Monday, 27 January 2014

Fly Fishing Action at Boringwheel Trout Fishery

A few days ago me and my pal Chris managed to slip away from our voluntary duties at the LDS Temple at Lingfield and visit Boringwheel Trout Fishery.  I had not been there for some 20 years.  It was a dull dreary wet morning (not like the picture below) but during our 3 hours there we both caught a brace of beautiful fish.
I pinched the picture and the following blurb from their web site.
Situated in the heart of the Ashdown Forest, just off the A22 at Nutley, this 400-year-old spring-fed lake offers 6 1/2 acres of peace and tranquility for the discerning trout fisherman.
Situated in the heart of the Ashdown Forest, just off the A22 at Nutley, this 400-year-old spring-fed lake offers 6 1/2 acres of peace and tranquility for the discerning trout fisherman.
Boringwheel offers first-class hard-fighting fish on a water that once used to power a mill producing the guns for England's medieval fleet of warships. The lake takes its name from the historic mill, and to the discerning fisherman it's anything but boring!
You can fish from the bank, from the well-maintained wooden fishing stages, or you can use our boats free of charge. Our resources include two holiday cottages, a mini golf course, corporate entertainment facilities, refreshment provisions, and toilet/washroom.
All fish must be taken as Boringwheel does not allow catch and release.
Following the heavy rains the water was a little coloured so we used cats whiskers. The trout were in top fighting form.  We will be back and might see you there!!!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Things to do when the weather is too bad for fly fishing

Let me first say the weather has to be really bad to stop me fishing.  However sometimes the rivers are "up and out" as my friends in the States say (see the Daily Mail picture above).  This means that the river levels are high and the fishing impossible due to flow rates and water clarity.  It is common place in the States to be able to go on a web site and get the actual flow rate in cubic feet per second. This is starting to be more common in the UK and I go on the web to check what the Wiltshire Avon is up to before I drive 100 miles to fish it. See
Also lakes and even rivers can be frozen over.  I have managed to successfully fly fish for trout on partially frozen lakes and have fished for grayling on rivers with mini icebergs drifting past.  If the air temperature is around freezing the fly line will stick to the rod or rod rings (called guides in the Americas). This tends to inhibit casting but immersing the rod in the water for a couple of seconds usually unfreezes everything long enough to get a cast in.
So for the days when fishing is impractical here is a list of alternative fishing activities:-
  • Sort through the contents of your tackle bag(s) and get it ready for the next trip.
  • Examine your rods for damage and clean and repair
  • Clean and check reels, lightly oil if necessary
  • Clean and check fly lines, paying special attention to where and how the leader is joined to the main line.  Replace damaged lines, or if double tapered lines consider reversing them.
  • Clean and check all your outdoor fishing clothing, waders, fingerless mitts etc.
  • Tidy up your fly boxes and label them
  • Tie a few extra flies or if you don't tie have a look at some fly tying videos on YouTube and get tempted.  Flies like buzzers and pheasant tail nymphs are fairly easy to tie.
  • Read a fishing magazine, write them a "star letter" and win a fishing rod (like I did a few years ago).
  • Join a fishing club and get on their forum.
  • Carry out an "inventory check" to see if you need any more tackle.
  • Phone a friend and plan a future trip or holiday.
  • Start or update a fishing diary or log or you could even start to blog!
  • Develop a boasting book of fishing pictures (paper or electronic).
  • Read or re-read the fishing books on your shelf, or join a library.
  • Practice tying the knots you want to use but have yet to master. See
  • Watch advanced casting techniques on YouTube  such as the Snap Tee or Circle C.
So there is plenty to do.  Taking advantage of a "window in the weather" I gave Bryant an american pal a quick lesson at Albury and this was the result!

Then I got really lucky the other day in East Grinstead.  I popped in to the tackle shop to see if there were any trout fisheries in the area that I had not heard of and I met up with a gent who had brought in all his old tackle to dispose of and we ended up doing a deal.  He went off with some of my money and I filled the boot of my car with his tackle (all in front of my very understanding wife)!   I count my blessings.       

Friday, 3 January 2014

Extreme Fly Fishing: Rainbow Trout on New Years Day 2014

Not having had the chance to fish for several weeks I decided to get 2014 off to a good start by going fishing on New Year's Day.  The weather forecast predicted heavy rain and strong winds all day, but I followed Boyd K Packer's maxim of "Do it in spite of the weather". My main concern was finding somewhere where the water clarity was clear enough to let the fish see the fly.  Muddy brown water does not suit fly fishing!  So I went on the Albury Estates Fishery web site, noted that the info had been updated the day before and that it mentioned that the large lake at Vale End had been isolated from the Tillingbourne (river) to safeguard clarity during the recent floods.  The drive was exciting as there were various flooded sections but eventually I arrived there and found a new closed gate.  The instructions said swipe your membership card and I did.  To my surprise (my membership card is very old) the gate opened.  

This access gate is a relatively new feature and is there I imagine to inhibit poaching.  Having got through the gate I parked up as near to the fishing hut as I could as I wanted to set up in the dry.  Another couple of brave individuals turn up and we swapped ideas as we got ready.  The rain did not ease off and the wind experimented with all points of the compass.  I did't mind, I was in the fresh air with a rod in my hand and water in front of me.  I fished a small cats whisker on an intermediate line counting it down to explore different depths.  Eventually I was reward with a sustained pull and lifting the rod found myself connected to a good fish.  Knowing it, if landed, was destined for the dinner table I played it carefully as it's performance told me it was on tip top condition!  As I was on a two fish ticket I decided to make things a bit more challenging by moving location and changing the fly.  Guess what, I fished for another couple of hours working my way right round the lake and I didn't get another pull.  As the rain was getting heavier and the wind more contrary I decided to head for home knowing that I could use the ticket for the second trout on another visit.  I thoughly enjoyed my fishing at Albury.  I regard it as a well run fishery for the following reasons:-
  • The fish are raised in their own fish farm and are in excellent condition.
  • Careful records are kept of catch returns so stocking can be appropriate
  • The waters are well maintained and pretty
  • Access and parking is good
  • The ticket system seems fair and works well
  • Tony Hern, the manager is a splendid fellow and his team are always friendly and helpful
  • It is a good place to teach fly fishing and novices have a good chance of getting a fish
  • The internet site is informative and kept up to date
At nearly 2lb 8oz it was a nice fish, you can see how wet I got fortunately underneath I was dry!