March saw the beginning of spring, and throughout the month the buds and blooms have started to entice the hedgerows and Manor lake islands into colour. The intermittent clouds of buzzers have been appearing on the warmer days and the kingfishers have been zipping around actively.
We held the Troutmasters fish off competition here on the 23rd March, running the adult and junior competitions simultaneously. All anglers finished and weighed in their 4 fish before 1pm, and John White stole the show with 4 fish for 17lb 2oz, with a 6lb 2oz and a 5lb 7oz fish! Largest fish went to Robert Ball with a 6lb 8oz rainbow, so also qualified for the senior Troutmasters final. Evan Hector won the junior competition, with 4 fish for 12lb 12oz, biggest being 6lb. However, as Evan had already qualified at another fishery, it is Rafe Smith who won the entry to the junior Troutmasters final! Well done to all who qualified.
Fish were caught on an array of flies over the month with smaller cats whiskers, damsels, black lures, buzzers, hares ears, daiwl bachs and stalking bugs all catching well.
Biggest fish of the month was caught on the last day of March, with Richard Callender netting a vibrant 8lb 12oz brown trout. Richard used a stalking bug and watched this fish for a few hours before it engulfed his fly. Richard had also been in a few weeks before and had a 6lb 6oz rainbow along with a 5lb 2oz brown. Well done Richard! Other notable catches have been; 6lb rainbow by G. Lord, 5lb 8oz rainbow by C. Gifford, another 5lb 8oz rainbow by C. Gartt, 5lb 14oz brown by Mr Hawes and a 5lb rainbow caught by Mr Griffiths.
For three weeks we had a young Sparsholt College student Dillon join us and got stuck into work helping with the start of overhanging branch clearance on the river, helping tidy up windswept trees and plenty of strimming! The warmer weather also brings the grass cutting, and the mower is certainly seeing some action around the lakes, up and down the river and on the fish farm. We have been cleaning and refurbishing raceways, moved fry from our raceways into larger grow-on ponds, and received more fry into our raceways to grow on for future years stock. The time has also come for our external fish deliveries to start so keep an eye out for the Manningford truck and trailer.
I hope you all have a colourful and warm spring, and don’t curse the rain too much during April!