2018 Season Report


That’s it – another Season has come and gone.  It was memorable because of the weather which was hot;  indeed, unbearably hot for quite a lot of the time, and not only hot – it was very dry as well.   These are the worst possible conditions for trout fishing and yet we came through it with almost flying colours, when fisheries all around us were dropping like flies.  The secret of our success, of course, is the abundant supply of spring water which bathes the Bottom Lake with soothing 10oC water.   The only downside – and it has been a fairly big one – was the Fennel Pondweed.  With the best will in the world, I was not going to spend many days on end weed-clearing in that searing heat.  If nothing else, it shows you how much work normally goes into our lake maintenance.  The end of Season treatment with Glyphosate is a bit of an unknown quality.  It’s dying back quite naturally now, so I have no idea if that has worked.  I think, on balance of probabilities, maybe it hasn’t, but we will see next year.

The lack-of-insects problem continued and, for some species, I reckon it worsened.  This is a very serious national problem which seems to have no recognition.  Insects, like fish, lack those large cuddly eyes which are a prerequisite for conservation.  The whole climate change issue is (in my opinion) a cliff edge that Mankind is joyfully running towards.  I used to think we would fall off the edge beyond my lifetime, but it all seems to be accelerating.  Our little patch is maybe a good examplar for the Nation as a whole.  Our insects are greatly reduced and, therefore, our insect-eating birds and bats have all but gone, as are the field spiders.  Our toads are also all but gone, and the frogs are just about hanging on, while the newts gave up long ago.  The wretched horseflies are still fairly abundant – why is that?!   There were more Hawthorn flies and Crane flies this year, and maybe even a few more Dragonflies, so it’s not universal, but it is certainly a general trend.  It does seem to differ locally around the country.  I’ve seen lots of flies hatching off the River Wye, for instance, so microclimate is maybe an issue.  We are about 800 feet above sea level here.  However you look at it, the direction of travel at the moment is clear for anyone with eyes to see but, all of this doom and gloom aside, we enjoyed a pretty good Season

We can look forward to next Season with at least some certainty.  We know the water clarity will remain crystal clear, and we also know that we will not be adversely affected by heat or drought.    As for the insects, I suspect in the fullness of time they will make a comeback.  Nature evolves as we know.  We can never be immune to floods but, all things considered, we are enjoying some exceptional fishing during changeable times – long may it continue!

Next Season kicks off on Monday 1st April and ends on Saturday 28th September, 2019.  The Membership cost has only increased marginally to £780. 

We wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Christmas and New Year, and we look forward to doing it all over again next Season.

Tight lines to everybody.

Peter and Carol Turnham
October 2018