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Thursday 23 September 2010


The wild boar that are growing in numbers in the surrounding countryside are causing a great deal of damage but the chances of seeing one are virtually nil. Lee Partridge, the son of Vic the bailiff, had one of his pheasant pens smashed by a boar a few weeks ago. However, quite a few anglers have seen the osprey flying around the reservoir this month. Its worth losing the odd trout just to be able to see this magnificent bird. So why was Wayne unlucky? Well, he simply came fishing on the wrong day and missed the thrill of seeing it.


Wednesday 22 September 2010


Despite continuing to stock fish at the pre-planned rate during the summer, for some inexplicable reason, catch averages have been lower than expected during the last couple of months. As a result there will be a larger than usual number of fish to overwinter this year. At the start of the 2010 season, the size of fish being stocked were significantly smaller than usual, due mainly to the hard winter which slowed growth. In order to avoid a similar situation next year, Duncton Mill Fisheries, our main supplier, is planning to start rearing our fish earlier so that, given normal winter conditions, the fish that we receive at the start of the season will be larger than normal. This will result in fewer fish in each consignment but, with the larger number of overwintered fish, we will have a good range of sizes for the start of the 2011 season.

Our visit to Duncton Mill Fishery proved to be a mixed experience as we not only saw lots of superb trout basking in the warm sunshine but we also managed to get caught in a downpour when the heavens opened and we were literally soaked to the skin. I was still so wet when we eventually got home, some hours later, that my wife immediately assumed that I had fallen in the water! The things we do for the benefit of our fellow anglers.


Friday 17 September 2010


A total of 47 fish were caught by the 25 anglers who took part in the annual Club Competition on Friday 20 August. This is a disappointingly poor performance given that the majority of them are considered to be very experienced at dealing with the vagaries of our water, but as usual the fish were not all prepared to make life easy.

Geff Pilcher was very quick to catch his four fish limit from a boat in the morning and almost instantly caught his remaining two fish from the bank in the afternoon. His successful method consisted of an intermediate line with a fly made up of a white Fritz body and white marabou tail. Not the method for the purists! By mid afternoon it appeared that no one would overtake him. However, eventually he was just beaten by Terry Beeching who took all morning to catch just two fish from the bank and most of the afternoon to catch the other four from a boat to snatch the overall win by just 1½ ounces. These two successful anglers were the only ones to catch their six fish limit.

  Name Fish Total Weight
  Jim Adams (2009 Winner) 0 -
  John Austin (2009 Runner-Up) 4 5lb 15½ozs
  Terry Beeching 6 10lb 13½ozs
  Keith Blundell 1 1lb 02ozs
  Martin Brignall 2 2lb 09ozs
  John Burden 1 1lb 06ozs
  Don Burt 4 5lb 12½ozs
  Alec Chisholm 0 -
  Mick Coleman 4 5lb 03ozs
  Ron Dove 3 5lb 02ozs
  Charles Hards 1 1lb 01ozs
  Sam Hills 0 -
  Mick Joy 0 -
  John Keeling 1 1lb 02ozs
  Ian Kitchen 1 1lb 10ozs
  Arthur Massey 3 4lb 11ozs
  Brian McCarter 2 3lb 12ozs
  Bernie Meaden 1 1lb 13ozs
  Dave Nicholls 3 4lb 14½ozs
  John Noble 2 3lb 09ozs
  Geff Pilcher 6 10lb 12ozs
  Peter Ralph 0 -
  Edward Stevenson 1 1lb 04ozs
  Dave Warford 1 1lb 06ozs
  Mick Wood 1 1lb 04ozs

Three anglers managed four fish each while everyone else were generally struggling to make contact with anything!

