Chew's Best Opening Week Ever!

Chew Valley has now been open for a week and the action has been absolutely incredible.  I have fished opening weeks for over 20 years and I can honestly say that this is the best I can remember.
The weather has played it's part in a huge way - warm days to almost 20 degrees - very light winds - water temperatures of 11.5 degrees C - up to 8 feet of water clarity and most important of all - MASSIVE hatches of black buzzer.

Nymphs and Dries

Since Opening Day on both Chew and Blagdon; all I have used is a floating fly line and a team of Buzzers and Black Diawl Bach Nymphs.  At times, I have added a small Black Booby on the point at Chew to fish the "Washing Line" as the trout are so high in the water column, feeding on hatching buzzers and daphnia.
On the 2nd day of the season, I put up a team of dries and caught my first dry fly trout of the season - take a look at the pic below and you will see the Black Hopper firmly nestling in the scissors - you might also notice that it has a cormorant mark on it's flank.  There are still up to 100 cormorants on Chew and I have released 6 trout this season with cormorant scars - yet I'm still to catch a trout with a pike mark!

I fished the 2nd day of the season with my good friend Barry Hawyes from Reading and as usual, we had a great day.  Barry started the day with a bang off Moreton Bank and quickly boated several cracking rainbows on Diawl Bachs and Crunchers.  The weather was fantastic - flat calm and warm.  We moved to the North Shore and the fishing got even better.  We debarbed our hooks and fished catch and release for part of the day, finishing our limit bags at 4:00pm and making tracks early.  What a day!

Bird Life

The birds on Chew and Blagdon have been getting into the Spring spirit and Cettis Warblers can be heard all around both lakes.  The Sand Martins arrived at Blagdon on 16th March and I saw my first Swallow at Chew 10 days later.  Goldeneye are still plentiful, as are about 20 Shellduck that are feasting on the buzzers like everything else!  No Hobbies yet, but plenty of Buzzards, Sparrowhawks and Kestrels.  I am hoping an Osprey might make an appearance in the coming weeks on migration to Scotland.

Fish with me for free on Friday; courtesy of Bristol Water

On Friday I am doing the first of my 6 "Free Days" for Bristol Water.  Here, anyone who purchases a boat or bank ticket can have me for an hour or more - totally free of charge.  These days can sometimes be pretty hectic, but they are really enjoyable and I get to discuss tactics, flies and methods with both boat and bank anglers - anything from fly selection to double-haul casting techniques.

All you have to do is ring Woodford Lodge on 01275 332339 to book a session - maybe I'll see you on Friday!

Rainbow with Dry Black Hopper in scissors - note the cormorant mark
Barry Hawyes with silver rainbow off Moreton Bank

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