Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club – 2019

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Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club are a small friendly club who meet at least once a month to fish Stillwater trout fishery’s in the south West. Membership is £18.00 per year. For membership contact David Richards ;-  rich.david@hotmail.co.uk

Competition Programme 2019/20

Date Venue Times Special Rules Award
10/03/19 Wimbleball 10am-4pm Bank D&D Cup
07/04/19 Clatworthy 10am-4pm Bank April Trophies
12/05/19 Blakewell Fishery 9am-4pm Floating Lines Only. Max fly size 10 Buzzer/DRY Edwards Cup
09/06/19 Exe Valley 10am-4pm Hulland Trophy
14/07/19 Wimbleball 10am-4pm Boat Jubilee Rose Bowl
11/08/19 Bratton Fisheries – BBQ 3pm-7pm None


Beeny Trophy
08/09/19 Hawkridge Fishing with the women – times to be confirmed Boat


Roger & Guard Shield
06/10/19 Clatworthy 10am-4pm Boat Secretary’s


27/10/19 Bratton Fisheries 10am-4pm
20/11/19 Exe Valley 10am-4pm First round of Winter Challenge
15/12/19 Blakewell Fishery 10am-3pm Christmas Competition*
12/01/20 Simpson Valley or Blakewell Fishery 10am-4pm Second round of Winter Challenge
09/02/20 Bratton Fisheries 9am-3pm Third round of Winter Challenge

*Please can all competitors that are invited to take part in the Christmas Competition donate a raffle prize to around the value of £5


Winter Challenge – best two competitions, out of the three, to count.




NOTE: All Boat bookings and transport arrangements are the responsibility of the members

Seasons underway on Taw and Torridge

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The first day of the salmon season brought success for anglers on both the Taw and Torridge an excellent omen for the coming season.

Seth Tuson fished the Lower River Torridge and got his season off to a great start  tempting a fine fresh run salmon estimated at 8lb.

On the River Taw Chris Steer fished the Weir Marsh and Brightly Beats on the Taw and tempted a 7lb bar of silver.


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A New Season gets underway at Wimbleball Reservoir where expectations are high for some superb early season sport with hard fighting rainbow trout that have been stocked in good numbers. With mild conditions running up to the seasons start the trout should be moving well and eager to feed. Lure anglers will probably do well over the opening days with black often the most successful colour.

The fishery enjoyed a very productive season last year with excellent catch returns despite difficult weather conditions that saw the lake drop to very low summer levels. The lake is now close to full and should give sport from both bank and boat.

An imaginative pricing policy gives excellent value with a five fish ticket just £25 or catch and release at £25 with two fish to kept at the start of the session. For full details click on the advert below…

Guidance for the new salmon season

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A new salmon season gets underway on March 1st and with river levels looking good there is optimism that a few spring fish will be tempted. The River Taw Fishery Association have sent recommendations to all their members who fish the Taw. See below.

EA Consultation: Managing Salmon & Sea Trout Fisheries. RTFA Committee Recommendations.

As you are all probably aware we move into a new era on the river this coming season. We will no longer have any salmon and sea trout nets on the estuary and while we have campaigned successfully against mandatory 100% catch and release (C&R) the Environment Agency expects us to reach and maintain a release level for salmon of over 90% for 2019 and beyond. Failure to comply could result in the imposition of mandatory 100% C&R.

When we fish this coming season and thereafter how should we adjust to the fact that the EA expects us to maintain this release level for salmon bearing in mind that our release levels were 88% in 2017, 79% in 2016 and 85% in 2015?

Given the 90% plus C&R target, the EA salmon bag limits which form part of the River Taw byelaws have become largely irrelevant – 2 fish in any 24 hour period, 3 fish in any 7 day period and 10 fish in a season. From now on, in theory, an individual would have to catch and release 10 salmon before keeping one to ensure the Taw stays above 90% C&R. In practice this translates into each of us operating on a 100% voluntary C&R basis whenever we possibly can. The RTFA Committee now recommends this.

It will be important for RTFA members, including our three fishing hotels, to take responsibility for getting this message out to non-members and visiting anglers who fish their water.

We appreciate that will not be to everyone’s liking, but it should beremembered that during the consultation process we were faced with the real threat of mandatory 100% C&R.

If we turn our attention to sea trout, for which the EA is not setting out an expected release level, our historical release levels were 77% in 2015, 82% in 2016 and 81% in 2017. Again the EA bag limits have become largely irrelevant – 5 fish in any 24 hour period, 15 fish in any 7 day period and 40 fish in a season. All of us know, particularly the specialist sea trout fishermen amongst us, that sea trout numbers have been falling dramatically in recent years. In 2017 for

example, the last year for which we have complete figures, sea trout numbers dropped below salmon numbers for the first time – 193 to 243 (EA rod catch figures). From preliminary numbers that I have received this situation persisted last season. We are still trying to understand the reasons for this decline, but without knowing the cause we cannot put together any remedial plans. As a result your Committee recommends that until there is a significant improvement in sea trout numbers we should practice voluntary 100% C&R whenever we possibly can.

By operating the same system for salmon and sea trout we will ensure that the largest possible numbers of both species are able to reach their spawning grounds. At the same time we will continue to make as many river improvements annually as funding permits. Particular emphasis will be placed on finding out what is behind the sea trout decline and taking appropriate remedial action to the extent that it turns out to be an in-river problem.

The beginning of the season is a good time for each of us to remind ourselvesof “good practice”. Our Good Practice Guide can be found on the RTFA website – www.rivertawfisheries.co.uk.

Let’s hope for a successful season this year with a full river and no droughts. That will give us a good opportunity to assess the true condition of our lovely river and its fish stocks.

Alex Gibson, Chairman February 2018

Top Value Fishing Ticket offer at Blakewell

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Blakewell Fishery are offering a special rate for a days fishing offering great value for money. Plus if you visit on a Saturday there will be a delicious homemade stew available from the cafe for £5.00 an ideal warm up for lunch before travelling home or continuing fishing.

Loyalty 5 fish ticket for £30

Dear Angler,
Richard and John would like to thank you for your support last year; it was a challenging season and the Summer had an effect on all of us.
We hope to see you all soon for this new season and would like to offer you an all day 8am until sunset, loyalty 5 fish ticket for £30 available on your next visit.

Every Saturday there will also be a homemade stew available from the cafe for £4. Any angler who visits the fishery twice in a month and uses 2 x £30 tickets qualifies for a free bowl of stew and tea or coffee.

Tight lines and kind regards

John and Richard.

Line recycling

Line is probably the most harmful material anglers use and experienced anglers change their line on a regular basis as it is the vital link between them and the fish they hope to persuade to the waters edge. Discarded line has long been an issue that causes concern even when put out with the rubbish it can get onto landfill where it can entangle birdlife. I have in the past cut my line into short lengths or burnt it on the fire. Now there is a scheme to recycle old mono and braid and the good news is that North Devons tackle shops are participating in the scheme so please bag up your old line and take it to your local tackle shop and place in the designated receptacle. For more information on the scheme please click on the below link.