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Author Topic: Lockwood Beck Report - 20th July 2013  (Read 14388 times)
bracken
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« on: July 21, 2013, 03:46:20 PM »

The Venue: Lockwood Beck reservoir. This was constructed in 1876 and borders the fringe of the North York Moors National Park, directly off the A171 Guisborough to Whitby Road (GR NZ 671 138). It occupies a small site, and the stream by the car park is lined with conifers with a small adjacent mixed wood. This water ceased to be used for supplying drinking water to the surrounding community around 25 years agp

Now a delightful 60-acre fishery, Lockwood Beck varyies  in depth from eight to forty feet. It has a reputation for surface feeding fish and is stocked weekly with Rainbow trout. Blues and Brown trout are also stocked.

This fishery is a new float tubing venue. It is a much needed  facility  in the North of England. Considerable efforts have been made by the Fishery Manager Gordon Byers, in consultation with Northumbrian Water and the BFTA, to bring this reservoir into the float tubing community. May it be an outstanding success! Only members of the BFTA will be allowed to fish this water from float tubes.

This is one of the best waters we have fished to launch into. The area by the wheelie boat, and also slightly further along the bank on the old slipway, are absolutely ideal shallow sloping gravel bottomed launch areas. This water also has very well maintained and clean male and female toilet facilities

Nature notes: This is a site listed by the RSPB , and there are reports of Ospreys here at the end of 2012. Stoats were seen in our visit – no doubt hunting the numerous rabbits to be seen around the water. A heron was seen to land in one of the taller trees in the adjacent wood during the competition. A large resident flock of greylag geese spent much of the day announcing their territory or entertaining us with aerobatic flypasts. A good number of fully fledged goslings were present in the group. (Only about six weeks to go before the ovens can be warmed and the roast potatoes made ready for all wildfowling afficionados). Lots of tiny frogs about a quarter of an inch long were spotted on the waters edge in front of the lodge and wheely boat.

Weather: The forecast was for a significant drop in temperatures to between 14 and 18 degrees, (down from those nearing 30 degrees a couple of days prior to the competition).  After an unusual spell of hot weather, the water had warmed to more than 21 degrees, which as we all know is not necessarily propitious for good fishing.  In the event, the weather was probably the most ideal that we have had all season, an overcast day featuring regular drizzle after midday,  and a gentle steady breeze to ripple the surface, but not enough to force the float tubes along.

The fishermen: A fairly good attendance and mix of regulars for this time of the season. We were to have been joined by at least four new members, some of whom are local to Lockwood Beck, but sadly they did not arrive on the day.  Three of the BFTA Officers had made the somewhat long journey, (for many), to be present for the inaugural meeting at this new venue.  As to be expected, a good number of Northern based members were present, including some from the far West coastal areas. Kevin P. and I probably made the longest journeys of around 600 miles round trips in order to join the fray. It was also nice to see Fishicist again, who joined me at my Hotel for a pre-match breakfast coffee after travelling down from near the Scottish border to a more civilized part of England. He only seems to be let out to fish with us twice a year these days !? Here’s to the next time Tony!

The fishing: Having spent the Friday afternoon watching boat fishermen catch numerous trout on big black buzzers fished deep at 20 feet or more, in cooler overcast conditions, I had great optimism for the days piscatorial potential. As it turned out, the fishing for most started slowly. Big buzzers were duly attached to twenty four foot leaders and sunk in the water. After about a half hour Tony B. netted the first fish of the day, and then a little later lost another one. He called to me that the fish were very deep, whereupon I changed my sink tip and 12 foot leader setup and put on a DI7.

