• Lakedown Trout Fishery

    Keith Lyne Fur & Feather Trophy 4th December 2021 · Report by Graham Morgan Plumb

    Nineteen anglers attended this year’s Fur & Feather at the picturesque Lakedown Fishery. The day dawned wet and cold but as breakfast rolls and tea and coffee were consumed, the sun started to show and we were promised a good day

    Number one lake had not yet filled following a recent de-silting exercise which resulted in some 900 tons of mud being removed from the lake. However, we were informed by Ted that the remaining three lakes were in good form and had recently been stocked. And so it proved to be

    Jamie was keen that we fished all three lakes and generously offered that if we bought a four fish ticket and attempted to fish all three lakes, it would include a fifth fish free

    After the walk-off, anglers headed off with a mixture of lines and flies although the ubiquitous Cats Whiskers and Blue-Flash Damsels were evident on a number of rods

    Some anglers found the depth and location quickly and it was not long before the sound of fish being brought to the net was heard around the fishery. It soon become evident that the greatest success was being had on lakes two and three although lake four was not neglected

    Fishing finished at 13:30 with several anglers catching their limit before then

    Following the weigh-in, it was pleasing to see that no-one had blanked and that some large fish has been caught including am impressive brown at 8lb 1oz by James Gardner and a slab of a rainbow at 6lb by John Dunmall

    The usual raffle was held and raised a commendable £190. This was followed by a delicious lunch prepared by Cathy and helpers, of Chilli or Chicken Curry, followed by Sticky Toffee Pudding. This was complemented by some fine ales from the Lakedown tap room. Just what was required after a brisk morning’s winter fishing

    The results of the day were:

    • 1. James Gardner - 17lb 1oz
    • 2. Ian Watts - 11lb 5oz
    • 3. Ron Lewis and John Dunmall - 11lb 0oz
    • 5. Micky Heasman - 10lb 8oz
    • 6. Nick Cox - 10lb 4oz

    Best fish was won by James Gardner with his 8lb 1oz Brown

    A total of 83 fish were caught giving a notable rod average of 4.37

    Many Thanks to Ted and Jamie for hosting the event and providing the top bag and best fish prizes, and a special thanks for Cathy and helpers for once again providing superb catering

    Merry Christmas and a peaceful and successful New Year

  • Chalybeate Springs

    Reg Littlechild Memorial Trophy 21st November 2021 · Report by Micky Heasman

    Eleven Society anglers ventured out to Chalybeate Springs trout fishery for the annual Reg Littlechild Memorial Trophy. For those that may not have known Reg, he was a keen fly fisherman, a valued and much loved member of TWFFS, cheeky with a pint of ale in his hand (like many of the TWFFS members) and a passionate supporter of Hospice in the Weald. Funds raised on the day are donated to the Hospice in the Weald charity

    The day started with our usual breakfast rolls made for us by the wonderful Cathy along with hot teas and coffees from Cathy's kitchen assistant and fishery manager Jim Streeter. Weather forecast for the day was dry with bright sun giving way to cloud later on. Best fishing at Chalybeate is often had in the morning and so it proved once again

    Swims were drawn from a hat and each angler had 45 minutes on each swim and then on the sound of a whistle moved to the next allotted swim

    Martyn Gray was first into a fish on his second cast closely followed by Simon Gregory and then Mark Tremain-Coker: were we all in for a productive day? Answer - not for all. Favourites for the day Ray Burt and Ian Watts began to stir and bring fish to the net regularly. Simon Gregory would have been right with them but unfortunately lost two fish. Then Nick Cox got going and started to chase the leading two: could he come through on the inside rails? Patterns that worked were lures with long tails but this meant lots of pulls but no hook-ups - shorten the tail and no takes. Patience and a mixed retrieve required

    Only Ray, Ian and Nick were able to land a full bag of 3 fish taken plus 2 released the next best was Mark Tremain-Coker with 3 taken and 1 released

    Fishing aside, we also had some fund-raising to do and with a good supply of donated raffle prizes we managed to raise a healthy £105 for the hospice. My thanks to all on the day

    Final Results:

    • 1. Ray Burt - 5 Fish - 11lb 6oz
    • 2. Ian Watts - 5 Fish - 10lb 10oz
    • 3. Nick Cox - 5 Fish - 9lb 6oz
    • 4. Mark Tremain-Coker - 4 Fish - 8lb 5oz
    • 5. Neil Osmond - 3 Fish - 6lb 0oz
    • 6. Russell Bell – 2 Fish – 5lb 4oz

    Remaining 5 participants gained 2 Championship points each (Micky Heasman, Simon Gregory, John Dunmall, Alastair Garner, Martyn Gray)

    Congratulations to Ray Burt on winning the Reg Littlechild Memorial Trophy

  • Elinor

    6th Nvember 2021 · Report by Russell Bell

    Seven members ventured north on a blustery day and following a healthy breakfast at Cambridge set off for a day on one of our favourite fisheries

    The early strong breeze soon picked up into a healthy gale heading straight down the lake towards the dam

    These conditions didn’t let up at all during the day so there was little advantage fishing from either bank, but special mention does need to go to Keith Lawrence for fishing from the dam for most of the morning straight into the weather. By lunchtime John Dunmall was leading the way with four fish (which led to controversy later!) and we were able to exchange notes with our friends from Invicta who were struggling as much as we were with the conditions

    In the afternoon, rain arrived with the wind, and catching didn’t get any easier, but by the end of the day a fair few had been caught. As we were fishing C & R and had a couple of ties, after some lively debate it was agreed that we would apply some sort of time bonus, with early fish counted for more, so the final result was:

    • 1. John Dunmall - 4 morning fish
    • 2. Ian Watts - 2 morning and 2 afternoon fish
    • 3. Russell Bell - 3 morning fish
    • 4. Mark Tremain Coker - 2 morning and 1 afternoon fish
    • 5. Graham Morgan Plumb - 2 morning fish
    • 6. Keith Lawrence - 1 morning fish
    • 7. Alastair Garner - 0 fish

    With 4 members staying over to fish the following day, we adjourned to Thrapston for a few beers and an excellent curry which was needed to survive 3-5 foot waves and few fish on Grafham

  • Bewl Water (Boat)

    14th November 2021 · Report by Graham Morgan Plumb

    Seven members fished the last scheduled boat day of the season. Inspired by recent reports that the fishing at Bewl had improved over recent days, expectations were high with a hope that the lean days of the Grand Max were well and truly in the past. And so it proved to be – for some!