2010 Prize Winners    
Best Total Bag Terry Beeching 6 Fish - 10lb 13½ozs
2nd Best Total Bag Geff Pilcher 6 Fish - 10lb 12ozs
Heaviest Fish From Bank Ron Dove 2lb 2ozs
Heaviest Fish From Boat Terry Beeching 2lb 5ozs

The evening BBQ was attended by about 70 people. Fortunately, after a few drinks and some BBQ food everyone had forgotten the hardships of the day and by the time darkness fell they all went home, happily looking forward to next year’s event. A special thanks, yet again, to Mandy and Big John who have become our regular “caterers” at all these fun events.


Friday 23 July 2010


In the heat of the day, these two old boys decide to have a little nap in the sunshine. They know that there is no need to rush. There is plenty of time catch your limit.


Monday 12 July 2010


Members of Hastings Fly Fishers took on visiting members of the Sussex Fly Dressers Guild on Saturday 3 July. This was the third year that this event has taken place and the score was one win each.

Each team consisted of twelve anglers:

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 hot with a slight breeze and some occasional thin cloud. Despite the warm conditions, all 24 anglers stuck it out, but overall the fishing was exceptionally hard with only 28 rainbows being landed for a total weight of 45lb 12ozs. Almost half the fish (13) were taken by the morning boat anglers, with morning bank anglers only managing 7 fish. The afternoon proved even harder with only 8 fish being caught; 5 fish falling to the boats and 3 to bank fishermen. By the end of the afternoon most anglers had had enough and were more than ready for the barbecue.

Hastings Fly Fishers Club
Sussex Fly Dressers Guild
22 fish
6 fish
34lb 10ozs
11lb 2ozs
Best Bag K. Blundell 9lb 10ozs
Biggest Fish K. Blundell 2lb 7ozs
Best Bank Bag N. Harle 3lb 14ozs (2 Fish)
Best Boat Total Blundell & Davis 11lb 11½ozs (6 Fish)

No angler caught his 6 fish limit and only two anglers managed 5 fish. Jim Adams caught one of the water’s fine wild brown trout while fishing from the bank by the willow tree, but unfortunately this does not count as all browns have to be returned immediately. Ten anglers failed to catch anything (bar the odd perch and rudd) which shows how hard the day turned out to be and all anglers were pleased when the fishing was finally over. After a few drinks and plenty of BBQ food everyone was happy once more. No doubt everyone went home a little wiser as Powdermill once again proved to be the real winner and virtually all the fish lived to fight another day.

As usual, your intrepid reporter failed to capture the highlight of the day when one of the visitors, fishing from the dam, put his rod down only to see it slide into the water as a fish hooked itself. Apparently, not prepared to lose his precious rod, he rushed into the water and just managed to grab it before it disappeared. A very risky reaction as the dam is quite steep and slippery, but on this occasion he got away with it. Maybe we should advise bank anglers to wear life jackets!

It goes without saying that we all appreciate the time and effort that Mandy and John (The Catering Corps) spend cooking the BBQ food for us all to enjoy.


Monday 28 June 2010


Last Thursday the fish delivery was late, so Vic, the bailiff, decided to have a few casts from the dam while waiting for the fish to arrive. It was 11am and boiling hot, no breeze and clear skies. Seven casts and two fish later (he missed a third), the consignment arrived and he had to get back to work. The moral of this is that if you know what you are doing you can catch fish, even in what appear to be very unfavourable conditions. We are continuing to put more fish in than are being caught, so with the continued settled warm weather there is absolutely no excuse for not being able to catch fish.


Monday 21 June 2010


Rumour has it that local bookmakers were refusing to take bets this year on the likely hood of a Club member falling in off the jetty. They were right, but fortunately it’s very shallow there. No one dares to calculate the average age of Club members, but you would be very unlikely to meet a member under the age of 55! Visitors can be a little younger, but for some reason flyfishers in the south east tend to generally be a pretty decrepit crowd. So it is very important that anglers use the correct method for getting in and out of a boat. The ropes attached to the jetty railings are a valuable aid and not just there for decoration. The following sequence of ten photos shows one of our geriatric members using the correct method to safely negotiate the delicate art of entering a boat. But even when afloat, you need to watch out for hazards... look out for that willow tree! Unfortunately, your intrepid reporter was unable to get the actual shot of the angler (who shall remain nameless) crashing into the willow branches as I was falling about laughing at the time.


