Weekly fishery report week ending 30th April 2023

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Weekly Fishing Report: Draycote, Eyebrook, Thornton

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Fisheries Opening Hours & Boat Session
Lodge & Bank Open: 7.30am – 9.00pm
Full Day Boat: 8.30am – 9.00pm
Morning Boat: 8.30am – 3.00pm
Afternoon Boat: 3.00pm – 9.00pm
Last 4 Hr: 5.00pm – 9.00pm
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Thornton Fishery Weekly Report – 01530 230807

Email: thornton@flyfishstore.co.uk

2023 Stocking Policy Details of our stocking policy for Eyebrook is explained on our website www.flyfishthornton.co.uk/about-us-2/stocking-policy/

2023 Membership details Visit   www.flyfishthornton.co.uk/about-us-2/season-permits/ for details of our 2023 membership options

Week Ending: 30th April   Rod Av: 11.2   Water Temperature: 12c+

Terrific start to the week with a rod average 18+ for Monday. Despite a large number of martins & swallows working the main basin all day the majority of the fish caught were taken on Sink3, Sink5 & Sink7 lines with buzzers deep, variety of boobies, cats whisker, damsel & fab patterns. Anglers continued to fish the area opposite the lodge, in front of the wood to the corner of the wood and across the entrance to the Markfield arm. With the weather forecast for Wednesday onwards giving light southerly to westerly breeze with daytime temperatures getting towards 15c we should start to see more top of the water sport. Andrew Wilson, P Wrigley, P Cross, S Windram, S Miller, J Junick, K Vallance, J Barnes, J Bennet & John Dickens all caught double figures.

Tuesday, frosty morning with a light breeze & another excellent day with a rod average of 12+. Angler caught using floating lines with an indicator, floating line straight line buzzers with a heavy buzzer on the point to midge tip, sink3 to sink7 with buzzers, damsel booby, cats whisker booby, humungus booby, diawl bach and a black and gold humungus. Mr & Mrs Ryalls caught 14, Arthur Olding 15, P Cox 29, P Hunt & Brian Deeley caught 21. Best area continues to be opposite the lodge, wood bank, corner of the wood. Water clarity is good.

Wednesday, good weather & excellent fishing with a rod average of 15+ for the day. Opposite the lodge, wood, corner of the wood and into the Markfield arm continues to fish best. As the previous few days a mixture of lines & methods caught, although a higher percentage are been caught on a floater with a bung, midge tip or washing line. P Martindale fished a morning session catching 10 trout on a cats whisker first thing but moved onto buzzers mid morning. Bob Jones fished a washing line to catch his double figure catch as did Martin Hosking & J Scott. A standard midge tip with a washing line setup worked for Kevin Hart with a blob on the point & buzzers on the dropper. Mike Litchfield has been introducing his friend from the Ukraine Mr Vasily into this wonderful sport of fly fishing with Vasily on his second trip catching 8 trout under Mike guidance. Our water temperature is 12c which is ideal for buzzers and we should see their hatches improve. Water clarity is good.

Thursday and surprisingly cold with a south easterly wind that increased during the day. We still averaged 4+ which on any other day is a good rod average, but following the exceptional fishing we enjoyed on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday it felt disappointing for the visiting rods. Buzzer & diawl bach patterns worked best on a washing line, under a bung or straight lined on a floating line, while other used a midge tip. Phil Mee, Mr Armstrong, C Burdett & M Huffer all caught 8 trout on buzzers & diawls. Keith Cowen fished a cats whisker & damsel patterns on a sinker to catch his 5 trout.

Friday, damp start but noticeably milder. Anglers continue to find good numbers of trout opposite the lodge, wood and corner of the wood but with increasing number of martins and swallows working over the deeper water this area is definitely worth a look. Mr Bishop party of 4 rods caught 69 trout off the corner of the wood & the end of the wood mostly on buzzer patterns. Jem Langley & his Son Harry caught 13 for their visit with a brown muddler pulled through the surface across the deeper water producing most. Chris Sayer fished along the willows and corner of the wood with buzzers to catch his 13 trout with J Bebbington fishing a buzzer & booby to catch his 10 trout for the morning session.

Saturday, and the first day since February 1st I’ve not had to wear a fleece with daytime temperatures 16c+. Buzzers & diawls caught the majority of the trout fished as a washing line, straight line or under a bung although a damsel pattern & cats whisker on a sinker continues to catch a few. B Perrie caught 24 on black buzzers & diawls, Jan Webber caught 12 with Brian Sibley opting to fish the damsel pattern he ties to catch 10. Ian Leech & Jack fished a washing line with a fab and buzzers to catch 9 trout. Thornton bank hasn’t fished that well this year but all water member Jim Greasley fished the bank catching 3 on buzzers.