    The format was agreed as being catch and release with the time of the first fish being the decider in the event of a tie. At the off, three of our four boats headed for the main bowl with the remainder heading down Rosemary Lane

    The conditions were good – light cloud, gentle winds and a gentle ripple

    At the lunch-time break, it was soon evident that one angler – Nick Cox, had cracked it whilst the rest of struggled to varying degrees. Indeed, some of us, who were less than successful, did wonder whether we had been fishing the same lake as Nick with his talk of pulls, tugs, follows, swirls and fish!

    After lunch we all settled in the main bowl drifting off the dam. Washing line with bobbies and nymphs proved to be the most successful method with fish being caught in the top foot of water

    By the regularity of his rod bending, it was clear that Nick was continuing to lead the way

    At the end of the day the scores on the doors were:

    • 1. Nick Cox - 13 fish
    • 2. James Dench - 3 fish (first fish caught at 09:30)
    • 3. Ian Watts - 3 fish (first fish caught at 10:00)
    • 4. Alastair Garner - 3 fish (first fish caught at 11:00)
    • 5. Graham Morgan Plumb - 2 fish
    • 6. Gary Collins - 1 fish
    • 7. John Dunmall - 0 fish

    The fact that Nick caught more fish than the rest of us combined, was not lost

    Well done Mr Cox

  • Brick Farm

    6th October 2021 · Report by Andy Stoner

    Six members attended this mid-week event. The majority decided to go for a four-fish ticket and also bacon and egg rolls for breakfast and cake in the afternoon. The weather was fine and sunny with a north-easterly wind, strong at times

    Buster Heasman had a good morning with two fish in two casts on a Montana Nymph but had to leave early, hoping to return later. Paul Osborne broke his duck and ended the day with two fish and had the biggest fish weighing in at 3lb. Russell Bell tried to do the four-lake challenge and ended the day with four fish but not necessarily from the four individual lakes. Ray Burt ended with four fish and the organiser, who was late arriving, had one fish. Dave Crouch had a challenging day, unfortunately not catching a fish

    Most fish came out of Brick Lake and popular patterns were Cat’s Whisker, Black & Green variants and Diawl Bachs

    Many thanks to Danni and the team at Brick Farm for providing a lovely fishery with excellent facilities

  • Bewl Water

    Boat Pairs Competition 10th October 2021 · Report by Russell Bell

    With fishing reports varying from “rock hard” to “no fish” it took a fair amount of courage to decide against a drive to Draycote, but 8 brave members decided to stick it out, and were they happy they did? Well read on ...

    While weather forecasts had predicted sunny intervals, we were faced with a persistent mist and no wind with little ripple except that created by a rowing competition taking up most of Bewl Straight. When a breeze did pick up it was a cool northerly which then developed into a light “mizzle” which didn’t even have the energy to turn into real rain

    The fish were similarly lethargic, and although some were showing on the surface and could be encouraged to think about the occasional follow, very few were interested in taking a fly. So by lunchtime 7 fish had been caught and a few lost with Mr Priest claiming as usual to have lost a monster which would have won the competition outright, the only other highlight being Keith Lawrence’s triple up of bream!

    Having exchanged a bit of information (with several eyes on the forthcoming Grand Max) back to work we went, but things didn’t get any easier. The Cox/Lawrence boat was the only one to add to their lunchtime score with 2 more fish, unless you count Ian Watts’ micro-catch on the reel-in at 4.30 which wouldn’t even have passed as a TWFFS “keeper” on Corrib

    The weigh-in didn’t take long and thanks to Peter’s electronic scales the following result was announced:

    • First place with 5 fish Nick Cox and Keith Lawrence
    • Equal second place both boats with 2 fish at 4lbs 2oz exactly:
    • Mick Priest and Dave Crouch
    • John Dunmall and Russell Bell

    And so to the Brown Trout where further information was exchanged, especially from the landlord who seriously doubted if the lake was being stocked. We’ll find out at the Grand Max next week!

  • Lakedown Trout Fishery

    18th September 2021 · Report by Neil Osmond

    A good Saturday turnout saw ten members fishing this very agreeable fishery (with added Tap Room ... more of that later)

    The weather was hot and sunny with little breeze resulting in challenging fishing conditions. We opted for a four fish ticket but by close of day only Russell and Ray had managed to bag up, the remainder of us having to be content with one or two fish each. The fly of choice was Cat’s Whisker with gold bead fished on either a floating or slow intermediate line. Russell, being the first to identify the fly, magnanimously (some may say foolishly) shared this nugget of information with Ray who then proceeded to catch his four fish in short order! That said, Russell did land a very commendable 5lb (52 cm) fish putting him in contention for the Rainbow Shield. Ray also landed a 5lb Rainbow and, with an overall bag weight of 12lb, took first place, closely followed by Russell

