OLDER NEWS - 2007
Wednesday 11th July 2007
Once again we have to leave it to the visiting day-ticket anglers to show us how to catch the big fish. V. Chapman caught a rainbow of 10lb 12ozs on a Red Buzzer in the morning, only to be upstaged by a 12lb 5oz specimen caught by A. Morton on a Prince in the afternoon.
In general, Buzzers are the still proving to be the most successful type of fly, but a wide variety of fly and methods can and do succeed at Powdermill.
Sunday 1st July 2007
The weather so far this month has been very changeable and fly fishermen throughout the region have had to put up with some miserable
conditions interspersed with short periods of fine weather. Those hardy souls prepared to risk a soaking have still caught fish but
those fair weather anglers (such as myself) prefer to stay indoors and wait for more settled weather.
While sitting indoors watching the rain run down the windows, would it not be nice to relax and watch the latest film on Fly
fishing? Well, before you say that they are all the same and a bit boring, take the opportunity to see the latest offering from
Trufflepig Films which is due to be released shortly;
"THE LOST WORLD OF MR HARDY"
Over the past year Trufflepig Films have been making a film to be called "The Lost World of Mr. Hardy". The film is about the love of angling and the fishing tackle that goes with it and tells the story of the much loved family business of Hardy's.
The film traces the history of angling over the years by looking at Hardy’s as a family business. In the 50s and 60s their world was turned upside down by the switch to reservoir fishing as well as the arrival of carbon fibre (something which Hardy's invented with Richard Walker and then botched up). For this part of the story the film makers needed footage of reservoir fly fishing. They wanted to include as much lyrical footage as possible to help the story telling along. Where better to do this than to film Dusk on Powdermill. The atmospheric footage of fishing at Powdermill reservoir fitted the bill beautifully. Its peaceful tranquillity comes across in the film as they gently follow a late summer afternoon turning into dusk.
The film will be released on DVD at the end of July 2007. It is expected to be in the £18-£19 range and it will be available only from the following website:
The stills from the film look pretty good and as soon as the film is released we hope to provide a full review.
Friday 22nd June 2007
Despite the unsettled weather, June has been a reasonable month so far, as far as the fishing at Powdermill is concerned. While other local venues are experiencing
hard fishing with very few fish being caught, it has still been possible to catch fish at Powdermill with catch averages remaining higher than elsewhere.
The prevailing wind is now regularly blowing off the dam making bank fishing much easier. Boat anglers continue to find fish all over the reservoir and one should
not stay in one location too long if no takes are forthcoming.
At this time of year the variety of flies which are successful is much more diverse and many unusual names appear in the catch book.
Now that we have reached the longest day, fishing into the late evening can be particularly productive.
Stocking at Powdermill continues as usual. I was particularly impressed with the latest stocking (20 July) with yet more large rainbows including double figure
specimens. No one has caught a double figure fish so far this month, so there are a number out there and therefore there is a very good chance of catching the
largest fish of the month and obtaining a Troutmaster badge.
Friday 8th June 2007
A great deal of work has been taking place on the far bank adjacent to the dam. The
whole area has been completely cleared and now looks more like someone’s lawn. Bank
anglers will appreciate the easy casting that this bank now provides. Two out of the
three cut-outs on the far bank have also had a facelift and the third cut-out will be
tackled in the next few days.
Bank fishing from next to the large willow adjacent to the landing stage is a favourite
spot with regulars and this area has accounted for many fish so far this season, both
from the bank and from boats moored further out and casting into the bay.
With the continued weekly stocking regime, we are still putting in more fish than the
anglers are taking out, despite the high catch averages. All recent stockings have included
double figure rainbows as well as the large quantity of 3lb plus fish so there is
plenty of opportunity to hook into a good fish.
The direction of the wind over the past couple of weeks has made bank fishing difficult
but I am confident that the more normal seasonal conditions will prevail in the next few
days and the wind will turn and start to blow from behind the dam making bank fishing far
easier. If wind conditions do improve, the rest of June should prove to be an excellent
time to try your hand at a bit of bank fishing. If not, a boat is the easy answer to
resolving the problem of wind direction. Either way, June looks like being a bumper month
Wednesday 30th May 2007
Although it is not the last day of the month and a new bumper delivery of rainbows is arriving tomorrow,
because so little time is left, I am fairly confident in stating that the best fish in May will be the
12lb 8oz rainbow caught by visitor M.S. Dennis on 22 May. He tempted this excellent fish on a Black
Cruncher tied on a size 14 hook while fishing from the bank. This fish just beat the specimen of
12lb 3oz caught earlier in the month.
