July 2014 fishing report

Please forgive us for blowing our own trumpet for a moment, but we were delighted to be placed 36th in the Trout Fisherman magazine’s Top 100 Stillwater guide published in July. Over 540 stillwaters across the UK and Ireland were judged and almost all those above Brick Farm are the giant reservoirs. Thanks to all who have supported us and please do give us a visit if you have never been or indeed not for several years, we hope you will be surprised by how Brick Farm Lakes has changed.

With the warm summer weather beating down upon us here at Brick Farm Lakes we arrive back at the same, age-old question that needs careful consideration, year in and year out … and that is, whether we bother to come fly fishing or not!  There’s no doubt that the odds are stacked against us as soon as the water temperatures start to climb with regards to hooking a trout. It can be uncomfortable to be out in the full sun with little shade around the banks to seek for respite and the midges are biting!

However… if we consider all the facts…  One can’t deny that it is indeed an excellent time of year for an abundance of natural food for the fish to eat (and eat they must at some point in a day). If we are to venture out we must consider the time of day that we fish. To maximise our chances early morning and dusk are the optimum time. The feeding time for the trout may only last for a short hour or so during these periods so we must accept that whereas we may fish a half or full day any other time in the calendar, in the summer this is maybe not a sensible option.  A short, sharp, concentrated hour either end of the day can produce the fish. We MUST be prepared to change our normal angling habits… fishing a dry fly, presented on a long leader and left to float almost static is not to be considered a lazy approach. You need to have your wits about you and concentrate harder if anything than normal! Fishing down deep, VERY slowly with a natural fly pattern goes against all my instincts, but should be an option non-the-less.

Consider this, it is the perfect time of the year when we can give a little of our valuable time, knowledge and patience to passing on our passion to the younger or indeed older generation. The children are on their long summer holidays and many older folk decide to take up this sport in their retirement.  We must all know someone like this who would be grateful for a coaching session on the water’s edge. Let us all make a pledge to introduce someone we know to fly fishing this summer! We can organise coaching and rod hire here for you and your new fishing friend, just call the lodge for details.

Another thought…With a splendid, clean and comfortable lodge here at Brick Farm this is also an ideal time of year to perhaps persuade a non-fishing partner to accompany you for a change. They can enjoy the wonderful peace and quiet, stunning views and have a window- on- the- world far away from the noise of the traffic and hub bub of “normal life” for a few precious hours. Who knows, they may even start to fancy having a go themselves! Fly fishing is one of the few sports that men and women can enjoy equally together on the same footing and let’s face it, everyone loves a picnic!

In the wise words of Mike (the weed) Richardson, here at Brick Farm…

When we first start fly fishing we are genuinely happy just to hook a fish. Then, as our expertise improves, we are delighted to actually land one on the bank! We then move into a phase of wanting to catch larger, more powerful fish to prove to ourselves (and our friends of course) that we have achieved the ultimate skill necessary before coming back, full circle to the original reason we started in the first place, namely, for the simple pleasure and joy of being outdoors surrounded by the wonderful countryside and fresh air. Revelling in the solitude and tranquillity this fantastic hobby brings us. Meeting strangers who instantly become best friends and embracing the moments of quiet peace and frantic fun. When we first start, the size of the fish is irrelevant. The number of fish we catch is an unimportant part of a lovely day out.

Therefore, in the summer, we should forget about catching a full bag for a while, give up being frustrated if we go home without a fish for once and cast our minds back to the magical moments with our Dad’s, Grandpa’s or even Grannies when we first began to fish!

We are remaining open right through the month of August this year and Sophie and Keith would like to take this opportunity to assure all of their valued anglers that despite the fact that the fishery is for sale they are continuing to run the business and keep the lakes well stocked as normal.

We have cleared all the fishing platforms on Brick Lake of the surrounding bull rushes and are still planting new trees in strategic points around the new Stag Lake so that it will gradually, over the years blend in with the beautiful countryside around the fishery. The oxygen levels in Stag Lake are remaining high despite the warm weather so this lake is continuing to fish well. Black or orange flies are producing fish on the bank!

Well Lake is proving good fun for fishing a dry fly now, especially in the early morning (we open at 7.30am) or into the evening at dusk (last cast 8.45pm). Now is the time to brush up your techniques for fishing in this particular, unique way or maybe plucking up the courage to have a stab at it for the first time maybe?

Don’t forget our St Michael’s Hospice fund raising day on Saturday 27th September. £52 will not only give you a day’s fishing to remember but also help a very worthy cause into the bargain! September is a BRILLIANT month to fish and be outdoors, enjoying the sunshine instead of hiding from it in the cooling autumn air. A fresh batch of seasonal insects gives the fish a “kick start” to feed for the winter months ahead and all is well in the fly fishing world once more.

Stop Press…

Although fishing is tricky at the moment anglers are still catching even a six fish bag! Don’t forget to move around more than you would normally, cast along the margins and watch the water. This time of year general water craft comes into play to spot all kinds of clues to help you catch!

Tight, patient lines for August, and remember, September is just around the corner.