When changing the flies onto the new line, I suddenly remembered the small frogs on the shore, and wondered  whether there were still a lot of tadpoles around. I also reckoned the bigger fish would be in the far depths, so replaced the point fly with a size 12 Naylor / Parker created secret tadpole pattern.  Casting out and then catching three fish in three casts, tended to make me think that perhaps this was a good  strategy. The first fish, which under the rules I had to kill, must have been the smallest in the lake, I also killed the second fairly small fish, because at that time I wasn’t sure whether I would catch any more. I released the next four, then caught a slightly better fish at over two pounds and realised that other people were still not catching, so thought this one better go in the bag too. I was quickly into the eighth fish which turned out to be a 3lbs 2oz beautiful  condition rainbow, so it had to go into the bass bag. It was now 11.15am and I had caught 8 fish in around three quarters of an hour, so I thought I had better go and weigh in and leave the hot spot for others.

I watched Dave Carrie catch a couple and Tony B. take another. Phil was patrolling all over the water in his battleship, but I didn’t see his rod bend. Dave M. was floating around quietly, untroubled by having to catch fish. Ric caught a couple, and I heard rumours that Steve F. had also had a couple, but he was between the boats and the dam, so I couldn’t really keep an eye on him. When I weighed-in the chap in the lodge watching proceedings through binoculars, told me that both he and Brian were now catching fish.  Kevin P. had gone off to the far end of the lake on a perch fishing foray, but after catching one of these pretty little fish, had disturbed a five pound rainbow which came up and laughed at him. Stevie N. I was sure, must be having another of his stellar days because I had not seen anything of him.

I returned to the water to fish C&R and wanted to catch one of the better browns or blues. Gordon  suggested that I went down the far end of the lake and tried in the two small bays where the boats found it difficult to reach. I duly did this, but apart from hooking a fish which wriggled rather a lot for a while until it came off, (probably a perch), I had no other takes. I then decided to go back up the centre of the lake and pass the time of day with Dave M. and Stevie, who I could now see near the spot where I found all the trout. I had a fish around 2lbs 8ozs behind Dave as I continued up to Stevie. I then discovered Stevie was fishless and not getting any takes either. I was sure he would have one of our secret flies in his box, and told him to put it on and fish it deep. I then caught another two pound plus fish near him to ensure he could see the system worked. I told him we were a bit far to the West  of where we needed to be and duly headed over that way, catching another fish well over two pounds en route. The next fish was an absolute cracker, somewhere near four pounds I reckon. It stayed deep and ran like an express train, stripping all the line off the apron and pulling line off the spool against the drag. When I got it to hand it was another very beautiful fish with full fins and looked extraordinarily fit. I was pleased to see it swim away strongly without any apparent shock. When discussing this one with Stevie he indicated something with one finger – I must remember to ask him what he was trying to tell me! This run of four fish would have easily made 11lbs

Having left Stevie to the shoal, secure in the knowledge that he would catch, I went  up past the top of the boats and found Steve F. who was serenely floating around in his waterborne tackle shop, bristling with rods. I discovered that he had caught five fish on daiwl bachs and buzzers, which I thought was a very noble approach. I went on and met up with Tony B again, he had also now caught five fish. He had a good take on the lift just as we finished chatting, and a couple of minute later I also experienced the same thing, so did wonder whether the fish had come up in the water. Ric also reported a catch of five fish by this time, but bemoaned the fact that the biggest fish of the day had come off – a monster by all accounts. Dave C. was by now well on his way to his eight fish total and was dragging one of his inevitable zonkers through to tempt them. I noticed that by now Stevie had also got a DC zonker on the end of his line – and still remained fishless! I think that Kevin P. had by now stolen one of Brian’s green and black fritz creations, and was having some success with it. Brian had been quietly catching in the area I found the fish earlier.

By three pm my back had had enough, and as I had to hand thirteen fish and lost a couple, I landed just after Steve F. who had also decided to call it a day. Thanks for helping an old cripple off the water Steve it is much appreciated.

To finish the Stevie saga, he was obviously having a day similar to a couple I had earlier in the season, (like at Wimbleball where nothing would work out properly), despite apparently doing everything that everybody else was doing. He finally caught a fish a few minutes before the end of the competition. He short cast his line out of the way when putting the fish away and then picked up his rod to find another trout had committed suicide and attached itself to the hook while he wasn’t looking. I seem to remember him doing this at the last Toft match too – is this a cry to be noticed perhaps? I would have bet on him catching the most fish on this day – so it’s a good job I’m not a gambling man isn’t it.

