Wednesday Evening Series


Week by Week reports

Final Positions

No.1 Wed 6th June

Light winds and a hazy sky greeted a promising turn-  

out for the first of our Wednesday Evening Series matches. Most of us chose to line up on the Causeway where plenty of fish were active on top, with dries or washing-line tactics popular. Frank and John, though, started on the Railway Bank of No5 and while John found it tricky, later moving to No5, Frank managed a couple of three pounders to take the top spot, ahead of Peter Baker with two from the Causeway. For the rest of us, it was tale of snatched takes and lightly hooked fish dropping off in play. Andrew put back a smaller one he took on a Cul, but then couldn’t get a proper take from a better fish, while next to him John also had one drop off after hooking it a good way out. The variable breeze didn’t help, switching from a nice cross-wind to blowing in your face, to dropping altogether, but the numbers of trout we saw, which included some nice grown-on fish, promise good things for the rest of this series, as long as we get them to stay on!

No.2 Wed 13th June

Although we had nice overcast conditions, there was  

also a Fresh-Strong SW wind, which was probably why most of lined up along the Causeway and were fishing No4. John Ferguson bravely chose to start on the Railway Bank but soon found the facing wind rather hard work and later joined the rest of us. At least we were seeing moving fish, and trout were soon coming to the net, especially in the SW Corner where Barry and Dave were doing well on dries. Further down the Causeway Peter Baker and Tony were also catching consistently. After losing an early fish on a small Black Snake, Andrew looked at the SW Bay of No5, but although he landed a couple on the washing-line, these were noticeably smaller than many of those coming out of No4, with both Peter and Tony weighing in three pound fish, and Tony’s best going 3-8-0. As impressive as these are, we’re still seeing even better fish showing, so prospects look good for the rest of the series.

No.3 Wed 20th June

Even though we had apparently similar conditions to  

the previous Wednesday, with cloudy conditions and a Fresh Westerly, we weren’t seeing anything like the same number of fish showing, despite the reservoirs getting another stocking the same day. Some of these new stockfish are far too small to make them cormorant-proof, with Tony getting one that was not much more than half a pound off the Causeway on No4. On the Railway Bank Frank persevered with a Minky to get a good four pound fish, losing another at the net that was much the same size. Later on, a few fish were found in the South West Bay of No5 with Tony, John and Barry catching, with Barry’s brace just pipping Frank’s big one by a few ounces. We suspect the fish are mostly feeding on daphnia, but roach fry are starting to appear in No4, and if fish get on to these they could really start to pack on weight. We’re still seeing good fish show, it just needs conditions to be right for them to switch on again.

No.4 Wed 27th June

Only a fresh Easterly made today’s unrelenting sun   

bearable and although conditions were apparently worse than last week, we actually saw more fish moving than last time, especially in the North East Corner of No4. Andrew had an early fish to Booby and DI8 here but was unable to add to this. The Causeway was popular at the start of the evening, where Tony had a couple on the floater and a leaded Minkie fished static, but as the sun started to drop there was a move to the East bank. Barry had a great 5-3-8 fish at the South end, adding another when he moved to the North East Corner, where Billy sportingly returned a fish, with Frank getting one and dropping another. While No4 is rich in daphnia, which can be seen collecting at the bottom of the wind, we also think the fish might be keying on the shoals of roach fry, with small Minkies proving attractive. Barry’s second 10 points in a row puts him level with Frank on 35 points each, with Tony on 26 and Andrew on 19. We’re still only halfway through the series, though, and conditions are bound to change again. We know there are some great fish in the reservoirs, and it’s whether you stick it out for one of these specimens, or settle for a couple of ‘make-weights‘ that could determine the eventual positions.  