Sunday perfect conditions for the All Abilities Fly Fishing group who were visiting Thornton with 16 anglers returning a rod 9.8 with members catching. The wood, corner of the wood and Markfield arm fished best with buzzers, washing line, damsels and booby patterns best. Follow their report on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/groups/135416157257204/

Andre Russell fished from his float tube catching 20+ with a good number been caught close in to the bull rushes opposite the lodge on a midge tip line, diawl bach, cormorant and cats whisker.


Draycote Fishery Weekly Report – 01788 812018

Email:  draycote@flyfishstore.co.uk

2023 Stocking Policy Details of our stocking policy for Draycote is explained on our website www.flyfishdraycote.co.uk/about-us-2/stocking-policy/

2023 Membership Options visit our website www.flyfishdraycote.co.uk/about-us-2/season-permits/

Week Ending:     30th April 2023      Rod Av: 6.3     Water Temperature: 10°c+

Event – Boatmen / Boatwomen required.

Draycote 19th May hosts the seniors International with teams from England, Scotland, Wales & Ireland. We require boatmen / women for the event. You will receive £30.00 & a Draycote or Eyebrook boat voucher. If your interested or require further information contact Tom Bird at the Draycote Lodge 01788 812018

Weekly fishing report

The week started with a day of North winds with showers in the morning then again later in the afternoon. On the bank Steve King fished on Lincroft Point using a midge tip line and a damsel to land 3 fish. Fishing from the boat Hamish Leeds and Tim Gunn landed 10 fish to the boat using snakes drifting off the North Shore. With a mix of pink and black & green snakes proving to be the best colours. The party of Irish anglers fishing their last day of a 4 day break used buzzers to land good numbers of fish coming from Biggin Bay and off Lincroft point.

An unseasonal frost first thing in the morning on Tuesday, teamed with a North wind and bright skies it was certainly a chilly start. As a result of this cold start the majority of the fish came a little later in the day once it had warned and a number of anglers reported that the flies needed to be fished deep. Peter Elliot & Lee Patten landed 30 fish to the boat using buzzers in Toft. With Peter saying the “buzzers needed to be deep and slow on a long leader” Fellow Draycote member Bob Barfoot landed 9 fish again on buzzers fished on a long leader but this time in Biggin. However, Bob did find the fish rose in the water column later in the day also taking a couple on washing lining. Mr J Bennett & K Vallance boated 20 fish, while taking advantage of our three day package break. Having fished Thornton on the Monday and heading to Eyebrook on the Wednesday.

Overcast conditions Wednesday, with light winds coming from the Southeast, with the sun coming out around lunch and leaving quite a warm day. Draycote member Dennis Tidmarsh fished down the Cornfield to land 7 fish using a cat’s whisker. On the boats Dave Smith fished at Dougie’s Gap along the Cornfield to land 7 fish on a RIO Midge Tip using buzzers. John Dickens also fished along the Cornfield and around Lincroft point using a damsel on the point and then buzzers to boat 23 fish. Richard Snape fishing as part of the Patsell Fly Fishers enjoyed a good day using snakes to land 8 fish which his brother Doug landed 4.

An early start for the fishery team as they stocked 3,125 fish in at 5.45 Thursday morning. The conditions Thursday stayed the same as the previous day with the inclusion of rain in the later part of the day. Alec Thwaites fished from the bank to land 4 fish with his first fish coming from Lincroft point a cracking overwintered fish of about 3lb taken on a blue flash Damsel. With the next three coming out of Toft at the Swan’s nest on the same fly. Draycote member, Richard Walker fished from a boat on a half day to lamd 10 fish using a green damsel nymph on an intermediate line along the Farborough Dam Wall. David Holding and Geoff Brooks landed 16 fish to their boat. Using midge tip lines with a green pea on the point at the Hensborough Bank. Ken Cooke & Gordon Bramwell took long drifts out in the middle concentrating their efforts on the shoals to land 22 fish to the boat.

The wind swung Friday, to a Southwest with drizzle to start the day, which cleared later in the day with some very welcome warm spring sunshine. On the bank Colin Day enjoyed a good days sport landing 8 fish from Biggin Bay using a floating line and a Damsel fished very slowly. On the boats there was some fantastic bags. Mr Ray Anderson from Scotland landed a catch an opening batsman would have been happy with. From the Hensborough Bank and the School slips on various different flies. Season ticket holders Tony Broadway & Jim Hall fished with a floating line and buzzers & Diawl Bachs to land 22 fish to the boat. Ian Richardson & Bob Barfoot fished in Rainbow Corner tight to the Dam Wall using buzzers. Either fished under the bung or a midge tip. With the majority of the fish taking the flies at 6ft under the bung. With a total catch of 47 fish to the boat. Household members Debbie & Sean Gilbert enjoyed a great morning fishing along the Draycote Dam using Black Dancers and Damsels. The best fish was a fantastic 5lb 3oz Rainbow. Jim Dempsey fished for a half a day on the rudder, and enjoyed fantastic sport. Landing a dozen fish with every fish being overwintered and bars of silver fishing with a Tube on a Di 7 sinking line.

