Draycote Water weekly report week ending Sunday 7th September 2014
Telephone Number 01788 812018
Weather conditions have varied throughout a week in which wind directions have come from all points of the compass. We have also experienced contrasts from intense rain at the start of the period to clear blue skies with bright sunshine and near flat calms later in the week. Nevertheless, Draycote has continued to produce some excellent sport with those fishing dries still enjoying what is perhaps the best of the action. The olive buzzer hatches have continued throughout the week & have now been joined by a consistent emergence of smaller black buzzer. Anglers should check out the flies trapped inside the lodge each morning as well as the contents of the now dewy autumnal spider’s webs for clues as to fly selection. Fry feeding also continues at many locations around the venue. Whilst Lin Croft & Cornfield continue to be sites of some frenzied action, frequently throughout the whole day, most banks are heavily populated by the fry – mainly roach & perch. Boats have also been involved in the fray with huge shoals of fry being hunted down over open water as well.
Many fine individual performances have been recorded this week but yet again, Kevin Rees deserves a public “pat on the back” for the way that he is perfecting his dry fly techniques. He netted 23 fine trout to 5lbs Monday on drifts out of Toft, following it up with another 20 to the net on Thursday. Carefully presented Bob’s bits & small fiery brown hoppers have been predominant on his cast. Congratulations also to Mike Fessey. At 80 years of age he experienced his first visit to a major stillwater & got straight into the action with a 4lbs+ rainbow off Lin Croft on a fry imitating pattern. Tuesday continued mainly on the dries with Ed Douglas & his boat partner Mr McLellan netting in excess of two dozen. Graham Homer had good dry fly sport too & he also had a double figure catch total. Biggin Bay was the location for Jamie Scott on Wednesday. He deceived 16 rainbows on a mix of both buzzer & dry fly tactics. Matt Hanlon was also out late on Wednesday & described his boat session as “an awesome afternoon” having tempted 12 fry feeders to the net, including a 51/2 lbs brown. Ron Beavan & Peter Giles shared a morning boat on Thursday enjoying excellent early sport to buzzers on Toft Shallows. They followed this up with a hectic session on Bibio Hoppers fished over open water whilst drifting back to the lodge. Between them they netted a total of 20 rainbows. I enjoyed time with a newcomer on the water that afternoon & we tempted numerous fry feeding fish to the net using a variety of small imitations on a slow intermediate over open water. Nearly all takes came to individually covered fish or roving pods of rainbows.
Whilst the boats continue to out fish the bank generally, on Thursday regular bank angler Dennis Jones continued his consistent run of success with an outstanding ten fish catch off the Tower Bank. A size 14 hot head Diawl Bach, on a floating line across the ripple, accounted for most of his fish (which included five good brownies – all of which he released). Once again Peter Elliott caught a huge number of fish, including seven browns, to his dry flies whilst drifting various locations on his Friday visit. John Hoskins however, concentrated on Toft using a mix of fry & buzzer tactics to also catch well. He is to be congratulated on the capture of a 7lbs rainbow which took his size 14 black buzzer.
On Saturday we hosted the Group 5 Round 5 of the Association of Major Fly-fishing Clubs league. Thirty six anglers competed and, despite hot & bright conditions, most made hay using dry fly tactics with Bob’s bits & Shipman’s bringing the best results. Washing line tactics with Crunchers also reportedly took fish consistently. All bar four competitors took their eight fish limit giving them a rod average for the event of 7.5 Best bag of 27lbs 13oz (including time bonus) went to Richard Thorpe of Soldier Palmers “B”. Their team were overall winners followed by Hanningfield & Grafham “B” in third place. Best fish was a four pounder caught by Grafham’s Clive Chatwin.
Surface activity continued into the evening as evidenced by Richard Pelley, who made best use of our Last Four Hour Ticket to take seven rainbows & a brown of 6lbs on dries & small fry imitating patterns presented on his extremely lightweight outfit. Brighter, calmer conditions greeted anglers on Sunday when, notwithstanding the sighting of numerous surface feeding fish, many found it hard to induce any takes. Quite a few rods did find success by changing to a slow intermediate with nymphs & a variety of damsel patterns retrieved just sub surface. George Leaton was one such rod fishing in Toft. His early morning drive up from West London was rewarded with seven prime rainbows to the net.
The week-end also saw the welcome return of Hywel Morgan who ran beginners courses on both Saturday & Sunday. Both days were a success & it is nice to see new blood of all ages entering into the world of fly fishing. Sunday’s group were astonished by the fry bashing they witnessed on Lin Croft & this will only increase given the vast shoals of roach & perch fry abounding this year. Numerous anecdotes of huge fish being hooked & lost are becoming commonplace. The numbers of brownies featuring in the returns is constantly on the increase & I do not think it will be long before some truly huge specimens are brought to the landing net.
The only real downside of this week’s mainly warm & sunny weather has been the development of a green algal bloom. Three days of a northerly based wind has now pushed the bulk of it into the harbour area which does currently look unpleasant. Fortunately however, open water & the northerly shore marks from the Tower right down into Toft are not adversely affected & this is where most activity has been occurring. Weekend anglers reported that the clarity in Toft was so good that they could actually watch fish following, & most frequently turning away from, their offerings!
Number Rods: 394 Number Trout Taken: 770 Number Trout Released: 902
Total Catch: 1672 Weekly Rod Average: 4.21
Current Fishing Times:
Bank: 07:30 until 20:00
Boat All Day: 08:30 until 20:00
Boat Part Day: AM 08:30 until14:00 PM 14:00 until 20:00
Last 4 Hours from: 16:00 (Ticket sales available from 15:45)
All Anglers to be off site by: 20:30
In order to maintain the accuracy of our records could all anglers please ensure that they fill in the catch return sheet before departure. If not in the lodge it will be found on the counter in the gutting room next door.
Bank Anglers car passes should be, where possible, booked prior to coming fishing as we only have a limited number available.
Boat anglers are also politely reminded of the ruling that there is no anchoring within 100 yards of any pontoon or aerators. This is especially relevant to the harbour pontoon as its own mooring chains & anchors extend out a considerable distance from the end of the harbour & are easily fouled.
Numerous complaints regarding boat etiquette have also been received. Please have due regard for your fellow anglers on the water, treating them in a manner in which you would wish to be treated yourself. This is especially important with regard to not “cutting up” other angler’s drifts or encroaching on bank anglers by drifting or anchoring too close to the shoreline.
As well as our Boat Angler Loyalty Cards, we are now also running a weekly draw for a free boat. Fill in an entry card in the lodge including your name, address & email contact details for inclusion in the draw. I am pleased to announce that the first winner is Mr. D Elms of Derby.
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DATE FOR YOUR DIARY
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Burton On Trent Game Fishing & Fly Tying Festival
Sunday 5th October 2014
Further details visit the show website