News

2019 Trout Season starts with a BANG!

 What a great few weeks we have had on Chew Valley & Blagdon Lakes, with immense buzzer hatches and trout gorging themselves and taking imitative nymph patterns.  Although we lost both the Chew and Blagdon opening days due to gale force winds, once the settled weather arrived, the insects hatched in profusion and the trout have been feeding on them ever since!

Both lakes have been producing some stunning fishing, but Blagdon has just had the edge, with some huge buzzers coming off at the Top End of the lake.  I have had plenty of guided days out already and the best bag of 8 trout weighed a massive 32lbs for my guest Jon Walker and that included a 7lb rainbow! 
My first Blagdon fish of the season was an overwintered brown trout of just over 4lbs, which I duly returned.  Some days we have had at least 20 fish each to the boat and every single trout has fallen to floating lines or midge tips with a team of Buzzers and Diawl Bach Nymphs.

The recent colder spell of weather has slowed things down a bit, but the insects are still hatching and the fishing will doubtless improve again as soon as it warms up a bit.  

There have been literally hundreds of Sand martins and House Martins on the water at times feeding on the hatching buzzers, as well as black headed gulls and little gulls feasting on the same tasty morsels.  I also watched an Osprey diving on Chew and people have also spotted it on Blagdon as well.  

Pike on the fly

I haver been out onto Chew a few times for the pike, but have only landed a few jacks so far.  My good friend Enrico Pini had a decent 30 a couple of weeks ago, but sadly the big fish have either been coming off for me or turning away at the boat!
Still, I have seen plenty spawning and this should hopefully be over very soon - if not already.

Guided Days

I have plenty of days available in April, although May and June are already very busy.  Please get in touch if you fancy a day on Chew or Blagdon this season.

 

Jon Walker and his 7lb Blagdon Rainbow
My 4lb Blagdon Brownie
Spoonings from a Blagdon rainbow

2018 FISHING NEWS UPDATE

This is my first post of the 2018 fly fishing season and many apologies for not keeping my Blog up to date during the last year.
I decided to focus more on Social Media during that time but realise that many people still do not use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media apps.  So I will now update my Blog regularly again with the latest fishing news and catches.

Chew Valley Lake - Trout

The trout fishing on Chew Valley Lake has been amazing since opening day in early March.  Hollowbrook has - and still is - holding large numbers of trout due to the massive bloodworm beds and buzzer hatches.  You can catch in the shallow margins using Washing Line tactics with a FAB or Booby on the point and nymphs such as Diawl Bachs, Crunchers or Buzzers on the droppers.  If you drift out into the deeper water - around 10 to 15 feet, then substitute a heavy Buzzer for the point fly and let the flies get right down.  But be warned, these fish are fighting like tigers and strong fluorocarbon such as 8lb or 10lb Rio Fluoroflex is highly recommended.
Herons Green has also been fishing well all season and now Villice Bay is coming alive.

When the winds drop and the air temperatures rise, head over to Stratford bay and Herriots.  These areas hold some of the biggest rainbow and brown trout that I have seen rising on Chew for many years.  Recently, on a flat calm, bright, sunny day, My guest Ron Howard and I spent a day casting at huge rising fish using dries.  The good old Claret Hopper proved to be the top fly and Ron's best fish was a fin perfect, overwintered Brown Trout weighing 5lbs 8ozs.  My best two Rainbows weighed in at 6lbs 4ozs and 6lbs 6ozs.  We also had plenty of other fish to dries that day, plus plenty to nymphs in other areas of the lake.

Blagdon Lake - Trout

Blagdon's Top End has been the best place all season, with boats catching literally hundreds of fish each day at times.  With many people now practicing catch and release, these fish have survived and are now amazingly fit and getting bigger by the day.  The same nymph tactics work here as on Chew and if there are rising fish to be seen, try the dries - Hoppers, Bobs Bits and Carrot Flies.

Butcombe bay started off very slowly this season, but now it is fishing well, as is Cheddar Water and in front of the Lodge at Polish Water.

