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Author Topic: Toft Newton Report - Feb 11th 2017  (Read 1425 times)
bracken
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« on: February 12, 2017, 12:31:18 PM »

The Venue: Toft Newton Reservoir, not far from Market Rasen Lincolnshire. A concrete bowl – where the surprisingly named ‘concrete bowl’ fly was developed to catch trout.  This water sits above the surrounding farmland and is approached via a seriously potholed track, which on this day was more like driving down a very rough streambed as there was in places considerably more water than tarmac in evidence.

The weather: Orrid!!!!! I stayed near Lincoln overnight. The car was covered in snow in the morning before I set off after breakfast. By this stage the rain had arrived and was best described as steady and persistent. This was the scene for as much of the day rain interspersed with light snow flurries; definitely an hood’s up day! I stood it for as long as  I could tolerate before giving in to frostbite and a cold wet backside! The top temperature was reputed to be 3 degrees C - although one forecast had it as 1 degree. The wind direction was from NNW – absolutely ideal for trout fishing, (not). On the plus side the wind was more of a breeze, and for once was tolerable on this water; where we normally encounter gales at this time of year. The surface was nicely rippled and should have been good for fishing.

The fishermen: The hard core group well known for a number of years now, and a couple of others – one of whom is a seriously good fisherman, who often catches more on his own than five or six others put together. Stevie joined us again, and will hopefully be a regular competitor this year, this after a couple of years sabbatical. Methusulah and his chauffeur arrived, with his white beard looking resplendent in the murky weather. Martin had travelled from Manchester. The Preston pair appeared after breakfast, with one sporting a lovely new float tube and the other showing me some lurid green flies, which he was confident would win the match for him! We were pleased to see Carl again and hope to see a lot more of him this season. The Leicestershire lob-wormers appeared, one having escaped his builders hat for the day, the other pleased he had left his new Merc. at home so he didn’t have to negotiate the rutted track to the water. I was very pleased to see Dave M. looking remarkably fit and well, (and very pleased to see later that he outlasted me on the water); his passenger sadly walked in worse nick than I do through having found the limitations of toe-tector steel protective boots last week.

Nature notes: Not much to report here sadly Gary! All the wildlife appeared to have gone to ground and was hiding from the inclemency! I did see a cormorant, and there was a flock of mainly mallard on the water, interspersed with a bunch of what I think were coots. I did see one unusual small diving water bird not long after launch, which from a distance looked like a dabchick, but I feel this was unlikely. It was probably a small migrant diving duck, but it was too far away to see - and at this stage of the match I was keen to catch fish.

The fishing: From my point of view it was terrible! From Iain’s stance it was obviously brilliant, as he had eleven for the day whereas I never even managed a single pull, despite covering water where I was certain fish were holding. Indeed, I to my chagrin, Dave C. picked two up next to me after I had already been through the water. (Makes you wonder what was putting the fish off my flies)! I think I held the dubious record for the least fishy interest, despite fishing likely flies at all levels of the water. Gary was regularly getting pulls on a cat’s whisker near me, while mine was being ignored. Others were catching on black and green when once again my flies were not exhibiting any interest. Even a couple of sure-fire Toft killers for me elicited nothing, when I was pretty certain that Stevie caught some of his on a similar fly. Martin even lost a good one on a sweet susan, which Andre reckons was not that good a fly this time of year, (although he did win the last match here using one last year)!

Virtually everybody was using an intermediate line. I was using a DI3 and later a fast sink shooting head, which trawled the bottom near the shore. Now Dave C. told me that he was using a floating line, with I think a black and green zonker on the end. As stated above, I watched him catch two along the black pipe shore and by the time I left wounded, he had already got a third in the bag. As he went on to win the match Dave obviously sussed the method early.

The first fish I saw being caught was by Ric as he paddled away from the launch area. I had seen a couple of fish rising before we set off both in this area and also the spot by the yellow float in front of the water tower, which seemed particularly to hold fish. The bank fishermen were on the opposite side from the boat park, and there were definitely fish along that side, both Steve F. and Andre fished along there and had pulls or fish to hand. I did see a very nice and large trout jump clear of the water by the lifebuoy at the far end of the black pipe shore. I went to the area and covered it pretty thoroughly before giving up and telling DC where it was – he went there and caught another different smaller fish. I reckon the one that I saw was in the 5lbs class.

