OLDER NEWS - 2008
Wednesday 19 November 2008
END OF THE SEASON AND THEY'RE STILL STOCKED TO CAPACITY
Bitterly cold, three layers of clothing and I took a boat out at 9am. The sun was shining briefly and I rowed over to the
bubble which I hadn't really tried all year. Second cast I hit a fish well in excess of two pounds using an intermediate
with a very short leader. It fought well but alas there were no more. I moved over to the bushes and again within a few
casts hardly moving the line I caught another in excess of two pounds and so it went on through the morning.
As soon as I caught a trout nothing more happened and I had to move. I covered the reservoir even rowing as far as the
old stream bed up at the top on the left hand side, there was still quite a flow, as I could feel the line tension the
deeper my line sank.
All were near the bottom and as with
position it required me to change fly often and vary my retrieve. I
noticed two rises up at the top and put a line of buzzers on a
floating line. Within seconds I'd hooked another 2lb plus fish which
had hoovered both droppers, both embedded in the lip.
By lunchtime I had six in the bag with the heaviest just under 3 1/2
lbs and only one under two pounds. Flies used were Damsel, H/E,
Buzzers and I finished with a small cats whisker.
The appearance of the rainbow a the end of the season says it all,
it's where the pot of gold lies.
A fitting end to very pleasant season, especially as we now appear
to have a social side to the club where our fishing widows can
commiserate with each other.
Thank you HFFC.
Friday 31 October 2008
NEW WEB PAGE - THE POWDERMILL CUP
The Powdermill Cup now has its own page detailing all the winners.
See it here.
The Powdermill Cup
Friday 31 October 2008
DAM IN DANGER OF COLLAPSE?
The rabbit population around the reservoir has been steadily increasing and the number of warrens in the bank at the rear of the dam has
been a cause for concern. If left unchecked, their excavations could severely weaken the dam, so the rabbit population needs to be kept
under control. There is arguably no more humane way of thinning out the number of rabbits than be ferreting.
Tuesday 7 October 2008
THE HFFC ANNUAL FISHING COMPETITION AND BARBECUE
The Club’s annual fishing competition and barbecue took place on Friday 12 September and for most of the day it
was sunny and dry, but we did have one heavy shower mid-afternoon.
The nineteen competitors were split into two groups. One group fished from the boats in the morning session and then
swapping over with the other group in the afternoon, to fish from the bank.
Heaviest from a boat:
Heaviest from the
10lb 14ozs (6-fish limit)
The evening Barbecue was well attended and an enjoyable time was had by all.
All six pages of the October edition of our MEMBERS NEWSLETTER is entirely devoted to this event.
Monday 29 September 2008
REPORT FROM THE FLYDRESSERS GUILD SUSSEX BRANCH AUGUST NEWSLETTER
Match v. Hastings F F
POWDERMILL – 6th July 2008
Beautiful - if that isn’t the word that flashes across your mind when you first see Powdermill reservoir at
Sedlescombe then you must be dead! Powdermill Reservoir is the home of the Hastings FFC, and if you want to know about the club or the fishing then you
can’t do better than visit their superb website at www.hastingsflyfishers.co.uk - in fact if you go to the news page and scroll down
there is a report with over 100 photos of this very event. Curiously, the Branch has never fished against the Hastings club or even
been on a recent outing to the reservoir which they run so superbly. To rectify this obvious error the committee have set up an annual
competition for the “Powdermill Trophy” whereby the two clubs compete for the trophy in a team competition.
Expectations were high as the teams met at the lodge, and not just about the fishing as most people hoped the nice start to the morning’s
weather would hold and confound the forecasters. In fact the competition was affected by the weather but more of that later! After the initial
pleasantries and a mix up on the numbers in our team, each side fielded twelve enthusiastic members.
The competition was run on the same model as the Troutmasters final whereby half the day is spent bank fishing and the other half spent boat
fishing. Who does what and when is decided by a draw. There was an extra twist in that each boat team would be made of one FDG member and one
Hastings member. I was drawn to be in the boat first so can only give a slight bias to the morning’s events. All the boats set off to their
favoured spots under the one manpower engine on the oars! The locals had indicated that the reservoir fishes better at anchor than on a
traditional drift but that was academic because the fish were not playing ball. All the boats struggled and we tried everything but apart
from a few perch that came to minkies on sinking lines there was absolutely no interest. To make life more interesting, the wind picked up
to what can only be described as ‘brisk’. Unfortunately rowing boats are not easy to handle in a ‘brisk’ wind and at one point, one boat, rowing
for the dock, was actually being blown in the opposite direction, amid a cloud of rather interesting language, sweat and tears! The morning
session ended and both boat and bank anglers headed back to the lodge to weigh in, have lunch and swap over. The timing for lunch couldn’t have
been better as the heavens opened during the break. The boats hadn’t performed as expected as not a single fish was landed and to prove how
unpredictable fish can be the bank anglers landed 28 fish with our very own Ray Love leading the pack.
