Just lately I’ve become quite taken with our top lake here at Brick Farm. In the past I’ve found it to be a bit of a challenge, preferring the darker, shallower water of Brick Lake where the takes and tugs come as a surprise, often right at my feet as I’ve turned to chat to someone. You can daydream and drift off into your own little world; well I can only too easily. On Well Lake you need to concentrate! It is more exposed with deep, clear, spring fed water. You can often see the fish take, or in my case ignore the fly and this has frustrated, and disheartened me, appearing to confirm my lack of skill.
One Thursday recently it was a beautiful Autumn day and I needed no encouragement to visit my place of work on my day off! I decided to face my fears head on and fish a practice session on Well Lake. I firstly changed from my usual, comfortingly visual floating line to an intermediate and then chose an un-weighted Viva. With its lime green tufted tail, black/blue striped body and red sparkling lines I figured the trout may be attracted to the flash in the clear water and that it may provide a nice change of diet from the many Daddies around at this time of year. As soon as the line hit the water I started a fast, jerky retrieve. This was hard work! Constant casting like this I realised could possibly spook the fish so I made sure to spread the casts in a fan shape around me to help counteract this. I was soon achieving startlingly good results! Within an hour I had two in the bag, lost two at the net (I was quite excited) and had had many pulls in-between. I therefore did what any self-respecting angler would do and treated myself to a second ticket. I immediately caught a lovely 3lb. rainbow and was well in the swing of things when the Osprey arrived! Now don’t get me wrong, I love to watch the wildlife as I fish as much as the next man (or woman) but the timing was unfortunate to say the least! Understandably the trout fled for their lives as this huge bird banked low around the lake before flying away but it didn’t really matter. I had three lovely fish and had enjoyed a wonderful session which had boosted my confidence no end. Isn’t it wonderful when a plan comes together like that!
The following Thursday was another lovely day and what do you know, I found myself fishing again! Not only that but in the same spot, next to the same gentleman angler as the week before. My Viva was now looking much chewed but it did the job once more. I must admit I was now feeling quite cocky and, whether he wanted it or not, handed my precious fly to him as he had not yet caught. The tradition of passing a successful fly to a fellow fool at the waterside is one I have been on the receiving end of on many an occasion and it was nice that it was the other way round for once. I hope it caught him a good fish or two.
Moving on…..St Michael's Hospice held their 2012 Allan Keates Memorial Fly Fishing Charity Day at Brick Farm Lakes on Saturday 22 September. With a full house of 30 taking part and with beautiful late summer weather with light winds the day was a great success raising a whopping £1300. Everyone was extremely well fed on the day with coffee and sausage baguettes on arrival, shepherds pie and apple crumble for lunch and afternoon tea and homemade cake during weighing up and prize giving. The joint winners of the Heaviest Bag prize with 5lb 3oz bags were David Goldsmithh and Rod Heeson with the heaviest fish at 2lb 5oz caught by John Holman - many congratulations. Finally many thanks to Marcia Dart for organising this fantastic event and many thanks to the Ladies that helped out in the lodge.
We have had the honour and pleasure to entertain the guys from Trout Fisherman magazine at Brick Farm Lakes in October. Russell Hill (editor), Peter Cockwill (fishing expert) and Jeffrey Prest (features editor) came and chatted to us at the lodge before fishing for the morning and, following their visit, an article will appear in November’s issue of the magazine. We hope you are looking forward to reading this as much as we are!
Also in mid October we held our Late Summer Competition here at Brick Farm Lakes. It was a typical late summer day with a frost on the ground in the morning, very little wind and lovely sunshine. We could not have picked a more perfect day for once! The anglers, after downing a sausage bap and coffee, spread around Brick Lake and fished for 4 hours, moving from peg to peg at the blow of the whistle each half hour. I am personally delighted to say the winner of the heaviest bag was a LADY angler Marina Aylett with her 4 fish bag weighing in at 7lbs 5ozs and the heaviest fish of the day 2lb 6oz was caught by John Harratt - so a big well done to them.
Fishing through October has been fast and furious. Most anglers have caught their bags, with many buying a second ticket and it has been brilliant fun, just as fishing should be. The slower days of July and August are well behind us now and we are stocking regularly with rainbows in tip top condition. Looking through the returns book I see a huge array of flies that have been successful. All the usual patterns for this time of year but Boobies in particular seem popular and productive. Also Montanas and Damsels are working well on Brick Lake, but with a bit of red or blue in them as the water is quite coloured with the recent heavy rain.
It is now November and with the long dark days of winter ahead it would be easy to become negative and miss out on perhaps the best trout fishing time of year. As the weather and water grow colder, nature gives the fish a natural kick to fatten up for winter. They become increasingly active and start hunting for their food. Why not try to be positive about this time of year! Yes it can be wet, windy and blooming cold but with all the modern clothing available to keep warm and dry, and a lovely lodge in which to meet over a bowl of homemade soup next to the roaring wood burner, let’s embrace this season as a time of wonderful fishing opportunities. I have heard many tales just lately of BIG fish caught here at Brick Farm when ice is on the lake and snow on the ground. Is this just chance or is there more going on than we realise in these harsh conditions? What factors would bring out the larger quarry particularly now? I suspect it is a combination of many things. Once again fly fishing gives us a puzzle to solve.