Why not enter the Blagdon Heat of the Anglers World Individual Championships this coming Sunday 3rd June?  Simply go to: flyfishingchampionships.uk to enter online

Chew Valley - Pike

The pike fishing has been pretty tricky so far this season, but since the warmer weather, they are now beginning to feed properly.  Several 20's and a 32:00 have come out in the past few days, with lots of smaller fish around the 6lbs to 8lbs mark being caught.  Plenty of VERY big fish have also been spotted following the fly and lots are being caught on small flies by trout anglers.
I actually had a 16:04 pike on a size 10 Buzzer last week - hooked fairly and squarely in the mouth!

 

John Horsey with a 6lb 6oz rainbow taken on a size 10 Claret Hopper
Ron Howard's cracking Chew 5lb 8oz brownie taken on a dry
John Horsey with a 6lb 6oz rainbow taken on a size 10 Claret Hopper

Superb early season fishing!

Well what a great start to the 2017 fly fishing season this has been on the Bristol Waters.  Both Chew and Blagdon have been alive with buzzers, making the trout fishing incredible.  People have been using nymphs, small lures and even dries at times when the weather allowed.  And with more mild weather forecast, the prospects look even better for the coming weeks.

Trout

Both boat and bank anglers have been treated to some sensational fly fishing so far this season, with Chew opening for action on 9th march and Blagdon a week later.  Some key hotspots on Chew were behind Denny Island and down in Herons Green Bay - even though neither of those areas were stocked prior to opening day!

The best area at Blagdon was the Top End, although Butcombe was also good at the opposite end of the lake!  Once again, no fish were stocked at the Top End so it just goes to show that these trout will wander to where they find the best feeding areas, regardless of where they are stocked.

Pike

The pike fly fishing on Chew has been pretty difficult so far, but to be fair, there are not many anglers out there chasing them at the moment.  I have had several guided days and have boated a few, but have also had a fair amount of missed chances and some follows from very big fish - so I know it can only improve.

Guided Fly Fishing

Now that the new season is well and truly underway, I have plenty of availability; particularly midweek, during April.  May is already very busy and June is filling fast.
If you would like a guided day on Chew, Blagdon or Litton, then please go to the "Contact" part of this site and let's get a day or two organised!

Charlie Noble & Harvey with his first pike on the fly
Martin Watts on Chew fishing sinking line tactics with great success
John Horsey with a cracking early season Blagdon rainbow from Top End

The New Season beckons .....

Well it had to happen; a long, dry, wind free and generally mild Winter - then just as the Lake is due to reopen for Pike Fishing - WHAM!  Gale force winds and driving rain are forecast for the West Country, driving right across Chew Valley Lake and causing the cancellation of the 1st two days of the 2017 Pike Trials on Thursday and Friday!
Don't get me wrong, we desperately need lots of rain to fill both Chew and Blagdon, but why did the winds have to pick up to ruin the start of another Pike Trials Session?  Exactly the same happened last year and another Opening Day was lost.

Still, if the forecasters are right, then the worst of it should have passed by Saturday and the boats should be let out to sample the best pike fishing in Europe - if not the World!

I am doing 10 days for Bristol Water as their official Pike Guide and there are still 2 days free in November - simply ring Bristol Water Fisheries at Woodford Lodge, Chew on 01275 332339 to book a day for 1 or 2 rods (the price is the same).

Guided Trout Fishing for 2017

This will be my 23rd year as a Professional Fishing Guide and hopes are high for a great season on the Bristol Waters.  Early season until July last year saw both Chew and Blagdon enjoy amazing trout fishing.  Huge hatches of buzzer brought fish to the surface as early as Opening Day and nymph fishing became the norm throughout March and April. 

Then once the warm weather came, massive hatches of damsel flies drove the trout into a frenzy - particularly on Blagdon.  In all my years fishing the Bristol Waters, I have never witnessed the trout feed so voraciously on damsels - and the fishing with washing line tactics or dries - was electric!