As football pundits say, it was a game of two halves and the second half saw the successful ‘bankers’ headed for the boats and even more testing
conditions than the morning ‘boaters’ had experienced as the weather had deteriorated. Now in addition to the constant nasty wind came squally
heavy showers. The only consolation was that the wind kept the clouds on the move and the rain couldn’t settle in but came through in pulses. One
particular monsoonal downpour tested our waterproofs to the limit and during this the most amusing sight presented itself in front of me. One of
our members who will remain nameless (as long as the £5 notes keep coming Bill) came past me in what can only be described as a squelch. I have
seen people who have fallen in and remained drier!
The fish paid no regard to the weather but even so the fishing wasn’t quite as easy as it was in the morning. I did eventually work out a semi-successful
tactic (very small - 16s - imitative patterns) and I managed to winkle out 3 fish. These fish were fin perfect powerhouses, fighting like demons all
the way to the net, and you would be convinced that they were fish three times their size.
The end of the match was heralded by the arrival of lovely sunshine, the wind dropping and a gorgeous smell wafting across the reservoir. Who needs a
whistle or klaxon to end a match when the smell of sausages cooking works so much better! This isn’t a new technique but simply the Hastings team and
their family and friends had turned up and put together the most magnificent post match meal and BBQ to revitalise our spirits!
Remarkably only 2 fish were caught on the boats against 43 from the bank.
It is at this point that I really have to thank all the Hastings crew (members of Hastings team and all those friends and family who helped) for this meal
and the superb competition but in particular Mary (for organising everything and having to deal with me in the run up to the event) and to Vic for superbly
managing the reservoir.
Regardless of the result this event was never just about the silverware. It was always about making friends and forging a link with another like minded
club in our own county. The social event at the end certainly cemented the friendship and brought the excellent day to an end. I can safely say, without
fear of contradiction that I have never taken part in a more friendly competition with such wonderful people who really understood the spirit of
fishing. Roll on next year!
Monday 1 September 2008
FILMING AT POWDERMILL RESERVOIR
‘The Last Breath’ is a UK Film Council funded film which has just been mainly shot at Powdermill reservoir. As well as the reservoir itself, the
interior of the clubhouse / fishing lodge was used as the ‘Dive hut’. I understand that even Vic’s hat, complete with flies, was borrowed to add
rustic colour. Did I say ‘borrowed’? I understand that Vic’s fee was a bottle of whisky!
Your intrepid website reporter was the last to know about this exciting event and did not find out until after it was all over. So I have no first
hand report or photos.
It would seem that, although the film makers were a nice and friendly lot, they certainly knew how to take over the entire fishery, much to the
confusion of the anglers. It has therefore not been possible to get any sense out of my fellow anglers who still seem to be traumatised by the
disruption of their peaceful existence by the invasion of the film crew. I am therefore forced to rely on the local newspaper report.
CLICK HERE to read the full article which appeared in the Hastings AdNews.
Tuesday 26 August 2008
TALES FROM THE RIVER BANK
Both bank and boat fishermen continue to find fish. At this time of year, fishing can be hard and often the best times are early morning or late
evening, but with the unseasonal weather conditions, the trout are exceptionally active and are being caught throughout the day.
The bigger fish which have been stocked in the last few weeks are proving to be elusive and must be caught soon.
Work has begun to clear the area between the bailiff’s cottage and the fishing lodge. Eventually it is hoped that it will be turned into an additional
grassed area that ‘Woody’ can mow! During the initial clearing of the undergrowth, a large underground wasp nest was discovered and work came to an
immediate standstill as the inhabitants were not very pleased to be disturbed. A fire was lit over the entrance to the nest but, at the time of writing,
the wasps were still in evidence.
Monday 4 August 2008
RESERVOIR CLOSED ON FRIDAY 12 SEPTEMBER
The reservoir will be closed to casual anglers on Friday 12 September 2008 as we will be holding the annual competition for club members.
Monday 4 August 2008
MEMBERS FISHING COMPETITION & BARBECUE
The annual fishing competition for club members will take place on Friday 12 September 2008 followed
by a barbecue in the evening. All members should have received a letter with a return slip to enter
the competition and/or confirm if you are attending the barbecue. Please return these as soon as
possible if you have not yet done so.