It should be noted that the four largest rainbows which were caught this month, all fell to VISITING BANK
ANGLERS. This just goes to show that although boat anglers tend to catch more fish on average, the bank
angler still can do well. Many theories are put forward to explain this anomaly but the favourite is
that while boat anglers tend to congregate where shoals of trout tend to be in evidence, the bank
angler is obliged to fish along the banks known to be favoured by the very large fish. These large
fish tend to be solitary and patrol parallel to the banks just within easy casting distance of the
average bank angler.
Sunday 27th May 2007
Mayfly hatches continue to be very impressive and plenty of fish are being caught on Mayfly, buzzers and Damsels.
Thursday 24th May 2007
Burgham Fly Fishers - A Report by Doug Rigby
An enjoyable day was had by all when Doug Rigby’s party of ‘pheasant-shooters’ fished a friendly competition on 17 May.
(Ed: from what I saw of them as they assembled in the lodge, they looked far from a friendly lot, but fortunately they had left their guns at home!).
The weather was warm, showery and overcast with NW breezes.
Fishing from boats, pairs comprised a novice and experienced angler in each.
The morning session proved to be most productive (stiffer winds?), fishing becoming more difficult
later in calmer conditions although some fish were rising to, and taking Mayfly during the afternoon.
Three of the party were complete beginners, although all had had some previous casting tuition, and two
were successful: Ian Gross, fishing with Bewl regular Martin Elkins caught a brown and two rainbow on
bloodworm; Peter Tapsfield, fishing with 87 year-old Eric Crane, caught two rainbow using bloodworm and GRHE.
As to the more experienced anglers results as follows:
Martin Elkins caught the largest number of fish, 5 for 5lb 9oz (surely a candidate for the lightest-ever 5 fish
bag!), all on bloodworm and all during the morning session.
Eric Crane had the heaviest bag, 3 fish for 5lb 14 oz, all on bloodworm and Doug Rigby caught the biggest fish
at 2lb 9oz on a Mayfly nymph.
Prizes, of quality fly-boxes, flies (including an American floating mouse-lure) were awarded as follows:
Heaviest Bag – Eric Crane
Biggest fish – Eric Crane, 2lb 0oz (Doug Rigby was specifically excluded from prize eligibility by the rest
of his party, but looks forward to cleaning-up when they fish Lakedown in the Autumn!).
Statistically, the days’ overall results as follows: 10 Rods (3 beginners/2 improvers) caught 19 rainbows,
1 brown and a perch. (Ed: a good overall performance, given that they are really e fact that they really
claim to be expert shots.
The day was rounded-off with a few beers and a barbecue, with sausages and burgers kindly donated by
Andrew Hoad from his farm shop in Salehurst.
Unfortunately no photographs were taken to record the event as Doug found that his camera battery was
flat; what a plonker! (Ed: his words, not mine!)
Following receipt of encouraging comments on the day a return visit is planned for 2008.
Wednesday 23rd May 2007
The Mayfly together with other water life are now very much in evidence. Dry Fly tactics are now coming into their own at Powdermill. Anyone wishing to
tempt a feeding trout to take a dry fly off the surface should visit without delay.
At this time of year, boats are in high demand so, if you prefer to fish from a boat rather than from the bank, you are best advised to phone the lodge
between 9.30 and 10.30am and book a boat with the bailiff. Visitors can book up to two days in advance.
For those of you who fancy the chance of tempting a genuine wild native brown trout rather than just factory-farmed designer rainbows should also beat
a path to Powdermill. In the last ten weeks, over 100 browns have been caught and returned.
Sunday 6th May 2007
On Friday we received another large delivery of quality rainbows in order to maintain stock levels. This is just as well as catches continue to
be above average, with many anglers achieving their 6-fish limit.
Despite the breezy conditions which have prevailed in the last few days, boat anglers have continued to be very successful. Bank anglers have
been restricted to areas other than the dam itself as the prevailing breeze has been onto the dam which has made casting any distance a little
The signs are that the mayfly hatch could escalate at any time during the next few days if the necessary weather conditions do not change
Vic, the bailiff, reports that he had two positive takes on a dry fly this morning but missed both. Although he easily caught his 6 fish, using
buzzers on a floating line, it is not like Vic to fail to catch off the surface once the trout are showing themselves. I can only assume that
his technique is a bit rusty and he will soon be reporting his first true surface capture of the season. I think that if he had waited until
this evening, it would have been a different story as the wind has dropped slightly. I am wondering why I am wasting my time providing you
with this information when I could be taking advantage of a beautiful bank-holiday weekend evening to try my hand at tempting trout with a
mayfly off the surface.
