2011 Archive


As anticipated, there will be no close season on No4 and No5 this year, but season ticket holders must renew by 1st February if they wish to continue fishing. We’ll be getting an extra six weeks or so, even if this is during one of the harder times of the year at Walthamstow.

The recent Fly-tying Evening saw a good attendance, with around a dozen in our corner of the Ferry Boat. Patterns tied included a Junction Shrimp tube fly, an Indicator Beetle, a Black Parachute Buzzer and a Red holographic Diawl Bach.

The Casting Clinic had a frosty start with temperatures close to zero on the journey down to the reservoirs, but once the sun got up we enjoyed very pleasant sunny conditions, with a light wind to help our lines go out. Mike Heritage from the BFCC guided us through the casting fundamentals, all the way from the basics to some very technical explanations of tailing loops and how to avoid them.

The Fur & Feather was well supported with getting on for thirty hopefuls lining the banks from first light. As often happens, fish were taken deep first thing, with good fish reported by John Ferguson and Kevin Blackwell among others. But it was Dave Jarvis in the North West corner of No5 who hooked into a run of decent fish to finish nearly two pounds clear of the field. Some areas, like the SW Bay of No5 and the Railway Bank of No4 were relatively quiet, but both the West bank and Causeway of No4 saw action, including fish taken on buzzers on the floater later in the match. Ron Fry had a 4-8-0 fish, the best of the match, late while John Ferguson lost a lunker on the sink-tip that could have seen him challenge for the top spot. Our thanks go to John and his missus for an excellent set of hampers and prizes. Results and more pictures >>

The final Autumn Series match saw the return of clear water and, thanks to the recent stocking, much better fishing. Although Andrew Green won on the day, making him level on points with John Ferguson, John’s better overall weight got him the series more>>

The club trip to the R.Test at Wherwell made the most of near-windless conditions to explore the venue’s intricate carrier system in the hunt for grayling. A misty morning also helped make the fish less spooky, especially in the low water our rivers are suffering from at the moment. Highlights of the trip included David Hahn catching his first ever grayling and Roger Eglinton getting a 43cms specimen on a home-tied Klinkhamer. Our thanks

go to Hugh O’Reilly for making this trip possible, and also

for throwing in an excellent breakfast and lunch.

Following his win in the Commonwealth team fund-raiser on the same venue, Mike Heritage repeated last year’s top spot in the South East FF Federation rivers qualifier with a stunning 34 fish in the afternoon session, ahead of Ray Burt with 5. Harry Fox won the morning with 15 fish, three in front of Tony who finished on 12. They should all qualify to next year’s Rivers National on the R. Dart.

Report on the TEFF website>>

3lb brownie to Tim Pottage Gary Inwards says that Tim was heading to the shed for lunch when he spotted this fish in the margins, eyeing a shoal of fry. He avoided spooking the fish, and managed to tempt it with a Gold-headed Cat’s Whisker.

Last weekend’s Greys Bank Finals saw good performances by club members. Vince King did well to finish 14th out of 48 in the Individual Final (just 3 fish from getting in next year’s bank team), while Frank Daley’s Walthamstow Wanderers ended up a respectable 7th out of 21 thanks to a great individual performance by Mike Heritage.

There have been rumours about zebra mussel treatment being responsible for the recent poor fishing. Myland says that he has not officially been told that they have treated the reservoirs. We have found a press release from Thames Water (dated 4th August) which talks of ‘a six month trial’ being carried out ‘at...Kempton Park water works...and also at...Walthamstow water works in northeast London’. This may refer to the Coppermill water treatment works the other side of the Coppermill lane, and not the actual reservoirs. Apparently it recently cost them £250,000 to clear nearly 800 tonnes of mussels from the main raw water tunnel into Walthamstow water works. This ‘BioBullet’ treatment consists of ‘a fatty outer coating irresistible to zebra mussels, covering an inner core that is toxic to mussels but harmless to humans and other creatures living in the water’. Thames Water’s commercial director said ‘We believe BioBullet will save hundreds of thousands of pounds in operational costs in a way that has no adverse impact on the environment’. Read the complete press release here>>

Our recent Start Fly Fishing session was an excellent session, with warm cloudy conditions and just one short shower, despite gloomy predictions from the forecasters. Casting and fishing instruction was provided by Andy Hathaway and Mark Surtees, with Gary Inwards doing the fly-tying. Plenty of fish were seen jumping, but our beginners were unlucky not to contact with anything. Although the fishing has been tricky, other anglers were catching on Blobs etc and Hare’s Ear Nymphs retrieved just below the surface, with Joe Degallerie catching this 4-8-0 rainbow on a salmon fly from No.5. In addition to the fly-casting and fishing, beginners who tried the fly-tying produced some very competent Cat’s Whiskers, as well as some interesting variants. Most people seemed to enjoy the day, and it is hoped they will take up Thames Water’s offer of a half-price season ticket for those who attended the course.

Start Fly Fishing will be back

in Spring 2012 more>>

Back from the Rivers National where he finished 11th, Mike Heritage was, like many, just one fish away from qualifying

for the England Rivers team.