    And so onto the new Tap Room (the refurbished Fishing Lodge): the overriding consensus was that the Lakedown beer was of a high standard and very welcome after a challenging morning’s fishing. So well was the beer received there was a danger of several members not returning from lunch to fish in the afternoon! Note - anyone fishing gets a 10% discount on the beer

    Hopefully when we return on the 16th October for the Fidelity International Fundraising Day the weather will have cooled somewhat and the fishing will be a little easier (and the beer just as well received). Well done to all who took part, a very enjoyable, sociable day


    • 1. Ray Burt - 4 fish 12lb
    • 2. Russell Bell - 4 fish 10lb 8oz
    • 3. Dave Crouch - 2 fish 4lb 3oz
    • 4. Keith Lawrence - 2 fish 4lb
    • 5. April Heasman - 2 fish 3lb 8oz
    • 6. Mick Priest - 1 fish 3lb
    • 7. Peter Thomason - 1 fish 2lb 6oz
    • 8. Micky Heasman - 1 fish 2lb
    • 9. James Dench - 1 fish 2lb
    • 10. Neil Osmond - 1 fish 2lb
  • Brick Farm Fishery

    TWFFS 30th Anniversary Celebration 11th September 2021 · Report by Peter Thomason

    Despite the delay of Covid restrictions, this celebration of the founding of the Tunbridge Wells Fly Fishing Society by a group of ten friends in 1991 was enjoyed in a manner which our founders would have thoroughly approved. Happily, three of our remaining founders were able to be present on the day

    An outstanding turnout of 32 members enjoyed the fishing and excellent hospitality and catering provided for this exclusive event. In addition we were delighted to have the company of Harry Collins, our specially invited guest whose support and generosity over many years has been instrumental in the Society’s successes in many competitions. Having the entire fishery to ourselves allowed plenty of choice and room when fishing commenced after hearty breakfast rolls and the tea and coffee which remained on tap all day

    The majority opted to fish either Brick Lake or Spring Lake, the two larger lakes of this complex and a few fish quickly came to the net. However, warm water and intermittent sunshine made the fish quite wary. Although experiment and persistence brought some rewards, catches were hard won with a total of 44 fish being taken, averaging 1.4 fish per angler. Most success was had by fishing Hopper patterns either dry or just under the surface

    The work of the morning was eased by a break for coffee and a selection of delicious home-made cakes and then it was back to work fishing until a late lunch of curry or chilli followed by a dessert of brownies and ice cream. Catches were weighed and recorded before lunch

    As master of ceremonies for the day, our Chairman gave an enthusiastic appreciation of the foresight of our founder members in establishing what has continued to be a highly successful fishing society: successful in maintaining the original aims of camaraderie and the development of skills for all its members. In gratitude and to mark the anniversary, a special presentation of bottles of rare port in commemorative engraved boxes was made to Ron Lewis, Keith Nicholson and Mick Priest, our three founders fishing the event. Similar presentations will be made at a later date to the two remaining founders who where not able to be present: Garry Growns and Andy Sawyer

    An impressive raffle, made possible by the donation of prizes by many of those fishing and by Brick Farm and Bewl Water, raised over £400 and thanks are due to all who contributed prizes and all who purchased tickets

    Prizes were awarded for the best bag and for the biggest fish:

    • Best bag – Ray Burt, with the only four-fish limit weighing in at 7lb 12oz. The prize was a voucher donated by Bewl Water for a day’s boat fishing for two anglers
    • Biggest fish – Micky Heasman with a very impressive brown trout of 6lb 12oz. The prize was a voucher donated by Brick Farm for a four-fish ticket

    Congratulations are due to both for remarkable results on a difficult day

    Thanks are due to Brick Farm for their highly efficient organisation, their warm welcome and their admirable catering

    Finally, thanks are due to our Committee for organising a very fitting celebration for this anniversary and once again gratitude is due to our founders for establishing a lasting legacy of fishing and friendship


  • Elphicks Fishery

    18th August 2021 · Report by Peter Thomason

    An exceptional number of 14 members attended this mid-week event which was held at one of Kent’s premier carp fisheries. For some, this was their first experience of fly fishing for carp and although the fish proved wary of consistent surface feeding, there was sufficient activity to provide good sport for most anglers. Those who are gaining experience (and bigger landing nets!) were available to advise newcomers to this interesting branch of fly fishing

    In the complex of waters at this fishery, we were allocated Kettles Lake which is sufficiently open to allow fly casting. The usual mixture of dog and cat biscuits were used to entice the fish to surface feeding and a variety of biscuit fly imitations were used to tempt them onto the hook. The most successful being Fulling Mill’s Disco pattern which can be bought or quite easily “tied” with techniques more akin to model-making than traditional fly tying. Despite a degree of reluctance to feed consistently, good numbers of very good quality fish were taken. The best catch of the day went to Richard Denney Jnr with eight fish, the best weighing 22 lb. The heaviest fish of the day was caught by one of our junior members – James Constantine, and weighed in at a splendid 23 lb 8 oz – a great achievement. Well done James!

    Others in the party achieved personal best weights for carp with a grand total of 38 fish coming to the net and a few more lost

    The day was enhanced by breakfasts and lunches at the well-appointed fishery cafeteria and the indulgence in ice-creams for some in the afternoon. A raffle raised a very creditable £53 for Society funds. A very enjoyable day!

    We can recommend this to all our members seeking alternative sport during the usual summer lull in trout-fishing. It may seem a long way from Redmire and Clarissa the celebrated record carp of those days but I feel Dick Walker would have approved our uncomplicated approach to carp catching

  • Pitsford Reservoir

    26th June 2021 · Report by Ian Watts

    Four socially distanced TWFFS members arrived at Pitsford in perfect fishing conditions on a cloudy and windy Saturday morning to be greeted by the Ranger, Mark Mathieson, who dramatically stated that the fishing was worse than rubbish! As it turned out, it was for two but not for the other pair!

