Caroline's report for July


Ok… it is now officially, according to the MET office, the start of summer… so what do we get chucked at us? The worst storm and wild weather to hit the South East since the storm of 6th June 1870 which apparently cost the life of Thomas Pierce and presumably many other sailors “in sight of home” according to the memorial plaque in the church yard in Pevensey. When I read the words etched on it a while ago I did a double take, the 6th of June by chance is our birthday, and my identical twin sister and I (Yes, sorry, I know it’s hard to take in but there are indeed two of us!) growing up, were always blessed with  wonderful weather for our Big Day. Surely at the start of a British summer we could never have had such terrible storm force winds. Perhaps the engraver made some awful mistake and suffered a severe slip of his chisel when he was working and this terrible tragedy really happened in January, his mistake going unnoticed for 147 years.  I know, highly unlikely! While I stood and pondered at the time, I tried to imagine what particular set of strange meteorological, astrological or even mystical circumstances had come together on this particular June 6th. The poor sods must have set sail full of confidence for an easy passage up the Channel, maybe finding time for a spot of sunbathing on deck, perhaps planning a little fishing en route or even a chance to drop anchor and indulge in some skinny dipping to cool off in the summer heat but no, instead they were tossed and battered by a cruel sea never to see land or loved ones again! A complete freak of bad luck I decided, a colossal, unfortunate, miss-alignment of the stars, a coming together of special, never to be repeated conditions weather-wise that they could not have predicted. Well how wrong was I! Suffice to say my Big Day this year was spent not at all how I had intended. No fishing trip as planned and no grilled trout on the BBQ for supper! I spent the day wondering if the electricity was about to switch off, listening to the howling gale and watching my lovely roses being totally wrecked!  The garden was being shredded before my eyes and my freshly planted oriental foxglove can unfortunately testify to this. I suppose it could have been worse… I could have been out at sea!

The weather will improve, the winds will calm down and we will be able to return to our fly fishing and enjoy the summer again.  Although the fish are becoming a bit on the picky side in regard to the normal flies, this time of year finds us dusting off our dry fly imitations and trying new tactics to fool the little devils. There is never a better time to take a stroll round the lakes here at Brick Farm and keep your eyes open for those tell-tale signs of activity on the surface or in the close margins and get a good “feel” for the water before choosing a spot to fish. There is never such a good time to seek advice and pick the brains of regulars or with us in the lodge with regards to recent “hot spots” or flies of the moment. There is also never such a good time to make full use of your day ticket, starting as soon as we open the gate, (7.30am) fishing for those first key hours in the day while the sun is lower in the sky and then perhaps, if distance allows, popping home for a break in the heat of the mid-day and returning later in the afternoon to catch the end of the day as the sun drops. If you live too far away for this then why not bring a picnic and enjoy a shady spot for a while. Just being outdoors at this time of year is a pleasure all by its self we wait all winter for, so let’s make the most of it! Unlike some other fisheries, we continue to stock regularly throughout the summer months so there is every chance to catch your bag, it may take a little longer than normal but that is all part of the fun! Trying new tactics and different swims, using different flies or teams of flies, (no restrictions here at Brick Farm) is all part and parcel of fly fishing at this time of year. I personally have dozens of small winged and hackled wet flies I have never used and I have decided that this is the time to steer away from the old Cat’s Whisker or fritz lure and work my way through this assortment for my next few trips.

Here at Brick Farm Lakes we have a wonderful Lodge for you to enjoy. We provide complimentary tea and coffee for our anglers and at this time of the year cold water and squash are on the counter. Guests are free to sit and enjoy the beautiful view from the deck area. We would like to remind you however, as we approach the holiday season that … dogs are not allowed around the lakes and obviously best not left in cars and only children fishing properly on a one to one basis with an adult are permitted around the lakes, for safety reasons and for the enjoyment of all anglers toddlers are not permitted around the lakes at any time. Here we have clean toilet facilities and if I may say these are I’m sure, as important to men as to us ladies! I had reason to really consider very hard weather I returned to a certain fishery I visited recently. Although the fishing was good and the setting beautiful the lavatory left a lot to be desired, the scrap of soap was disgusting, the toilet had not been cleaned in days if not weeks and as for the towel on which we were supposed to wipe our hands, well let’s just say that I seriously doubt if any self- respecting house elf would have even considered wrapping himself in it! This is not good enough in this day and age. We fisheries are constantly being encouraged to promote our beloved sport to the young, the elderly and the disabled. We are expected to provide beginner days, casting schools, charity events and the like and, whilst I know that some fisheries are set deep in the middle of the countryside, to have clean toilet facilities are essential and the very minimum for an up-to-date 21st century business.

We have had some wonderful fish caught in the last month. Some stunning Rainbows have fallen to the skilled hands of our lucky anglers. The fish are fighting hard and in fin perfect condition so well done to all of them and there are plenty more left out there for everyone!

Over and out now … tight lines for a… I-haven’t-used-this-before-let’s-try-anything-and everything summer.