Winter Report to mid March 2018

Winter report to mid March 2018

Apologies to those of you who regularly read our monthly reports, that there has not been one since November. We have been very, very busy improving the fishery. The winter has been hectic with improvements. Aaron has lead from the front and has transformed the grounds into the beautiful Fishery which Avington always had been, and once again is. It has taken a huge amount of work to once again control the vegetation that had begun to grow rampant. New manager Aaron Hopkins, has given in depth consideration to the modus operandi of the Fishery. Huge changes to benefit the anglers , starting with a 10% discount on tickets booked and paid for two weeks in advance of their use day. The weather forecasts are our worst enemy here at Avington and the weather is seldom as bad on the day as the forecasters would have us believe.

We heard on the grapevine that Roger Greentree, who has run Meon Springs for the past nine years had left the fishery and might be available, and we invited him in for a chat. He joined us full time on the 18th of March as Assistant to Aaron. Roger will spend most of his time at the sharp end meeting and greeting the anglers.

He has a vast amount of experience in fly fishing and is a qualified instructor, and we are anticipating that Avington and it’s regular anglers will benefit form his presence.

Needless to say, the fishing has been excellent, with the vast majority of the anglers bagging their limit. The average is still 5lbs showing that 4lb fish are pretty much the minimum weight. But fish that have been in the lakes for several months may have lost weight. There are fish in excess of 10lbs in all lakes every day. If you don’t catch one, come again and try again. Enjoy the experience of stalking them. If you can find them. They don’t give themselves up easily.

The monster browns have broken up the tackle of a number of unsuspecting anglers in the last few weeks. These are wily fish who stay deep and are beautifully camouflaged, so no easy to spot. Having been pricked and lost they will be even more difficult to take the fly. But eventually, an even wilier angler will outwit them.

One of our regular anglers and professional film make, Gerry Pomeroy, has over the past three years, made a documentary of Avington. His work is nearly complete and will be available for broadcasting and on DVD at the end of this year. The short five minute promo should now be on our web site. Enjoy.

With Spring not far away, we are looking forward to welcoming old friends back, and hearing laughter and happiness once again from anglers and staff alike

PS. We will get back into monthly reports again this year.

Avington Trout fishery have appointed Roger Greentree to run the fishery shop/showroom, read the full article in Avington News.

2 thoughts on “Winter Report to mid March 2018

  • 8th April 2018 at 10:14 am
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    As a visitor to Avington for the past 30 years, man and boy,I am extremely curious to see how the new management hopefully improves upon my favourite UK fishery. I lived in and around Salisbury for many years but moved to South Devon, a fly fishing desert, 11 years ago. My three and a half hour drives to Avington have always been well worth it. It has never been about catching my bag limit but about the place itself.

    I have to say that not being able to see what were really informative monthly reports has stopped me from coming recently. I know that the fishery is under different management and a large part of Avingtons appeal was the superbly friendly welcome and the banter we enjoyed with Dorjee in particular and the other staff, not forgetting Bob of course. I never felt like a “valued customer” but more like a friend and fellow angler there to share a passion. I really hope that the fishery can retain this casual and welcoming feel and not become like some fisheries under new management, all about getting every last penny out of me and spending more money on decoration, and appearance than the actual fishing. I personally dont focus upon the cost of the fishing but the quality of the time spent fishing and most important of all, the quality of the fish. It is by far and away the most important element. If I can get 6 different types of coffee, the shop is all shiny with all the latest equipment, the grass is cut like my own lawn and the fishery spends a lot of my ticket money on every type of social media promotion, branding and such like, this is pretty irrelevant if it is full of finnless slugs desperate to jump onto any kind of fly and flop lifelessly onto the bank! I have been to a couple of fisheries like this and would not return.