    Nick Cox fished with Alastair Garner and John Dunmall partnered Ian Watts

    Nick had fished Pitsford once; Ian, a few times and John and Alastair were newcomers to the delights of Pitsford in the height of summer. Nick and Alastair headed for the dam where the recent stocking went in, Ian and John started in The Narrows where the resident bigger fish had been caught in recent weeks

    Nick and Alastair started to catch fish. Ian and John used floating lines in The Narrows to fish 4 buzzers, 25-30 ft deep but no fish were in evidence and after a few hours moved over to the Sailing Club. Some fish were moving up the wind and Ian hooked two but lost them at the net, loudly blaming barbless hooks for his ineptitude! Nick and Alastair continued to catch fish!

    Clutching at straws, John mentioned that he had watched a video by Leigh Pond who suggested the fish were recently in Brixworth Bay but after only a few takes, nothing was in the boat and it was now 12.30! The desperate pair made the decision to join Nick and Alastair at the dam. Drifting to the left side of the Boils, brought the first fish to their boat at 12.50!

    Lunch was held on the bank at The Pines at 13:00, where a wickedly grinning Nick had caught eleven, a buoyant Alastair five, a relieved Ian one and a very miserable John nil. ( Nick! Grinning? Unbelievable! -Ed)

    With the sky brightening and the sun now out for long periods, both boats stayed in the vicinity of the dam for the rest of the afternoon. Nick, Alastair and now Ian, started to catch more fish!

    At finish, Nick had 13, Alastair 11, Ian 5 and unluckily for John 0

    It was a great effort by Nick and Alastair, who in difficult fishing conditions used slow intermediates with nymphs and blobs to catch consistently throughout the day. Traditionalists, Ian and John, used nymphs on floating lines to little effect!

    On leaving Pitsford, a relieved Ranger, Mark Mathieson, congratulated the TWFFS anglers on a fine performance in very challenging conditions. (Is Mark relieved because the TWFFS visit significantly increased his weekly rod average? -Ed)

    This was a Championship event and the following points were achieved:

    • 1. Nick Cox – 12 points
    • 2. Alastair Garner – 10 points
    • 3. Ian Watts – 8 points
    • 4. John Dunmall – 2 points (although fourth place, it is necessary to catch fish to gain any points in addition to those awarded for participating)
  • Bewl Water (boat)

    Corrib Cup 13th June 2021 · Report by Russell Bell

    The Water Park was full of kids, the banks populated by dogwalkers, cyclists, picnickers and general sunseekers and Bewl was looking fantastic in full June sunshine.

    So it was with a good deal of trepidation that 12 brave members gathered for the off at 9am with the heat already building

    Fortunately Ian Watts had been out for several practice days and others had good returns at the Bewl Club’s boat competition the previous week so most headed for the top of Hook Strait where there were plenty of fish but few of them co-operative

    On returning to the main bowl, fish were seen moving in pods just sub-surface and feeding strongly on jelly fry but very reluctant to look at anything else no matter what was cast in front of them

    The net result was an extraordinary return with 10 members catching one fish each. The weigh-in was even more interesting as Bewl has removed the scales from outside the lodge, so we had to resort to a Top Gear style league table of fish laid out to determine size and weight. As you’d expect this resulted in much heated debate, a lot of fish shuffling as late arrivers contributed and a pretty dodgy record of the results below the first two places!

    The whole process made the beers at the Brown Trout all the more welcome

    Fortunately there was little doubt that Richard had the best fish and Ian the second, so the results for the day subject to any further appeals are as follows:

    • 1. Richard Denney – 1 fish
    • 2. Ian Watts – 1 fish
    • 3. James Dench - 1 fish each
    •      Alistair Garner
    •      Nick Cox
    •      Peter Thomason
    •      Russell Bell
    • 8. Ray French - 1 fish
    • 9. Graham Morgan Plumb - 1 fish
    • 10. John Dunmall – 1 fish
    • 11. Mick Priest
    •      Dave Crouch
  • Lakedown Trout Fishery

    9th June 2021 · Report by Peter Thomason

    A good mid-week turnout saw 7 members fishing this very pleasant fishery. On early arrival we learned that recent warm weather had made the fishing harder and intermediate or sinking lines were recommended rather than the usual floating lines for this fishery. The group opted for four fish tickets and Mick Priest and Peter Thomason managed to bag up. Others had to work harder for one or two fish and there were a couple of blanks. Successful methods included weighted damsel patterns fished slowly on intermediate lines and (shock horror!) deer hair flies fished very slowly on fast sinking lines. The total catch was 12 fish but all were hard fighting, good conditioned fish

    As is usual, we were made very welcome and look forward to our next event here on 18th September

  • Brick Farm Fishery

    5th June 2021 · Report by Russell Bell

    Four members were due to take to the M4 for the journey down to Blagdon but unfortunately unforeseen injuries depleted numbers further. An executive decision was therefore made to move the venue nearer to home, so Russell and Graham took the A22 instead to visit Brick Farm at Herstmonceux which gave us the opportunity to check on arrangements for our summer event on 11 September

    With hot, breezy conditions prevailing, the fishing wasn’t easy but with clouds of blue damsels covering the water there was always hope. Graham kicked off with a good fish on Brick Lake while Russell went to the dark side on Spring Lake. The great thing about Brick Farm is the ability to move from one lake to the other quite easily with different conditions and methods to be used on each

    Fishing got tougher as the day progressed and the heat intensified, so by 4 o’clock we decided to adjourn to the lodge for a couple of very welcome cool beers before we headed home

