Thames Valley Fly Dressers





Report on my 10th annual visit to Lake Wimbleball, Somerset.

Staying at Holwothy Farm B&B and accompanied for the second time by John Alcock, TVFDG web manager and all round good egg!

This year the lake was virtually full which causes a problem for us bank anglers. Namely restricted back cast and ease of movement around the lake.

As usual I killed and spooned the first fish I caught. The indication was worrying, just 2 buzzers, both small and black. So to my mind the fish were hardly feeding and this concern was supported by a distinct lack of fly life and minimal surface activity.

Wimbleball is usually blessed with a constant supply of windblown beetles and flies that can keep you entertained during the day but can be even better as darkness approaches. But apart from on just the one, half decent evening, it was not to be this year.

Arriving on Saturday we fished Wimbleball until Monday experiencing lower than average sport. Our other choice of venues in the area is Clatworthy Reservoir, no more than 15 minutes from the B&B and another very pleasant place to fish. In previous years I’ve only made one visit to Clatworthy as it doesn’t offer C&R and although it is stocked with larger fish they are not usually as plentiful as at Wimbleball. This year it was a reversal and using the dubious reservoir techniques I learned off my original Farmoor buddies, shooting heads, sinking lines and blob flies I was soon into fish and took my 5 fish bag on all 3 visits. To placate the purists I did return to a more conventional approach and took one off the top and two on lures on our last visit.

Jonno was using the more conventional approach and had plenty of sport; a de-barbed hook leftover from Wimbleball lost him 5 fish at the net on our last day. We both agreed we’d experienced some of the hardest fighting fish we’d ever encountered. On his best day John put 3 fish in Gillian’s freezer for use at her charity barbecues later in the year. 3 fish equaled my previous best in 9 visits.

Over the 3 visits we’d averaged 3½ pounds per fish and the best was 5lb. which leapt clear several times and fought just like a Russian Salmon. (Perhaps).

John replaced the Farmoor 3 as my fishing companion on this annual trip, but I learned a lot from those guys over the previous 9 years. Lawrence was still casting his shooting head 40+ yards on his last trip in 2012 at the age of 85. Duncan and Len were due to come this year but sadly Duncan took poorly early May and didn’t come out of hospital. Len didn’t want to come this year without his best mate.

I miss Duncan and can hardly believe he is gone, of the three I had most of my banter with Duncan. He was only 74 so be aware how fragile life can be and get out fishing whenever you can.

Gillian Payne is the landlady at Holwothy Farm B&B, a charming lady/human dynamo who takes very good care of us. - 7 full English breakfasts and 7 roast dinners, but so much walking that you hardly put on an ounce! (Plus a box each of homemade flapjacks supplied by Mrs. W).

The weeks tally. –

John W – Wimbleball 7Rainbow. Clatworthy Rainbow 15.

John A - Wimbleball 3 Rainbow. Clatworthy 5Rainbow, 3 Brown

The only problem with Wimbleball week is that it comes round too quick!

Names will be being taken soon to join us in 2015.

Wimbleball is less than 3 hours away, 7 days fishing and no dodgy helicopters. All for change out of £450:00 for fishing, food and accommodation.

Flies for 2015.

Range of buzzers. - Try Tying buzzers with ‘ice dubbing’ Purple nymph style etc

Range of flashback leeches.

Plenty of Red, Black & Brown Elk Hair Emergers.

Top up any shortages of existing favorites, hoppers etc. Orange Hopper – Bibio.

Wooly Buggers.

Range of blobs and boobies. – I make no apologies! Cast your mind back to the FDG Bank Comp. at Elinor when John and myself received the wooden spoons/china mugs for being the only 2 anglers not using Orange Blobs!!

John W