Ronnie Glass offers solutions for better sport on rivers and stillwaters
This autumn I caught four lovely brown trout of around 5lb from Anglian Water fisheries. Why aren’t more brown trout stocked in reservoirs?
Forward-thinking fishery managers are realising that brown trout are an investment risk that is worth taking. In some years they might not show up, and yet in 2017 and 2018, they provided exceptional sport. As they are more expensive than the faster-growing rainbows, they tend to be stocked at a smaller, affordable size, which may not immediately provide memorable sport. But over the next few seasons, they will grow on. I am certain that stocked brown trout are more inquisitive for a longer period of time than rainbow trout. They can, at first, be too easy to catch, but then they invariably disappear into the depths. They will disappear in medium-sized waters as well as large reservoirs. My local Coldingham Loch (22 acres) has a history of producing quality brown trout, but most visitors wouldn’t think they were present at all. A late-evening hatch of buzzers can bring them to the surface, as will a good sedge hatch – usually after
most anglers have gone home. By October, however, they seem to lose their caution and will often make some lucky angler’s day. If finances are tight, fishery managers are reluctant to stock with brown trout, as they may never show in sufficient numbers to justify the outlay.
The Midlands reservoirs are becoming better known for their exceptional brownies than their rainbows.