    The result in this competition event was:

    • Graham 3 fish for 7lbs 4oz – 12 Championship points
    • Russell 2 fish for 5lbs 2oz – 10 Championship points
  • Chalybeate Springs Trout Fishery

    Pairs Challenge Round I 29th May 2021 · Report by Scott Benton

    There was a very good turn out on the day with nine pairs entering the friendly competition

    Breakfast rolls were enjoyed by all and paid for by the club

    Weather conditions were mainly bright with the occasional cloud and the temperature was warm

    The fishing was extremely tough with none of the competitors able to reach their catch limit. 14 fish were caught in total

    • 1 - Andy Stoner & Jim Streeter - 3 fish
    • 2 - Keith Nicholson & Peter Thomason - 3 fish
    • 3 - Mick Priest & Scott Benton - 3 fish
    • 4 - Steve Collins & Gavin Swain - 2 fish
    • 5 - Micky Heasman & Jo - 1 fish
    • 6 - Keith Lawrence & April Heasman - 1 fish
    • 7 - Eddie Benton & James Constantine - 1 fish
    • 8 - Mike O’Loan & James Collins - 0 fish
    • 9 - Ray Burt & Martyn Gray - 0 fish
  • Chigboro Fishery

    22nd May 2021 · Report by Peter Thomason

    Just two of us (Keith Nicholson and me) fished this event, which means that others missed a great day’s fishing on this enjoyable and productive fishery. On arrival, the water in both lakes was clear, there was good cloud cover and a moderate breeze – all boding well for a good day. We started fishing on Rook Hall, the smaller of the two lakes, both fishing with floating lines and teams of Buzzers (a successful method on previous visits). I was soon into a fish which was fit and fought well. Although there were a few more takes, fish were seen near the surface and a change to fishing Buzzers and Diawl Bachs on the “washing line” with a small Booby on the point quickly brought more fish although Keith was finding fewer until he changed to fishing a single small dry fly – initially a Crippled Midge and then Shuttlecock Cul de Canard patterns which were easier to see in the ripple. By lunchtime, I had changed to the dries and then we retired to the comfortable fishing lodge with the scores at 12 to me and 4 to Keith

    The afternoon session was fished on the larger Home Water and Keith quickly caught up by initially staying with the dries and then spotting pods of fish, attacking them with flies that appealed to their more aggressive and competitive natures. I stuck with the dries and had two more fish. The day ended in a draw with 14 fish each, all returned to the water. More fish were hooked but lost and we were kept busy all the time. In between takes, there was plenty to enjoy with the numbers of wildfowl with their broods of ducklings and goslings

    Altogether, a very enjoyable day. This is an excellent fishery which allows catch and release fishing at a very reasonable cost of £26. The fish are fit and in good condition with numbers of blue trout. We look forward to the Society’s next visit which is scheduled for 29 September

    As this was a Championship event and a draw, the points for first and second place were combined and divided between the two of us at 11 points each

  • Lakedown Trout Fishery

    19th May 2021 · Report by Micky Heasman

    Headline News - TWFFS Members continue their great form after Covid Lockdown!

    Twelve Society members attended this mid-week Lakedown event. Conditions looked to be perfect with cloud cover and a light breeze and once again we were well looked after by Jamie, Ted and of course Cathy who provided our breakfast rolls, teas/coffees and the famous lemon drizzle cake

    Ted briefed us to use good strong leaders as there were some good fish to be found. Once again all of the lakes produced quality hard-fighting fish

    All the attending anglers caught fish with most getting at least 3 fish. The lakes looked stunning in the spring sunshine and it was lovely to see Mayfly coming off

    The star of the day has to be new member Buster Heasman following on from big fish hunters Micky Priest and Cane Lawrence who had both caught 5lb plus rainbow trout at other TWFFS outings, Buster had to go better - fishing on Lake 3 with a goldhead Dawson’s Olive he hooked into what initially looked like a good fish which then turned into 'that's a bloody good fish' when it travelled in front of us in the crystal clear water. Buster stayed patient and played the fish very well until it was ready to come to the net. I estimated it to be six or seven pounds on first look – an underestimation, as it turned out. It tipped the scales at a wonderful 8lb 4oz - well done Buster! He had already landed a very nice 3lb 4oz fish earlier in the morning

    Altogether we managed to land 41 fish - which was a fabulous return. Several of which were over 3lb. Dave Crouch landed a cracking 4lb fish and of course the 8lb 4oz mentioned earlier

    A special mention for April Heasman who's casting is improving all the time with some casting tuition kindly offered by Ted which was topped off with a nice fish caught that snaffled a Cat’s Whisker on Lake 2 - well done April!

    A fabulous day enjoyed by all

  • Bewl Water

    16th May 2021 · Report by Graham Morgan Plumb

    Eleven members risked the rather gloomy weather forecast to fish on what turned out to be a very quiet day in terms of fishing pressure at Bewl Water. New member John Dunmall was welcomed to the Society and following a draw for boat partners, the flotilla set sail. The majority of boats headed for the dam and main bowl whilst others settled for Bewl Strait. Although the day started fairly settled, a series of cold and windy squalls blowing down the lake soon dispelled any fantasy of a warm spring day

    The fish did not seem to mind though and it soon became evident that we were in for a good day. A stop for lunch and a chance to shelter from the chill wind and chat with club mates brought confirmation that fish were to be found off the dam and into the main bowl. Bewl Strait and Rosemary Lane proving much harder fishing. Fabs, Boobies and Cormorants fished on a floating, midge-tip or intermediate line were proving to be the most successful fish attractors

