Blog

29 June

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When the trout are rising close to the bank, use the rushes and ferns for cover.

This summary covers the last two weeks.

Members visited the lakes on 61 occasions and caught a total of 64 trout, one of which was 3lb 8ozs from Luffs. Fourteen fish were returned at Little Bognor.

Members visited the river on 20 occasions and caught 10 trout, 7 of which were returned. The river level has varied over the last week and the rain forecast for the next few days might cause further changes.

Successful flies were PTN, Grey Wulff, Montana and Black Gnat.

15 June

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The river was in perfect condition last week and trout could be found rising in the evening under the trees. They were very spooky and good presentation of the fly was essential. The water level was up a little but the slight colouration didn’t deter the fish from rising.

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Lakes – members visited the lakes on 32 occasions and caught 47 trout including 33 fish from Little Bognor, all of which were returned. Fish were rising well this evening at Little Bognor and were taking both buzzers and dry flies.

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River – a trout rose to take a sedge while I was admiring the view towards Perryfields Barn. The fish were rising freely but usually under the cover of the trees.

Members visited the river on 28 occasions and caught 20 trout, 17 of which were returned including 4 wild fish.

Successful flies this week were Klinkhammer, Daddy, GRHE, PTN, black buzzer and black nymph.

The recent rain and the rain forecast this week, should encourage sea trout to make their way up the river. Now is a good time to visit the Fish Pass.

8 June

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Brian Smart held a casting clinic last Tuesday, focusing on the roll cast and its variations. It was well attended and Brian gave lots of good advice.

The weather last week was better for fishing with a few overcast days and a chilly north wind to cool the lakes. Light overnight rain caused the river to rise slightly and hopefully encouraged a few sea trout to run.

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Lakes – members visited the lakes on 15 occasions and caught 14 trout mainly from Great Springs and Little Bognor. Lower water temperature and the overnight aeration should encourage the fish at Great Springs and Little Springs to feed and this is a good time to visit those lakes.

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River – members visited the river on 18 occasions and caught 16 trout, only two of which were killed. Three wild fish were caught. Popular flies were Mayfly, GRHE nymph, sedge and shrimp. Fish were rising from Keepers Bridge to Perryfields yesterday evening, taking midges and sedge under the trees.

The river is looking lovely and the water is perfect for dry fly. It is worth a visit just to experience the scenery around the water meadows.

 

1 June

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The very hot, bright weather made it difficult to find feeding fish. The cool breeze towards the end of the week made it a little easier, particularly in the evening. Mayfly were hatching along the river.

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Lakes – new aerators have been installed at Great Springs and Little Springs, they operate during the night.

Members visited the lakes on 39 occasions and caught 20 trout, 12 of which were returned. Fish were caught from every lake except Lower Figgs. Catch and release has been suspended at the rainbow lakes but continues at Little Bognor.

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River – members visited the river on 21 occasions and caught 19 trout, 18 of which were returned including 4 wild fish.

The gate at Kilsham Farm, giving access to Keepers Bridge and Taylors bridge, is shut and locked at 10:00pm, please ensure that you have left the river before then.

Members are reminded that dogs are not permitted at the river.

Please display the club stickers in your car when fishing.

26 May

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The extremely hot, bright weather and high winds on Friday made fishing difficult but late afternoon and early evening were productive. Mayfly are hatching along the river and midges are hatching in vast numbers at Little Bognor. A dry Mayfly in the evening on the river or a small buzzer just under the surface at Little Bognor should produce a fish or two.

Lakes – members visited the lakes on 72 occasions and caught 53 fish, 30 which were returned. Little Bognor produced 22 fish and 10 were caught at Luffs.

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River – Mayfly are hatching sporadically and fish are rising during the early evening. If you can find a rising fish and approach it quietly, there is a good chance that you will catch. The fish are very spooky and a stealthy approach is essential. Don’t wear a white shirt, don’t stand in full view of the fish or cast a shadow on the water. Keep the sun in your face, use the cover to conceal yourself and ‘rest’ the fish if it rejects your fly.

Members visited the river on 36 occasions and caught 26 fish, 23 of which were returned including 11 wild fish. Two of the wild fish were over 1lb.

Please email your catch returns to lfc@leconfieldestates.co.uk including nil returns as this helps with stocking.

18 May

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The featured image at the top of the page is a Mayfly Dun trapped in the surface film, it was a very windy day and some of the emerging flies were swamped. The image immediately above shows a Mayfly that managed to escape the surface film and is resting on a leaf.

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This female avoided the swallows and made it to the trees beside Little Springs. The empty nymph shucks are 3-4cm in length.

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This male spinner is resting on the electric fence at Rotherbridge. There was a good fall of spinners this evening.

Lakes – Wednesday was very cold and the north wind meant thick jumpers and heavy jackets. The Mayfly hatched from noon until early evening and the fish rose sporadically as the sun broke through the clouds. The weather improved throughout the week and there were good hatches of Mayfly and midges. There were a few Grannom at Little Bognor.

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Members visited the lakes on 35 occasions and caught 41 fish of which 30 were returned. Luffs produced the most fish. Popular flies were Pheasant Tail nymph, damsel nymph and dry Mayfly.

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River  – the river looked in perfect condition, the riverscape has changed due to the winter floods, particularly at Ladymead. The banks have been trimmed and some new access points made.