Another fantastic day at Draycote with great numbers caught on both the boat and the bank. It was a warm cloudy day with a light southerly wind, almost ideal conditions. On the bank Mike Oliver fished with Lee and Dave with the 3 anglers landing 24 fish between them. They found the fish in Rainbow Corner and Toft catching on buzzers either fished on a washing line or straight lining as a team of 3. Stuart Bottomley also fished the bank in Toft landing 18 fish. Using a Damsel and then buzzers on a floating line. On the boats there was fish caught from all areas Mr Hodgekiss landed 20 fish from Biggin Bay and Rainbow Corner using black buzzers on a washing line. Draycote member Mike Garner fishing with Ian Ross lamded 38 fish to the boat from Rainbow Corner. The pair used a Damsel and Cormorants to land their fish as well as straight lining buzzers. Martin Faulkner & Simon Gurney landed 32 fish to the boat taking 25 on Diawl Bachs with a further 6 coming to dries fished out in the middle.

Similar weather conditions prevailed on Sunday with once again good returns coming from both boat and bank anglers, from various areas around the reservoir. Season permit holder Mr James Kelly had 25 fish from the bank in Toft using damsels on a floating line. Another season permit holder, John Dickens, caught 18 fish from the bank using buzzers and a FAB up in Rainbow Corner. Ian Western caught 8 fish from the bank once again on buzzers and a blue flash damsel. Daniel Baker and Pete Reynolds had well over 30 fish between them off the bank  down in Toft Shallows. Daniel and Pete used boobies on a midge tip line, as well as FAB’s, damsels and buzzers. Draycote stalwart Paul Walley used a washing line with buzzers and a FAB to net over 30 fish from the bank in between the Swans Nest and the bottom of Toft. There were also some great numbers of fish caught from the boats on Sunday with some of the best bags falling to anglers fishing in the Help For Heroes match, organised by the Draycote Fly Fishers. Some 32 anglers took part, catching a grand total of 406 fish between them, giving a competition rod average of 12.7. The winners of the competition were Chris Howkins and Steve Owen. Chris and Steve used buzzers on the bung up in Rainbow Corner to bring a total of 41 fish to the boat. A big thank you to the DFF for organising such a worthwhile competition, and well done to all those who took part.

Link to the Help For Heroes competition results organised by local angling club Draycote fly fishers is on their clubs Facebook page www.facebook.com/groups/1035267106806535


Eyebrook Fishery Weekly Report – 01536 770264

Email: eyebrook@flyfishstore.co.uk

2023 Stocking Policy Details of our stocking policy for Eyebrook is explained on our website:


2023 Membership options visit our website www.flyfisheyebrook.co.uk/about-us-2/season-permits/

Week Ending: 30 April 23       Rod Av: 3.8   Water Temperature: 11-12°C

The week started with cool Northerly breeze that brought with it a good amount of cloud cover. The reservoir fished well with fish getting caught from both the banks & the boats. The fish continue to feed well on Buzzers & can be caught at all depths as they feed confidently through the layers. Those fishing the banks have been catching on Buzzers on the Washing Line or Straight Lined particularly early morning & early evening. The most productive areas from the bank have been the Chestnut to the Cowshed or over at Stoke Dry. From the boats, the most productive areas remain the middle of Stoke Dry down to the Willows & in Sam’s Dyke, 50 – 75m out from the Bird Hide. The boats have benefited from fishing the deeper areas in water between 9-12ft. The percentage methods from the boats have been Buzzers under an indicator, straight lined or fishing a deeper washing line between 4-8ft down. On the indicator, takes have been coming at all depths, 2-12ft & it is important to fish the indicator right back to the boat, as takes will often occur right under your rod tip.

Tuesday started with brisk northerly breeze with not a great deal of cloud cover. As the day progressed the cloud cover built & the initial breeze petered out & eventually moved round to a southerly. The extended periods of bright sunshine made conditions tough for the bank anglers as the fish moved out in the deeper water. From the boats however, plenty fish were caught on Buzzers, on the Washing Line, Straight Lined or on the Bung. John Watson & David Chalkley, out on a Guided Session with resident Guide & Manager Lloyd Thompson had a great day on the Buzzers catching a good number of fish on all 3 of the forementioned methods. They caught well up at Stoke Dry early afternoon both from the anchor & on the drift & then later in the day in Sam’s Dyke in what proved to be a very productive & informative session. For anyone interested in one of our Guided Sessions, please use the following link for more info. https://www.flyfishtuition.co.uk/guiding/

