Butterstone was due to open on the 13th March this year, but after weeks of cold weather was still frozen. Luckily, thanks to some higher temperatures at last, it thawed and allowed us to take part in a re-scheduled Opening Day. And what a day it was – for the second year in succession we had excellent overhead conditions with reasonable water clarity and a good ripple. The club made the best of the conditions and we had an excellent catch overall, totalling 102 fish from 12 rods. For most anglers it was a case of finding where the stock fish were and then enjoying a bonanza, but some stayed away from the crowd and picked up good baskets too.
One of these was Tom Steven who, with Bob Temple, drifted the South Shore before anchoring up in Lunan Bay. Tom was easily the top rod with a total of 27 trout, fishing black and yellow lures on a DI-5 with varying speeds of retrieve. The two Johns – Levy and Miller – had the top boat with 32 fish caught, mainly at Reed End on the South Shore. JL was second rod, netting 18 fish with a variety of lures, blobs and buzzers on a floater. JM wasn’t far behind with 14, mainly on a damsel tadpole with a midge tip line and a very slow retrieve. Tam Forrest and Len Newby managed 9 each, mainly on Montanas and a slow retrieve on intermediate and slow sinker respectively. Bob Allan and Stewart Barnes opted for the Road Shore for the early part of the day and thought they were doing OK, but eventually realised that the Lochend Bay held more fish. They ended up with 15 trout, but managed some of the bigger ones from the Road Shore on intermediate and DI-3 lines. Stewart caught his mainly on a hot head damsel including a lovely, fin perfect, overwintered 3 pounder, while Bob was successful with the evergreen cat’s whisker.
Just to remind us all that fishing is very unpredictable, one boat with two of our best and most consistent anglers (who shall be nameless) finished clean!