My First Brown Trout from Barnsfold Waters

barnsfold waters trout fishery
Looking across the second lake at Barnsfold Waters Trout Fishery

Today was one of those days where everything was great.

It started off by waking up to another fantastic morning – beautiful blue skies with the sun high in the sky even though it was 8am, a slight breeze to take the edge of the heat and a garden full of vegetables that we’d planted (our first attempt and peas are almost ready!!!)

I’d arranged to go and visit my parents for a couple of reasons; one – it was fathers day so it would be great to see Dad and the other to help Mum clear out the mass of weed in their pond (about 200m²) which as I’ve got waders meant I could just get in and rip out whatever Mum didn’t want. Between us we managed to get rid of a lot of the unwanted vegetation and placed it on the side of the pond so all the bugs could get back in.

A quick lunch made by Mum with a pint of Ale and then another couple of hours in the pond and we’d done most of it so after a quick hose down, a wash and a well earned mug of tea myself and Wendy made our way home via Barnsfold Waters Trout Fishery which just so happened to be on our way and by sheer co-incidence, we’d put our fly fishing gear in the car… (I lie – we’d planned to go here all along)

We’d walked passed Barnsfold Waters many times while taking Mum and Dads dogs for walks but never fished there before so it was all new to us. There are two lakes, approx. 11 acres each with easy access round each one with plenty of room behind to help in casting. After a quick look round and booking in we settled on the furthest lake and set up in a corner where there was a little protection from the breeze by the surrounding trees – we’re not really good enough to be fly fishing with much wind.

my first brown trout from barnsfold waters
A very happy angler

I tied on a hook size 14 green goldhead damsel imitation which, as it’s name suggests, has a gold bead at the eye end of the hook to help it sink and after a few practice casts shot the line into the lake about 30 feet. Letting the 9 foot fluorocarbon sink with the weight of the fly I slowly retrieved the small damsel imitation, hopefully making it look like a damsel fly nymph swimming along the bottom of the lake.

On the third retrieve I felt the fly catch onto something and thought I’d managed to catch on a rock on the bottom but no, damn me if the ‘rock’ didn’t start swimming away.

There was definitely a fish on and after a few heart stopping moments I could see it through the water, a lovely Brown Trout – my first ever! With heart thumping I shouted over to Wendy to get the net and after a few more seconds I landed it – a beautiful fish of about 2 pounds in weight which after a quick photo was released to fight another day.

After about an hour we spotted fish rising to take reel flies off the surface of the lake so switched to dry fly imitations but they weren’t having it. We got a few to follow the lures and Wendy almost had one for it to turn away at the last moment but that first fish was the only one of the evening. We had a few other bits and pieces to do and as we didn’t have a huge selection of dries and little clue on how to fish them we left for home at about 8pm.

Would we come back? You’re damn right we would – Barnsfold Waters isn’t as pretty as our local patch Mere Beck, and it is a bit intimating with the size of the lakes, but we saw a lot more fish and anywhere where you catch your first of a species using a new method will always be special – oh yes, we’ll be back.

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