Well there we have it folks! Another year has scuttled past as fast as a rat up a drain pipe along with it all its trials, tribulations and triumphs. Hopefully I find you all rested, invigorated and refreshed, ready and keen as mustard to begin another year of angling outings and adventures.
This is traditionally the time to think about the year ahead, a time to re-assess our own individual goals, ambitions and desires for the months to come. It is a time to look back, learn from the past and plan for the future. A chance to alter and fine tune our day- to- day lives, making all the little adjustments needed to achieve a fresh start. Sometimes this is quite easy… a simple affirmation not to buy any more vegetables wrapped in plastic or to eat one less meal a week (maybe that should be a day?) Not to buy any more flies (maybe I’ll leave that one ‘till next year), be kinder to next door’s cat! Sometimes they are a little more complex and require a bit more thought. Make those plans for a trip to the Cayman Islands for a spot of Bone fishing on the flats. Perhaps a tour of the Rockies on the back of a Harley Davidson would be nice or, if kitty could stretch, a month or two in New Zealand, I’ve heard the fly fishing is truly excellent in that neck of the woods. Gradually however the reality of our daily lives and the comforting routine of which we are all so familiar inevitably returns, usually by about 2nd January and we can resume our daydreaming of things to do and places to go. Slip back into the old ways of cling wrapped swede and shouting at fluffy.
There is however one thing I am determined to achieve in 2014 (apart from catching a trout on a buzzer) and that is to introduce a friend (yes I do still have one or two left!) to this wonderful, sociable, absorbing past time. We anglers are privileged to have unique access to some of the most beautiful parts of our countryside with spectacular views and scenery. Parts of our World that “ordinary” folk never get to see and we at times take for granted I fear. The truly wonderful countryside around Brick Farm Lakes, like many other fisheries is not visible from the road. Non-anglers are not only denied this access but also the benefits of enjoying a relaxing, exciting, sociable and peaceful sport which can be everything and anything you want it to be. It can provide solitude and company, exercise and rest. It is a sport of skill and luck and it delivers moments of frantic fun and periods of quiet contemplation.
Setting a friend or partner up with a couple of lessons to learn the basics and some inexpensive tackle could not be simpler. We can help you with all you need right here at Brick Farm Lakes and will be holding more complete beginner’s days this New Year so watch the web site for details and dates. Also, for those of you who like a bit of witty, good natured company the marvellous Eastbourne and District Fly Fisher’s Club meet regularly at Brick Farm and are currently looking for new members for the New Year. They run a full fishing program interspersed with BBQ’S, hog roasts, quiz nights, raffles and a splendid annual presentation dinner. The cost to join is a nominal £15 for the year! Please contact the lodge for details.
On Saturday 15th February we are holding our first Teenagers Only Fly Fishing Beginner’s Day here at Brick Farm Lakes. This has been prompted by a visit to the fishery by Alex and Carl of angling YouTube fame who spent a day fly fishing at Brick Farm Lakes and have posted the very professional video they made of their day on the web. (Links on our web site and Facebook page). Teenagers can find it difficult to access the all-important tuition needed to get started in the sport of angling so this is our chance to help make a difference to the youngsters who are the very future of angling. Spaces for this day will be limited and costs only £14 which includes your first fish, a hot drink and cake. Places will be taken up quickly so please e-mail or call the lodge A.S.A.P.
We are still stocking regularly through-out the winter with a few larger ones added for your entertainment. The aerator is doing a good job keeping Brick Lake ice free and we are extending our maintenance program, digging in new fishing stages, clearing undergrowth and improving the steeper, slippery sections of the walk-ways with wide, safe steps.
The fishing of late has been excellent with the vast majority of anglers catching their full bag. Well Lake in particular has seen the trout in the upper levels of water chasing hatching insects that have been emerging through the surface, terrific fun in the crystal clear water. The fish are feeding hungrily with anglers using a selection of floating, inters and sinking lines. Cats Whiskers are still an essential fly for your box at the moment, but as one angler pointed out, they need to be crisp and new to achieve the desired effect. My newly designed fly I am about to “road test” kindly and expertly tied for me by one of our regulars I have named the “Magpie”. A black and white creation I think will be deadly here. Black is a colour the fish see well in cloudy water and white is a colour they see over the longest distance so why not combine the two? I will report back next month!!
Whilst pausing in my scribbling’s I managed to have a trip, slip and fall all at once while walking my dog. In a muddy millisecond I must have looked like a hippo having a seizure to anyone fortunate enough to witness this achievement. All before the first flake of snow! “Let’s be careful out there” to coin a phrase! We need you all fit and well to go fishing. Oh yes and don’t forget to bring a friend.
And finally again…
Keith, Sophie and I would like to offer our deepest sympathy to Dave Scotford-Smith and his family for the sad loss of dear Jean. She was a keen, skilled angler and a Lady who threw herself into life here at Brick Farm Lakes. She will be very sadly missed. Our thoughts are with them all at this sad time.