Members visited the river on 9 occasions and caught 8 fish including 6 wild trout. All of the fish were returned.

Leconfield Wildlife

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Fallow deer grazing on fallen chestnuts (NR)

The featured image at the top of the post shows five bucks feeding amongst the crops and was taken by Andrew Thompson (AT).

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Common Blue Damsel adult (NR)

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Male Mandarin duck (AT)

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Little Owl (AT)

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Common Blue Damsel nymph from Little Springs (NR)

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Honey bee in a wild rose beside the river (NR)

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Alder Fly at Keepers Bridge (NR)

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Mayfly – Male Spinner (NR)

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Mayfly – Female Dun (NR)

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Sussex cattle, they are ‘wild’ when I’m fishing ! (NR)

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Hover Fly (NR)

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Shrimps and Olive nymphs from a river kick sample (NR)

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Fallow bucks (NR)

23 March

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In view of the continuing worry about the Coronavirus, COVID-19 and the danger of club members touching multiple surfaces causing contamination, we have taken the decision to close all the fishing huts and also the catch return boxes. The lakes and ponds will remain open at present and we ask that you comply with the government guidelines regarding social distancing.

Please will all members record the following catch information and send this to the Estate Office via email to  lfc@leconfield.net.

  • Name and membership number
  • Confirmation of the pond/rivers visited
  • Date visited
  • A record of guests taken
  • Number of fish taken
  • Number of fish returned
  • Weight
  • Any Comments

 

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Lakes – since opening day members visited the lakes on 62 occasions and caught 161 trout. Fish were caught from every lake, the best fish weighing 12lb from Lower Figgs.

Of the 161 fish caught, 134 were returned including 2 wild fish from Little Bognor. Several fish over 3lbs were caught at Little Springs. Popular flies were GRHE, PTN and Black nymphs. Blue Flash Damsels were also successful.

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The Estate Office will communicate with members by email during the next few months.

David Taylor has created a club WhatsApp Group in order to share fishing tips, catch info and more. If you wish to join the group please contact David on mail@dataylor.co.uk or on 07535 679879 and he will add you to the Group.

 

February News

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The winter maintenance work on the lakes has revealed the depths of Little Springs, it is a lot deeper than I thought !

Great Springs and Lower  Figgs have also been drained so that the winter frosts kill the weed at its roots. The lakes are all filling up, the torrential rain over the weekend and the rain forecast for next weekend, should ensure that the lakes are full and allow plenty of time for the water to clear.

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The river is in flood and last years debris has been washed away. The contours of the river bed will have changed and the trout will have different lies.

The season opens on the river on Friday 3 April in accordance with the bylaws. The lakes open on Saturday 14 March.

Please ensure that you have the appropriate licence. You can buy a licence at the Post Office or online at the address below . . .

https://get-fishing-licence.service.gov.uk/buy/licence-length

 

 

Catch and Release

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A catch and release trial was introduced  on the lakes at Little Bognor at the start of the 2018 season. It was very popular with the members and the trial was extended to the other lakes at the start of the 2019 season.

Catch and release provides members with very flexible fishing. Members have the option of keeping brown or rainbow trout for dinner or the pleasure of seeing a fish swim away from the landing net.

The catch return on stocking for the lakes last season was 132%. I was a record year on the lakes despite the extreme weather. Catch and release will continue on the lakes during the 2020 season and the rules will remain the same. Catch and release will also continue on the river.

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Catch and Release Rules

If you wish to return trout to the lakes, barbless or de-barbed hooks are mandatory. Wild brown trout must be returned to the lakes at Little Bognor. If you intend to retain your fish, barbed hooks are permitted.

When fishing the river barbless or de-barbed hooks are compulsory in order to protect the wild brown trout, sea trout smolts and returning adult sea trout.

The spring fed lakes at Little Bognor and the river are suited to catch and release as they are cool throughout the summer. However, catch and release will be suspended if there are fish deaths due to high water temperature or poor fish handling.

Occasionally the fish become difficult to catch but regular stocking will ensure that there are always fresh fish available.

None of the rainbow lakes are spring fed to the same extent as Little Bognor. The water temperature at the bottom of Great Springs reached 25 degrees at the height of last summer. Catch and release throughout the season is therefore not an option on the rainbow lakes. Catch and release will be allowed on the rainbow lakes only at the start of the season and again at the end of the season if the conditions are right. The dates will be circulated to members by email and on the website. Notices will also be displayed in the fishing huts. The flies on sale at Great Springs will be barbless.

 

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Fish Handling

After hooking a trout play it out quickly and use a landing net with a fine knotless mesh. If possible do not touch the fish, barbless hooks normally drop out once the line is slack. If necessary, use forceps to remove hooks. 

If you must handle the fish, use wet hands. Release it from the landing net. That will enable you to nurse the fish until it can maintain an upright position and swim out of the net unaided. It might take a few minutes for the fish to fully recover. Do not return exhausted or bleeding fish, they may swim away but will die later.

Use a landing net with a long handle so that you can easily reach the water. A pan shaped net prevents the fish from tangling in the mesh, to remain upright and to swim away over the rim of the net.

Don’t take a photo of a trout if you intend to return it. It should be released without delay.

The Wild Trout Trust gives advice on catch and release . . .

https://www.wildtrout.org/content/catch-and-release