    The afternoon proceeded as per the morning – a chill wind, cold rain and obliging fish (sometimes). Eighty-eight trout were caught by eleven anglers giving a rod average of eight. The individuals scores were:

    • 1. Ray French – 15 Fish (12 Championship points)
    • 2. Ian Watts – 14 Fish (10 Championship points)
    • 3. Alastair Garner – 9 Fish (8 Championship points)
    • 4. Mark Tremain-Coker – 9 Fish with lower weight than 3rd place (7 Championship points)
    • 5. Nick Cox – 8 Fish (6 Championship points)
    • 6. Richard Denney Jnr – 8 Fish with lower weight than 5th place (5 Championship points)
    • 7. Peter Thomason – 7 Fish (2 Championship points)
    • 8. John Dunmall – 6 Fish (2 Championship points)
    • 9. Graham Morgan Plumb – 5 Fish (2 Championship points)
    • 10. Dave Crouch – 4 Fish (2 Championship points)
    • 11. Mick Priest – 3 Fish (2 Championship points)

    The day concluded with an alfresco pint for the hardy at the Brown Trout

  • Spring Hill Fishery

    12th May 2021 · Report by Neil Osmond

    Originally scheduled for Coltsford Mill, a last-minute venue change saw six of us arrive at Springhill Trout Fishery for the day’s fishing. Unfortunately, Coltsford Mill had already been booked for the 12th and observing Covid 19 precautions were unable to accommodate us when we went to finalise the booking

    That said, Springhill were very welcoming and offered a chance to fish a venue not visited for several years – I live locally and haven’t made it there for over a year. Ray and Peter were quickly into their stride, Ray using an Apps Worm to land his first four fish in quick succession, Peter successful with small Tadpole flies fished on a floating line. For some of us progress was a little slower, however switching to Mayfly nymph/drowned mayfly and buzzer patterns reaped dividends resulting in further fish landed and the occasional early release for good measure

    Throughout the day a fair few mayfly were observed and (once the heavy showers of the last week) desist I will be going back for some evening fishing. One of the benefits of Springhill is Lee and Jane live on site, therefore it is possible to fish into the evenings by prior arrangement

    So whilst missing the opportunity to fish at Coltsford Mill was a pity (maybe next year), Springhill proved a good alternative….if nothing else there was warm homemade sausage rolls to start the day and a pint at the local Pembury hostelry to finish!

    Thanks to all who attended (Peter, Ray, Alan Dean, Micky and April)

  • Elinor Fishery

    8th May 2021 · Report by Peter Thomason

    Eight members, including one junior member, fished this Championship event. The weather forecast was forbidding, predicting strong winds and rain for most of the day but our members are made of strong stuff and were not daunted by a forecast which was correct in every detail!

    All but Keith Lawrence and our brave junior member, Cane Lawrence, chose to fish from the windward bank. Keith and Cane went afloat and sensibly donned lifejackets

    Recent reports indicated that Elinor was fishing well and the day affirmed this with fish feeding quite high in the water making intermediate and floating lines the effective choice together with a “washing line” set up with FAB or Booby on the point and Buzzers or Diawl Bachs on droppers. Blobs with steady “rolly-polly” retrieve also proved successful. In the midst of blustery winds, Micky Heasman found a sheltered corner and tempted several fish to dry CdC flies, demonstrating the advantage of an open mind and a flexible approach

    The fact that all members were successful is a tribute to the management and stocking policy adopted by Ed Foster who runs this very pleasant fishery and keeps ticket prices at very economical levels. Catch and release is also allowed which enabled us to fish this Championship event purely on numbers of fish caught, regardless of weight. Two exceptional performances on the day were recorded: Ian Watts with a remarkable total of 25 fish and young Cane Lawrence with the best fish of the day (and a personal best ever) weighing in at a splendid 5lb 3oz – well done Ian and Cane!

    After a wet and windy but enjoyable day, the results were:

    • 1. Ian Watts with 25 fish – 12 Championship points
    •      Russell Bell and Alex Nicholson with 10 fish each – 9 Championship points each
    • 4. Keith Nicholson with 8 fish – 7 Championship points
    • 5. Peter Thomason with 6 fish – 6 Championship points
    • 6. Keith Lawrence with 4 fish – 5 Championship points

    Cane Lawrence had 3 fish (including his personal best) and Micky Heasman had 2 fish – each were awarded 2 Championship points for participating

    We look forward to future visits to this productive and friendly fishery

  • Lakedown Trout Fishery

    Fur & Feather Cup 2020 - 1st May 2021 · Report by Graham Morgan Plumb

    Thirty-three members attended the long awaited and eagerly anticipated 2020 Fur & Feather Cup event. The day started with breakfast baps and the opportunity to catch up with fellow members in the morning sunshine. As our Chairman said, it was good to see some new faces as well as some old faces and some very old faces!

    A walk-off commenced the fishing as anglers headed for all four lakes. The weather was bright and the water clear but that did not douse the enthusiasm to be fishing again

    For most anglers, the morning started slowly, albeit with some notable exceptions. First angler to bag up (four fish landed by a ridiculously early 09:40) was Ray Burt. Damsels, GRHEs, PTNs, Blobs, Boobies and Apps Bloodworm accounted for the majority of fish during the morning with catches spread across all four lakes

    Weigh-in commenced at 13:30 which revealed that the best fish had been caught by Mick Priest at 5lb 12oz and that top bag was caught by Alan Dean at 10lb. Congratulations to Mick and Alan

    The quality of the raffle prizes was matched by the quantity of raffle tickets sold; with a magnificent sum of £755.50 being raised. This was supplemented by £75 from the sales of club merchandise (or merch for anyone under the age of 16), and £70 raised for Hospice in the Weald