My advice to visitors is to get out in a boat as soon as you can. Your visit could easily coincide with a flurry of emerging Mayfly, but even
if conditions are not quite right, you can still score with the reliable buzzer or even the Daiwl Bach on a floating line.
Phone the bailiff at the lodge on 01424-870498 between 9.30 and 10.30 am to book a boat (up to forty-eight hours in advance). Take his advice on
where to fish and enjoy yourselves.
29 April 2007
So far this month we have had 327 anglers who have caught a total of 827 fish, which includes 25 wild browns (all browns were returned). 41 of
the rainbows weighed in excess of 3lb, including specimens of 9lb 10ozs, 10lb 2ozs and our best fish so far this year of 12lb 3ozs caught on a mayfly
nymph. Despite the fact that the boat anglers have been having the greater success in terms of quantity of fish taken, all three 9+lb fish were
caught by visiting day-ticket bank anglers.
The mayfly hatch has already started and fish have been seen to take them. This is a week or two earlier than normal. We are all hoping for an
exceptionally good hatch this year as initial indications are very favourable with continued settled weather forecast.
The most successful flies so far this season are small nymphs and buzzers (GRHE, Diawl Bach, PTN, and black, red or green Buzzers).
25 April 2007
Weekly stocking is now taking place in order to ensure that we
maintain a stock of over 2,000 fish compared with less than 1,500 fish in
previous years. The quality of the fish is also exceptional. I have just
returned from a morning boat session and the 6 fish that I caught included three
of 3lb and over and the six totalled 14lb 12ozs. Also this morning, a visiting
bank angler caught a double figure rainbow and another visitor fishing from the
bank caught one weighing 9lbs.
The major action has been with the boat anglers
during the past few weeks so we are delighted that two visitors have had superb
rainbows while fishing from the bank.
24 April 2007
The weather conditions that have prevailed at Powdermill so far in April have proved to be ideal for fly fishing. Not only has the clement weather meant that
both boat and bank anglers have been able to fish in comfort but the conditions have proved perfect for the feeding trout especially the over-wintered stock.
The quality of the fish being caught is as good as we have ever achieved and the superb fighting ability has to be experienced to be believed. All waters claim
to have exceptional fighting fish but everyone who has caught fish at Powdermill have remarked on their fighting ability as well as their superb quality and
Boat anglers have been particularly successful with many quality fish coming from half way down the west arm in what is relatively shallow water. The area
just off the boat landing stage has also proved to be very productive.
For bank anglers, the Willow adjacent to the boat landing stage has proved popular as has the far bank to the right of the dam. Fish have been caught off
the dam itself but not in the quantities that we would expect for this time of year. However, the wind direction plays a vital role in how well the dam fishes
and I would expect anglers fishing from the dam to come into their own in the next few weeks.
Because of the remarkable weather conditions, there are strong indications that the mayfly hatch is going to start early this year. Anglers are already finding
that at certain times of the day the trout are evident on the surface.
There are known to be at least four double figure rainbows in the reservoir from recent stockings, plus a number of fish over 5lb. Fish of 3lb are common.
20 April 2007
The number of anglers who took the opportunity to fish the reservoir during the first winter that it has been open for fly fishing was far greater than anticipated. This
enabled us to continue to stock heavily throughout the winter as well as boost numbers to their maximum level for the start of the new season.
As a result the reservoir is currently fishing exceptionally well for the time of year and members and visitors are taking the opportunity to enjoy an early season outing
at arguably the most beautiful and peaceful venue in Sussex/Kent at a time when the fishing is superb and catches are above average.
The combination of well acclimatised fish which are feeding naturally as well as recent 'stockies' which arguably will snatch at anything (you should be so lucky!), has ensured
that there is plenty of sport for all fly fishing methods.
Due to the excellent water conditions the quality of fish being caught are superb and many have remarked on the fact that they are exceptionally hard fighting fish.
The most effective flies continue to be buzzers and small nymphs. These have been the most popular throughout the mild winter.
Bank anglers will find that the far bank to the right of the dam has been cleared of tree stumps and as a result the undergrowth can now be kept down throughout the year which
will make casting from this area much easier.