Dave Carrie became the man of the match by taking first place, Ric and I tied for second place. A total of 56 fish caught for a group of 10 fishermen on a totally new water, is not a bad rod average at 5.6 by any measurement .

Flies and lines: An interesting dilemma here. Was it best to put on an intermediate, or faster sinking line to get down to the ostensibly cooler water where the bigger fish may have been lurking, or stick to a floating line and fish dry flies or buzzers. Buzzers had certainly been taking fish when fished from the boats in the previous week. Those members who can handle very long leaders to 20 plus feet were able to cover most situations with a floating line over much of the water. Lesser mortals could always try their armory of different lines.  

For some peculiar reason, buzzers were by no means the best fly on this day, despite what had gone before. I was lucky that I had one of the small ‘tadpoles’ in my collection of small fly selection boxes, otherwise I would have struggled too. (My lure boxes were left in the car or back at home). I only used four flies all day. (At the end of the match Steve F. showed me a pack full of very nicely tied different drying flies he had tried).

 I’m not sure whether  size of fly mattered or not; Dave’s zonkers are quite long flies, albeit tied on smallish hooks, and the fly which I saw from Brian’s armoury was also a reasonably medium to big affair. I reckon my tadpole worked because it was small and not much bigger than a real tadpole in most respects. Tony caught his first fish on a very long, (and I must say beautifully tied) buzzer. One of my fish also came to a buzzer which Tony had tied and generously given me before the match. From what I know of the flies he ties and those I saw , Steve F’s buzzers are probably much smaller than most that were being fished.

The ability to cast a very long leader on a floating line would have definitely helped here. My sink tip puts a fly a long way down in the water, but apparently not far enough yesterday. The need for carrying a full range of sinking lines was never more greatly exemplified than yesterday in my opinion. A DI7 is on occasions a very necessary line to get down to depth quickly – and even on that, I noticed that, when I had to shorten the leader because of a knot, I detected fewer takes than before.

I suspect Stevie’s tadpole didn’t take, either because it was too big, or just possibly because he was retrieving it too quickly. I noticed a lot of people were retrieving the flies far faster than I was.

Asides: It is a great pity that the new members did not show up to fish this match. Even if you are total  beginners, one of the best ways to get experience is by talking to those who have been there and done it before. The members present on this day were all very experienced and helpful guys, and would have undoubtedly taken time to give you advice and a helping hand if needed. One of those fishing is disabled enough to have a blue badge, and at least two of those present have serious heart conditions, so you don’t have to be a herculean character to be a float tuber. Please don’t be shy next time.

What is the secret Naylor /Parker tadpole I hear you ask. Well if I told you it wouldn’t be secret and we might lose our edge in the trophy hunt. Needless to say it is an extremely carefully designed and well thought out device. It has a mobile tail and a body designed to make it rise and fall tantalizingly in the water in order  to wiggle the tail. The head design is crucial in order to create a disturbance in the water to interest the fish by attacking the senses on their lateral line. The fly tying materials are quite difficult to source, and some parts are only available from one supplier, or they have to be individually made. I can honestly say that the example used on this day was completely sparkle free and was unadulterated in any way. I also think that the hint of bovine ordure could be the clue to its effectiveness!?

Acknowledgements:  Many thanks to Gordon for hosting us a pleasant and very successful day.

Additionally I think it should be mentioned that quite a lot of people had worked hard behind the scenes to both get this fishery available for float tubing, and also in organizing a BFTA match at quite short notice. However,  Gordon Byers and Steve Naylor deserve special  recognition for their sterling effort in making everything finally come to fruition. Andre and I also supplied quite a lot of info at varying stages to help with the initial applications etc. Those members present at the previous two BFTA AGM’s will know this has been quietly developing over a long period. A good job all round would be my assessment! This is a stunning water, extremely well managed and in very pleasant surroundings. We look forward to fishing it again.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 03:32:39 PM by bracken » Logged
davec
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2013, 01:04:17 PM »

