Big Fish Column: Catches for anglers who braved the elements in between the storms

Ashton Pohl took this cracking rainbow from Haywards Farm Lake last week.


If Storm Ciara wasn‘t enough last weekend brought Storm Dennis, which effectively wiped out another weekend‘s fishing for all but a small handful of brave (or should that be foolish…) anglers who braved the elements.

River write offs

All of the local rivers remain pretty much out of bounds and even hardened floodwater barbel anglers have packed their rods away, waiting for the rain to stop and the water to begin to fine down. Whether or not that will happen before the end of the river season on 14th March remains to be seen, but prospects currently don‘t look good.

The only river sections that are worth a look at present are the lock cuts and marinas where you can tuck yourself away out of the full force of the current and there are certainly a few pike, perch and bits to be caught from such spots, including a pike of 12lb 12oz that fell to Marlow angler Tim Wickes last week.

Tim fished the Marlow lock area with a floatfished sprat, presented hard on the bottom to a size 6 barbless treble, 20lb wire and 12lb main line beneath a streamlined ‘zeppelin‘ float.

All quiet on the stillwaters

I was not surprised to receive no reports from the local commercial pools, most anglers deciding to give their fishing a miss last weekend. The good news is that all local fisheries should be in decent shape given the relatively warm conditions and as soon as the run of storms has passed there will be some great fishing to be had.

Trout returns

Once again the fishing was far better for local trout anglers last week than it was for the carp and coarse anglers, so if you can cast a fly it might be the perfect time to get out!

The winds that storm Ciara and Storm Dennis brought made for seriously challenging fishing but anglers who managed to get over to Haywards Farm Lake before and between the worst of the conditions enjoyed some exceptional results.

Chris Hayward reported that there were lots of big bags of fish last week, in fact he went as far as saying that he thought it was possibly the best week ever on the fishery in terms of returns. There were two bags over the 20 fish mark and several in the high teens, most noticeably by venue regular, Ben Beckwith.

Tom Clinton had a great bag of 11 fish with two of them over 9lb and his colleagues Ashton Pohl and Jonny Muir also hit into big numbers of chunky rainbows. Several double figure specimens were landed, to a top weight of 14lb and many fishers reporting seeing their backing heading out to the middle of the lake! The advice is to keep mobile and prepare yourself for a real tug of war when you hook up! Buzzers, blobs, snakes and damsels have all caught well and those inadequate fly casters, like me, will be delighted to hear that fish are continuing to come right into the shallows to chase and eat a fly! For the statisticians, the average weight of fish caught last week was 4lb 3oz, with a fantastic rod average of 6.3.

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