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Author Topic: Toft Newton Report - February 21st 2015.  (Read 2484 times)
bracken
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« on: February 22, 2015, 11:06:02 AM »

The Venue: Toft Newton Reservoir, Nr. Market Rasen, Lincolnshire. This water is well known to BFTA members, and is a large concrete bowl rising fifty feet or so above the flatlands of Lincolnshire – High enough apparently to collect the effects of the Jetstream!? The approach road to this water is now getting into an even worse state than the normal Cameron administration potholed cart tracks that serve the nation; it is not to be approached by the faint hearted or in cars with low scuttles! Tis b***dy ROUGH! However, after assessing any damage to your limo’s, the fishing is usually very good at this venue. It also has a well-stocked small shop, and the welcome from Jason or Andy is great!

Nature Notes:  It was nice to see that after some years of decline that a few kestrels are reappearing along the England roads, and one at least was hunting the land margins of the water when we were fishing. A large flock of ducks, (possibly mallard), were seen flying around several times throughout the day and a few swans were present on the water. For once, I didn’t spot small waders around the shores this visit.

The weather: The long range forecast for his match was dire, apparently with 40mph winds and rain to be experienced. However, fortunately on the day we were greeted by sunshine, low temperatures, and initially at least a gentle breeze. After launch the wind did pick up considerably, and by midday some of us on the exposed far shore were experiencing waves occasionally breaking over our backs. The swell was quite high and it was difficult to hold station. The winds were supposedly around 20mph but appeared stronger! Around 2.15 the wind abated to a more comfortable level and allowed an old cripple to fin back across the water to the launch area, rather than have the major struggle of carrying the kit back, as at least one other member did earlier in the day.

The fishermen: Many of the now usual crew, together with a couple of the occasional visitors who skulk out of the wilds of East Anglia and the dark midlands. Together with one Newbie Paul, taking to the water in his new gear for the first time. I never really realise how far North Toft is until I note that many of the strange accented fellows only live an hour or so away from this water. (This lot now appear to have a proclivity for purchasing lurid coloured float tubes - necessitating the use of good quality polaroids if you get too close to them)!

The fishing: I must say that I launched full of confidence onto this pond, having tied up some of my Toft specials and a couple of variations which I suspected might have enhanced their taking possibilities.  A few yards after launch, I swapped my car-park flies for the killer varieties, and suddenly realised I was way out in the middle of the lake when I looked up after tying them on. The wind was obviously more vicious than I had thought. Stevie had also been following a similar line to me and then turned at right angles to the downwind shore. I reckoned the fish would be along the shore opposite the slipway and along the downwind sore to the black pipe area. Stevie had also apparently reached part of this conclusion and was keen to get over there. The upwind shore was by now well populated with keen bank anglers, together with Gaz and Andre for company. I didn’t spot any rods bent into fish – not even amongst the stockie bashing bunch whose ears had pricked up when they heard the water had been stocked the previous day and had decided to stay by the slipway! This was slightly concerning and maybe this day was going to be a bit more difficult than I had thought.

I was pretty sure at this time of year, that the deeper, middle of the lake was not going to be very productive – although it would undoubtedly have harboured some well mended old stagers. I was therefore quite happy to reach the shore opposite the slipway between the two lifebuoys, where I knew from previous visits there is a good weed bed and it invariably produces fish. After a half hour of working the shore with an intermediate I did get a couple of slight tugs, but was fishing so close to the shore that I suspected they were weed rather than a fish. In hindsight I now suspect it was a fish. Andre now joined me, and he had not had a touch either, so we decided to fish onto the downwind shore. He told me that the bank anglers appeared to be catching using a floating line and bloodworms and Diawl Bach’s. I was by now using a Hi D right near the bottom but still fishing very close to the shore. Andre was on an intermediate with a team consisting of a damsel, a black booby and I think a cat’s whisker. I had a red flash damsel and a consett budgie on by this time. I was now seriously considering changing to a floating line. Suddenly I had a very strong take from a very powerful fish that stayed deep and out of sight, which I suspected may have been a good brown. By now I had been blown into the shallows and was able to play the fish up to the net, where it turned out to be a nice rainbow and not quite as big as I would have expected from the fight it gave. In the meantime Andre had had a good pull, so we knew there were a couple of fish around.  Andre then caught a nice trout and netted it. I briefly had another fish on 10 minutes later and then Andre caught another good sized fish and netted it.  Upon drifting further round the shore midway between the two lifebuoys I had a couple of tugs, then hooked and lost another fish. Andre to my left now netted another. At this point off came my barbless hooks to be replaced with some real barbed ones. I now knew where the fish were likely to take – anywhere between 4 feet and about 25 feet from the shore! The depth appeared to be crucial and Andre’s intermediate may well have been more effective than my hi D. I now netted a second fish, while Andre soon lifted his total to five. He was definitely in the hot spot at this time, although I was still getting the occasional pluck.

