Well well well. Another fishery review! My reviews are like buses aren’t they? I figured it’ s good to keep the fixed content up as well as having a busy blog so hot on the heels of my Scar House post here’s one for Ravensthorpe. The Roundhay Fly Fishers are drawn to the Anglian Water reservoirs like moths to a flame, or perhaps lambs to the slaughter. I’m not alone in having a love-hate relationship with these places but the majority of our members cannot get enough of these big Midland waters. I’m used to Yorkshire reservoirs which I personally find more scenic and certainly less expensive than Anglian waters but the flip side is that the fish in Anglian reservoirs are in a different class altogether. This last fact, and my loyalty to the club mean I usually come along for at least one day of the annual over-nighter (2 days would mean having to spend a night sharing a room with a team of ferocious snorers). I don’t think you can quite describe a reservoir as intimate but at 100 acres Ravensthorpe is definitely more manageable than, say, Grafham or Rutland. Motoring from one end to the other takes a few minutes whereas covering just one arm of Rutland takes..well, I dunno…a lot longer! I’ve been before and quite enjoyed myself so was looking forward to the day despite the tedious journey down the M1 subjected to endless stretches of 50mph speed limits, and then getting lost (don’t trust Sat Navs to find this place). Also, the weather was gash when we arrived but the guy in the lodge couldn’t have been more helpful, making us all a brew whilst we waited for a gap in the weather.
The fishing lodge isn’t a massive tackle shop like the ones at Grafham or Rutland but does sell leader and flies, of which we bought a few although the ones recommended to us by a local angler were all sold out, naturally (green Diawl Bach). It was the same guy I met last time I was at Ravensthorpe who has been fishing this place since he was a kid and always uses a 22 foot leader! He directed us over to the ‘tunnel’ on the NW end as that was where he’d been catching during the morning and that was exactly where myself and Stu, and Martin in another boat, headed after we dragged ourselves out of the lodge.
The scenery is very pleasant, gentle hills slope down to the reservoir with trees and fields abundant. There were a few fish showing but nothing prolific and it was some time before the first rainbow was hooked. Martin got a typical good quality fish which took an absolute age to come to the net due to its relentless fight.
Stu and I plugged away with various buzzers and nymphs on a floating line but all was quiet for us until 12:13 (God bless Exif data!) when I glanced up and saw Stu’s rod bouncing away. There followed a terrific 10 minute scrap during which the fish tried every trick in the book. I could see several of those vigorous head shakes that often lead to a parting of company but Stu played him well and I netted him after a couple of failed attempts. What a belting fish! After subtracting the weight of the wet the fish topped the scales at 5 1/2 lbs although because Stu isn’t thrusting the fish out in front square on like all other fish photos it doesn’t look that big. I’m not getting high and mighty about ‘fish photo thrusters’ , even I do it sometimes, but only because everyone else does 😀
Ordinarily we all go in for lunch together at a set time but we missed out on the plan having not being present for the morning brief so we just stayed out and had lunch afloat. At this point I feel obliged to show you my sarnies which I took a pic of during preparation. Just look at those bad boys, 2 types of salami, some pepperoni, red Leicester and Jalapenos….get in!
Not long after lunch I grew tired of patiently inching back nymphs and buzzers at a snail’s pace and swapped over to my trusty 17 year old Dragonfly 2 rod with my 20 year old Graflite and equally ancient Mullarkey’s mill end ‘medium sink’ flyline, with a flashy Fritz lure on the end. A few minutes later THUMP a good solid fish was on. Another cracking fight and I netted a lovely 4 1/2 lb rainbow. Man that setup never fails me!
Things went dead again so we motored over to the Eastern shore to catch up with some of the other guys, David W had landed an impressive 9 fish so it looked like he was on for the trophy (we certainly weren’t!) but no one else had caught more than about 3. This still sounded like a much better session than the day before on Pitsford where they’d been bobbing around under a blazing sun all day catching bugger all.
Stu managed to land another fish along here, not as big as his previous one but still another solid specimen. I got a snap with my phone whilst putting it back because I love that topside view of a well marked rainbow against the water.
The rest of the afternoon was, to be honest, boring. There wasn’t enough cloud cover so the sun put what little rising fish there were down. The first rule of RFF club (well, ok, the 2nd rule…) is fish after 5pm don’t count towards the trophy and that was an easy excuse to latch onto to finish at 5pm!
Ravensthorpe is a good fishery and in some respects my favourite Anglian water. The fish are absolute top drawer and it’s just a nice place all round with very helpful staff. I’m just not a massive fan of this type of fishing anymore and yet I would go back again despite having a difficult day. Highly recommended!
For more information visit the Anglian Water website ,telephone +44 (0)1604 770875 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Important information regarding boat bookings
- Anglers are advised to book boats in advance to avoid disappointment. Please check boat availability with the fishing lodge before setting out on a long journey.
- To meet our Health and Safety regulations you will be required to give:address, home telephone number and mobile number when booking a boat.