Report gave excellent reading well done again Tony. It was only a matter of time before I manage to scrape a win, but although I am not a trophy hunter, skill will out I suppose and I am more than willing to share my killer patterns with anyone who asks.
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bracken
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2013, 03:49:24 PM »

Many congratulations on the win Dave. I must say it is nice to see a change now and again. (But not too often mind)! I'm not convinced about your casual dismissal of being a Trophy Hunter though. Why has the pairs cup become known as the Dave Carrie Cup after three wins in a row for the three seasons it has been contested? The outcome of the next match is awaited with great interest!

While on the water, I did note you generously calling Stevie over and giving him one of your zonkers to share, mind you I did also note that it was one which didn't seem to catch fish for him, so am not entirely convinced you didn't slip him a 'ringer'! As for the fly secrets, one has to keep an air of mystique going doesn't one? Perhaps the clue to the flies success is in the last sentence of that section. Having said that though, we do seem to have hit on a winning design and size does seem to matter in different locations. The one I was using, was an oddball small one tied at the end of a session from a few scraps left on the bench and put into a box of mainly small buzzers. Needless to say I will tie a few more now!
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John Keeley
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 01:44:08 PM »

Well Tony, what can I say !! -  I was going to buy a Fly fishing mag to read but found your report a lot more interesting & twice the content !
I saved £2.80 !!
Looks like I missed another good one ? Doh !
Great report !

JK 
ps congratulations Dave C !!! Wink
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bracken
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 03:52:55 PM »

Thanks for the kind remarks John - and the fiscal consideration marks you out as a true Yorkshire man! I did wonder how many people read the report as it didn't seem to provoke much response. Perhaps I ought to be more outrageous in my reporting!

You really did miss a very nice days fishing, and I would recommend that you get out to this water and give it a go. It's pleasantly situated and cannot be too many miles for you to travel in relative terms. I'm sure you could inveigle Stevie to go with you, and possibly Kevin B. I only wish this venue was 250 miles closer to me - I would fish it a lot!

Tight lines - (but then yours nearly always are)!
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phil p
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2013, 07:23:18 PM »

Hi tony I did like this report one of your best this year Grin and i enjoy your reports the club wouldnt be the same if you didnt do one every time. top class reading imo.

   phil p
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Even a trout would not of got into trouble if he! had kept his mouth shut!!!
John Keeley
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 11:41:39 AM »

Hi Tony, I have fished Lockwood quite a few times but never from a tube so I will be giving it a go very soon.

Owing to weekend work commitments  & long distance venues, I miss out on a lot which the club has to offer but do enjoy the days I can make.
A bit of advice to new members is " Get out there & meet the guys" they're a friendly bunch with a GSH !

Wish I could do more events ! Embarrassed

See you next time

JK
ps hope the spine is being a little bit better behaved Tony !
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bracken
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 04:05:28 PM »

Good news to hear that you have fished on this water John. You will love it from a float tube, it's just the right size for a days full exploration of the whole water.

Sadly my back is, like my poor dog, not improving. The plus side is that it is just aching at present, and not periodically crippling me. The down side is that it now 'crunches', and makes quite audible clicking noises sometimes when I twist slightly. Doctor says this is arthritis taking hold. Wonderful! Not what I had in mind for retirement.

An update on Bracken, (my poor dog). In many respects he is trying to get back to his old self and we have been spoiling him rotten - even to the degree of taking him to Puttles Bridge in the New forest the day he had his stitches out. (He has always loved it there and spends ages in the water hunting about and digging stones for us to throw in, and then he retrieves them. An amazing feat really. We were however devastated on the same day, to learn from a blood test that his liver has also now got a serious problem, and there was also something about enzymes being wrong in the blood. The younger vet was even apparently dubious about him making it to the 14th when he is booked in for his final injection in this world. I think he will make it on his present showing, but I'm not an expert! It's a b*****r this getting old for man and beast isn't it.
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martin
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2014, 07:55:32 PM »

Good report Tony,
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