Undoubtedly the water was very cold by now.  My amputated finger stump was hurting like nobody’s business and my backside was very chilly. Andre was also suffering and declared that one more fish and he was off. He eventually moved towards the black pipe. I went back over the water he was covering to where I had caught the first fish. I had a couple of tugs and then hooked and netted a third trout before the water went dead. Andre had caught his sixth, then hiked off to get a coffee. I think it was Gary who was by now fishing in his last  spot by the black pipe, and I saw his rod bent several times, so assumed he was filling his bag. He then moved off so I headed down that way with considerable wind assistance. I caught a fourth fish on the way and then had a good tug which resulted in a tangled leader when the fly pinged back. By now I was driven onto the shore and untangled it. Amazingly, while short casting the line a very few feet from me I had another fish pluck the fly. I then went back out to the thirty foot distance and cast back to within a foot or so of the shore and then started a retrieve about seven feet later I had a hard take and hooked a very aerobatic trout which surged and jumped everywhere like a maniac, after quite a long fight I had it on its side coming towards the net and the hook came out! Sorry Vicar!? A few casts later I did catch my fifth and then the water went dead again.  I was now in a bit of a quandary as I was cold, hurting and my legs were beginning to cramp, so I really wanted to get off the water. Finally, I decided to work the water all the way back round one last time to where we had been catching, and then return back down to the home shore past the black pipe. Finally I managed to hook  and net what turned out to be my smallest fish of the day, which allowed me to head for home just after 2.35pm.

I didn’t really get much chance to see or speak to many others on the water, but there is one very interesting observation to make here. For a very long time there were some seriously good fishermen fishing all along this bank where Andre and I caught the trout. I did notice that they were generally fishing a bit further out in the water than we were, and I suspect their casts were actually falling largely short of where the fish were working the weed. I don’t think that in reality there were that many trout in the area, and certainly some of the fish Andre and I caught were over-wintered fish rather than fresh stockies. There were however some stockies near the black pipe, but very close to the tideline. On the way ‘home’ I did spot that Steve F. and Ric had some decent sized trout in their non-limit bags, but don’t know what they were caught on. In reality I don’t think that fly choice played a particularly significant part in the ability to take fish. I would suggest however that position and depth were crucial. A Di 2 or 3 worked better for Andre and me, although a Hi D also worked. Close to the shore, a tungsten headed fly on a 15 plus foot leader would I suspect also have done the business. Red and blue flash damsels, nomads, cat’s whiskers and black booby’s all caught fish. I’m told that Gary had a considerable number of pulls on an orange blob, (I didn’t).

At the end of the day I was astounded to find that it was only Andre and me that had bagged our limit. I definitely thought Gary had reached his as well – he must have had quite a frustrating day. The chemical twins are pretty good at catching trout, but also appear to have had quite a slow day - which is quite surprising as they can generally suss the situation out pretty well. As we all know Andre is pretty good at catching fish, so it’s no surprise that after I showed him how to do it, he soon got the system sorted!? (He’s still a jammy beggar though)! There were twelve of us on the water and everybody had at least one fish, so it was a pretty good day overall.

It appears that jammy Andre won the match yet again, but I must report he did all the weighing in and some of it unwitnessed! Not that I would question his ability to read Kilos you understand!? A kindly, crippled old gentleman came a very well deserved, and hard won second.

I was pleased to note that Steve W. acted as guide and mentor to our newcomer, and largely spent his day fishing with him. I hope Paul had an interesting introduction to float tubing – he could not really have been in the hands of a better tutor!

Asides: Now the cat is really out of the bag on this one isn’t it? I seem to remember a bit of joshing on the website about the tough Northerners and Barnsfold Afficianados, regarding the softness of Southerners not liking cold water, and not fishing early season when the ice  is on the water etc. I gather from a near neighbour of the former Bramwell and Charlotte, that one of the Preston Pair, (he will remain nameless, but his mate had stayed at home nursing a glass of whisky), had to come off the water early - because the batteries had gone flat in his electrically heated socks and had left him uncomfortable!!!! Good grief whatever next – heated codpieces perhaps, so old  Henry doesn’t inconveniently withdraw to a warmer place when the call of nature beckons??

Now flat batteries seem to have been the order of the day here. It appears that another of our Northern members, and a Barnsfold protegee, decided that the trip to darkest Licolnshire, required his lights to be left on all day, (so he could find the trout maybe)! Sadly, this caused him to tarry longer than desired after the match while Andy kindly charged his car battery.

Acknowledgements: Many thanks go to Andy for hosting our inaugural match of the season and providing the Riff-Raff with endless coffee.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2015, 01:50:44 PM by bracken » Logged
brian
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 09:47:28 AM »

Not a bad report tony but as for coming off early because my batteries died not quite i was one of the last three still on after every one else came off before. but it was cold that water
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buzzerman
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2015, 11:34:46 AM »

Think yourselves lucky my Airflo waders leaked down the left leg and on the crutch. Sent back this week only had them since May last year. Don't think the sothern pussies would have coped to well with a wader full of water. You'res sincerely Northern hard man.
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bracken
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 08:06:19 AM »

What a good job they were not electrified then Steve! you may have got some interesting tingles to distract you from the slow fishing in your section. I still noticed an orange glow around you, and the one around Brian was bright crimson - was this shame, or the much sought after, renowned natural northerner warmth perhaps?

I must admit that when I finned past you Brian, you looked a bit frozen in and moving slower than normal. It was one of your 'close' neighbours who gave me the info on battery failure. I was not privy to all the goings on in the Northerners stockie bashing corner of the lake!

OK I'll duck now !!!?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 12:51:24 PM by bracken » Logged
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