A brace of winter fish
In November 2019, by popular demand from Syndicate members, Blackwater Lake became a multi method part of the fishery while Shide Lake remains a fly fishing only water. Carp up to 20 lb in Shide Lake are being transferred to Blackwater Lake, which already holds a large number of mostly smaller carp and other species including Perch will be stocked during the winter. In the meantime Blackwater Lake already holds a large number of good sized dace. At their last visit this was the Environment Agency’s only known stillwater breeding population of this species.
Fishery rules require fly fishing with a single fly only and lures are not permitted. Generally, except in the depths of winter, fishing a floating line is the most productive method. With good hatches of midges and sedges and, at the right times of the year, abundant terrestrials on the water, including hawthorn flies and daddy long legs, dry fly fishing can be spectacular. At other times a buzzer fished almost static can be deadly and with a huge damsel population, the banks are often blue with them in the summer, a damsel nymph can be guaranteed to do the business (well almost!). Dace will readily take a fly as will perch when stocked.
So far as coarse fishing is concerned. A maximum of two rods are allowed. Spinning is not permitted. It is anticipated that fish will grow on rapidly following the introduction of bait.
ABOUT THE FISHERY
Stocked with full finned, fighting fit fish bred and reared for the fishery – no blunt-nosed, finless stockies here – the fly fishing is superb and until recently one of the Island’s best kept secrets. There is only one other small fly fishing water open to the public on the Island and with 5.5 acres (2.2 hectares) of water to play with here, and a strict limit on the number of rods attending, you are guaranteed an exclusive and uncrowded fishing experience surrounded by stunning scenery and wildlife. Rainbows, including fabulous blues and coppers predominate but there are also a number of elusive brown trout in the waters. Fish are stocked at weights of between 1.5 lbs (0.7 kg) and 4.5 lbs (2 kg) and on the 6 and 7 weight outfits ideal for these waters they provide tremendous sport.
Stunning wildlife and a Marvel Common Carp,
taken on the fly!
Naughty fox cub
on the banks of Shide Lake
Fishing is from half an hour before sunrise until half an hour after sunset and the fishery is open year-round. Catch and release of trout is permitted subject to special guidelines but there is also an option to retain two fly caught fish for the table.
Home Pond, Blackwater Lake and St. George's Down beyond
Blackwater Lake through the irises
Fly fishing tuition, and fly fishing tackle hire for for two persons are available subject to prior arrangement. Flies are not provided but a selection of the most suitable patterns can be purchased prior to arrival from a number of suppliers. Car parking is available close to Blackwater Lake where there is also a fishing hut containing the fishery records book. Level access to part of the fishery from the car park makes it suitable for those with mild disabilities but no other facilities are provided. Careful note should be taken of the safety notice included in the fishery rules.
Fly fishing tackle and flies
The best dry flies for fly fishing Isle of Wight are: black gnat, hawthorn fly, daddy long legs and hoppers, klinkhammers, grey wolf, CDC shuttlecocks and shipmans, G&H, elk and deer hair sedges.
The best nymphs and wet flys are: buzzers, damsels, GRHEs, pheasant tails, drowned daddies, green montanas and bloodworms. If fishing a floating line it is best to have a variety of weighted and unweighted and/or goldhead patterns.
Advice will be willingly given as to the best patterns to use either immediately before your visit or when you arrive.
Unfortunately the only Island tackle shop supplying fly fishing tackle has recently closed so if you intend to use your own tackle come well equipped with both tackle and flies. However some online suppliers can provide next day delivery.
The best sources of both tackle and flies are the well-known mail order companies. Here are just a few but you will have to check their delivery options:
Coarse fishing tackle and supplies
For those wishing to take advantage of the coarse fishing option for Blackwater Lake, the Island's best and most comprehensive supplier of coarse and specialist carp fishing tackle is just next door.
Tim's Bait and Tackle is only a few hundred meters away at Isle of Wight Pet Centre, Watergate Rd, Newport PO30 1XP. Phone. 01983 539939
Click the link to see the location of Tim's Bait and Tackle, Marvel Cottage and the lakes.