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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;


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 at Powdermill.


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 difficult.

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 significantly.

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 perfect finage.

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.

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