11 May

Changeable weather

Lakes – members visited the lakes on 90 occasions and caught a total of 140 trout, 105 of which were returned. Most fish were caught at Luffs including one at 6lbs. A wide variety of flies caught fish including Mayfly nymphs and dry flies. A 4lb trout was caught at Little Springs and a 5lb brownie was captured at Little Bognor.

The Mayfly hatch should be at its peak at the lakes next week and it would be worthwhile persevering with a dry fly.

GRHE weighted nymph fished deep

River – members visited the river on 6 occasions and caught 5 trout, 4 of which were returned. Fishing a weighted nymph under trees and alongside weedbeds should produce a fish or two. Mayflies should start to hatch on the river next week, the hatch on the river lags the hatch at the lakes.

4 May

Sunrise at Keepers Bridge sent in by a member

River – members visited the river on 9 occasions and caught 6 trout including a sea trout smolt and a wild brownie. The biggest fish was 3lb. Fishing a nymph, deep near the weed beds, is the best approach until flies start to hatch regularly.

sunrise at the river sent in by a member
Mayfly at Great Springs on 5 May

Lakes – members visited the lakes on 42 occasions and caught 110 trout, 87 of which were returned. Great Springs produced fish of 4lbs, 5lbs and 6lbs. Fish of 5lb were also caught at Little Springs and Lower Figgs.

Mayfly were hatching at Great Springs and Little Springs this afternoon. The fish were rising well to dry flies and were also taking nymphs just under the surface.

26 April

Below Rotherbridge 23 April

River – members visited the river on 8 occasions and caught 4 trout all of which were returned.

The warm weather during April and the lengthening daylight hours, will encourage the Mayfly to hatch at Little Springs in the next few days.

Mayfly- male spinner

Each year I record in my diary the date that I see the first Mayfly. Last year lockdown prevented me from fishing until 13 May, by that time the main hatch was well underway.

The water temperature at Little Springs rises quickly and this is where I have seen my first Mayfly each year for the last four years; 2019 – 29 April, 2018 – 3 May and 2017 – 1 May.

Lakes – members visited the lakes on 51 occasions and caught 64 trout, 46 of which were returned. Two four-pounders were caught at Great Springs. Fish were caught at all of the lakes except Lower Figgs. Successful flies were Mayfly Nymph, Montana, Blue Flash Damsel. A variety of nymphs and dry flies caught fish at Little Bognor.

20 April

Lakes – members visited the lakes on 61 occasions and caught a total of 111 trout, 86 of which were returned. A fish of 10lbs was caught at Great Springs together with a trout of 4lbs 12ozs. A 4lb trout was caught at Luffs and two fish at 3lbs 8ozs were caught from the top lake at Little Bognor.

A wide variety of flies were successful; Gold Head Montana, GRHE with a tungsten bead, Mayfly nymph, PTN and Black and Red Booby.

Rotherbridge – misty sunrise

River – members visited the river on 5 occasions, one fish was caught from the bottom Beat. The recent warm weather should encourage the trout to move and next week should be more productive.

12 April

Beat B

Lakes – members visited the lakes on 58 occasions and caught a total of 91 trout, 73 of which were returned. A trout of 4lb was caught at Little Springs. Half of the fish caught were from Great Springs and Little Springs. The usual variety of flies appeared in the returns; Blue Flash Damsel, Black Spider, GRHE, buzzers and Adams.

Little Springs

River – members visited the river on 9 occasions and caught a total of 3 fish, two of which were sea trout smolts.

Nymphs

A lot of the trout in the lakes have been caught and released, they are starting to shy away from big flashy flies. Nymphs or buzzers fished near the surface are more likely to succeed.

Sea trout smolts can be identified from their silvery appearance and eyes that are slightly larger than a resident brown trout. These fish, nearly all females, are migrating downstream to the sea to feed, they will return as mature sea trout.

If a smolt is caught by accident, sea trout are out of season in the Southern bylaw region until 30 April, it must be returned immediately without being handled. Slip the barbless hook out of the fish and return it from the landing net after giving it time to recover. Sea trout smolts fight above their weight and might need a few minutes to recover. These small sea trout are future 10lb-ers.

6 April

Little Springs

Lakes – members visited the lakes on 57 occasions and caught a total of 117 trout, 90 of which were returned. Ice in the rod rings at 6:30am today didn’t prevent a member from catching a trout at Lower Figgs.

Cold morning

The strong, very cold north-west wind made the fishing difficult but two trout over 4lbs were caught at Great Springs and fish of 8lb and 6lb were caught at Luffs.

a good brown trout

The top lake at Little Bognor produced more fish than the lower lake.

top lake at Little Bognor

River – members fished the river on 3 occasions and one fish was caught at the Fish Pass. The water level is slightly higher than normal and the water has a green tint but is fishable. The fish were rising at the New Riffle and taking terrestrial flies blown on to the water by the strong winds.

1 April

safe in the net . .

Lakes – members visited the lakes on 67 occasions and caught a total of 165 trout, which was a very good result. Fish were caught at all the lakes and 124 were returned. All of the trout caught at Little Bognor were returned which is good to see. The biggest fish of the week was 5lb 12ozs, caught at Little Springs. Two 4lb trout were caught at Great Springs and Luffs produced a 5lb fish.

A wide variety of flies produced fish including the Blue Flash Damsel and the GRHE. Fish were moving well at Little Springs this afternoon and were feeding just under the surface.

River – the season opens on Saturday and the river is looking very good. The water level is slightly higher than normal but the water is not coloured. There is a good chance of an overwintered fish this weekend.

22 March

Little Bognor

Lakes – Members visited the lakes on 86 occasions and caught a total of 202 trout, 147 of which were returned. A very good start to the season. Little Springs produced most of the fish. 12 wild fish were caught at Little Bognor.

Seven trout over 3.5lbs were caught, the biggest was 5lbs. The stand out fly was the Blue Flash Damsel. Other flies; Gold Bead Montana, Black Tadpole and Black Spider were also successful.

Tadpole imitations should be successful for the next few weeks !

The New Riffle

River – The Rother water level has dropped and everything is looking good for the opening of the season on 3 April.

13 March – Opening Day

Several members braved the cold winds and found plenty of trout at Little Springs. Montana and blue flash damsel were successful flies with members catching 6 or 7 fish each.

The traditional Tuesday Club gathering for lunch at the hut has been postponed until after 29 March when groups of six members can meet outside.

Luffs was a little coloured and strong winds made the fishing difficult.

February floods

The river season opens on 3 April. The river is flooded at the moment but hopefully the rain will ease and the water level will drop.

photos – Andrew Thompson

5 December

A nice fish from the Rother

This report covers the last two weeks of the season.

Week ending 23 November

Members visited the lakes on 21 occasions and caught a total of 16 fish, 9 of which were returned.

A junior member caught fish of 5lbs and 6lbs from Great Springs and returned both fish, well done !

2 wild fish were caught at Little Bognor, one weighed 1lb and the other was 4ozs which indicates that the trout are successfully spawning in the stream between the two lakes.

The river was closed during November

Week ending 30 November

Members visited the lakes on 42 occasions and caught 20 trout, 16 of which were returned. Four fish over 4lbs were caught and 1 over 3lbs.

It was an unusual season but some excellent fishing, both on the Rother and the lakes, at the end of the season compensated for the brief interruption to our sport.