April 2014 fishing report

This month, as we have a good crowd of novices and fist time visitors coming along, I thought I would try and give you an insight to some of the flies that work well here at Brick Farm Lakes. Some will work all year round pretty much and others are quite seasonal. Sometimes the fish and nature take us by surprise, like when I saw daddy long legs on April 5th!! It just goes to show that you need to take the time to walk or talk to find out what’s occurring when you are arriving to fish for the day. With complimentary refreshments available in the lodge, time taken to enjoy a coffee at the start of the day with a fellow angler may pay dividends to maximise your chance of catching, especially if you are a novice. I know we are all keen to start fishing straight away, but as I say, we can share a lot of knowledge between us all and a quick stroll round the water’s edge to see what is around may pay off big time!

To begin with… the flies coloured black and green as a combination always work well here throughout the year. If you think about it these natural colours are mostly the hues of all insect and plant life found in the water and so it stands to reason that the trout will be used to feeding on this material as a matter of course. Vivas, Montanas, Damsels and Buzzers in these colours are a must and always a good way to catch your fish. An added flash of blue or orange or a bit of fritz will encourage the fish to take in the more coloured water of Brick Lake.

The much loved Cat’s Whisker must come next… again this classic fly is one not one to be without when visiting Brick Farm. Fished on floating or intermediate lines with a jerky retrieve or even long smooth strips to create the necessary disturbance in the water this fly really is a killer. Very often I have heard anglers say after struggling for a while “I had to resort to a Cat”. They say this almost as an apology, but if it works so well why worry? Over the years this fly has been adapted from the original real cat’s whisker rigid “wing” and lime green body to something more versatile. Boobies with the buoyant heads to fish on a sinking line, Dancers with their rainbow beads and hackled bodies to name but two. They can have gold heads, red eyes or orange hot heads. They are best used when they are fresh and new so have a good supply of these in your box!

Buzzers are a true favourite with anglers coming to fish here at all times of the year. I can’t begin to tell you of the enormous amount of variations of this little devil (“black” is often all the info recorded in the returns book) but suffice to say that it was indeed the fly that caught one of the biggest resident fish to come out for a long, long time last October when Glen Allen successfully landed an 11lb 8oz whopper! (Stop Press… they are catching quickly on Well Lake at the end of April). Used on a dropper with an intermediate/sinking line or indeed a gold head version on a floating line if you are a beginner or, like me you prefer to fish with one fly.  These flies are very successful and fun to fish with. You can cast them out and basically let them drift with the occasional tweak or you can let them sink down and daydream! One of our gentleman anglers told me of a 9lb fish he caught in the height of the summer a few years ago when he had let a Buzzer sink down into the depths while he enjoyed a 20 minute coffee break! The takes on this fly can be hard and defined.

We will be well and truly into dry fly season when you read this in May so that opens up a whole new “can of worms” so to speak. Well lake is BRILLIANT in the early evening. The fish come up like dolphins and swim round the lake like they are going to make a break for it over the dam at any moment as in the style of “Free Willy”! An incredible sight and a chance to have some post work excitement. Dry Sedges will be a good choice of fly in the warm months to come. When they hatch they scoot across the surface of the clear spring water, driving the fish mad, and along with the abundance of Damsel Nymphs (we have at least eight types of dragon fly here at Brick Farm) and emerging midges you can be sure of a BIG surprise, hopefully!!

O.K… now for a few items of late news…

The New Lake is settling nicely, the platforms have been built, the planting has been started and the frogs have already produced hundreds of tadpoles! Unfortunately it looked so inviting that a new angler to us fished it for 40 minutes the other day before we hurried up to inform him that we hadn’t in fact stocked it yet! Very sorry to him, it won’t be long to wait now.

Track resurfacing at Brick Farm

The driveway and parking areas down to the fishery has been resurfaced. This is good news for all our anglers as the new flat road will make for easier access for all types of vehicle.

We had a very enjoyable Teen Beginners Day on 17th April thanks to the good weather and the marvellous help of the Environment Agency. Brian Smart and his team of wonderful volunteers helped a group of novices through their first experience of fly fishing here at Brick Farm. It was brilliant to see the juniors so enthusiastic to learn and exciting to witness them catch their first trout. We are ideally suited here for novices and can help with tuition and rod hire. Just email or call the lodge for help. Maybe you know of someone young or old in need of some invigorating fresh air and sociable company in the peace and quiet of this wonderful piece of Sussex countryside.

Weather Permitting…We are pleased to announce the return of our enjoyable and now eagerly awaited Summer Solstice Fishing and Homemade Curry Evening. This is on Friday 20th June. Come along and join in the fun for some excellent evening fishing on the longest night of the year and partake one of Sophie’s stupendous curries! Anglers buy whatever fish ticket they care for and come in for supper when they are ready (curry served between 6.30pm and 8.30pm.) The bar will be open for a glass or two and there will be the usual complimentary tea and coffee.

George Cyster from Ridgewood bags this 4lb 8oz rainbow using a Buzzer

Recent rainbow catches include a 4lb 8oz by George Cyster from Ridgewood on a Buzzer, a 3lb 12oz by John Williams from Southwick on a Cats Whisker, a 3lb 9oz by David “Woody” Wood from Polegate on an Orange, a 3lb 8oz by David Smith from Windmill Hill on a Gnat, a 3lb 8oz by Chris Harris from Hailsham, a 3lb 8oz by Stephen Keating from Pulborough on a Buzzer, a 3lb 6oz by M Haywood from Newhaven on a Damsel and a 3lb 4oz by Fred Mitchell from Eastbourne on an Orange.

John Williams celebrates with a fine cigar catching his full bag of 6 fish bag including this 3lb 12oz rainbow caught using a faithful Cats Whisker

Our Spring 2014 competition was won by Les Glazzard with his 4-fish 7lb 12oz bag.

Les Glazzard winner of the Spring 2014 competition

Spring 2014 competition competitors

Tight lines for an enjoyable months fishing…

P.S. Don’t forget for Father’s Day this year on Sunday 15th June, why not buy a Brick Farm Lakes fishing voucher. Whether it is for a regular angler or a Dad who would like to try a new sport this is the perfect gift with a difference.