Holbury Lakes, Hampshire

guest21

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Too expensive

In my opinion, Holbury Lane Lakes is FAR too expensive for a 2 fish ticket at £28, considering the average size of the fish it stocks . . . .
It's gone up for 2011 to £30 !!!!!!!!!

JC
 
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andysm1k

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I fished at Holbury yesterday. The fishing was excellent with fishing feeding nicely off the top for most of the afternoon. All of the lakes were producing hard fighting, fully finned fish provided the correct flies were used, there were some heads being scratched! Inventive casting is required in some places.
Free coffee and tea plus the use of a microwave oven in the small fishing hut also a large (but unvisited by me), fishing lodge is avalailble. The place is very well kept and the stocking levels are good. There may be a problem with the algal bloom as the summer progresses.
This is an expensive place to fish, particulalrly considering the modest size of the fish; probably better value at £46 for 4 fish than £30 for 2.
I shall return before it gets too hot.
 

rudolf hukka

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It's now £3! for 2 fish & £49 for 4!!!!!!
Considering there are other local fisheries with similar stocking policies that are considerably cheaper I shall not be fishing there again.........
Rudolf
 

JohnH

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Rudolf - glad to know it's not just me who's now finding the lake fishing at Holbury somewhat pricey for what they offer, which is a bit predictable. It's £1 a day more expensive than Avon Springs, where the fishing is more challenging and for bigger and better quality fish. On the last 2 Fridays I had 5 fish bags from Sutton Bingham reservoir that were much better quality than Holbury fish, and a book of 6 tickets on Wessex Water reservoirs works out around £15 a day.

The Holbury river beat is lovely and I will continue to fish it on split tickets in the summer, but I may well give John O'Gaunt a try next autumn and winter when I finish on the reservoirs.

If Holbury want to keep their customers happy, perhaps they should consider adding more interest by putting in about 60 to 70% only of their current numbers of base weight 2lb to 2lb 12oz fish, then mixing things up with some bigger ones, maybe a handful of smaller ones, and some browns in springtime.
 

rudolf hukka

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You're not wrong in your comments John!!
Depending on the choice of 2, or 4 fish ticket Holbury are anything between about 10% & alomst 30% dearer than their local competitors......
I was looking on Avon springs website earlier, & couldn't find their price tariffs for this year. Do you know what their charges are please??
I fished Chiphall recently & that wasn't bad value.
Rudolf
 

JohnH

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I was looking on Avon springs website earlier, & couldn't find their price tariffs for this year. Do you know what their charges are please??
Rudolf, it's £48 a day for a 4 fish ticket on the lakes, £38 for 3 fish and (I believe) £65 for a split river and lake day.

Catch the river right during the mayfly (first week in June on the Upper Avon) and it can be excellent....
 

rudolf hukka

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Thanks for that John, much appreciated:thumbs:
I might catch up with you one of these days at either avon springs, or John O'Gaunts!!
All the best,
Rudolf
 

DaveM

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[QUOTEI fished Chiphall recently & that wasn't bad value.
Rudolf[/QUOTE]

Hi Rudolph, I passed Chiphall the other week and stopped to have alook around but it seemed to be closed, or at least what gate we saw was closed.

What is it like there ?

We were on our way back from Moorhen. Have you tried there ?

The fish we had were in great nick and faught well and tasted even better. Free tea / coffee all day and some nice Bacon butties as well ( not free )

Fish are bagged, weighed and placed in a fridge for you as well, I shall return.

Tickets are £44 for 4 fish.

No I am not anything to do with them as I live on the Isle of Wight, just have to come over the water to fish and try a few different ones out.

Dave
 

JohnH

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Dave, I fished Moorhen a couple of times in 2008-9. Nice place, very friendly welcome and I caught a few quite good fish including some on dry flies. However, compared to some other Wessex small waters, it just seemed to lack a certain "wow factor" that would turn me into a regular visitor. 2 or 3 lakes to fish not just one, a few browns stocked as well as rainbows, tree cover to keep some fish in the margins, springs, or a river beat are the sort of things I mean.

I felt the same way about Meon Spings.
 

DaveM

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Hi John,
I know what you mean about having just the one lake to fish but they did fight well and were in great condition.

I have fished Meon once and to be blunt that was enough for me, way to many dead fish in the water fo my liking, not recently dead either, one was nearly a skelenton.

Have you tried Woodington ? They have a stretch of river I believe.

Dave
 

JohnH

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Hi Dave.

I'm trying the Woodington river beat in early June, and will take the opportunity for a scout around the lakes at the same time. I believe there's a lot of fishing, both game and coarse, on the site.
 

JohnH

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For the sake of completeness, I tried Woodington, both lakes and the river, on Monday 3 June.

