News

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

Spring has finally sprung!

This last week has seen temperatures soar and put an end to the 3rd cold Spring in successive years!
Water temperatures have reached 22.5 degrees on Chew but the fish are still feeding happily and oxygen levels are fine - water clarity is also excellent.
On Chew the main trout areas have been the deep water at the Dam - but don't think these fish are deep - quite the opposite.  On overcast days Dry Fly is the best method and in other conditions it is Washing Line or simply straight lined nymphs.

My clients have had superb sport in recent weeks with lots of limit bags and hard fighting trout.

Pike

After weeks of rock hard fishing, the pike have finally started to feed with a vengeance on Chew and loads of big 20's plus a few 30's have been caught on the fly.  Jake Belgium has had an awesome year so far and topped it off last week with a 25lb 4oz pike - taken on a competition size Cats Whisker Booby intended for trout while fishing - wait for it - at the Dam!

My clients have all had good sport recently but we seem to be hitting doubles rather than 20 or 30 pounders.  Luck of the draw I suppose, but I am also sure some biggies will follow in the coming weeks.

England duty and the Grafham Trophy

Last week was spent in Ireland on the wonderful Lough Lein near Killarney fishing in the International Loch Style Spring match.  The wild brownies were small but plentiful and the rules were that only fish measuring 10" from tip of snout to INSIDE fork of tail would count.  On the first practice day, Richard Slater and I boated 43 trout and only 1 was sizeable!  We knew then that numbers in the match would be low.

However, with great team practice and top angling by my England team mates, we managed 18 fish for the team and brought home the covetted Gold Medal.  Wales were 2nd with 13 fish, Scotland 3rd with the same number and hosts Ireland were 4th with just 8 fish.

I also had the honour of being top English Rod and brought home the impressive Grafham Trophy.

Guided Days

Now I'm back until September (when I leave for Vail, Colorado and the World Fly Fishing Championships) so most of my days will be spent on Chew or Blagdon guiding for trout and pike.  I still have plenty of places available in July and August, so simply drop me an email to book a day.

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

GREAT NEW SEASON SPORT

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.

Dry Fly!

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.

Buzzers everywhere

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 s