Thursday 31 July 2008
SUSSEX FLY DRESSERS GUILD
Members of Hastings Fly Fishers took on visiting members of the
Sussex Fly Dressers Guild on Sunday 6 July. Each team consisted of
Sussex Fly Dressers Guild
Hastings Fly Fishers
Six from each team fished from the bank in the morning while the others
paired up (one from each team) to fish from the boats. In the afternoon
they swapped over.
The weather was awful with strong winds and showers including the
occasional torrential downpour in the afternoon! Despite the miserable
conditions all 24 anglers stuck it out and although the fishing was
exceptionally hard a total of 45 fish were landed, weighing 73lb 7½ozs.
Boat fishing was awful with nearly all fish falling to bank fishermen.
Indeed, during the morning session not a single fish was taken by a boat
Hastings Fly Fishers Club
Sussex Fly Dressers Guild
Best Bank Bag
Best Boat Total
John Noble & Richard Foster
Nearly all anglers were pleased when the fishing was finally over and
the aroma from the barbecue soon began to revive their spirits. A few
drinks later and everyone was happy once more. The early evening sun
even managed to make an appearance as your intrepid website reporter
crept away, leaving the revellers to enjoy the rest of the evening.
Friday 4 July 2008
THE GEESE HAVE ARRIVED - CONTINUED
The two young geese are growing apace and have now turned from yellow to white.
Foxes are targeting the young of the waterfowl population. Mallard chicks are particularly susceptible when away from
the water. The young coot chicks do not stray too far from the water’s edge so are less likely to fall victim to a
prowling fox. The Bailiff is having to protect the flowers that he has planted with wire netting in order to try and
stop the rabbit population from eating the entire lot.
(Photos of coot chick and boat planted with flowers being eaten by rabbits).
Tuesday 17 June 2008
THE GEESE HAVE ARRIVED
The two chicks that were hatched for Vic, in order to replace the cantankerous goose which was
killed by a fox, have now taken up residence in an enclosure in the Bailiff’s garden. They have
a cosy shed to shelter in, complete with heat-lamp and a small run.
At this stage we have no idea of the sex of the two chicks. It has been said that eye colour can
be used to sex geese, the ganders having blue eyes and the goose having brown eyes. Also the gander
has a shrill, high pitched note compared with the lower, deeper, harsher note of the goose. These
two methods are not perfect ways to separate the sexes and we shall just have to wait and see. Let’s
just hope that they are friendlier than their predecessor!
Thursday 12 June 2008
THEME FOR A DREAM
Chris Richards, affectionately but irreverently nicknamed ‘Cliff Richard’ by some of the less
respectable members of the Hastings Fly Fishers Club, has finally landed a ‘big one’.
After many years of struggling to find time to go fishing, Chris has managed to clock up eight
visits so far this year which is more than he managed in the last two seasons combined! As a
result, he is having a good year, or is it because he is doing so well this year that he is
making more of an effort to take time from his busy schedule to go fishing? Whichever way round,
it’s good to hear from yet another happy angler.
Click on image to enlarge.
To a large extent, Chris is credited with having saved the Club a couple of years ago when it seemed
that it was in serious danger of folding due to financial concerns. As a result of his involvement in
reappraising the Club’s position and putting it on a much more positive footing, we have, once again,
one of the best trout fisheries in the South East. It is therefore only fair and reasonable, after all
his efforts to ensure the continued existence and success of the Club, that he has finally landed one
of the double figure rainbows that we regularly stock at Powdermill.
Chris, ever the perfectionist, stated that he would have liked to inform me that the monster was caught
on a dry mayfly, but unfortunately it was on a mayfly nymph. However, he went on to say that of the four
fish he caught that evening, two were on dry mayfly. He also admitted that this evening session was probably
the best 4 hours he has spent at Powdermill!
On Wednesday 4th June, he managed to find time to fish from 4pm until 8-30pm. His equipment consisted of a
brand new Sage rod with a floating line with 12ft of the latest Orvis 'Maxknot' Mirage
fluorocarbon on the
end. No droppers, just a mayfly nymph.
He rowed the boat round “the top left by the little bay at the end on the right”. (from this description, I
am none the wiser as to where he was!!) He said that on this evening there were fish in evidence absolutely
everywhere. (There never is when I go!!) Anyway, he was soon into the 11lb 10 oz rainbow which proceeded to take all his line
onto the backing. The monster fish took his line onto the backing three times over the next 30 minutes. At
several points during the titanic struggle he thought it was never going to end up in the boat. Finally, with
aching arms and a beating heart, he managed to slip the landing net under the fish and heave it into the bottom
of the boat.