Thursday 10 June 2010


I was pleased to receive these photos from Pete Leduc who resides in Northern Ontario, Canada. He's currently fishing for speckled trout and Lake trout but it will soon be the season for bass which will enable him to use his new outcast pontoon boat. I have asked him to send us some pictures of this intriguing craft as it is not something that we are familiar with in Europe. From web pictures, it appears to look like two canoes joined together by a frame with a seat attached. I cannot imagine how some of our older members (which come to think of it happens to be the vast majority of our our members) would get into this contraption, let alone control it.


Wednesday 9 June 2010


The conditions on Monday looked perfect for a late evening rise. The previous evening the reservoir had been alive with rising fish. So this was the perfect opportunity for Vic, the bailiff, to invite his pal Big John to partake in an exciting evening's dryfly fishing.

By 5pm fish were starting to rise and conditions were perfect. A brief shower of rain put a stop to any activity and the evening proved fruitless. However. your intrepid reporter, always striving to bring you the latest exciting news, could not resist taking a few shots of the inactivity. After all, it's not often that the bailiff blanks!


Thursday 3 June 2010


A pair of mandarin ducks (Aix galericulata), have raised a large brood of chicks at the far end of the reservoir. I am told that there were around twenty chicks originally but the current number is now nearing single figures, presumably due to the activity of predators. Your intrepid reporter has never managed to breed mandarins at home, despite having specially constructed nesting boxes for them, as foxes and an itinerant mink have always got the prospective parents before any such activities could take place. Every time someone with a camera goes to photograph the family on the reservoir they are never in evidence, unlike the friendly coots who parade their young up and down the dam.


Wednesday 26 May 2010


"Many thanks for your prompt response to my original email enquiry. I thought I should let you know how I got on.

I went yesterday and had a great day!

Once I found it that is!!

What a little gem of a place. I saw Vic as soon as I arrived and got myself sorted re the booking in etc and I bought some flies from him.

It was clear blue skies at the start of the day so I thought I would try the bank straight across the reservoir from the Jetty as there was a bit of shade there. I stayed there for about 20 minutes and nothing so I went to the north bank straight up the middle and fished to the West of the reed line but fairly close in. This felt better. I was fishing 3 flies on an 18 foot leader, floating line. Generally mix of buzzer, diawl bach and hoppers. Initially I was casting to the bank and with the wind behind me it was a cracking arcing drift. I then started casting out towards the middle of the reservoir and had a couple of knocks. My cast just about reached the end of the reed line.

But then I changed my point fly to a beaded nomad and caught one on my top dropper which was a black buzzer. I had a few more knocks but nothing held and a couple of fish swirled with a bit of a hatch going on. I experimented with a few flies including a Daddy and again more knocks and three fish were hooked but I lost them all. Starting to think it wasn’t my day. I moved out in line with the end of the reed line and carried on casting towards the middle and letting the flies just drift. I was now on just 3 black buzzers. I caught another that just hit them taking the top dropper and causing a fair tangle. Once sorted I had about ten minutes to wait for the next on the middle dropper and then in consecutive casts caught another one on the middle dropper and two on point. Four fish around the pound mark one pound and a half and my last fish was 2lb. They fought pretty hard too.

I bagged up by 2pm and had a good day at a new water which isn’t always easy.

I hope I get to use Vics Mayflies another time as I didn’t try them.

Thanks again, Neil


Friday 14 May 2010


With the poor weather and the lack of a boathouse the annual boat refurbishment has been a long protracted affair. However, at long last the entire fleet has taken to the water and is now ready to meet the heavy demand expected during the busy mayfly period. There are three types of boat - the smaller white boats suitable for single use; the large white boats perfect for pairs of anglers and the medium sized green boats which can also accommodate a pair of anglers. The small boats are easier to row and control in the wind. The large white boats enable anglers to avoid each other's badly cast flies and the green boats have flat bottoms and are very stable. However, the larger boats are reputed to be harder to row and can blow about in the wind.

