FISHING REPORT 15th February 2020

Well although I have not got the official catch figures for the last week of the season those members who gave it ‘a last go’ did pretty well totaling approximately 55 fish over this six day period with a rod average of over two fish per rod visit. And what super conditioned fish they were to with nearly all weighing 2lb + and quite a few nudging the 3lb mark. The fish caught were all taken ‘down a bit’ with the intermediate and slow sink lines with small lures doing the business (black and green particularly) although I saw one member when I was down catch three fish quickly on a floating line with a  medium poly sink tip and black buzzers. Best spots were in the reeds on the east bank and the north bank gravels area when wind permitted.

Well with the season now closed until 1st March my first look summary ( to be confirmed) was that we stocked 7432 trout for the season and caught 5165 giving us a % of fish caught v fish stocked (ignoring any overwintered fish left in lake at start of season) of just on 70%. Better than we thought in October but down from 2018 owing, we believe to the number of fishing days lost through the very hot weather and high water temperatures over the summer and early autumn months.

Well what does 2020 season have in store for us? By the time the season opens on 1st March  three stockings of trout will have gone in (1100 fish approximately in total  averaging just over 2lbs each) thereafter followed by weekly stocking of between 300 and 400 fish each drop until  mid May when the position will be reviewed. Inevitably these fish will shoal up especially at the start of the season and finding where they are and the depth they are feeding will be key to success. These two factors, in my view anyway, are far more important than patterns of fly / lure used as I guarantee that if you ask the successful anglers what they caught on the answer will often be a different pattern whoever you ask. So do be prepared to fish at different depths and do be prepared to move. If you have tried different depths and retrieve rates and are not catching or had any pulls say after half an hour do be prepared to move. In fact it often pays to have a walk around the lake and see how other anglers are doing before starting to fish. This can save quite a lot of time with location which, as I have already said,  is paramount to success particularly early in the season where you may not see many, if any, fish rising. Based on previous seasons and obviously depending on wind direction and strength good early season spots will be the pegs on the south bank just up and down from the club Pavilion; the swims in the top bay of the south bank along and down from the haul road bridge; the gravels and adjacent swims on the north bank; the top north west corner and the swims in the reeds on the east bank. But as I have said, and I make no apology for repeating it,  location of the fish and depth they are feeding is key so do be prepared to move and alter tactics if you want to be successful. If I was asked to suggest one method for the start of the season I would say use a slow sink / intermediate line, a 12 foot leader ( minimum 8 lb B.S) with a black and green; white and green or olive gold head  tadpole type pattern. However many other methods will work so do be prepared to change to meet the ‘situations on the day’ – such is the joy of our wonderful sport.

Do have a great season and I look forward to meeting members old and new at our Fishery.

Roger 22/02/20     

Norfolk Fly Fishers' Club