Over half the fish that Chris has caught this season have been on dry mayfly, which is what it is all about for
most of our Club members. Can’t be bad!!
"Theme For A Dream" was recorded by the real Cliff Richard in
1961 and reached No. 3 in the UK charts in February of the same year.
Tuesday 03 June 2008
A club member, who shall remain nameless, had a bit of a disaster
last week. He had left his dry fly floating on the water while he
contentedly sat in his boat having a refreshing cup of tea. Needless
to say the inevitable happened and the next thing he knew was that
his valuable Sage rod was disappearing over the side. Despite
throwing the hot tea all over himself in his haste to grab hold of
the rod he only succeeded in falling into the bottom of the boat.
Despite the bailiff’s efforts to recover the unfortunate anglers
equipment it still remains somewhere between the willow tree and the
THE RETURN OF THE GEESE
After the sad demise of the bailiff’s demented goose earlier this
year, I am pleased to be able to announce that replacements are on
their way. Vic arranged for three goose eggs to be incubated by a
broody hen and two have now hatched. The less agile among us may
cringe at the thought of another vicious bird on the rampage let
alone two, but hopefully these will prove to be friendlier.
Every year we hope that the lifebelt situated near the boat staging remains unused. This is not because we hope
that no one needs its services, but because each year a pair of blue tits raise a family in the lifebelt holder. This
has been a bumper year for our bird population with over 30 baby blue tits having been raised in our nesting boxes
around the fishing lodge. The aquatic bird population is also doing very well with plenty of chicks in evidence. However,
only one Hobby has been spotted so far this year.
Wednesday 28 May 2008
PARISH COUNCIL AGM
Purely by accident, your intrepid website reporter has just found out that the Hastings Fly
Fishers Club had made an appearance at the annual Parish Council AGM held in the Sedlescombe
village hall in April. Although two of the County’s self professed leading fly-tyers made a
rare public appearance at this event, in order to demonstrate their art, no photographer was
on hand to record this auspicious event.
However, we are fortunate to have been able to coerce Mary Stacey, our Club Secretary, into
spilling the beans on this auspicious event. This is her report -
“Sedlescombe Parish Council run an annual magazine, which includes a little ad for any local
club or business who want to subscribe, and once a year when they have the Parish Council AGM
they invite subscribers to have a small table display on show after the meeting. We thought we
would give it a go this year so Tim Stacey and Doug Rigby went along on 29th April and "set
out their stall" before the meeting started. After such a lot of hard work they obviously then
had to adjourn to the local hostelry for refreshment whilst the meeting went ahead.
After the meeting they were then on duty at the table where their vices were on show!! They
demonstrated the art of fly-tying to a large population of the Sedlescombe area and great
interest was shown in our display and the Club. Vic and myself also went along later obviously
to provide the glamour aspect and I was able to talk to a lot of people who expressed an
interest and in some cases never even knew we were there. We were welcomed most warmly and
expressly asked to attend again next year as it had been enjoyed so much. The other displays
were for example, the local school, gardeners Club, WI, Police, archery Club etc. It turned
out to be a very enjoyable evening and lots of literature and information was given out which
hopefully will lead to more interest in the Club.”
Tuesday 27 May 2008
BIGGEST FISH IN MAY... SO FAR
On 18 May, while fishing from the far bank adjacent to the green hut, Mick Coleman caught
a rainbow weighing 12lb 1oz, on a Mayfly Nymph. Although Mick and Maggie Coleman were the
generous donors of the latest addition to our fleet, L’Aquapêche 370, Mick prefers to fish
from the bank. Although there were plenty of anglers present to witness the capture, there
was not a single camera to record the event.
Tuesday 27 May 2008
A MISSING LANDMARK
One of the very few eyesores which has been quietly rotting away has finally been removed
after many years of neglect. The photo below shows the gap where the old Portaloo has
stood for more years than most of us can remember. The Portaloo, once considered to be
the height of luxury has been standing neglected and unused for so long that we only
just managed to demolish it before it was classified as Grade II listed! For the nature
lovers amongst you, a visit to the site is well worth the detour on the way to the
fishing lodge as you can see a rare example of wild hops entwining a tree to the left
of the clearing where the portaloo once stood.
Monday 26 May 2008
GOT A SPARE FIVER?
If you are a club member and have not yet been accosted by the
bailiff... Beware! He’s after your money. However, this time he is
offering something worthwhile in return... or so he claims. For
little more than the cost of its manufacture, he is offering to
provide you with a beautifully embroidered Club Badge for the
bargain price of £5.
