John Horsey Fly Fishing Web Log

John's Fishing Blog

Summer arrives - at last!

 This last week has been incredibly hot.  7 days ago I was wearing a coat, leggins and fleece - hung my leggins out to dry in the morning and during the afternoon the sun came out and dried them nicely.  since then, it's just got hotter and hotter.

Chew has been baked in sunshine, but that vile wind wont leave us alone - some days it gusted to 20mph - and fish simply hate those conditions.  The trout have put up with it though and washing line tactics in the Dam area has still produced lots of good fish, including a cracking overwintered brownie for one of my guests, Oliver Goldrick.

Behind Denny I have found some good fish feeding deep on hoglice and a long leader with Diawl Bach nymphs has proved successful on a number of days.

The grown-on fish along the reedbeds have been harder to tempt and the gin clear water, combined with bright sunshine has, I fear, driven them to slightly deeper water - but they'll be back.

The daphnia is incredible in lots of areas on Chew and in the sunshine it always comes closer to the surface - NOT the other way round.

PIKE

The pike are still proving hard to locate and I have found myself roving all over the lake to pick up fish.  Kiwi visiting angler Dave Leathwick caught his PB last week with me weighing over 12lbs and in two days we boated 6 including 3 doubles - and we also lost a big fish.

The weedbeds are holding incredible numbers of roach and perch fry and I believe the pike are feeding on them, so hopefully with a bit of cloud they will move out into the open water.  Small fish need to feed on the daphnia and that is not amongst the weed, so when they venture out, I'll be waiting for them!

Dave Leathwick playing a pike on Chew
Dave with his PB pike
Oliver Goldrick's Chew Brownie

Chew Special on Sky TV

 Only 2 days to go before I go into the Sky Sports TV Studios to join Keith Arthur in the "Bothy" for an episode-long Chew Valley fishing "Special".

Keith and I fished Chew a few weeks ago and the Sky cameras were there to film it all.

We began the day fishing for trout and the Chew rainbows did not let us down.  Plenty of action with some cracking trout being caught.

Then we turned the attention to the Chew Pike - again on the fly.  Keith had a near double, so did I, but later we had something special.
All will be revealed on Friday's show.

Tight Lines, Sky Sports 3, Friday 5th July at 7:00pm

Keith Arthur and the Sky TV Crew

Ireland, Filming and Fishing

 The last 2 weeks have been pretty hectic.  First I guided each day on Chew and then filmed a "special" on Chew with Keith Arthur and the Sky TV cameras for Tight Lines.
We started off the day fishing for trout and had some cracking rainbows to over 4lbs - with Keith taking the best on a floating line with a Diawl Bach Nymph.
Then we had a go for the pike and both of us had one pretty quickly, but as the day went on, the rain got heavier and heavier.  We were about to call it a day when we landed a beauty - but you'll have to wait until Friday 5th July to see the action on Sky's Tight Lines when I am joining Keith in the Bothy for a "Chew Special" programme.

Ireland and Lough Derg

The very next day I caught the ferry from Liverpool to Dublin and then drove the 3 hours route down to Portumna and the mighty Lough Derg.  At 29 miles long, this is a brute of a lough, but full of fish.  We were filming for the Irish Tourist Board and along with top matchman Baz Simth, we landed over 200lbs of quality roach, bream and roach/bream hybrids over the two day-sessions.

I also lure fished for pike and along with top Irish Guide Dave Harris, we landed plenty of fish with 3 decent doubles and a couple of big fish lost upon the way.

There were also lots of mayfly coming off and I had a few chances at the big brownies, but sadly blew my chances when I was broken twice and then missed the best take of the day by striking too quickly - BAD ANGLING!!!!!

Back to Chew

Yesterday I fished with Anthony Tabor and his father John.  The weather was awful - strong, cold winds and unrelentless blue skies - fleece weather but also high factor sunscreen!  We fished long and hard with nymphs and floaters, but John managed only 1 good rainbow in 6 hours of drifting and fishing the known hotspots.
Anthony was happy to try the sinking lines, so on went a DI3 and our fortunes changed instantly.  
We drifted from the North Shore across to Denny Island and in 2 hours had boated another 10 rainbows and lost several others.  John also switched to a slow sinking Intermediate and he too joined in the action.
 
Boobies, Blobs and Nymphs all caught fish and the action was at times frantic, with some great fighting fish. 
 