This year Chew opens first on 9th March and Blagdon opens a week later on the 16th March.  The lakes are currently lower than would be hoped, with Chew at 68% and Blagdon just 56% of capacity.  However, this rain will certainly push both lakes up a bit and that will be a good thing.

I can provide the latest Hardy Rods and Reels plus any other tackle if necessary.  Comfortable boat seats come as standard in my boat and all you need to bring is a packed lunch and some drinks!

Litton is also a great place for tuition or Corporate Days and where else in the country can you get not 1, but 2 lakes exclusively to yourself?

Guided Pike Fishing

Pike on the fly is a fantastic way to target Chew's mammoth fish and unlike the Pike Trials, where getting a boat is like rocking horse manure, access on the fly is available throughout the season.  Also, unlike using treble hooks, a single debarbed pike fly is really unintrusive as regards capture.  So there is far less chance of damaging the pike and due to the nature of the weather conditions here in the West Country, the oxygen levels rarely deplete, meaning that the pike are fighting fit throughout the Summer months.

I can supply top of the range Hardy rods and reels plus all terminal tackle, flies, nets and crash mats to target these amazing creatures.

So why not book a day with me in 2017?  Simply go to "Contact" and I will be in touch.

 

Chew Spillway showing the low water levels
Nice silver early season Blagdon rainbow
A Chew Summer pike on the fly

John Horsey Gift Vouchers

Only 19 days until Christmas, so why not treat someone special to a day's Guided Fly Fishing with the UK's best known Professional Fly Fishing Guide, by giving a "John Horsey Gift Voucher".

John has 23 years guiding experience and can be booked for a "One to One" guided fly fishing day from a boat on beautiful Chew Valley or Blagdon Lakes.

Alternatively, maybe you would prefer a day for 2 anglers, where regular friends or boat partners both get to benefit from John's vast experience.

Casting Lessons

John also gives casting tuition during the months of November through until March.

A 1 hour casting lesson costs just £30 per person and John provides all rods, reels, lines and terminal tackle.

John Horsey Casting Gift Vouchers are also available for Christmas and other special occasions.

 

John Horsey Fly Fishing
John Horsey Fly Fishing
John Horsey Fly Fishing

The season so far ......

Its amazing to think that we are already into August and another season is flying by!  Apart from a week or so of scorching hot weather, this has been a cool Summer with plenty of rain and even more wind!!  As I write this blog the rain is pouring down outside but that does have the helpful effect of cooling down the water temperatures on our lakes and reservoirs - as I'm out on Chew for pike on the fly for the next 2 days, this will be very welcome indeed.

Trout

The trout fishing on Blagdon in recent weeks has been incredible.  First with grown on rainbows and browns feeding on damsels, migrating leeches and corixa at the Top End, then to deep fished nymphs and boobies at the Dam where the fish fought like fury!  Barry Hawyes and I had a great couple of days boating fish after fish, with Barry taking browns to over 5lbs and rainbows over 4lbs.

Chew has been harder of late, but a month ago everyone was heading to Stratford and Herriots where overwintered trout were feeding amongst the weed on bloodworm and corixa.  There were some monsters to be caught but the weed growth and increase in water temperatures stopped this for a while.

Pike

Pike have been feeding during the cooler days and some cracking fish have fallen to the fly this season.  One of my regular clients ian Gregg had a superb 36-04 pike using a tiny baitfish pattern at Stratford, and there have been a couple more over 30lbs and plenty over 20lbs.
My season so far has been fine as regards numbers, but high doubles have been my best to the boat, although we have lost some bigger fish which we could not hold!
As the water cools, I reckon things will pick up and more of the big girls will begin to show.

Barry Hawyes with his amazing 5lb 2oz Blagdon Brown trout
John Horsey with a superbly conditioned Blagdon rainbow
Ian Gregg's 36lb monster from Chew on a fly

The perfect fishing gift...

For the fisherman who has it all, or the beginner who's always wanted to try: John can provide Gift Vouchers for a perfect day out!
Click here for enquiries