An easterly wind brought a cold start to Wednesday which resulted in a relatively slow start, especially down at Stoke Dry which was at the bottom of the cold wind. As the day progressed, the air temperature increased & consequently that area fished better in the afternoon than it did in the morning. Elsewhere, there were fish caught in Sam’s Dyke throughout the day & over by the Willows. Buzzers & Nymphs fished slow to static were the again the order of the day, either on the Bung, Washing Line or Straight Lined. Its best to use the Bung or Straight Line over areas of deeper water & the Washing Line in those shallower areas. If fishing on the drift, remember to drift along the edges of any wind lanes formed as these are “conveyor belts” of food for those naturally feeding fish. The banks, when the conditions are favourable, are still producing good numbers of fish, Eyebrook Member Roy Swinfield landed 15 from the Chestnut area, all took buzzers, fished static. From the boats, All Water Member Lorenzo Escobar & his boat partner Eli Snyman, had a very productive day on the buzzers, landing well over 30 fish between them from various locations.

It was a gentle south easterly breeze that welcomed anglers on Thursday which built as the day progressed & by early afternoon it was cold moderate wind. This meant that the air temperature up at the northern end of the reservoir was a few degrees lower than the southern end. Consequently there was a very little of a buzzer hatch up at Stoke Dry as compared to the area of Sam’s Dyke. Buzzer feeding fish were still caught up at Stoke Dry, across the open water, under the indicator at 3, 6 & 10ft & on the straight line on a relatively short leader of 12ft. Later in the afternoon the wind had subsided slightly which brought the fish higher up in the water column, so fishing the washing line with a small eyed Booby on the point was a more suitable method. Long drifts from the Seat area to the Cowshed, across the open water proved to be very productive, with fish caught all the way across. With the fish high up & looking up a few fish also fell to Dries. Fishing Yellow CDC’s All Water Member Mark Hunt had a productive day landing a good number of fish across the open water from the Seat area. Mark found that casting to feeding fish far more productive than waiting for the fish to come blind. A mobile approach, covering more water, has begun to pay dividends, rather than waiting for the fish to move to you.

Friday saw the wind change direction again from the previous day, from an easterly to a north westerly. All of this can initially make the fishing somewhat of a challenge as the fish get used to ever changing wind directions. Changing winds not only bring with them a direction change they can also bring a temperature change which can have an adverse effect on the hatching fly life. Despite all this there were some good returns. Fishery staff Steve Meacham had a very productive day fishing size 12 Diawl Bachs on a washing line & out filming for a Fulling Mill article, Rob Edmunds also had a very productive day. Rob chose to fish Buzzers & was rewarded with an excellent return for the day. The most productive areas remain Sam’s Dyke & from the Willows to Stoke Dry where there are a high number of naturally feeding fish, feeding hard on Buzzers at all depths.

There was an extremely bright start to Saturday & the reservoir resembled a mill pond. This flat calm could only mean one thing, yet another directional change to the wind. As the day progressed, a warm southerly wind began to develop & a few clouds started to fill the sky. Consequently, there was a good number of fish caught throughout the day with the most productive area being the northern end of the reservoir – Stoke Dry. With the intermittent cloud cover it was imperative to be flexible in your approach & change methods to suit the conditions. It takes 30secs to change a point fly.  By simply changing a point buzzer on a straight line set up, to a Booby or FAB you will fish a lot higher up in the water column. This simple & quick change will enable you to follow the trout as they move up & down the water column as they react to the changeable light conditions in their search of food. There are still some fish getting caught from the banks, although not in the numbers that they were. The fish have been moving out into the deeper water, usually by late morning, before moving back into the shallows in the evening in their search of food.

Sunday’s weather was very similar to the previous day with regards to the wind strength & direction. The only difference was that it was no way near as bright due to the more consistent cloud cover. Subsequently the fish were feeding high up in the water column & benefitting from this was All Water Member Mark Hunt who landed 12 fish, all on Dries. Mark chose a Big Red & tweaked it across the surface to great effect. Washing lined buzzers is also an excellent method for targeting those fish feeding nearer the surface. If a more subtle buoyant point fly is required, try swapping the colourful FAB or Booby for either a Foam Daddie or a Booby Eyed Nymph. Both will provide enough buoyancy to keep whatever is on the droppers high up. Another tweak to keep the Washing Line higher up, is to fish 2 buoyant flies, one on the point, the other on the top dropper. Elsewhere at Eyebrook, the banks fished slightly better this evening as the fish moved closer to the bank to feed. The most productive bank areas today were the Island, Chestnut to the Cowshed.

Overall, the Reservoir has fished well this week, especially the general area of Stoke Dry. During the changeable weather conditions of spring, it is of paramount importance that we change or tweak our approach to suit the ever-changing conditions, if we want consistency to our catch rate.