    A tasty and welcome lunch was prepared and served by Cathy and assistants. Somewhat unique for the Fur and Feather, the meal was taken sitting outside in the spring sunshine

    All in all, a very enjoyable day in enjoyable company. Hopefully, heralding a return to more normal time for the Society and members

    Many thanks to Cathy and her assistants and to Ted and Jamie for making the day a clear success

  • Rib Valley

    28th April 2021 · Report by Micky Heasman

    This was the first TWFFS mid-week event of 2021 and eight of us travelled to Rib Valley Fishery near Ware in Hertfordshire. On past visits we have frequented the famed Ware to Eat Cafe and enjoyed or struggled with their very generous breakfasts. Due to continued covid restrictions we could only enjoy take-away breakfast rolls on this occasion, which were pre-ordered. The friendly chap taking the order offered 'Jumbo' breakfast rolls! It’s fair to say that I’ve not known any TWFFS angler or supporter to turn down anything described as Jumbo - be that a trout, a beer, a nymph, a Booby (yes the fly) or a brekkie roll. So the Jumbo was ordered and duly picked up from the café on route to the lake. Jumbo was an understatement! Each of us had to munch through a French baguette of at least 24 inches stuffed full of bacon, eggs, and sausages. Peter 'Tommo' Thomason suggested that after eating the 'Jumbo' we needed to run around the lake three times, swim to the Island and back three times and then something else ( which escapes me) to complete: a TWFFS version of a triathlon to shed the calories consumed. It was great to see people together at the waters edge enjoying each others company and banter

    Enough of the Jumbo - how was the fishing? Not as prolific as many of our previous visits. Buzzers (which are normally so prolific at Rib Valley) worked but fishing was slow and the fish finicky. Conditions were not ideal with a cold north-easterly breeze. That said, most but sadly not all of us, did manage to get some fish. Micky H managed 4, new member Buster Heasman bagged 3, Peter Thomason managed 2, Andy Stoner and Russell Bell got one apiece and another new member Paul Osborne just could not get the fish to stick but he will be back to take them on again

    On a final note it was lovely that April Heasman and Suzanne Stoner were able to join us for the day and to also have a go at some fishing. It was also a relief that on this occasion the ladies didn't catch more than the chaps. That I'm sure will soon become a tale for our archives

    My thanks to all that could make the day and for making it a very enjoyable one

  • Bewl Water

    24th April 2021 · Report by Russell Bell

    Ten members braved challenging conditions and reports of poor returns to face very bright sunshine and a variable but cold north-easterly wind

    A number of misleading reports had been received including Tinkers and 7lb Creek being "stuffed with fish" according to the absent Mr Collins, but persistence paid off with most fish being found well into Dunsters and others finding a few fish spread along Chingley Wood and across Bewl Straight

    The main excitement of the morning was an SOS sent out by our Secretary to rescue him from a drogue drama brought about by his negligent boat partner (no names but the initials MP may seem familiar). Luckily Nick Cox arrived with "blues and two's" to save the day while Fireman Dave Crouch complained bitterly that in answering the call he had been pulled off "No-fish Creek" to get there too late

    Graham M-P led the way at lunchtime with 4 fish caught on a mixture of buzzers and nymphs, but afterwards Keith L took over with a splendid display of twiddling a fast glass line with diawl bachs above a cormorant booby

    At one point four of our five boats were packed into Dunsters alongside a couple of our AM friends but fish continued to be caught well into the afternoon with Keith lawrence leaving the field behind by the end and the usual adjournment to the Brown Trout

    Your Chairman’s decision earlier in the season to share points between anglers tying for a place continued to cause problems, with your Secretary having to use a calculator as well as his luggage scales get the results right as follows:

    • 1 - Keith Lawrence - 2 fish 4.3lb + 7 fish 14lb = 18.3lb
    • 2 - Ian Watts - 2 fish 4.8lb + 3 fish 6lb = 10.8lb
    •      Mark Tremain-Coker - 2 fish 4.8lb + 3 fish 6lb = 10.8lb
    • 4 - Graham Morgan Plumb - 2 fish 3.6lb + 3 fish 6lb = 9.6lb
    • 5 - Nick Cox - 2 fish 4lb + 2 fish 4lb = 8lb
    • 6 - Peter Thomason - 2 fish 4lb + 1 fish 2lb = 6lb
    • 7 - Russell Bell 2 fish 3.3lb + 1 fish 2lb = 5.3lb
    • 8- Dave Crouch - 1 fish 2.5lb
    • 9 - Mick Priest - 1 fish 2.1lb
    • 10 - Andy Stoner – 0 fish
  • Bewl Water (bank fishing)

    Dave Clark Cup - 18th April 2021 · Report by Neil Osmond

    Sunday turned out to be a bright day, predominately sunny with a stronger than expected northerly wind. The nine of us, dropped off at Ferry Point, split into two groups – one group heading south down to Monty’s Seat and the second east along to Dunsters Point. Fishing was slow for the first hour or so, the group at Monty’s not having the slightest touch on any fly. Gary landed a pike but the trout were elusive. By general consent, the competition was fished to the rule that the first two fish should be kept and weighed and subsequent fish released and 2 lb added to the weight of the first two fish for any subsequently released

    Relocating just around the corner facing Bewl Straight the pace picked up with James and Gary netting three fish between them in short succession. James went on to net five fish and Gary two by lunch, the rest had rather more modest figures between us! During lunch a raffle was held raising £45; James continued his good run of form by bagging first prize, Russell second, collecting a very nice set of flies donated by Peter

    Nick Cox, fishing from boat, briefly passed by to exchange the standard pleasantries, it turned out fishing from boats had also been challenging (although boat 42 who had taking the ‘any methods’ somewhat literally was seen to be pulling a number of fish in)

