2019 Season Report
What a joy to report a good season, sparkling clear water, great fish; all is well in Cranham. Well almost; the only downside, as we know, is the loss of insects, which continued much the same this year. There were a few more mayflies about, as well as damsels and midges, but it was only a small increase. Statistically, however, any increase is significant if it builds year on year, so let’s hope this is what we have seen, and that it actually proves to be significant.
Interestingly, the cut grass has not been turned over this autumn by the badgers. From my point of view, this is absolutely wonderful; best Christmas present ever. The question to ask, of course, is why have they not decimated the cut areas like they always do? I can only think of two reasons: there are no leather jackets or similar tasty morsels to dig up, or the local cull squad have bumped them off. If it was the latter, (which has been discussed) I am sure I would know about it, and if not, I will soon find out. My guess, at the moment, is that it’s the lack of leather jackets; we shall see.
Our good fortune recently is ranking somewhere up there with the Rain Gods! We had eight inches of rain for October, and five inches for November. Parts of Gloucester are under water, as is Tewkesbury and Evesham – even just down the hill in Cheltenham there have been minor floods. I have cleared all the drains, cut back the vegetation in the flood channels, and basically watched and waited for a hugh muddy flood to come rushing down the hill like the river Amazon. Except that it didn’t happen. To my complete amazement, all the rain we have had here has fallen over prolonged periods, not in any dramatic downpours. When the ground is saturated, it only takes about two inches of rain in a day to transform the place into a sea of brown paint; it can only be our good fortune that it didn’t happen.
It wouldn’t have been a complete disaster, it’s happened before enough times, but the thing is, a flood brings with it lots of nutrients off the fields which is deposited into the lake sediments, and it all takes time to clear. Part of the reason why the lakes were so clear this year was because we have had no recent floods. If we get through to next season without a flood, conditions will be spot on. At the moment, the ground water must be well topped up, and unless the rest of the winter is exceptionally dry, we have the prospect of really good spring-water flow, keeping the bottom lake cool in the summer. We do seem to be ‘enjoying’ hotter and drier summers, which is a potential disaster for lots of fisheries and, while we are not immune to it, we know from the last two years that we can continue fishing. The more water we have, the better off we will be.
The future looks bright – crystal clear water and rising trout is what it’s all about, so next year should be more of the same. The fees for Season Membership in 2020 will be £799, and the Season dates are Monday 30th March to Saturday 26th September, Monday to Saturday inclusive, closed Sundays.
Carol and I wish everyone a splendid Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Peter and Carol