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Summary Report

Exceptional season draws to a close …

For our final report for this Season we would like to reflect on what has been an exceptionally good year for the Reservoir.

A fairly mild winter following last year’s heat wave set us up well for a great start in the Spring. Insect life both in and on the water has been prolific during the entire year and even the warmer days of summer saw double-figured bags being recorded. Rising water levels and heavy rain in June and July saw one increase of 18 inches (just over 457mm) in just 2 days and for the first time in some years, the Reservoir was at maximum (100%) capacity on the 1st August and rod averages remained at over 6 for much of what we usually consider to be ‘dog days’. Needless to say the trout loved this cooler, fresher influx of water and they remained very responsive, especially to dry flies.

A wonderful sight this year has been the increasing number of young  anglers  who have visited to fish with parents and grandparents. We are keen  to encourage the next generation of fly fishing enthusiasts and to give them our time and advice wherever possible. To this end we also hosted a training session for the ATEFF Youth squad for the first time so that they could gain valuable experience of dry fly, top-of-the-water tactics. They were an incredibly talented, polite group of youngsters and a real credit to the sport.

In September we also stocked over 400 stunning brown trout as part of our Blithfield Brown Trout programme with funds raised from the Blithfield Brown Trout Fund and it has been very encouraging to see these fish settle in well. Brown trout are our only native trout and can live for 20 years or more. Mature males are instantly recognisable from their hooked bottom lip, known as a kipe  and we are incredibly lucky to have several of these large fish residing in the reservoir depths – they are also territorial, protecting their feeding grounds from any interlopers. A greater number of brown trout are caught in the autumn as they start to feed up on coarse fry in preparation for winter and this year has seen some excellent specimen browns recorded and safely released. Two weeks ago almost every single return for one week  alone recorded brown trout as part of the catch.

Once again this year support from Permit holders and visitors alike has been marvellous and we have seen a marked growth in the number of rods visiting for the first time and then subsequently visiting again and again throughout the season as they realise what a great situation we have here, from the helpful staff through to the accessibility and the significant head of fish due to our responsible approach to stocking. In recent years we have worked extremely hard to make improvements and this hard work is now paying dividends for all fly anglers. So a huge and sincere thank you goes to each and every one of you who took the time to visit us this season.

We will be sending out application forms for the 2020 season in December this year. If you would like to apply for either a full Season Permit, or a Pro-Rata (part) Season Permit please let us know at or on 01283 840284.

Finally we would like to wish you all a very safe and happy winter and we look forward to seeing you again next year here at Blithfield. We open on 12th March for Permit holders and on 19th March to visitors, Syndicates and guests. Until then, Tight Lines!