As the only angler who claims to have been seasick while in a rowing boat on the reservoir, your intrepid reporter is more aware then most of the relative merits and failings of each boat, but each member has his favourites. Yes, I really did feel seasick a few years ago and threw up over the side, thus contaminating Hastings' drinking water. However, by the time I had struggled back to the jetty, I felt much better so I turned around and rowed back out, to eventually get my six-fish limit. Happy days!


The birdlife on and around the reservoir is a wonder to behold. Three kinds of woodpecker (Green, greater spotted and lesser spotted) can be seen most days eating peanuts from the feeder by the lodge along with the usual assortment of smaller birds. Blue tits can be seen constantly popping in and out of the nesting boxes in the adjacent trees. The coot chicks follow mum around the fringes of the reservoir. Hopefully, fewer will be prey to foxes than last year when many chicks were taken. Grebes, herons, kingfishers and even the dreaded cormorant can all be seen at various locations around the reservoir. After the departure of the thirteen swans, a pair of young adults arrived and, at present, appear to be happy to remain with us. There has been no sign of the rare Hobby as yet, but it is still a bit early for this bird of prey to make an appearance.


Wednesday 12 May 2010


Although there has been little sign of frogspawn this year, the number of tadpoles that are in evidence on the margins of the reservoir are greater than in previous years.


Tuesday 11 May 2010


With the number of insects emerging at this time of year, the imitative tactics being used by fly fishermen at Powdermill are producing the usual crop of large rudd which inhabit the water. Most are simply returned and not reported, but discerning anglers do appreciate the beauty of these resident fish who's fry help feed the hungry trout. John Austin caught this 3½lb rudd while fishing from a boat and was photographed by his boat partner, Keith Bulndell.


Tuesday 4 May 2010


I believe that, this year, Chris Richards is the first angler to catch a rainbow on a Mayfly while using dry-fly tactics (15.20 on Tuesday 4 May).

It's not the best of photos, having been taken using the camera in his mobile phone while the fish lay in the bottom of the boat with the fly still attached. Earlier that morning, your intrepid reporter, being a fair-weather fisherman, had decided not to fish due to the cold NE wind. However, Chris fished in a relatively sheltered spot thus avoiding the worst of the cold wind to tempt this discerning trout.

The bailiff, Vic Partridge, has a stock of locally tied Mayflies which are particularly deadly on our reservoir. These sell for £5 for four flies.


Tuesday 4 May 2010


A great deal of wildlife can be seen at Powdermill but, for some inexplicable reason, it is a very rare occurrence to see a swan on the water. So it was particularly exciting when no less than thirteen swans landed early on Friday morning. Sadly, they are unlikely to stay and, by the time you read this, are probably long gone.


Tuesday 26 April 2010


For some considerable time, the bailiff has been attempting to catch the unwelcome visitor who attempts to raid the provisions in the clubroom. For weeks the cunning creature outwitted the bailiff by delicately removing the bait without setting off any of the traps. Finally, the creature became complacent and attempted to remove the peanut which the bailiff, in desperation, had been super-glued to the trap. For those that want reassurance that it is now safe to enter the hallowed portals of the clubhouse and yet are sufficiently brave to view the proof... open the second picture! Not for the squeamish.


Tuesday 26 April 2010


"I fished last Friday from a boat and enjoyed a great afternoon of fly fishing with a total of six fish including a super full finned 4lb 6ozs fish pictured. Thank you for a great day of sport. I will be back for a day on the mayfly next month."

From Emil Morfett via email.