No.5 Wed 4th July

More warm, heavy conditions, which brought out a   

emergence of flying ants, plus good cloud cover and a fresh SE wind. We didn’t see the same numbers of moving fish as last week, and a lot of those we did see appeared to be topping rather than crashing after the fry, which are now a good size and can be seen seeking shelter in the weed. The East bank of No4 was unusually quiet, although both Peter Gulliver and Andrew lost fish here. On the Causeway Matt McColl made the most of a 30-minute spell of action to land a fish on a Black Minkie on an Intermediate, with follows to a Blob. Peter Baker and Dave were also rewarded with fish to floating line tactics. As the rest of us moved round both reservoirs looking for takes, Frank found a reasonable fish on the Houses bank to take the ten points. With Barry blanking, Frank now has a clear ten point lead, but as Frank is away in Cuba next week, Barry has a chance to narrow the gap. Although the weather is making the fishing tricky at the moment, there are good fish to be had if you persevere. Some times the Minkie on the Intermediate will score, on other days a more delicate approach with the floater is called for. You probably don’t want to stick with an unproductive method for too long, or stay in an area where you’re not seeing fish. Typical Wednesday Evening fishing.

No.6 Wed 11th July

With Tony, John and Frank on holiday, and World   

Cup football offering an alternative attraction, the rest of us might have thought there were some easy points to be had. A walk round No4 probably tempered such expectations. Not only had it gone rather brownish but we weren’t seeing the same numbers of fish showing as in previous weeks. Consequently, all four of us lined up along the Causeway of a clearer No5, where at least a few trout could be seen topping, if a long way out. Barry reported an early knock on the roly-poly retrieve, and tried a few different spots in an attempt to get one to stick on. Andrew started off on DI8 and Boobies, before switching to the Fast Intermediate and Minky, then finishing up on the washing-line. Certainly, it looked a little more promising later as the sun started to drop, with a better light and more fish showing. But even Peter and Dave, who both stuck it out on the floater, couldn’t tempt anything. Good-sized fry are showing in both reservoirs now, so at least when the fish do start feeding again, there’ll be lots of high-protein snacks for them to munch on. With Frank on a ten-point lead, this might have been a chance for some of us to narrow the gap when he came back from saltwater fly fishing, but not this time. 

No.7 Wed 18th July

Despite a lack of wind leaving clumps of weed all over   

both reservoirs, an overcast sky initially looked promising, with fish moving well, especially on No5, which offered clearer water than the rather brownish No4. It soon became clear, though, that these fish were very sensitive to pressure, melting away after just a few casts, only to reappear well beyond casting range. There was a good mix of sizes, from splashy smaller stock fish, to good looking grown-on fish, which tended to rise in a more confident, slower fashion. We also saw the odd crash after fry, which are quickly reaching a substantial size (maybe a good omen for our Autumn Series). Small dries, like Culs and Shipmans, brought very little response, and Floating Fry were also disappointing, although Barry did report a boil when reeling in at the end of the evening. Barry still needs a win to draw level with Frank (that’s if Frank is unable to improve his score), but there’s still one evening left. At the moment, though, it appears, we need a change in the weather to shake the fish out of their lethargic, drive-you-nuts mood if we are not to record our first ever hat-trick of blanks. 

No.8 Wed 25th July

Although the heatwave didn’t look like easing any time   

soon, we did at least have some cloud and a light breeze giving a nice ripple on No4 from the Causeway, where many of us chose to start. Once again there were fish showing in the SW Bay of No5, even if the inconsistent wind direction was proving a nuisance at times. Fishing next to the culvert, Roy Fox (not in the competition) soon landed a fish to his Claret Buzzer on the top dropper drifted round in the wind on the floater. As soon as this area looked promising, though, an awkward wind got up eventually pushing straight into the bank, which made nymph and dry tactics difficult. Back on No4 Frank made the sensible decision to move to the East bank, where he was rewarded with the only fish of the competition, a three pounder, to a Cormorant fished on an Intermediate. Barry, the only one of us who could challenge Frank for the overall title, worked hard, moving swims and changing tactics, but to no avail. With a total of three 1sts, a 2nd and a 3rd place, Frank took the Ken Gunn Shield by an impressive margin, due reward for a very consistent performance. We’re pleased to say this event was well supported this year, so thanks to everyone who turned up, even when the fishing was challenging. As you can imagine, we’re all looking forward to the Water Aid charity event in September, and the Autumn Series, by which time temperatures should have cooled enough for fish to be back on the feed, and hard on the fry, daphnia and buzzers.

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