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Author Topic: Toft Newton - October 7th 2017  (Read 86 times)
bracken
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« on: October 08, 2017, 11:42:18 AM »

The Venue: Toft Newton Reservoir, Lincolnshire. The home of the concrete bowl fly, and one of the windiest places in England! On this day the water proved to be very popular, with a full car park. There was a boat fishing competition, together with our BFTA competition and a considerable number of bank fishermen present.

The weather: Somewhat variable. The long range 10 day forecast was for sun with a bit of cloud and 8mph winds. They got that wrong! On the day it was drizzling then raining, overcast, with a reasonably light wind when we launched, rising to gale force at 11.30 ish. The wind then ameliorated a little until about 1.30 then rose in strength to produce quite bouncy waves once more. At 3.00pm it rained quite hard! Not a day for sunbathing at Skegness a few miles away!

Nature notes: A few sanderlings and small waders were working the shore. There was a substantial raft of wildfowl on the other side of the water from where I was blown to, I’m guessing the majority of these were coots but I did notice some ducks and geese dropping down to join them.

Now here’s one for Gaz! There were quite a few pied wagtails on the shore where you were fishing - except one pair was in fact grey wagtails. Now these are yellow! No I don’t know why they are called grey wagtails, you’ll have to ask a greater sage than me about this matter. (Sage doesn’t mean the bloke that made the rods for you and Andre – keep up lad)!!

The fishermen: There was a good turn-out here. I lost track a bit, but at least 13 professed BFTA members fished the competition. Some not so new Newbies I had seen before, but one was a complete surprise to me. (For goodness sake Kev. let me or somebody on the Committee have a list of members next year, Uncle Tom Cobbley and brother Joe could turn out and drown in one of our matches and we would never know if he was legit or not)!

It was good to see that George had accompanied Martin down from the National roadworks competitions around Manchester to make sure he kept on track. Gaz had recovered from his mad cow disease and chauffeured Andre – probably to take the distractive weight off his mind about winning the BFTA Trophy. What a kind lad he is - especially when he could still have been counting his birthday presents. Dave M. turned up on his own driving a very nice ‘new’ motor, and nice to see that he was looking quite fit and healthy. Our antipodean prospective new Champion arrived last, probably having dallied too long in a nice warm bed somewhere. The chemical twins were well set up by the time that I arrived, and the Preston pair had obviously stayed a little longer enjoying a feast of big breakfasts on the way. At least four people on the list intending to fish didn’t turn out but five others did. It’s nice to see new faces occasionally - if they come a bit more often I might be able to write something controversial about them! As it was, the ones I saw on the water were doing a damn site better than most of the old-stagers!

The fishing: Now Toft is a water where the fishing can be either relatively easy or alternatively quite hard. On this day a lot of us found it quite hard going. Like a lot of waters local knowledge goes a long way to filling the bag. On this day the choice of fly and fishing depth appeared essential for consistently catching fish. Early on I spotted Chris one of our new members take a fish half way across the lake. Shortly afterwards I had a fish swirl and follow a nomad near the surface but not take the fly. This gave me the clue that fish may actually have been in the top foot or so of water so I changed to a floating line with a booby on the end to form a washing line. A little later while dozing quietly, this set-up elicited a pull but I had no idea which of the three flies was the trigger. I guess not the booby because it should have been on or very near the surface and I didn’t see any fish move near it.


As I made my way to the black pipe shore I found that Andre had had one fish and DC had caught another. DC was probably using something long black and wiggly on a sinking line and I was told that it was black and green. Brian had caught a fish on a black and red cormorant on a midge tip line. While I was talking to Andre, Ric was fishing a little further along the shoreline and took two fish, apparently on a sweet susan booby. Andre had also caught his fish on one of these yellow and pink ladybower specials. Then the gale came! Fishing got a little slow at this point. I went back to an intermediate and put a largely orange fly on the tip which was reminiscent of the same tying as a consett budgie. I had remembered that flies with orange in them had a definite attraction for trout on a previous occasion. Sure enough, I soon connected with a fish for a second or two before it shook itself off. Andre looked quite shocked by my expletive!

The gale had driven Dave M. onto the shore and he was later to be seen towing his tube back half way round the water to the launch point. When he reached the starting shore the wind had dropped enough to entice him back onto the water. When the wind got up again later, he was once more driven down to the black pipe, where I had by now been floundering around for more than a couple of hours without a trouty pull. Gary who was fishing nearby appeared to constantly have a bent rod with trout splashing about on the end of his line – very disturbing it was! Gary was fishing a yellow and pink booby on an intermediate line and it didn’t seem too long before he had five in the bag. By 2.00pm ish Ric had apparently bagged up while Andre still had one although he was getting lots of follows and pulls.

Meanwhile I had discovered a massive shoal of perch about forty yards west of the black pipe and about thirty five yards offshore. It was impossible to get through these without getting pulls and fish hooked onto the flies a couple of times I had two on together before I could shake them off, and eventually I had to land a pair, and a single a cast or so later, to unhook them properly. Shades of Ric a few years ago landing loads of these colourful little fish. I left the area!

