Caroline's report for August/September with special info re the Black and Blue Competition

Every man should have a shed! I’ve been saying this from the day I got married! Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with my hubby and we get along just fine – most of the time – but as important and precious as a couples time together might be, our time apart from each other is equally important. Hubby’s dad had it about right; he had seventeen, yes, seventeen sheds of all shapes and sizes on his ground and stayed happily hitched for the best part of fifty years until, sadly, death did them part! When a wife has had a trying day and the man of her life is getting under her feet and becoming a bit annoying as they have a habit of doing, she can say, “Haven’t you got a few jobs you’ve been meaning to do in your shed dear, I need to get on in the house a bit darling” and no offense is taken, no harsh words said and he happily trots off to fix a broken chair or mend the bird table. Equally it works just as well the other way around. When a man needs some “space” from his trouble and strife all he has to do is say, “I’m off down the shed for a while to do some chores, call me when dinner is ready” and again no harm done, no sharp words spoken in anger or malice. In this pleasant, convivial way it is possible to have some “me” time while not upsetting the one you love, a recipe for a successful partnership and happy life together in complete harmony.

Believe it or not, time spent fly fishing with a partner is another way to spend both some quality time together or enabling us to find a little of that all-important space we all crave now and again. It is one of those rare sports which women and men can compete, side by side, in total equality. The day can begin at the Lodge with a convivial morning coffee and bacon roll, time to talk tactics together and discuss flies and tippets and lines with each other. Enjoying a good chat with the regulars and a moan about the weather is the traditional way to start a day’s fishing with your dearly beloved side by side. Then you can either: Fish side by side on the bank, following each other round the lakes all day. Perhaps helping to land each other’s fish, untangle each other’s knots, or swap flies. Have some lunch together and admire the view while talking about the family’s problems. Or you can: Each head off to a totally different lake, wave every now and again from a distance and keep your fly choice a secret! Eating your sandwich in a secluded spot, away from everyone else and enjoy total peace and quiet in complete silence, meeting up again only at the end of the day when utterly restored to a state of well-being and gentle countenanceonce more. The choice is yours!

Now for the news…

We have kept up with the mowing, strimming and weed clearing throughout the last month. Apologies for any noise, but  it takes a lot of work this time of year to keep the swims open and the grounds up to scratch, especially as we have recently had some much needed rainfall and everything is growing so fast. We have also removed the troublesome tree from peg 15 on Brick Lake, round in the cove to the right. This tree has been plaguing anglers for years and we finally decided enough was enough! It’s removal will allow this particular area to be fished from both sides, in any wind conditions, thus opening up more possibilities for you all when choosing a spot.

We have “closed off” the top parking area for a while. It is now a convenient picnic spot for our anglers, but is still available for Blue Badge holders to park their cars of course! We do need to encourage all anglers to start at and return to the Lodge at the end of their trip to fill in the returns book on both arrival and especially on departure! Even if you are unfortunate and do not catch any fish we DO need to see this recorded in the book to enable us to stock effectively for all your enjoyment. We thank you for your co-operation.

Our planning application for a fourth lake has been successful!!! We are aiming to begin to dig this autumn with a view to having it fishable by spring 2018. We will be keeping you informed of the progress of this exciting project as we go and are looking forward to the extra space and angling options this will provide for all of us.

As I mentioned last month we did not have time to submit the results or pictures of our “Black and Blue Mystery Pairs Competition” held to raise funds towards the purchase of a Tramper, all terrain mobility buggy for Paul Martin (Chuckles).  Our huge thanks go out to all those who in many different ways supported this event. We had a truly marvellous evening and raised more than £3,000, almost half of the funds needed! The results of this unusual Mystery Pairs contest were (1st) Slim Wallace and Matt Dean (2nd) Paul Martin himself and Keith Holford (3rd) Robert Barden and Caroline Cutmore.  Extra special thanks must also go to Fulling Mill (Box of flies), Airflo (Fly Lines) and Markerstudy/Bewl Water (Landing Net) who were so kind in generously donating these items for Robert Barden to present to Paul Martin to help to make the day even more memorable for him (especially as he broke his net during the competition!!).  Thank you all – a great day became even better!

The cooler weather of late has meant we have continued to stock plenty of good quality trout this month. The lake water levels are high and the fish very active, if still a bit “picky” with their food! Smaller natural flies are the best option at the moment. Diawl Bachs, Buzzers, Damsels (small), black spiders and gnats and dry daddies and the like are fooling the little devils. The most important tactics at the moment are: MOVE about, ASK advice and COVER the margins! We have seen some lovely fish landed and heard many tales of the ones that got away!! Never mind, there’s always another day!

Over and out now, tight lines from Annie and me for the wonderful month of September. This is my personal favourite time of the year. A great time to be out in the fresh air with a rod in your hand!