Happy new year!

Well, I am very glad to be leaving 2022 and be able to positively look forward to 2023 with what is coming!

The last 2 years have been very challenging years for us here at the fishery as it has been for many people… But 2022 was a year of health problems for me personally with a severe abscess, followed by a very bad reaction to covid booster jab last Christmas then a mini-stroke, covid, followed by long covid!! So, after all the tests + treatments possible, I’m just happy to be here and looking forward to the new year.

We are very grateful to our loyal regulars for sticking by us through thick and thin offering help and support through a testing time. In times like that, you realise who truly your friends are. We appreciate those that joined the membership and some buying a ticket even though they never turned up. I got your back when needed!!

Unfortunately, nothing last forever and things change for various reasons – prices go up, seasons affect the fishery in numerous different ways, droughts, extreme heat, floods, ice, etc. It’s been tough for all who are involved in this industry and my heart goes out to some of the farms producing the fish we love to catch, stress levels rose this summer for many rearing and holding fish with big losses for some, food costs, diesel/ transport + electric affecting all those involved. This affects fishing costs everywhere.

Comparing one fishing ticket price to another fishery ticket price is a lot more than just a pound note. What should be taken into account is different…

Fishery running costs – one might be on an opposite energy supplier and paying 3 or 4 times more than another, how many pumps and aerators are in use this summer??!! Does this fishery produce their own fish or buy in from miles away, is it funded by other means? Like water, rates if a reservoir. Or is it on an estate with countless other businesses on the spread-out massive site? or owned by many other companies and even run as a tax loss business as I have worked on one of those before. Every fishery is different to another and as such has hugely different costs.

After that summer from hell, then a low river problem for ages, and a frozen lake for a couple of weeks, supporting your local business, especially fisheries, is now more important than ever. There are many days written off in the year due to various conditions – too hot, too bright, too windy, too cold, therefore it will not come as surprise that the cost of fish will increase significantly, and without the much-needed support of fishermen, fisherwomen, fisherkids etc. many fisheries will unfortunately close due to financial pressure and untenable costs.

At Thornwood Spring we try to offer something for all needs and budgets with tickets in the £20 / £30 brackets up to £80. We stock a wide range of species and size, why compare something that is so different as you cannot compare a place that only stocks 2lb rainbows for 6-months of the year versus somewhere with brown tout stocked at times to 20lb plus tigers, sparctics, etc.

The only big difference is to our catch+release changes which were implemented as a direct result of too high a percentage of anglers not releasing fish properly – be it fishing a barbed hook, using a knotted landing net, taking the fish out of water unnecessarily, too light a rod or line breaking strain etc. All things verbally agreed with by all when getting tickets. If it did not cost us so badly, we would obviously still offer that option, a few have spoilt it for the many, therefore catch and release is now an optional extra at right times of year only, with an additional cost. But only on Three Springs + the Stalking Pools.

The Trenches is a catch/keep only water for bigger fish with rainbows & browns averaging 6lbs but stocked 4lb and up to double figures.

This will be open for big trout fishing winter season from October till the end of May then will be a specimen Perch/big tench water for the Summer months, just like Three Springs has been used for specimen Rudd/Crucian for the hotter months the last 5 years gaining a place for some of the UKs biggest Rudd regularly caught, so the summer trout fishing is being downsized to just Three Spring keep section + the Stalking Pools.

The last 2 summers have been tough + expensive to run just for trout, especially with how Covid changed our easy/beginners keep end. Those that have unfortunately criticised the trenches pricing simply have no idea of the cost of stocking quality big fish or maintaining a site of this size. Some anglers I asked think a stock sized rainbows cost 50p or breed naturally in the lake, while a 22lb brown in fact costs me £250, as one angler thought, so it’s not feasible to only charge £20 for a fishing ticket??!! That’s without the natural predation done by cormorants, herons and mink or bad catch and release. They get to fish for free!!!

With the new specimen sized species for summer to look forward to we also will have a new cafe opening soon, not just run of the mill cooking and menu! Can have a pottery lesson by Trixia in her studio or buy some of her creations and if fancy a weekend in summer options to stay is possible.

We are glad most who visit leave positive reviews and value what we offer, on google with over 200 review with 4.8 stars. The last ever years of Trout Fisherman voted us number 23 out of the top 100 so we are doing most right for many. Happy New Year all and look forward to your next year’s catches wherever and whatever they are.

Thank you for your continued support!

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