    Following lunch Gary seized on a new and somewhat novel approach to retrieving - cast, set the rod down, walk away ... and let the fish do the rest! This approach resulted in a wholesale change of tactics, most of us switching over to a range of faster sinking lines – Di3 through Di7 – with short leaders and a single fly (Booby or Blob) on point. Within the hour Gary had stolen a march on James and headed up the leader board with seven. However, with the fishing going off again, James snuck in with a further two to level things up at six apiece. There was much contention, debate and banter between the two regarding the legitimacy of their respective catches, foul hooking and early release all being cited as reasons to disqualify numbers caught. In the meantime I eventually managed to catch my one solitary fish for the day

    Tied for the lead it all came down to the weigh in back at the lodge, however with no scales (they had been removed for Covid bio security) this made a weigh-in somewhat challenging! Eventually a tape measure was found and the 2 fish retained by James and Gary measured…..and they were the same….so with no way to split them the result of the Dave Clarke cup was announced a draw between Gary Collins and James Dench, well done both. Mick Priest came in third with three fish….the rest, well let’s just say it was not the most prolific of days

    The full results were:

    • Joint first place with two fish each of equal lengths plus a further four fish each – Gary Collins and James Dench - 11 Championship points each
    • Third place with two fish retained and one released – Mick Priest - 8 Championship points
    • Fourth place with one fish (18 in) – Peter Thomason - 7 Championship points
    • Fifth place with one fish (16.5 in) – Andy Stoner - 6 Championship points
    • Sixth place with one fish (16 in) – Neil Osmond - 5 Championship points

    Russell Bell, Dave Crouch and Graham Morgan Plumb were each awarded the standard 2 Championship participants’ points

    A few points I will take away

    A great day with the usual good banter – thanks to all

    Must get leaky waders fixed

    For future Bewl Competition event bear in mind no scales at the lodge

    Investigate benefit of woodland patterned combat clothing for fishing in boats (thought I’d originally got the date/place wrong and turned up at a paintball convention)

  • Chalybeate Spring Trout Fishery

    10th April 2021 · Report by Scott Benton

    Weather conditions cold and wind that constantly changed direction, 10 anglers that were very pleased to be out fishing as a club once more

    Fishing was slow and steady with a majority having lots of pulls and fish lost, flies that caught mainly were blood worms, black and green small lures and Cormorants

    Mickey Heasman produced some raffle prizes and Jim generously donated a 2 fish ticket as a prize. The raffle raised a total of £43

    It was mentioned to Eddie on arrival he’d show his dad up and which he did (obviously I’ve passed my knowledge on and haven’t retained it for myself!)

    The results were:

    • 1 - Ray Burt with six fish – 12 Championship points
    • 2 - Russell Bell with six fish – 10 Championship points
    • 3 - Martyn Gray with four fish – 8 Championship points
    • 4 - Eddie Benton and Andy Stoner with equal weights (Eddie four fish, Andy three fish) – 7 Championship points each
    • 6 - Micky Heasman with four fish – 5 Championship points

    Mick Priest, Peter Thomason, Buster Heasman and Scott Benton were each awarded 2 Championship points

    Buster Heasman and Scott Benton chose not to catch any as they didn’t have any freezer space!

    An enjoyable day even with the afternoon’s cold rain and a son who is still rubbing it in!

    Well done everyone and here’s looking forward to the next event

  • Bewl Water (bank fishing)

    5th April 2021 · Report by Peter Thomason

    At last, the Society has resumed its programme of fishing events. This prelude to a long-awaited season was fished from the bank at Bewl. Eleven members attended and preliminary consultations and organisation ensured a successful start: tickets were purchased on line and in advance, meeting time and place agreed. The previous week’s exceptionally warm weather had been ousted by northerly winds and arctic conditions accompanied by a sprinkling of snowflakes

    Our return to fishing was marked by the Chairman’s most generous gesture of a bottle of fine malt whisky to toast the occasion and to counter the cold. Wind and weather conditions governed the choice of bank and all participants selected the area between The Oaks at Rosemary Lane around to Goose Creek. The water had been fishing exceptionally well from Bewl’s opening day on 29 March but the day’s cold weather and previous angling pressure resulted in more challenging conditions. By experiment and persistence our party landed a respectable total of 19 fish with additional takes and lost fish. The average weight was a little over 2lb with the heaviest fish falling to the rod of Micky Heasman at 2lb 12oz

    As a championship event, it was agreed that we would catch and kill our first two fish which would then be weighed and any subsequent fish released but adding a 2lb bonus to the initial weight. Successful flies and methods ranged from Buzzers and Apps Worms on floating lines to Boobies fished on fast sinking lines. Versatility was rewarded!

    The cold conditions prompted a welcome end to fishing at 3.00 p.m. (although one hardy member chose to fish on after the weigh-in!) Four members were successful in exceeding the two-fish catch and weigh limit

    The Championship results were:

    Equal first place: Ian Watts and Peter Thomason, both with four fish and a total weight of 8lb 2oz – 11 Championship points each

    Third place: Mick Priest with four fish and a total weight of 7lb 2oz – 8 Championship points

    Fourth place: Micky Heasman with three fish and a total weight of 5lb 1oz

    Fifth place: Keith Lawrence with 2 fish weighing 4lb 4oz

    Sixth place: Russell Bell with 1 fish weighing 2lb 3oz

    The remaining five members received 2 Championship points each for participating:

    • Gary Collins
    • Buster Heasman
    • Mike Marsh
    • Graham Morgan Plumb
    • Andy Stoner

    The close of a very enjoyable and companionable day was marked by draining the remaining dregs of the malt whisky

    Here’s to more happy days!