By this stage just before one pm, my sawn off finger stump was giving me hell, and I was cold to the core, despite wearing several layers of thermals. As I started to shiver I decided that it was time for this cardiac cripple to get off the water before something a bit untoward happened. This decision was also helped by the fact that I had not had any remote sign of interest from a fish on a water where I usually do quite well, and I couldn’t work out why. Ric had been catching fish in the same area, getting pulls, and from what I could gather on similar types of flies to those I was using. I now gave up and motored back to the launch area.

As for the rest of the fishing report, somebody else will have to step in for the last three or hours or so.

Asides: I had a short chat to DC on the water about his new Guideline float tube with factory fitted oars. He gave me a short demonstration of how well they worked and told me that he had rowed across the lake with them and was well pleased with how they worked. They certainly looked to be able to do the job, and he did get up a fair speed in the short demo he gave me. These have the advantage of being built into the tube, and are obviously quite light to lug around.

Ric was kind enough to enquire how well ‘my contraption’ worked. A few people had expressed some interest in my motorising a float tube with a small watersnake outboard. I was also quite interested and curious to see how the theory worked out in practice.

The good news is that the little electric outboard is well up to the job of pushing a float tube even set on its low speed. The frame which I had made from 32mm PVC solvent joined pipe and strapped to the sponson side, was also more than strong enough and stable enough to support the motor and withstand the thrust.  This setup allowed the FT and me to cross the lake twice and to also motor up and down the black pipe bank twice without problems.

However, I was not so impressed with the directional control of the FT. It is very difficult to make it travel straight forwards with the motor strapped to the side – far worse than I had anticipated! Turning the motor to the side to counteract the yaw didn’t turn out to be very easy to control. In fact the easiest way to travel ‘forwards’ was to turn the motor at right angles to the axis of the FT and drive it sideways which is as you might imagine not a very streamlined direction of travel – but it did work and was reasonably controllable; although I suspect it probably used more battery power. In order to satisfy my curiosity for the final couple of hundred yards to the landing area I unhitched the motor from the side and put it across the centre line of the FT on the stripping apron crossbar holding it by hand to see how well it would work. The direction of travel was immediately much easier and I would say the tube went a little faster. Steering was much easier. I then got ambitious and switched to the higher speed and was really surprised how much the thrust increased – it was quite difficult to hold the motor upright!

I learnt quite a lot from this little experiment, and will now have to go back to the drawing board and try to solve the problems of either having the motor bow mounted, or somewhere in front - or between the legs.

As for the battery; The 22ah battery would be adequate for emergency assist use and would last quite well. When I put it on charge this morning there were still three led’s lit out of seven, so there were still quite a few fizzwiggles left in it - despite it being soaked yesterday. It was in three supposedly waterproof bags, which turned out not to be! I guess a clip lid sandwich box might be the ultimate answer here. This is a deep cycle AGM battery weighing just under 7kg. Golfers tell me that the hugely expensive, but much lighter, Lithium batteries would do the job, but I do wonder how well they would have reacted to being soaked for so long. I do have a 7ah AGM battery which I will take out and test to full drain at some stage to see how long it would last – these are lighter and would easily fit into an arm pocket

I am convinced this system can be made to work to assist old cripples defy wind, and also if they suffer from cramp – (been there and done that at Thornton – Nasty!)

As a further aside when I came off the water I met Phil P. sitting in the car – he was dejected and wet through, (although he had caught a trout). His waders had leaked. I was so damned cold that I didn’t know whether I was wet or not, but I did notice that the bottoms of my trousers looked wet. After packing up and driving about 130 miles, most of it sitting on a nice comfortable three pad heated seat, I had thawed out and needed to stop for relief and something to eat. I put my hand into my back pocket to got my wallet out – it was drenched! Now, there was not a snowball’s hope in hell of that being sweat on a day like yesterday, so my guess is that my once worn new Airflo welded seam waders are leaking! I had some suspicion of this at Kennick, where I used them for the first time. Isn’t there anybody out there who can make a long-lasting set of leakproof waders at a sensible price? I bought the Airflo ones as a stopgap when my Vision Ikon’s were back with Vision for repair / replacement - after about a half dozen trips of use. (They replaced them).

Acknowledgements: Many thanks go to the team at Toft for allowing us to fish this water once again and also for donating a prize to the winner. We greatly appreciate it.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 12:32:52 PM by bracken » Logged
rider12351
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2017, 09:10:06 PM »

Dam missed another good day

Ivan
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fishicist
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 06:26:46 PM »

just as well it wasn't winter  javascript:void(0);
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