I now travelled about half way back up the lake and was towing a tadpole – black with orange eyes. This took the fancy of a delusional trout and ended up in the bag. At this point my back and knees had been giving out quite badly struggling against the wind and I was heading home. By the time I had finally landed the fish I was nearly back on the black pipe shore, which was a bit of a bummer! I shortly afterwards managed to lose the line off the stripping apron and with the wind blowing me get it well and truly wrapped around and lterally tied to a fin strap. This entailed a trip to the shore to take the fin off and get unknotted so to speak. Having been on shore I now felt somewhat sore and decided that I had better get back and out of the water. After re-launch I once again came near to Brain who was busy netting a fish which he had taken on a yellow lure. After I had managed to get relatively clear of the float tubes and could see a way around the boats, I turned the motor on in second gear and had an assisted ride back against the wind, which was what the whole point of motorising my float tube had been about in the first place. I was glad of the success. The prospect of carrying a soggy and somewhat heavy tube all the way back from the black pipe was not a good one in my state.

What conclusions can be drawn about the fishing? As I was not at the weigh-in at the end this may be at odds with the general overall perceptions on the day. I noticed that the boat fishermen who were catching, were standing up and “yarking” the line back, in the immortal words of one of our Consett bretheren. I also spotted that Ric was pulling his line quite quickly. Gary was figure of eighting his line back quite fast while finning backwards, (trolling as tubeman would call it). I also had a fish swirl a couple of times at a pink and yellow blob when travelling motor assisted back at the end of my day. Therefore, it appeared that the trout wanted the ‘fly’ moved fairly fast so that they could chase and take without getting too good a look at it. The sweet susan booby appeared to be a fly which generated a lot of interest, or it may just have been the yellow colour it contains. I certainly tried a variety of pink flies including boobies and a zonker to no avail. The other fly which did elicit interest that I know of was black and green. One of our Newbies had three fish on this and had lost several more all within a few yards of where we launched.

Midge tip lines or slow intermediates appeared to be the ones which caught more fish from the conversations I had with those who were catching. A long leader on a floater did I know for sure catch a couple, but I would have said that this was not as good a tactic. I didn’t hear of any fish being caught on buzzers, although Steve F. may have been successful with these but I never had the chance to talk with him.

I had an interesting spot while landing. Because the shore where we launch was by now well populated with bank fishermen, who were undoubtedly trying to find a place to cast with the wind behind them, I edged alongside the water tower to the shore. As I came past the little area of water underneath the footbridge, the surface of the water exploded with little fish jumping and flying in all directions while a large fish swirled at them near the surface whether this was a trout or a pike I don’t know, but it was very definitely feeding on fry! The nearest two bank fishermen seemed not to notice and kept casting buzzers!

I met Dave M. in the car park after my early finish. He had also found the going a bit tough and given it best. Having got all the gear in the car by 3.00pm it then started to rain quite hard. I decided that the best part of a couple of hundred miles drive home in daylight and rain was better than driving in the dark and rain so left early. Hopefully Andre will be able to expand on anything that I missed above.

Asides: For those who travel and look for B&B’s to stay in; I normally stay at the Travel Lodge at Thorpe on the Hill, which is OK for a basic bed and sleepover and has a Little Chef, Burger King and a Subway within a few yards for meals. However, they wanted £55 for a night on this occasion so I explained the word ‘extortionate’ to them for a one night sleep without food and refused to pay it. (One site actually quoted £90 for the same room).

I then found a B&B at a place called Goltho which is East of Lincoln near Wragby. This is a red brick built old farm complex which has a tea room, four acres of very nicely kept gardens and I believe a Garden centre. The price was £45 for the night with a very nicely made full English breakfast thrown in. The place is very nicely kept and the people extremely pleasant, friendly and accommodating. I will use it again. They have three rooms for B&B. My wife would have loved the garden but they don’t allow pets so she will sadly never get to see it.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Jason for accommodating us at short notice. Thanks also to Andre for successful re-organising the days fishing.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 11:50:43 AM by bracken » Logged
martin
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 08:51:29 PM »

It's unfortunate that you had to finish early Tony, we thought that you had caught your 6 fish!
Excellent summary as usual.
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bracken
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2017, 04:48:10 PM »

Sadly couldn’t catch the six fish even though it was fairly obvious where they were holding in the lake. I will have to get hold of some materials to tie a few of these sweet Susan boobies  or get one of the chemical twins to make me a couple, they certainly seem to attract fish. As to finishing early fighting the windy conditions really does beggar up my back hips and knees so it seemed wise to stop while I was still able to stand. My wife reckons I wont be able to fish for much longer the rate things are going. Hopefully she is wrong.
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davec
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2017, 04:55:45 PM »

you are just a young lad Tony great report.
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