Monday 26 April 2010


Sometimes we do not appreciate what we have on our doorstep. It is surprising how far people will travel to visit our little reservoir. For a number of years we have had the honour of receiving day visitors from across the Channel. With the advent of Eurostar it has been relatively easy for fly fishers from northern France, starved of decent fly fishing in their own waters, to spend a day at Powdermill. Two such regular visitors are pictured, ready to do battle with our superb rainbows.


Wednesday 14 April 2010


The third annual competition between members of Hastings Fly Fishers and Sussex Fly Dressers Guild will take place on Saturday 3 July 2010. HFFC members wishing to take part in this competition should let Vic know. Somehow, we managed to lose last year so the results to date are one win each. There is no excuse for losing on our home water so we hope that you will all try harder this year.


Tuesday 23 March 2010


Vic Partridge, our resident Bailiff has become a grandfather for the second time with another grandson. This happy little fellow has been named Leon and belongs to Vic's son Lee.


Monday 8 March 2010


The AGM will take place at Three Oaks Village Hall at 10.30am on Sunday 28 March 2010. Copies of the 2009 accounts will be available at the meeting but any member wishing to see a copy in advance can, on request, be sent a PDF via e-mail. Simply send an e-mail to mail@hastingsflyfishers.co.uk


If you are a new club member or for some inexplicable reason have not yet availed yourself of our beautifully embroidered Club Badge, you can rectify the situation by purchasing one for the bargain price of £5 (still at 2008 prices). These will be available at the AGM.


Your intrepid reporter snapped this range of high quality furniture by the boat jetty. These are used to provide luxury seating for anglers using the wheely boat. As you can see, they are ready and waiting for the first lucky angler to use the boat. Has anyone got a couple of surplus plastic chairs suitable for use in the wheely boat?


Thursday 5 March 2010


Here we are already half way through the first week of the new season.

Although it cannot be claimed to be warm, the sunshine and calm weather we are currently experiencing is a real treat after such an awful winter. The reservoir is full to the brim but the water is highly coloured which makes the fishing harder than normal for this time of year. However, we have been stocking heavily throughout February and as conditions improve and the water clears, we expect to see some excellent early season sport.

Some boats are still awaiting refurbishment as it has been impossible to work on them during the bad weather. They are being launched as soon as each is ready and there are more than enough boats to meet the current demand. However, it is still worth phoning in advance to book your favourite boat.  Tel: (01424) 870498.

For those that feel it is still too early to venture onto the water or even have a thrash from the bank, there is always the opportunity for a chat and a cuppa in the fishing lodge.


Tuesday 23 February 2010


Just as everything was beginning to fall into place ready for the start of the new season next Monday, we have suffered a disastrous break-in.

Some time in the night on Sunday 21 February, thieves broke into the clubhouse. They managed to force their way into the secure stock room containing a large collection of items associated with fishing. They took all the rods and reels including the Bailiff’s Sage rod and a large stock of new Mayflies. They also took a new strimmer but left the equally valuable outboard motors.

They smashed the desk drawers in the club room and even broke into the metal box containing the tea money. They must have been disappointed with the few pence that it would have contained at this time of year. However I understand that Mick Coleman did put a £1 coin in last week so maybe they felt that it was well worth their efforts, even though the smashed cashbox would have still been worth more than its contents.

The thieves obviously had transport as they decided to take the weighing scales despite their being very heavy and only recording in imperial weight.

The theft was bad enough, but in order to obscure any prints, they set off the fire extinguisher and sprayed its powder all over the floor and furniture throughout the building, making an awful mess which will take a great deal of effort to clear up.

We are currently waiting for the police to finish their investigations before we can commence the task of clearing out the mess. A skip has already arrived. Any member who would like to help clear up the mess should contact Vic (01424 870498) to find out when we can commence the clear-up. Please let other members know.


Monday 1 February 2010


Two new recipes have been added to our Trout Recipes section.


Monday 25 January 2010


Prices for visitors in 2010 (1st March to 31st October) will remain the same as last year. Club Members/Shareholders subscriptions will increase by £15 to :

Members - £440
Shareholders - £415

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