The high quality cloth badge is intended to be sewn on to your
fishing waistcoat alongside the plethora of Trout Master badges and
other such memorabilia that you will have undoubtedly acquired over the
years. Sadly, I have no badges but do have a number of flyfishing waistcoats, so I am spoiled for choice
as to where to put it. Unfortunately, although she has many talents, invisible sewing is not one
of my wife’s better attributes. Maybe sticky ‘Velcro’ is the answer as I could then transfer it
to the appropriate waistcoat!.
Thursday 17 April 2008
BIGGEST FISH IN MAY... SO FAR
Fishing Statistics finally added.
Wednesday 09 April 2008
GIVE US A CLUE?
As a result of the recent report on the latest good fish to come out
of Powdermill, I have received a couple of e-mails from subscribers
wanting to know a bit more about the method used. In response David
Nicholls has provided me with the following:
“I was using an intermediate line with a 6lb leader, about 15ft of it. I'd tried with a floater and long
leader but they appeared pretty deep. The fly was a size 12 green nymph. I was up in the far end where the
huge bay is just past the last little bay on the right, casting towards the right bank of trees, allowing
it to drop within 2ft of the overhanging trees. The wind was taking the line and it was dropping into the
shallows. About 6-8 ft from the tree line. I'd had several nibbles and it just slowly took the line
away. It then went off in to a power drive towards the dam nearly taking me to the backing. It lasted
about 10 minutes and then the fight went straight out of him and he came to the net. He hardly fitted in
and the neck of the landing net broke. (I bought a new one today.) As with the large one the other day
I tried to revive him, he'd taken the hook quite deeply in the mouth. I kept him alongside the boat for
a long time, attempting to revive him, I'd intended to let him go but he just kept rolling over. In the
end he gave up. A really deep bodied fish weighing in at 10lb 15oz. Today I took him up to the smokery
off the A21 as I'll have him cold smoked.”
Tuesday 08 April 2008
As far as I am concerned the weather is still not warm enough to venture onto the water, so I have
still yet to cast a fly on Powdermill this season. However, those of you who brave the fickle weather
seem to be more than happy to rub my nose in it by e-mailing our website to report on the wonderful
fishing that I am missing. I thought you might like to see a couple of the photos sent in by the
David Nicholls which were taken at Powdermill this week.
"They're still out there. It was the day after the snow and it was still thawing. Mid afternoon at the
far end. Some sleet some sunshine. Lots of takes and then a very slow tightening of the line and it was
away. For such a large fish it gave a good fight for some 10-15 minutes and then succumbed to the net
which it promptly broke. A brilliant afternoon's fishing which also yielded a 2lb 4oz fish to the
net. This seemed a mere minnow when placed alongside.
Powdermill gets better every year.
Regards David Nicholls"
Thursday 03 April 2008
Trout Recipe added. Contribution by Chris Webb
Monday 31 March 2008
Visitors who brave the fickle weather are reaping the benefit of quality
over-wintered fish. Chris Dance caught a six fish limit totalling 14lb 4ozs,
which included a rainbow weighing 4lb 6ozs. Ian Colclough of Weybridge
Guns & Tackle in Surrey visited us on a far from ideal March day and was
so delighted with his day’s fishing that he actually e-mailed us to tell
us about it! Most anglers just take all our efforts for granted so it
is nice to get the occasional feedback. To see Ian’s e-mail
Tuesday 26 February 2008
Trout Recipes added.
Thursday 14 February 2008
THE NEW SEASON APPROACHES
Welcome back everybody.
This year the main fly fishing season at Powdermill Reservoir starts on Saturday 1 March 2008.
Anglers may commence fishing from 08.00 and if the weather continues to be as good as it has been
we should have a busy weekend. If you intend to go out in a boat during the initial weekend it
may be wise to book it in advance if you want a particular favourite boat rather than rely on pot luck.
A large number of anglers prefer to fish from the bank rather than use a boat and prime spots on the
bank are always at a premium if there is an initial rush of enthusiastic early season anglers. It is
therefore advisable to be reasonably early, rather than stroll along at midday only to find that all
the best places are taken.
Fishing during the last few weeks has been exceptionally good for the time of year with plenty of dry
days with lots of sunshine and gentle breezes. Fish are still well spread throughout the reservoir with
trout being caught along all the accessible bank areas. Winter fishing has yet again proved very
successful and with the new stocks now being introduced ready for the 2008 main season, the mix of
established and new fish should ensure that the new season gets off to a good start for both bank and boat fishermen.