September has passed with remarkable alacrity and I hope you have had the time to get out and enjoy some days fishing. The Autumn equinox on September 22nd has heralded a change of weather patterns and calm conditions have been replaced by colder temperatures and more blustery winds. Weather forecast over!


Have you noticed that crane flies this year have been in abundance? Good food for birds, bats and hedgehogs and especially our trout. Check your fly box for there are some super ‘Daddy’ imitations in all colours!



All our efforts to maintain Chapmans lake at Rawlsbury have at last paid off and the top half is now clear. The digger in the photo only tells half the story as the weed itself was cleared by cutting and collecting and pulling into the lake margins using a capstan winch. The digger enabled us to clear all the debris from the margins.


As of today, Chapmans lake has been restocked so please remember that you have only until the end of October at Rawlsbury to enjoy its environs!

Winterborne Zelston.


This month the lake levels have dropped and we will need a good deal of rain to improve the situation. Yet it remains remarkably clear and perfectly fishable. After restocking on the 14th, it was very gratifying to see an uptick of members fishing. I will say that the big boys have not been caught so expect some antics if you hook one !


Below are reports of your fishing exploits - please keep the coming!


•        Went fishing on 17th at W/Z  caught two fish 4.0   3.4 on montanas. Weather mist sun no wind and water temp 61 farenheight. Was nice to get back on the lake.

•        Fished on the 20th and managed a couple of nice trout about 4 lb but no sight of your lunkers but a strong wind made casting off the far platform difficult. Surprised how much the water level had dropped.

•        I caught fish of 4  -  1   &   2  -  13 .   Nice fish.  Saw one of the big girls off the bungalow jetty. Plenty of fish moving.

•        We have done a lot of work on Cowleaze this year and yet I hadn’t fished it, so I decided to spend a day at Rawlesbury on a two fish ticket.


Unfortunately The weather was challenging to say the least. There was a stiff breeze and I am sure it must have drizzled non-stop all day! But Cowleaze looked good despite a heavy ripple obscuring my view of any fish below. Casting was not a problem. The wind was coming from my front left hand side, so I was able to make a good straight back cast and then just punch the line into the breeze. I used a level 10lb leader to easily overcome any potential weed problems, but there weren’t any because most of the lake had been cleared by recent working parties. The lure was a Montana. I keep a range of Montanas with different sinking rates and never do a fast retrieve. I always tweak the lure just a couple of tugs at a time. To gauge speed I work on the body length of the lure. The shorter the lure, the slower the movement.


The takes were very gentle, almost like hanging up in weed, but as soon as I applied pressure it was a different story. The first fish was just 2oz short of 4 pounds, the second just below three. Both fought really hard and getting them to the edge was no problem. I was able to play them out in open water and then keep their heads up enough to slide them over the tiny amount of weed left at the margins.


After taking my limit I thought I would give Viners a go. I had heard that the weed had grown a lot and sure enough it had, but between the patches were some magnificent, deep clear gullies. They seemed the perfect place to take a Montana for a swim again, but this time barbless. Viners was much more sheltered than Cowleaze and the denser weed had flattened the ripple, so I was able to see the odd fish swimming about. Tweaking the Montana around one particular corner produced several tugs that could have only been fish, but eventually a Rainbow finally decided to grab it properly.


I then moved on to Sandys, the first time I have ever fished there. I loved it. It was very exposed with lots of marginal reeds, but the fish were actively feeding in the open water. The sheer strength of the wind dictated where I could fish. I had to find somewhere that I could land the fish without the line blowing into the reeds during the cast.


Once again I started with a Montana, why change when it seems to work! and soon I had a fish at the side that I was able to release whilst still in the water. After that however things changed a bit. Nearly every cast a fish would lunge at the large lure, but not actually take. So I swapped it for a much smaller cruncher. I fished that very gently with just a few light tweaks and sure enough the resident Rainbow then took it firmly. Again, I was able to release the fish at the edge having steered it up a channel in the reeds where it’s nose could touch the bank and a pair of forceps could just roll the barbless lure out.


Take care everyone and tight lines.


Best wishes,