Lexus Heat on Blagdon

Today I held the first ever Lexus Individual Heat on Blagdon and it was a raging success.  In the sell-out Floating Lines Only Heat, the average catch per rod was 8.5, with an amazing average weight of 2lbs 11ozs.

Top rod was Mark Stevens, who qualified for the Grand Final at Chew in September and won an emboidered Greys jacket and a pair of Ugly Fish Sunglasses.  The other qualifiers, who all won Greys reels were John Piper, Wayne Aitken, Jim Purvis, Mark Thomas, Alex Johnstone, Steve Ebdon and John Glanfield.

 

Baz Smith and me with Lough Derg Bream and Hybrid
John Tabor with fin perfect Chew Rainbow
Keith Arthur's best Chew rainbow

Great new Bristol Water Web Site

 Bristol Water have a fantastic new Web Site.

Check out www.bristolwaterfisheries.co.uk and see for yourselves.

All the latest reports, tips and "how to" methods, plus all the up-to-date competitions and events on both Chew Valley and Blagdon Lakes.

If you want some free tuition days with me - then all the dates are on the new site.

There are even brand new VIDEO CLIPS  for both TROUT and PIKE featuring top anglers.

So log on to www.bristolwaterfisheries.co.uk and check out all these new features.

 

What a week on Chew!

 This last week has been sensational on Chew - apart from the weather - which has been dreadful.  Cold winds, rain and hail storms have dominated the forecast, but the Chew trout and pike have fed well.
I started the week on Sunday where I fished my England Qualifier and failed to make the cut for the National at Grafham by a mere 4ozs!
Chew fished very well on the day, with no less than 30 of the 38 competitors taking their 12 fish limit bags.  We fished to a very sensible 6 fish kill, then 6 fish release with a further 2lbs an hour time bonus.

I caught my first 6 fish in Villice Bay using nymphs on a floating line within 55 minutes, but switching to debarbed hooks and moving about to find some new fish, meant I lost both several fish and some all important time.  I completed my 6th released fish at 13:45, but sadly my total weight fell agonisingly short of the qualifying cut-off weight of 36lbs 9ozs.

Congratulations to those who qualified, with newcomer dale Burgess winning the day.  Fisheries manager Tony Donnelly also qualified for the National and I wish all the qualifiers well for the Grafham finale - I only wish I was joining you!

Pike

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I hosted ian Gregg's party of anglers and fisheries biologists for their 9th annual trip after the Chew Pike.  The "Chew Valley Pikers" managed a very creditable 33 pike over the 3 days, with Eric Hope taking the best brace of the season so far at 28lbs 2ozs and 27lbs.  Keith Hendry had a 23lb 8ozs tagged fish, while brother Cliff also had a tagged fish of 16lbs.  Ian Gregg had a 26lb pike, while James Stephens landed another fish of 26lbs 8ozs.

Next week Sky TV's Keith Arthur and the film crew will be fishing with me, so I am keeping everything crossed that the weather will be kinder than this week.

Chew Valley Pikers on Chew
Eric Hope's 28lb 2oz Chew pike
Keith Hendry with a cracking 23lb 8oz Chew pike

Scotland win Spring International

I have been at Bewl Water in Kent for the last week practicing for yesterday's Home International Loch Style Competition.

The weather was evil at times and the fishing was really hit and miss as a result.  No stock fish had gone in since 30th April, so we knew it would be hard.  We found fish using sinking lines on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - in 6 areas.  On Thursday the sun came out and everything switched to floating lines or midge tips with nymphs.

Match day the wind went to the North and the temperatures plummetted again.  The same areas held the fish, but instead of slowly fished nymphs, almost all the fish were taken using a Cat Booby or a Sunburst FAB on the point of a 20 foot leader with 3 other nymphs up the line.  The odd fish took a nymph, but the vast majority ate the point fly bouyant pattern fished absolutely static at depth!

The Scots had this method off to a man and they thoroughly deserved their emphatic victory.  We also had this method but did not fish it so proficiently, so we came second.  Wales were third and the Irish picked up the Wooden Spoon.

England Qualifier

I am now coming back to Chew to fish my England Qualifier on Sunday with no practice for the past 10 days.  I know it is fishing better than anywhere in the country, with loads of huge fish and the majority taking nymphs.  I hope I draw a good boat partner who has been doing his practice in recent days!!!

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