I go along with what seems the majority view; while I would not want to be too harsh because John Hardeley the owner is a friendly guy and nothing was too much trouble, I was not really blown away with enthusiasm. All 3 fly lakes are pretty small and only one was sensibly fishable on the day. Another had totally opaque water as did the third which had algae problems as well. Kingfisher "lake" (pool really) was perfectly fishable, and I had a fun couple of hours and caught a nice brown on a suspender buzzer with a few refusals.

It's important to realise that the River Blackwater is not a chalkstream, it's a New Forest small river, expectations should be set accordingly. On my visit the water was clearing after recent rain so fish location was hard, however there were some fish rising to a small mayfly hatch, I caught one nice brown, lost another and struck too soon at a third all on dry Mayfly.

I would be more likely to to try the Whinwistle coarse fishery also on the complex than I would the trout fishing, if I returned.
 

rudolf hukka

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Prices at Holbury have risen yet again...............
£33 for a 2 fish ticket & £52 for 4!!!!!!!!!!
They've priced themselves out of my pocket, therea are other fisheries in Hampshire that provide equally good fishing for far less money :mad:
Rudolf
 

JohnH

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Hmmmmm - they're pushing it a bit aren't they, Rudolf ?

This is £2 more than for a day at Avon Springs, £4 more than Rockbourne and £8 more than John O'Gaunt. And it's just occurred to me that the price of 3 x 4-fish day tickets at Holbury is now only £4 more than the price of 2 x 4-fish days at Avington; the latter looks like the better buy ! Of course there's more to it than simply money, but at these prices us Southern softies do need to pick and choose carefully....

Going back to our posts of 9 months ago, it's not £52 a day in isolation that I'm uneasy about, more that increasingly I think we're entitled to expect more for our money than Holbury now offers. I was particularly disappointed on a day last Autumn when it was pretty clear that the place was being stocked - very publicly, using the small tractor and wheelie bin full of water - only in response to the number of anglers that arrived on the day. We all know there's an element of artificiality to small stillwater fishing, but please let the stocking be done discreetly. And the "peas in a pod" stock fish syndrome continues at Holbury. John O'Gaunt stock fish are better quality and they mix the sizes up a bit as well, making for a more interesting session.
 
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rudolf hukka

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You're not wrong in what you say John, I concur wholeheartedly.
They certainly need to mix up their stock sizes for a bit more variety, not that it matters to me anymore :mad:
All the best,
R
 

JohnH

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I think I'm also going to be only an occasional visitor going forward, with more of a focus on river and lake days in summer.

Update - or maybe not a visitor at all - looking at their web site, it's now £75 for a lake and river day at Holbury. Two of those pay for a chalkstream trip in the middle of Simon Cooper's price range, and I have bought a whole day on a Wylye beat in September, which I have to myself, for only £20 more than the price of a Holbury lake and river day.

Holbury has certainly lost another customer in addition to Rudolf...
 
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JohnH

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I had a "what the heck" moment and gave Holbury another try last Saturday. Fishery and surroundings looked as nice as ever and it seems as if Nigel and Dieter have been on top or ahead of the ground works, with hoggin repairs done to a muddy path and barley straw rolls already in place in a couple of the lakes so there were no algae issues, unlike those that some other Wessex smallwaters are already having.

I caught 4 nice rainbows, best 3lb exactly, on 2 different weighted damsel patterns, the fish were holding a little way down in the water so a 14 seconds sink time hit the spot.

The Holbury dilemma continues. It's a delightful small fishery where the angler can either fish speculatively or stalk in the lakes, or fish the river beat between April and October. But the tickets are undoubtedly still on the pricey side for what's on offer. Looking at the returns book and seeing the other anglers fishing on Saturday, plenty of folks remain happy to stand the cost.... I expect I will continue to visit but will cut the number of trips I make to 3 or 4 a year.
 

JohnH

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Quick update on Holbury;

Prices unchanged from 2014

New young manager in place, don't know where Nigel Shepherd went...

Website has been refreshed and Facebook page set up

From now (late March) onwards the fishery will stay open until sunset on Monday evenings. This might be worth a second glance in June and July as long as the weather is not too hot - chance for some interesting dry fly sport ?

I am going to fish Holbury again a few times this year, focusing on river and lake days. The lakes are undoubtedly a little on the expensive side for what's on offer, both per se and in comparison to other fisheries in the area, specially John O'Gaunt. But the Holbury River Dun beat is very nice, and well worth a cast 2 or 3 times each summer.
 
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Wassat Noyze

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Fished Holbury last week for the first time and had a very enjoyable morning (had the place to myself for a couple of hours early in the day). The greedy rainbows didn't present too much of a challenge, but the big blues were a different story, and stalking them provided some great sport!
Agreed, it's a bit pricey but what a lovely spot. The new manager, Simon, seems very enthusiastic and was very helpful.
 
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