On a River Dee that was strangely unproductive, despite apparently good water conditions, saving a blank was the name of the game. Mike competed in this event with Tony Fox, Bill Rankin and Andrew Smith from the South East federation. Read more about how he got on here>>

For the full results, plus a report, go to the TEFF website here>>

Harry Fox won the Bewl Floating Line event and £1,000 finishing by 1.00pm, more than an hour in front of Keith Lawrence in second place and at least four hours ahead of other finishers. Frank Daley got £100 for the biggest fish with a 3-14-0 specimen. Other WFFC members taking part included Roy Fox and Kevin Blackwell. When most of the field chose the Dam, Harry took the gamble to be one of just three boats to go to the top of Hook Straight, bagging up on a Diawl Bach - Diawl Bach - Fry Booby team

on the  washing-line. 

(Photo by Ray French)

The latest Start Fly-fishing session saw our best ever turnout with eleven adults and one junior taking part, supervised by instructors

Andy Hathaway and Max Sardi, who taught fly-casting,

along with Gary Inwards, who demonstrated knots and fly-tying, with beginners successfully producing a Cat’s Whisker. In the morning three or four students felt pulls from trout on their bits of wool when they were practicing casting, while

in the afternoon fishing session Bryn Williams hooked and landed this trout. Well done!

The last Wednesday Evening Series match gave us wet conditions all evening, which appeared to kill off any action on dries. John Ferguson did well to get a couple off the Causeway, on Booby and DI5. Results>>

Pat O’Neill won the Bewl Pro-Am with boat partner Micky Dwyer. After a lunchtime tip-off, they found fish by fishing ‘vertical’ with buzzers on the

Hi-D or DI7, right next to the draw-off tower. Kevin Blackwell was part of the second-placed pair. Other club members who took part included Frank Daley, Mike Heritage and Vinnie King.

Mike Heritage qualifies to September’s Loch-style National at Grafham. Mike put in another good performance in the second qualifier at Bewl to finish second overall. Andrew Green finished just outside the qualifiers, despite an improved placing in the second leg, with Harry and Tony Fox finishing further down the list. Mike must be one of the few people to have made all three Nationals, in Loch-style, Rivers and Bank, in the same year. Well done!

Frank Daley caught this brownie, estimated at 6-7lb, while fishing No4 reservoir in April. As with Vinnie’s fish last year, it shows that large, grown-on fish can still survive and prosper if carefully returned.

Mike Heritage and Harry Fox did well in the first leg of the South East FFF loch-style qualifiers at Bewl, finishing 7th and 13th respectively. Andrew Green and Tony Fox ended up further down the field, but were hoping to turn this around in the second leg on June 19th.

The Start Fly-fishing Courses were going well. Here’s a shot from the first session which Andy Hathaway and Gary Inwards looked after. A second session in May was added on to cope with the demand, and saw young Nikhil catch his first ever trout, while fishing with his Dad Michael. More dates will be planned if enough people sign up. More information here>>

The Greys Bank heat saw a good turnout with five teams and thirteen individuals fighting it out. John Ferguson’s London Irish finished one fish ahead of Frank Daley’s Walthamstow Wanderers, thanks to an outstanding seven fish catch by John O’Regan making him top individual on the day. Second was Mike Heritage with five fish, and third Vince King with four. They go through to final at Westlow Mere in Cheshire.

Results and more pics here>> 

Tony Fox won the Bewl Bridge FFC Bank competition in bright conditions with an amazing 10-8-0 grown on rainbow as part of his 8-fish bag for 27-2-0.

The Troutmasters heat experienced some tricky fishing with the recent brown water discoloration. After a slow start, however, fishing picked up in the afternoon. Forsaking his usual split-cane rods, Harold Almond did well to get four fish on Boobies from the Causeway on No5, ahead of Frank Daley with three fish on buzzers, also from No5. The rest of us were spread along the East bank of No4 but fish were spooky here.

The Bank Clearance Day enjoyed a brief respite between some rainy weather to remove undergrowth from a good part of the banks on No4. Whether because of our efforts in previous years, or the work that Thames did in the summer, but the brambles were a lot less extensive than usual.

The Railway Bank, and much of the West and East banks, as well as part of No5, are now looking a lot cleaner and ready for the start of the season on the 12th. Many thanks to everyone who turned up, and to John Ferguson for co-ordinating. Your efforts are much appreciated.

Our AGM and Auction may have been forced to move to a new venue but we still had a reasonable turn-out. Treasurer Steve reported that our bank balance remains healthy, with membership hovering around the one hundred mark. The Auction which followed gave everyone a chance to stock up with all the mink and arctic fox they’d ever need, courtesy of Chas Cleaver. We are now all kitted out for knocking up some decent fry patterns, so let’s hope some of the grown-on trout that we know are in the reservoirs decide that fish is on the menu. By the way, Gary would like to apologise for the late payment to sellers.

The Final Fling gave us a chilly grey day but even so 17 of us turned up to have a go. Brian Jenkins had six fish, including some sizeable specimens but come the weigh-in Tony Fox produced a 4-1-0 rainbow caught on a Cormorant fished on the floater. On a productive day when most opted for Boobies on the Fast-sink, this was the only fish caught on the floater, and a worthy winner. We were also visited by Fly-fishing & Fly-tying magazine contributor Neil Patterson and designer Steve Edge, whose company created the Salmon & Trout Association and North Atlantic Salmon Fund logos. Top marks to them for joining us on what could have been a hard day!

Our third Fly-tying Evening saw another good turn-out and some more new faces. While Gary got the beginners tying Boobies and Tadpoles, Andrew helped Ben through a Cruncher, before attempting a tricky split-wing Red Quill dry fly for Roger. There was much passing around of fly boxes, with some neat buzzers from Kevin which incorporated twisted flex-floss.

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