What a great start to the 2016 fly fishing season this has been on the Bristol Waters. Superb quality rainbow and brown trout being taken from all corners of both Chew Valley and Blagdon Lakes on a huge variety of methods.
Although the weather has seen cold winds and many layers of clothing have been required at times to keep warm, the trout have never been very deep and on Chew they are feeding hard on small black buzzer, while on Blagdon they are stuffed with daphnia.
Whenever the wind drops on Chew, the fish have risen to hatching buzzer and people were reporting catching on Dry Flies as early as the 18th March - the day after Opening day on Chew Valley! This is almost unheard of on any of our reservoirs.
Teams of nymphs on Midge Tip lines have been very effective and on the colder, windier days, a DI5 with a bright Blob on the top dropper, a Black Diawl Bach Nymph in the middle and a Black Booby on the point has normally taken plenty of fish.
Every year the buzzer hatches on Chew seem to get earlier and definitely more prolific. Black buzzers are already covering the surface of the lake and ducks, gulls, sand martins and swallows are feasting on them - as well as the trout! Now that the winds have dropped recently, the nymph fishing is really taking off and some quality trout are being caught.
Pike slowly starting to feed again
Fishing for pike on the fly has been slow this season. We are not sure why this is, but water temperature and possible spawning might be the reasons. Every year the times that the pike spawn vary, so no-one ever knows how this affects the fishing.
Thankfully a few have started to feed again as the days have grown longer and warmer - the best two being one of 32lbs and another big double - both taken while trout fishing on a Blob and Booby by the same angler; Dean Kibble from Wales. Every year Dean catches big pike at this time of the year on small trout flies, so it's no coincidence.
Guided fishing on both lakes
Now that the season is in full swing, I am already heavilly booked for Guided Days, but still have plenty of mid week dates available throughout June and a few remaining in April and May. The trout fishing should become more "top of the water" in the coming weeks and the pike fishing will become top drawer during may and June.