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Author Topic: Bushylease Backender - Fishing Report  (Read 13544 times)
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« on: November 02, 2008, 11:38:24 AM »

The Bushyleaze ‘Backender’ meeting is an end of season get together, no pressure,  fun competition, which is held at a superb fishery generally believed by members to be one of the best fisheries on our list for catching good hard fighting fish. As such, slightly more banter than usual will be encountered, and members are even more willing to share hot tips for catching fish to ensure that everybody stands a chance of catching something to take home with them. The fishery is closed especially for our sole use for this competition. The day finishes with a curry provided at the Lechlade fishery clubhouse after the weigh-in and presentation of the Trophy.

The weather: Fortunately the full horror of the weather forecast given by Lara didn’t reach us until after the match. Most of us drove down to the fishery in cold frosty conditions, which were fading into a quiet breeze by the time we were setting up the tubes before the match. During the course of the morning the breeze increased considerably and the odd shower of rain fell. The roads on the journey home afterwards were very wet and deeply puddled in places, after the downpour started when we were partaking of the excellent curry  in the late afternoon.

The fishermen: A right motley lot, including at least three BFTA champions and close runners up! However, we were very pleased to welcome a number of unsuspecting guests and a couple of new members to our midst who added much to our enjoyment of the day. One in particular excelled himself with a lifejacket demonstration during the quiet part of the afternoon!?

Postman Pat had to get his lovely missus to bring him and his brother in law, and then bribe her vast amounts of cash to go shopping in the Great western Centre so he could have a peaceful day. I wonder do we need to add a list of shopping areas and nearest cash machines to our listings to keep the WAG’s happy? She had a fair haul of loot in the car when she remembered to come back for them too! Just as well Andy hadn’t caught too many fish or he’d have had to tie them to the roof!

The fishing: John in the office had told us that the fish were well distributed all over the 22 acre water, when we paid at the beginning of the day. This was thankfully a very truthful assertion and it was not long before fish were being caught in many areas of the water, encouraging those who were newcomers to the fishery to hurry and get their lines wet.  Interestingly large numbers of fish were patrolling the edge of the drop-offs close to the bank and were easily in reach of bank anglers. The wider area in front of the lodge held fish all over the width of the water, and rods were regularly seen being tested here. Particularly that of Kevin Bush who hooked around sixteen fish and ended the day with five in the bag!? Suggest you get a bend and a barb on the hooks next time Kev!  Simon and Stevie are now well beyond their newbie status and quickly showed their colours by getting a few in the bag, while several of the old-stagers were testing the water.

To digress for a second:  I understand Stevie has been getting in quite a bit of practice at Thornton, much to the admiration, (is that the right word), of some boat anglers on that foundation water for the BFTA – it seems he got Andre involved in the escapades as well, resulting in some jolly correspondence about float-tubing and how to catch about 20 fish in a couple of hours. He’s a fast learner our lad!! I think it might have been when he lobbed a couple back under to boat so that the boat fishermen could have a chance, which generated the interest!? Andre tells the story well - if you are not a vicar or of a nervous disposition.

Back to Bushyleaze: The fly selection was not too critical, although some members did find it a bit tricky on small flies near the surface. Wheras a fortnight ago anything with white in it caught fish well, on this day the preference appeared to be for black and green concoctions, although Andy and a couple of others were hooking on hares ears, Andre swore blind he was using an olive and Kevin P. still had a couple using a black hopper. After initially struggling, John having received, and taken a little advice, (never too old or too good to listen and learn), moved to an indicated area and caught his bag on a damsel nymph. Most anglers stuck to a floating line and caught fish fairly near to the surface, these were in the respectably sized stockie class.

However, last year's champion, (a long suffering, modest and kindly old gentleman), by using his eyes, undoubted skill, a bit of local knowledge, (and Kevin says by deploying a gert great minkie that growled when it hit the water), suspected that the better fish were near the bottom and were probably taking fry judging by the disturbance occasionally seen by the lower bank. By using a fast intermediate line and moving to the edge of the drop off, Tony quickly caught two bigger, very hard fighting 4 and 5 lb plus fish that were enough to win him the Trophy at the end of the day – you can’t keep a good man down can you? (Who writes this rubbish)!?

Ray was the first to bag up and finish, although sadly these early fish seemed to be smaller – a point noted by several anglers. For some reason the better fish came-on around midday and a good feeding spell occurred at this time when it was unusual not to see at least one rod bent somewhere on the water, with some seriously hard-fighting trout splashing and lunging near the surface, with several eventually regaining their freedom – occasionally to the jeers and cheers of the onlookers!?

