket holders Mick White and Roland Hudson. Mick as reported last week had 55 fish in 5 trips. This week Mick managed 3 visits for 20 fish. Top honours go to Roland with 3 visits for 33 fish. Boat anglers have also been enjoying the good sport on the same methods as the bank anglers.

Raventhorpe It wasn’t just the fish that were big this week – the rod average was 10.4 the highest this season! A red headed size 12 diawl bach presented on a floating line from platform 12 proved an irresistible combination for a superb 11lb 6oz rainbow this week. Gary Clarke from Kislingbury survived many anxious moments before notching up his personal best fish which was returned to the water. Big fish of 9lb 4oz for David Morgan of St Albans and 8lb 4oz for Northampton regular Mick Griffin topped the boat catches. Mick’s fish came to a black minkie whilst boat fishing near the island. Sustained hatches of lake olives around the margins are providing outstanding top of the water fishing for both boat and bank anglers. Some superbly conditioned rainbows are competing with gulls and martins for this late season delicacy. The England Youth Flyfishers Association returned to Ravensthorpe on Saturday for a very relaxed ‘captain’s day’. Luke Shevlin’s lads and lasses returned 150 rainbows in quick time. The event ended with an enjoyable barbecue, speeches and presentation.

Pitsford is in top form. Regular anglers Pete Bills and John Brady fished the rudder in the main basin with silver and gold tubes to land 14 fish for 49lb. All the fish caught were stuffed with fry. Gavin Friel and friends from Scotland had two day’s fishing on Pitsford and landed 50 fish between them. The best – a cracking brown - weighed 7lb 3oz and was returned. Stephen Underwood had an hour’s casting tuition with Nathan Clayton this week. He returned two days later, taking Nathan’s advice he fished North fields shore with floating line and a corixa pattern to land his first trout and return two others. R Elsby, a season ticket holder from Biddenham, Bedford, took the best rainbow of the week a superb conditioned fish weighing 6lb 8oz. G Morton of Duston, Northampton, had a lovely rainbow of 5lb 9oz.

Barnsfold Water Near Chipping Lancashire With a drop in the water temperature fishing has greatly improved. Fish are feeding on tiny buzzers I suggest buzzers tied up on a size 24 hook to a 2lb tippet. Goldhead Pheasant tail nymph or a Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear would be my other choices. If there is a good chop on the water try a fast stripped Muddler minnow. October can be a good month on this fishery Telephone 01995 61583

River Ribble Edisford Hall Fisheries The back end of the season was good for trout fishing when the water level was good, With several feet of extra water, some nice salmon have been caught David Jones fishing a Rapala lure in high water had three salmon all returned. This month is often the best of the season for salmon fishing. Please think carefully befor you kill a salmon. Ask yourself Do I need this fish? The river needs all the hnelp it can get. Grayling fishing when the river is at normal level and flowing clear can be good. If no fish are showing on the top try fishing the Czech nymphing.

Rivers Wye and Usk Following Sunday night's heavy rain both rivers are now experiencing their highest levels of 2004. All fishing on the Wye be off until Thurs/Fri this week providing there is no more rain while the Usk will probably be fishable by Tuesday evening. The last spate resulted in a movement of fish to the upper reaches of the Wye system. Reports of catches of clean salmon have come in from above Rhayader and a silver grilse was caught on the Irfon last week. Most of the upper Wye main river beats around Builth saw some sport but the continuous high water of the last 3 weeks limited fishing opportunites on the main stem.

The last 2 weeks on the Usk have seen exceptional sport for the lower beats although this has been marred by reports of heavy poaching in the middle reaches. There were certainly a lot of salmon in the lower river and tideway and this flood will distribute them throughout the river. The Penpont beat is open for salmon fishing until Oct 17th (inc).

With the trout season now at a close grayling fishing is now in full swing. All the main Wye beats promoted by the Foundation's Booking Office are open during the autumn and winter. Two of the Roving Voucher beats in the Passport are also open for grayling fishing - the Clochfaen beat on the Upper Wye (p31) and the Cammarch Hotel water of the River Irfon (p28). Once levels have dropped off, expect some fantastic autumn sport!

Coarse fishing

Taverham Mill lake is fishing well with Simon Wrigglesworth having a brace of commons of 24lb 2oz and 21lb 10oz. Youngsters Mark Winter and Pete Ingram had carp each to late doubles. Tench are still showing to most anglers. The river is in good condition for fishing with the best fish, a 14lb Barbel, coming out to season ticket holder Ray Gale. Ardleigh Day permit anglers are enjoying good mixed sport with particularly welcome roach catches along with perch and rudd. Alan Oldfield had a typical catch of roach to 1lb, perch to 1½lb and a 3lb eel all on the feeder along Wick Lane north. Similar catches have been reported in the matches with everyone weighing in and roach being the predominant species. Hadleigh and District Angling Club had a close fought match with John Scarff coming out eventual winner with 10lb 1oz of roach on maggot and worm. Pike anglers continue to enjoy good sport on the lures with the added bonus of good numbers of perch. Mark Brand had 30 perch to 1½lb and got through quite a few small rubber lures!

River Kennet Its nice to see some weed growth, hopefully it will continue to grow, fishing for chub and barbel has been good, with several double figure barbel being caught. Some good shoals of dace have been seen which is welcome news. Hopefully they will not disappear down the gullet of cormorants. Graeham Cook of Lancaster made the long journey south to fish the Wasing Estate Syndicate water where he had a personal best 9-5-0 barbel on pellet bait.

River Teme Is certainly well worth a visit. The Prince Albert AS water at Ham Bridge is good for chub and barbel best baits meat pellets and bolies. If you plan to fish the Teme for barbel, I suggest you use a line with a breaking strain of 10lbs. There are a lot of snags in this river and the Teme barbel probably fight harder than any other venue. Further upstream Wolverhampton angler Paul Roberts fishing double caster bait on a size 14 hook had a big roach of 2lbs 6 ounces. Its one of the best roach I have heard from the river in recent years.

River Swale Two Swale regulars have been catching some good fish retired oil rig manager Mike Osborn of Cumbria fishing with a Halibut pellet caught a good barbel of 9-15-0 How close can you get to a double. Having had several fish of this size over the years I know how Mike would have wished the scale needle to go that extra ounce. Switching to legered crust Mike had to big chub 5-8-0 and 5-14-0. Publican John Smith another Swale regular had a good short afternoon session catching 6 barbel between 6 and 8lbs fishing banded Ellipse pellets.

River Ribble Today the river had six feet of extra water on the gauge at Grindleton with the weather forecast for cold and dry weather fishing should be good for chub and barbel as the river drops. My first choice area once the river has dropped down to carrying about two feet of extra water would be Preston Centre water upstream of Redscar wood through to Elston. Baits bolies pellets and meat for barbel. I have been using sausage meat which has proved an excellent bait in clear or coloured water. Bread crust, flake and lobworms are my other baits. Though now and again I do try pellets and bolies. Last week John Woods from Manchester fishing meat bait in a swim upstream of the M6 motorway bridge had a nice barbel of 11-8-0 John's only bite in six hours of fishing.

Martin James Fishing