    You say that most anglers are catching their bag limit. That is slightly alarming from my perspective. The monthly reports are really important to us because they give an indication of the QUALITY of the fishing. That, alongside the rare beauty, tranquillity and quintessential Englishness of Avington is it’s main attraction for me and most of my friends and acquaintances that have been privileged enough to fish there. It may well be now more important to the commercial success of Avington that every angler has a full bag rather than a challenging bag? I would totally understand that, each to their own. I have seen plenty of your own regulars that are delighted to drag huge luminous bits of fluff at lightning speed through the water and land anything at all then go home after half an hour with their “bag limit” and their money’s worth!

    Perhaps I’m just getting old and haven’t embraced the new quantity over quality ethos! I hope not.

    In short, I look forward to my next visit, once I have read the monthly report, and being able to stalk those hard fighting, full finned legendary Avington trout. Good luck to the new management, I look forward to meeting you and hello to you, Bob.

    Regards

    Gordie

    Reply
    • 10th April 2018 at 6:24 pm
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      I am flattered and surprised that anyone should read our monthly report. For years I imagined the monthly reports were gathering dust in some “cloud” depository. The STFA (Stillwaters Trout Fishery Association), to which we are members, has a similar facility on their web site, and for years Avington has been the only Fishery in the UK to give monthly reports. I think I’m right in saying you are the very first person to comment on the reports in the years we have been writing them.

      But, thank you for contacting us and giving us the opportunity to reply in open forum.

      I am truly sorry that you have stopped coming because of the absence of the monthly report. I will attend to that rigorously and ensure that it doesn’t happen again, no matter what diversions and disruptions are taking place. But, you will only be able to judge the improvement in staffing , by visiting us and fishing.

      Oh, how I wish all our anglers were gentlemen anglers of the old school, who recognised fish quality, water quality, ambience of venue etc etc. Most want to “bag up”. So we try to please all of you. If you don’t wish to “bag up” you know what you have to do. Slow down, don’t cast, “read” the water and increase your knowledge of environment, fly life bird life etc etc.

      Avington Trout Fishery is world famous. Some of the reasons for this are outside our control, they exist naturally, and it is of no importance as to who manages or owns the Fishery. Our water is our most precious asset. It is directly from the river Itchen, and although we are known as a Still Water Fishery, there is a constant flow of fresh water through the lakes 24 hours per day. We are less than 3 miles from the Source of the Itchen, so we are unlikely to suffer pollution, as the river travels through meadow farm land from source to us. The River grows from thousands of underwater springs creating the River through the chalk immediately below it. So Water quality is constant as is water temperature and oxygen levels. These three assets set us apart from most other fisheries.

      Where our management has control is with the density of fish we grow on in our stock ponds. This figure per cubic metre of water is very low. This allows fish to grow, fins and tails to grow, undamaged by other fish. Plus because there is a constant flow of water through the stock ponds, the fish swim 24 hours per day which gives them additional strength. Additionally, the quality and quantity of fish food.Which we monitor very carefully.

      None of the aforementioned has changed in the 19 years, it has been my privilege to own Avington Trout Fishery. We have always raised fin perfect, hard fighting fish, for the sporting angler.

      Staff, the most senior of which has the title ”manager” have changed under my ownership. I have been lucky enough to have some of the best staff in England working at the Fishery over the years. I think of Mick Prior, Robbie and Beverly Winram, Cameron Craig, Tom Haggett to name but a few. But things move on, and as much as I don’t like change, it is inevitable that staff move on. What I can say is that I remain on very good terms with all those mentioned.

      Obviously, I hope sincerely that you and the new staff get on as well as you clearly have with past staff. Fingers crossed, but that’s a bit outside my control. What I can tell you is that whenever a vacancy arises for a position at Avington, there are many many applicants, and I try very hard to get the best. Certainly, the staff of Aaron, Roger and James, are the highest qualified and most experienced group Avington has ever had.

      What you can’t do is pull the “I must be getting old” trick. I am almost certainly older than you and have fished for more years. Come and see us, and see why Avington is still the pre-eminent stillwater fishery in the UK, why I have such pride in ownership and why we maintain the surroundings to our best ability, whilst not destroying it’s “wildness”, and please feel free to write again and tell us if you enjoyed the experience as you always have in the past.

      Bob.

      Reply

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