May 2014 fishing report

Brick Farm Lakes is delighted to be included in Trout Fisherman magazine’s list of the Top 100 Stillwater’s in the British Isles.  An independent panel of judges inspected 540 trout fisheries in Britain and Ireland and chose waters they felt deserved this accolade based on several criteria. The full list will be published in the July issue.

Our new third lake is now fully open for fishing at Brick Farm lakes. It was officially opened and named Stag Lake by Mrs. Mary Carden, Secretary of the Eastbourne & District Fly Fishing Club (EDFFC).

Mary Carden, Secretary of the EDFFC officially opening the new Stag Lake

Mary Carden, Secretary of the EDFFC officially opening the new Stag Lake

Nestling comfortably in between Well Lake at the top of the fishery and Brick Lake at the bottom, newly born Stag Lake sits naturally on the site of an old hay meadow, surrounded by open pasture and mature woodland in this wonderful valley in the High Weald AONB in sunny Sussex.

Why Stag Lake?...

One day last year while the lake was still being dug two beautiful stags arrived. They spent the afternoon here walking round the fields, strolling across the car park by the lodge and swimming the length of Brick Lake. They stood on the bare banks of the new lake at sunset and had their pictures taken very obligingly before disappearing into the wood.

After running a “Name the Lake” competition last year we chose this name from a long list of very worthy entries. Congratulations to the winner Mr.Lea Rottner from Brighton.

Lea Rottner catches first fish from Stag Lake

Lea Rottner catches first fish from Stag Lake

Mary Carden catches first fish from Stag Lake

Mary Carden catches first fish from Stag Lake

The honour of opening Stag Lake was happily awarded to Mrs. Mary Carden of the Eastbourne and District Fly Fishers Club. She represented this fine body of anglers who have supported the activities and fishing here at Brick Farm for a number of years and without whose help and advice things would not have been the same! Following an introduction from Keith,  Mary said a few words of congratulations before cutting the ribbon and then had the experience to have the joint first cast along with the “name the lake” winner Mr. Lea Rottner. Luckily, as they stood shoulder to shoulder they were a perfect match, one was right and one left handed, a good job too as it would have been impossible otherwise! We all rushed back to the comfort of the lodge for a toast of champagne and a nibble and missed them both catching the first trout to be caught from the lake! Oops!

The recent planting including Iris’ and Yellow Flags are beginning to establish themselves around the banks and the water is clearing well, is already home to huge clouds of tadpoles and is now showing signs of attracting the necessary insect life to make for some exciting dry fly fishing this summer. (Two of our recent anglers have reported sighting May fly around the lakes). The fishing platforms have been built and the water is now of the quality needed to hold a large stock of excellent quality Blue, Rainbow and Brown trout and the fishing, can now begin!

Fishing Stag Lake the newly opened water

Fishing Stag Lake the newly opened water

The added bank space this extra lake will now provide for our anglers is brilliant! They can spread out and move around as much as they like and Stag Lake will also be a perfect lake for novices to practise their casting or take a lesson with one of our qualified coaches. With no fly restrictions here there really is every opportunity to catch a full bag, although as with fishing anywhere nothing is guaranteed! We have recently stocked the beautiful Blue Trout for the first time and also added a couple of Golden Trout for fun! Our prices remain this year at a very competitive rate and our track down from the main road to the lodge and the parking areas has recently been completely resurfaced. We have clean toilet facilities and complimentary coffee and tea in the lodge which is always accessible during opening hours.  Card payment facilities, cold drinks and the bar are available when the lodge is manned.

The fishing of late has been excellent! On Well Lake the anglers have been rewarded with the fish high in the upper levels of the water, coming to the fly aggressively.  They are definitely in the mood to chase their prey. Following a fast retrieve they are happy to launch themselves at a well-placed dry Sedge or Hopper or hit a Cat’s Whisker or Montana just below the surface with equal gusto! Although this constant casting and fast retrieving of the fly is not everyone’s cup of tea and there is the obvious hiccup of catching too quickly one can always slow things down at any time by stopping too allow a heavier fly to sink into the depths to see what happens? Failing that, you can always opt to change to another lake for a while. Either way, this is a good time of year to treat yourself or the one you love to a six fish ticket as once the fun starts you don’t want to stop! (Especially as we have Father’s day this month; how about a voucher? Just call the lodge and we can take care of this for you over the phone.)

Brick Lake is fishing well but a little slower so this will suit those anglers who like to make their day’s fishing take “all-the-time- in- the- world”. The fish, although rising for the abundance of hatching insects are also being caught down deep. Black is the colour of preference at the moment but I did however catch the other day with the same dry Sedge as I had been using on Well Lake, using exactly the same method as I had up there. This was my first fish caught on a dry fly on this lake so I was thrilled to bits. The wild mint and oregano are growing tall around the edges now and the smell is wonderful, the more hens have hatched their little ones who are swimming around the banks and the cuckoo is starting to drive me potty, it really feels that summer is just around the corner. 

This is an ideal opportunity to remind you all of our Summer Solstice Fishing and Homemade Curry Evening which will be held (weather permitting) on Friday 20th June. A chance to come along with family and friends to celebrate the longest night of the year with a spot of fishing and one of Sophie’s marvellous curry suppers. I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening.

It gives me great pleasure give you all the first report of how the fishing is going on Stag Lake! Black once more is working well in the shape of Montanas and fritz and I have just seen in the book that one brown and two of our new Blue trout have been caught, wonderful. The fish have already been spotted rising for insect life on the surface; this incredible wind we have just had for several days (which has snapped off most of my runner beans at the root!) has blown a “pick and mix” of all manner of wildlife onto the surface. So, everything is looking good for angling on Stag Lake from now on.

Recent rainbow catches include a 3lb 12oz by Ron Carson from Hailsham on a Buzzer, a 3lb 12oz by Lee Hart, a 3lb 3oz by B Pyce on a Gold Ribbed Damsel and a 3lb 6oz by G Curtis on an Olive Damsel Nymph.

Brian Wood from Eastbourne catches first ever blue trout out of Well Lake, a 2lb 1oz on a Gold Head

Brian Wood from Eastbourne catches first ever blue trout out of Well Lake, a 2lb 1oz on a Gold Head

Finally, as many of you now know we have decided to sell Brick Farm Lakes. We have had the best six years at the fishery and thank all of you for your support and custom. The fishery is being marketed by Batcheller Monkhouse and the details are now on Rightmove and Zoopla if you are interested in a new venture. We will continue to run Brick Farm Lakes the best we can and will keep you informed.

Tight line for flaming June!