Here is Caroline's piece for the February for the Freshwater Informer - I know you like these .....

In the following report there will NOT be any flashing images but you may find a trace of NUTS:

February is notoriously a tricky month to get through every year. Despite the psychological up side of it being a short month, being well past the shortest day in the astrological calendar and having Valentine’s Day to look forward to, (ha! Ha! We live in hope), it is still a drab, dull, dreary, dismal, damp, disappointing, dark… shall I stop there? No… wet, windy, wild, ok, you get the picture, month.  I HATE February!

It seems to be a month full of not-getting-things-done. For instance, having a bonfire, (too wet) washing the car, (no point!) gardening, (out of the question), cleaning the windows, (waste of time) and so on and so on…  Germs! That’s another thing. Why do we suffer so many colds, flus, coughs and upsets in February? We are all sensible enough to stay in and keep warm, get a bit of fresh air when we can, so, why all the illness?

I can truly see why folk of a certain age and sensible mind go far away, for sometimes the whole of this horrible month and return home in the spring. Believe me as soon as I reach my dotage I will be first in the queue at the border (wherever that is now) and scuttle off to sunnier climes with the rest of the like-minded seasonal migrants. I just wish it would even snow for a week or two. That would give us a break from this pissistant rain! (No, I haven’t made a spelling mistake and have, in fact, added my new word to the computer dictionary as I feel I may need to use it again very soon!)

I feel myself becoming grumpier by the day and down in the dumps. More and more lethargic and un-motivated to complete the most normal and simplest of daily tasks, like walk the dog or take out the rubbish. I look in the mirror and think O.M.G! And swear a late New Year resolution to improve things on a grand scale, reverse time and throw out the stale mince pies! Give the last of the Christmas chocolate to the needy and Google “Exercise bikes”. That still doesn’t help, hopelessly unrealistic!

If only there was something we could do to help alleviate this woeful state of mind and pitiful lack of enthusiasm for this time of year. If only there was an activity we could engage in that would quickly dispel all those negative vibes, reactivate our mental wellness and physical condition. A past-time maybe, to help get our Mo-jo’s back in line and stop us heading straight to Gatwick.  Perhaps something outdoors, sociable, fun, uplifting. I suspect you will all see by now just where this is heading… that’s right SKIING! But no! That is dangerous, difficult, cold, hard work, and in my case, painful! I think I have it!!! FISHING!!!!! There, got there in the end.

Brick Farm Lakes…  Fly fishing… remember?

In the last month we have regularly stocked more wonderful, tip-top quality trout. They are hitting the flies hard and fighting acrobatically. Even the larger 4lb plus rainbows are clearing the water and making fast and furious runs up and down the lake prior to settling down deep to allow an exciting, arm aching prolonged play. This is the part that can be tricky and require huge control and patience in equal measures. It is all too easy to become excited and anxious while playing a fish. It should be savoured like a good wine, (or any wine come to that).  Many fish are lost to over enthusiastic, rushed angling. Do not hang on tight and try to bully the fish to the bank. Remember to enjoy this part, make it last and you will land your fish safely.

Our winter maintenance program is still on-going with more clearing of the banks of the small stream feeding Brick Lake. It has opened up the view from the Lodge beautifully and makes the fishery lovely and tidy! We have filled in some of the holes that have appeared in the top of the drive and also carried on with the task of mulching new pathways around Well and Brick Lakes.  The recent heavy rainfall has filled the lakes to capacity and we are constantly checking the overflows so that any flooding is quickly able to flow away down the valley and out into the larger stream beyond.  Although the lakes have become a little coloured the fishing remains reasonably consistent. The windy weather played havoc for a few days but we still had a hardy bunch of regulars bravely soldiering on, so well done to them all! We have also seen many juniors over the holidays with their relatives, all keen to fish with their new Christmas rods and tackle. Lovely!!! Don’t forget, if you have a junior, under sixteen, we sell a “Guardian” ticket of four fish for £30 for you and your protégé to fish side by side and share the catch.

We were just the wrong side of the copy deadline last month to tell you the results of our fun Christmas competition. The weather was reasonably kind apart from a stiff Westerly!  To minimise the time spent fishing into the teeth of the gale, particularly on Stag Lake, we moved three spaces every forty five mins and this made things fair for all. The day went ahead in a true festive spirit and at the end 38 fish had been landed, a goodly haul in view of the tricky conditions. The winner on the day was Nick Saunders who not only won the main heaviest bag Trophy but also the Heaviest Fish Cup donated by Douglas Holford – thank you again for this beautiful cup, Doug!!  This heaviest fish was a large Brownie of7.95lbs.  He also almost won the Lightest Fish Cup but was pipped at the post by 0.01 of an ounce!!! This much coveted trophy went to Calvin (Slim) Wallace.  We had a delicious lunch of soup and bread and cheese and held a generous raffle to raise £130 for our local angling charity the Mastersport and Play Community Interest Company. Based in Bexhill-on -Sea, they provide opportunities for special groups of children and adults to take part in angling and other physical activities in rural areas.

Flies at the moment are again a bit of a mixed bag so to speak. Fry patterns have proved effective on Brick Lake either fast across the top or twitching down deep. Blobs and Boobies in various colours off the bottom, dry flies, would you believe, or damsels on Well Lake, black Gold Heads or white Fritz anywhere. It really is a too-large-a-fly-box lover’s paradise right now! Black is still a favourite colour generally.

It’s time to tell you now about our next friendly competition. This is to be held on Easter Bank Holiday Monday, the 28th March. A contest very much aimed at ALL abilities, juniors and adults alike. The normal rules of drawing peg numbers over a coffee, moving round on the bell and trophy for the Heaviest Bag. It will be a four fish ticket and cheddar ploughman lunch for the cost of £35. We will hold and Easter Egg Raffle to make a little money for our local charity (as mentioned above) and hopefully Spring will be in the air and we will enjoy some excellent fishing. Just call the Lodge to reserve a space on 01323 832615 or drop us an email to annie@brickfarmlakes.co.uk.

 

Tight lines for a… *@!?# February