Norfolk has a couple of places tucked away that are absolute gems, this place to me is one of them.
The Trout lakes at East Tuddenham just off the A47 15 minutes East of Norwich are run by a very friendly and inviting Norfolk and Suffolk Fly Fishers Society, formed in 1974 with an open membership and open to non-members on a day ticket; unlike many secret squirrel trout clubs who run a “dead man’s boots” type of membership fulfilment! There are two main types of membership, full rod or half rod, to suit your budget. The club is a member of Institute of Fisheries Management, they are also associated with the Countryside Alliance Fishing 4 Schools Campaign and Casting For Recovery.
One of the main things I love about this club is the amount of work they do getting people in to the hobby via their Try The Fly introductory days, £20* adults or £10* for under 17yr olds! You get a 1:1 or 1:2, all gear provided + your fishing licence for the day AND if your lucky enough to land 2 trout for the table. Many won’t know that it was at one of these Try the Fly days 4 years ago, when I actually started to fly fish and these days I based my Pike on Fly sessions on a similar template to Try the Fly (all the gear you need, insured, trained coach and just hope the fish play their part). I STILL highly recommend people to sign up if they want to start their way in to fly fishing via the N&SFFS, Contact Tony Hull via the details on the Try the Fly website page (linked above). *Prices at the time of posting this*
Two things usually happen on the anniversary of me officially getting in to fly fishing just 4 years ago, My fishing licence is due for renewal and N&SFFS hold their annual charity BBQ held at the lakes, where the club donates to EACH (East Anglian Children Hospice). The main fundraiser day is in the form of an auction, the auction is a gold mine of fishing tackle of all sorts for anyone looking for a bargain. Today saw a brand-new Salmon two handle 12ft rod go for £30, barely used waders for £10, coarse gear for £1.00 and if you ever wanted to get your hands on a pack of Pike flies tied by yours truly cheaper than shop price… yep, you gotta be there to be in with a chance. I usually donate things to this auction every year. Today’s annual BBQ had free casting lessons with Jim Gill from Strictly Flyfishing who also headed up my Angling Trust Coaching coarse, there was fly tying demo from Simon Easthope (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) who travels nationwide, live music, great food, equally entertaining auction run by Tony.. The man is a master at gleaning those extra £s out of you, and all for a worthy cause and beautiful venue.
Tony the Gabble master Star prize raffle winner Live Music BBQ time
East Tuddenham lakes are two spring fed, approx 6 acres, medium depth lakes and separated by a dam wall which you can cast from. I have found the Top lake to usually have better clarity than the bottom lake, each equally fishable as the other. Fully matured trees making some spots challenging, islands in each lake, maintained banks, on site toilet and new cabin to sit planning your tactics. The lakes are regularly stocked with 1lbs to double figure Trout and even up to every fortnight in the cooler part of the year, why so regular, I hear you thinking? This is the bit that some may not be too keen on, the lakes are strictly Catch/Kill, there is no C&R allowed even on the big lumps. But I have to say, out of all the fisheries I fly fish for Trout; East Tuddenham have the hardest fighting, tail walking trout around and these fish are not as gullible as many think! I have blanked on days that should have been a walk in the park!
After you have booked in by the walk through gate, pop in to the second hut and read the board; on the “board” are tips left by previous anglers to which pegs and patterns were working for them. This gives you a good start point, and the board will also let you know when the last re-stock was. As you walk around the fishery, you may come across various flies pressed in to the seats/leaning posts dotted around the lake. These are left by previous anglers who had success on them as a gift to the next angler to use, please pass on the same after your successful day’s fishing.
If you’d like to meet the N&SFFS, they will have a stall up at the East Anglian Game & Country Fair in a couple of weeks on the 25th and 26th September at Euston Estate near Thetford. There is a “fishing village” near the lake end of the show ground with fly casting demos and free fly casting lessons to sign up to, if you missed out on the auctions today at the BBQ; don’t worry, you have another chance at picking up a bargain from the stall at the show AND I have donated a DAY out with me Pike Fly Fishing!
Last but not least, membership/day ticket pricing:
MEMBERSHIP £60 per annum – Reduces non-members day tickets fee from £25 to £20 for 4 fish, PLUS options to buy books of day tickets at a further saving or, a book of five evening tickets (2 fish limit) for £50 PLUS access to various social events throughout the year.
JUNIORS (Under 17) FREE MEMBERSHIP. Day ticket £6.50 – 4 Fish limit
SEASON: Full rods – 40 visits (1st March – 31st October) and Half rods (20 visits) available. Multiple visits per day allowed if you are really ‘on the fish’ 3 fish per visit outside ‘Season’ – Members’ discounted day ticket prices apply.
‘ALL YEAR’ Rods/ Half rods: as above, but from 1st November – 31st October.