It is surprising how areas of the water can be overlooked by anglers, being perceived as being unproductive – one such area is just down the drive in front of the extended car park area, where there were lots of trout fairly close to the shore under the trees judging by the tugs and two fish hooked and lost by Tony and also Craig in this spot.

I think just one pike was caught, and I’m not aware of any of the impressive perch, (some spotted by the landing stage before the match), having been hooked. Equally I’m surprised how few brown trout appeared to have been caught and released, as we know there is a good head of these fish present in the water – Andrew and a couple of other anglers were looking forward to catching their first brown trout ever, but in the event were sadly disappointed. John M. told us afterwards that at least thirty 10lb plus fish had recently been stocked and none of these showed up either, which is actually surprising given the quality of the fishermen present. (You should have put you sinker and a booby on Andrew – I reckon these big fish are lurking on the bottom)!

In summation: the days fishing was extremely enjoyable, with a plentiful stock of hard fighting fish on offer, many of which subsequently caught by a great bunch of fishermen who are very comfortable in each others company. Nearly all those who fished caught a full bag, and the guests also enjoyed quite an exciting day even if they didn’t land all the fish they hooked. Most members had bagged-up by early afternoon. In retrospect a 3.00pm finish would have been adequate for the day. This competition is always regarded as a relaxed and fun day out and this proved to be the case. Nice one lads!

Asides: Craig later went on to hook his final fish by the tail just to make life landing it a bit more interesting!

Andy Duncan then excelled himself by losing a fin to make life even more interesting for a beginner when getting back to the bank! He wasn’t worried though, as the fin belonged to Kevin P! Unusually another fin was also lost by Kevin B. during the course of this competition – but he also wasn’t worried as it belonged to Stevie! Stevie flogged the remaining fin to Kevin P.  to make up a composed and nearly matched pair!

In his turn, Stevie managed to chuck his much treasured and cherished priest into the water by the boat landing stage and spent much of the afternoon thoughtfully looking into, and wading around in the water stirring up the murk! He was later taken into the lodge where Andre and Russ had told him they had found a priest on the notice board – It turned out to be a photograph of a clergyman!! (They’re a bit warped and cruel these two).

Andre vociferously disappointed at not winning the trophy to add to his pot-hunting collection, (he claiming that nobody had informed him that there was one, otherwise he might have released a few honorary browns), then proceeded to pick on Andrew and asked him why he was wearing size 16 / 17 variegated trainers  - one largely white and the other largely black. Andrew patiently gave him a very appropriate explanation explaining the reasons, which I thought were very sensible. You can’t easily get wading boots this size, and anyway it’s none of Andre’s business if Andrew’s feet are big enough not to need fins. B****y cheek I reckon!

Towards the middle of the afternoon when Andre and a few others were getting a bit bored and still looking for someone other than Andrew, Stevie and your correspondent to goad, an extremely pleasant Newbie inadvertently decided to entertain them by showing them how effective an automatic lifejacket is, when on tired legs you throw yourself into the water in front of people while exiting a float tube after a long stint in the lake. Sadly after you get wet, it makes an impressive bang – heard on the far side of the car park, where I unfortunately missed the show. Damnably. we couldn’t get Richard to repeat the action so we could all share a good chuckle. Unfortunately Russ had apparently been so enthralled and nearly paralytic laughing, that he foolishly failed to get an educational photo of the event first time round. What a good caring lot we are!?? Richard is going to rearm his jacket as a manual device now! Some do learn the hard way don't they?

This meeting proved another first in my fourteen year BFTA experience, where the Luton, S.Wales and Bristol lads turned up with camping stoves, bacon, sausages, bread rolls and other goodies to make a breakfast to start the day. (The Leicester mob having stopped at the Little Chef and denuded the fridges of anything vaguely edible played little part in this event). There was also enough to have a snack at lunchtime for a fortunate few – mind you some people were rudely interrupted in their enjoyment of the light refreshment by constant barracking and flash guns going off in their tired old eyes – it’s not good for the heart that sort of harassment and provocation! The pre-match breakfast roll does however have quite a lot of merits and could well be repeated in future where it is difficult to get food at some venues – good move lads, full marks and thanks for your efforts and generosity.

Acknowledgements: We thank Tim Small, John and the rest of the fishery staff for closing the fishery and hosting the event. It was a super day’s fishing and entertainment.  We would also like to give thanks to the cook and staff for the greatly appreciated curry we had at the end of the afternoon.

Thanks must also go to Andre in his generous role as waiter serving others their meal when his own was getting cold.

We should also thank particularly Kevin P. and his mate for putting quite a bit of effort in phoning around and organising this event and trying to get people there on the right day.

« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 07:46:35 AM by bracken » Logged
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