On Tuesday I arrived into work and collected the returns from the anglers fishing the day before. It was not a great start to the week as I read comments such as “Novice fisherman and really struggled, will not travel 2 hours to fish here again”
Other comments included “A very poor day, I will not be coming again”, “very disappointing” and “the weed did not help at all” I don’t think any fishery manager in their right mind would hope for this sort of feedback, especially after removing 50000 tonnes of silt/rock in the last two years and spending £1000s on weed removal, not to mention the time involved. The most confusing comment was “Ranks as one of the worst 3+3 fishing days ever. No takes on all flies offered right across the spectrum. Plenty of fish, just not feeding, ran out of energy”
We have been in the grip of nearly constant high temperatures (both day & night) ranging from 20C to 30C during the last month with little in the way of rainfall. The resident Exe Valley fish farmer recently reported that the water temperature in the morning (23C) was several degrees warmer than the air temperature. In these circumstances the stock fish will often decline pellets so persuading them to take flies requires an element of thought. Right now the water temp is regularly 15C to 17C+
Why head to banks where the water has the least amount of movement and algae is on the surface when other areas are completely clear? Why use a sinking line when fish are rising? Why use a long leader and a very heavy goldhead in areas of weed? Why pull lures fast when the fish are visually lethargic? I could ask many other questions because the fact is many anglers are using the same old tactics in their usual favoured locations around the lake and expecting “miracles”.
This isn’t the case for all anglers such as Tom Butt, fishing the day after the barrage of negative comments. He managed 9 fish, all on tiny dry flies and filled in his return with “Brilliant day yet again” While a new regular John Morgan landed 8 saying “Thanks again – excellent day” Meanwhile Mr Honey might only have got a single fish but sensibly noted “nice fish observed, too HOT for them to feed”
Last year on June 29th I closed Anchor Lake and many asked why because they felt it remained in a fishable state, considering that it was summer. This summer I am happy to report that we are open and Anchor is looking better than ever for this time of year. It is not perfect and I continue to strive to improve the environment and fishing after it was neglected for in excess of 30 years. In fact just before typing up this post I got off the phone having discussed possibly aeration solutions and by next week I will have a new algae skimmer to add to the pond weed rakes and nets recently acquired.