02 May 2019 Brick Farm Lakes & Lakedown Trout Fishery

Ian was keen to show me the fishing that he had access to, so our first port of call was going to be Brick Farm Lakes. Before that though we had to nip out and pick up the lunch for the day, what better way to go to Tesco’s than in a Porche! Ian is an avid fan of the 911 and I still recall holding onto my hair in the last one he had. This was a new one though which had even more bells and whistles. I never really got the whole car thing, I mean I drive an eighteen-year-old Golf, but when you are in a machine like this you can’t help but appreciate the power and class of such an astonishing car.

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So, after picking up lunch and getting the obligatory photo of me behind the wheel of the car it was off to the fishing. Ian reckoned we would not be there long as it was a fishery designed for beginners and should not prove to difficult. Traffic was heavy, and it took us a while to get there on arrival I was impressed by how pristine the fishery was. The estate was immaculate and seemed quite busy with a few anglers on the small ponds that we passed. We were warmly welcomed by the staff at the lodge and chatted for a while about how it was fishing. The main lake (Brick) was very pretty but a little on the small side, with a good cast I could almost hit the opposite bank.

"The estate was immaculate and seemed quite busy with a few anglers on the small ponds that we passed."

There were a couple of chaps already fishing away but they had not had much luck. Ian wandered around to the top corner of the pond and I opted for a peg in the bottom half of the pond. It did strike me that if the place was really busy that the pegs maybe a little close together with little more than 15’ separating them in some cases. The clarity of the water was not good, and it was hard to see much more than a few inches into the water.  Some little course fish could be seen in at the edges of the margins. Ian had recommended a hare’s ear and I tied on an unweighted one. After half an hour or so I had only managed a half-hearted take. I began to ring the changes.

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Out of the corner of my eye I could see Ian playing a fish then another and so on. As I walked round I could see the angler on the peg next to him moving round for a chat “you must have the magic fly” he said as he walked over. Ian duly offered up some advice along with one of the killer patterns. Before I could reach him, he was into another fish, I was going to get it thick! I was not mistaken I took a torrent of abuse all-in good-natured banter though. Ian showed me the new lake that the complex was working on. It was much larger and although in its infancy once matured it looked as though it would be very nice when it was finished.

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When we came back I was determined to get a fish before leaving so I went to the peg just up from Ian. The casting was hindered by a high bank behind and a tree to my right, this is where my first cast ended up! Having tied on another fly I eventually made a reasonable cast out into the lake. I had over heard Ian giving the chap next to us some instruction, cast out count to ten slow figure of eight with some long pulls to lift the fly. It worked a treat and I managed a fish. It gave a good account of itself, not long after Ian caught the last of the five fish ticket we were sharing. We headed back to the lodge for a cuppa and a chat.

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We were on the road again heading to Lakedown Trout Fishery designed & created over some 30 years ago by actor & rock legend Rodger Daltery. I kind of recall this happening from Trout mags that I read cover to cover back then and being a fan of The Who it peaked my interest. It was a long time ago though and before arriving I had a pre-conceived idea that it would be on the same sort of scale as the fishery we had just left. When we pulled into the car park however I had my eye wiped!  From our vantage point on the hill we could see two of the four lakes they were big and looked stunning as the promised rain clouds rolled in.

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There are four lakes simply called 1-4, no fancy names which seems a shame really. The lodge was oldy worldy and I could imagine it on a busy day with anglers exchanging stories over a hot brew or something stronger. The lodge had bags of character but that paled in comparison to old Ted he was the fishery manager and had charisma and patter to spare. Ian and him obviously had a good connection and the banter was great, I had no problem joining in and Ted was most welcoming. We had a little walk around lake one before stopping for a bit of lunch.

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After lunch Ian was keen to fish Lake three this is floating line only with nymph or dry fly. I had a fish on first chuck but lost it to a tirade of abuse from my host. We moved along the edge of the lake together stopping at the narrow section to have a chuck at some cruising fish. They were difficult to catch and after several changes of fly I was finally rewarded with a cracking fish that would have been getting onto the four-pound mark. After being patient, I was soon rewarded with another good fish. Time was wearing on though and I was keen to see the rest of what was on offer.

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As we walked down to lake four we passed another angler who had managed three fish on lures. I did not bother to change lines but instead put a beaded lure on which was promptly lost while playing a fish. After upscaling my tippet to 8lb and replacing the fly I caught another super Rainbow that fought like stink. We walked back up towards lake one having a little dabble in lake two while chatting with Ted. No joy there it was the only lake that failed to give up a fish. When we got back to lake one Ian gave me the option to go and fish the point.

"After upscaling my tippet to 8lb and replacing the fly I caught another super Rainbow that fought like stink."

The point was the obvious hot spot with unobstructed casting around the lake. On my way to the point I noticed a few fish cruising around the margins and with no fly line outside the top rod ring I plopped my fly in front of the cruising fish. The rainbow trout narrowly beat the blue trout to the fly and I watched my fly disappear and lifted. It was a short scrap, I am not sure the fish realised it had been hooked before it was in the net. I carried on around to the point, there was plenty of water to cover.

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Casting was easy from this vantage point while poor Ian was struggling to cast a #5 into what was an ever-stiffening breeze. It was time to pack up but I was keen to get a few more casts in and was rewarded with a great fish to finish off my day. I wandered back around to meet up with Ian and headed back to the cars. Ian was heading home and I was going to attempt to head home! We said our farewells and I headed off to negotiate the evening traffic. I would like to say a huge thanks to Ian and Diane for having me in their home and feeding me like a king. Small pond fishing may not be my bag but it was really great fun and something I can see myself doing more of in the future. The Mayfly are warming up now though and it won’t be long before the fish are looking up for a meal.

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