Exe Valley Report – From Sue Hart

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Since my last report which was written whilst there was snow on the ground, we have had Storm Eric followed by the most glorious February weather. It has been lovely to see so many anglers fishing Anchor Lake in the sun. The lake is beautifully clear with the fish cruising just below the surface. All areas around the lake have been fishing well with a wide range of flies being successful along with a slow retrieve.

Chris Comber from Norton Fitzwarren visited Exe Valley Fishery for the first time during Storm Eric and managed to entice out this hard fighting Rainbow Trout.

Richard Carr from Wiveslicombe was given his permit as a gift and visited Exe Valley over the half term. Richard caught 4 fish with the biggest weighing in at 4 ½ lbs.

Anchor Lake Tactics

Throughout February a large number of flies have been working well with Bloodworm & Blob patterns continuing to be successful along with Sedge, Diawl Bachs, Damsels and Hares Ears. The fish have been close to the surface earlier in the day and moving down a little deeper when the sun is very bright.

Lobbs Lake Re-opening

After the huge weeding effort on New Years Eve I am pleased to say that Lobbs Lake will open for family fishing from Monday 1st April 2019. Lobbs Lake will have a separate permit to Anchor Lake and it will be an any method lake. As well as fishing on Lobbs Lake there will be bags of fish food for sale in the shop for those who would like to come and feed the fish.

Special Offers & New Permit Option

Starting today I will be trialling a 1 fish permit option as requested by several of our anglers, also any transaction of £25.00 or over will receive a voucher to use in the shop.

Fishery Notices

· Quick reminder to anglers that have taken up our Winter Permit Offer – there is less than a month to go to gain your free permit with the offer ending on 31.03.2019. You then have until 30.04.2019 to use your permit.

· Please can I remind anglers fishing Catch & Release that there are few separate rules. A copy can be found here.

· The pre-order menu will continue to be available until 31.03.2019. There is a copy below.

Thank you for taking the time to read this report. Sue x

Great cold water sport at Exe Valley

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With the snow melting fast outside it seems like a good time to show some of the stunning fish that anglers at Exe Valley have been catching. The cold spell has far from slowed the fishing with anglers having great success on a variety of flies and tactics. The fish are in great condition & fighting hard.

(Below)John Ratcliffe from Exmouth visited on a very cold day and used a variety of different patterns and depths with a slow retrieve. He caught all six of his fish including a lovely Blue Trout.

(Below)Andy Dade from Berrow visited and caught 4 fish including a cracking 6lb 1oz Rainbow Trout noting “Good day again, all fish on Apps Bloodworm. Deep and slow retrieve” A few days later however Andy returned to Anchor Lake and landed a stunning 12lb 2oz Rainbow Trout using an Apps Bloodworm on a floating line. This Rainbow was Andys personal best Rainbow Trout – well done Andy!

(Below) Colin Nice from Exeter visited with a friend during last week and enjoyed bacon rolls on arrival & soup by the lake for lunch – available from our the fishery pre order menu. Colin caught 6 fish including a nice 4lb Rainbow Trout. Colin said “Very good – enjoyable all aspects. All fish on small flies P.T.N, D.B, Bloody William & floating line – 6”-12” down.

Winter Trout Sport at Exe Valley Fishery

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Well done to Ben Cheeld who fished at Exe Valley today. Ben is the first angler on our Winter Permit Special Offer to receive his free permit.
We now have a date for the Exe Valley Fishery Troutmasters Competition which is Sunday 14th April 2019.

It is hard to believe that we are over halfway through January already. Even with the colder wintery weather it has been lovely to welcome so many anglers both regular visitors and some that haven’t fished since early 2018. We have also announced the date for the Troutmasters competition (more information below).

Anchor Lake Tactics

With the weather being a bit cooler this week the fish have been sitting a little deeper at around 5 foot however on Thursday the sun warmed the lake quickly and by mid-morning the fish were happily cruising just below the surface. Most people are continuing to use floating lines although with the cold spell forecast it may be worth using an intermediate line.

Popular flies this week have been Orange Blob & Damsel patterns, but by far the most successful again this week have been Bloodworm patterns. Jonathan Moore from Exeter hasn’t fished at Exe Valley Fishery for over 6 months but took full advantage of the very popular Catch & Release ticket and caught all six of his fish on Bloodworm patterns. Also caught on a Bloodworm was a 9lb Rainbow Trout weighed in by Simon Metters from Exeter.

Exe Valley Offers Fine Festive sport

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Exe Valley Fishery is fishing well in this mild December weather with catch and release options ensuring anglers get the opportunity to enjoy superb value. Throughout the year the trout can be tempted using small immitative patterns the fact that the trout are sometimes slightly more discerning could well be because of tne catch and release policy. One of the joys of these small still waters is that they allow anglers of all ages to enjoy time beside the water as in the case of 81 year old Jim Hattin pictured further diown the page.

WINTER PERMIT OFFER – Buy 4 permits and have your 5th outing on Exe valley!

Don’t forget our Winter Permit Offer starts on the 27th December 2018

We are pleased to be able to announce a Winter Fishing Permit Offer *(subject to T&Cs) to those of you who would like to support the fishery when the fishing is great … but the weather isn’t the most pleasant!

From Thursday 27th December 2018 to Sunday 31st March 2019 inclusive BUY 4 PERMITS & GET THE 5th PERMIT – FREE!!! You are free to choose whatever 5th permit you like … the deal is you must visit and pay for 4 full price permits within the allotted time published above, that’s it!

* Terms & Conditions 1) Pre-paid gift voucher permits DO NOT qualify for this offer. 2) All permits MUST be completed in full to register as a visit. 3) Return slips MUST be completed at the end of each session to register as a visit. 4) A permit purchased and not matched to a return slip will not be counted. 5) ONE FREE PERMIT of the anglers choice (C&R, 2, 3, 4 or 5 fish) will be issued after 4 full price visits subject to the T&Cs 6) The FREE permit will be valid for one visit only which must be taken by 30th April 2019 7) This offer can be enjoyed more than once between 27/12/18 & 31/03/19 – e.g. Fish 8 times and receive 2 FREE PERMITS 8) The FREE permit is non-transferable and has no cash value.

(Above) Blair Woodlland with a cracker taken on Saturday 22nd, December . He and his 3 mates caught and returned 40 fish between them including several on dries!

(Right)Steve Edmonds took part in our Christmas prize draw and was first out of the hat, having fished with the South Molton club a couple of weeks ago. He went home with a hamper worth £50. Well done Steve, we hope you enjoy!

(Below)  Eighty-one year old Jim Hatim  was undergoing surgery just last week and yet a few days later he was enjoying the mild December weather and looking very pleased with these three prime rainbows.


Win a Christmas Hamper at Exe Valley

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We sold out of smoked fish last week, thank you to all those customers who spotted the sign, visiting us for the first time and placed orders in time for Christmas. More stock is now available including Smoked Trout, Duck, Cheese and even Nuts!

The lakes have been battered by the weather this week, but those venturing out such as Mr Crane have been catching fish and at times enjoying some stunning scenes. See more here https://www.exevalleyfishery.co.uk/…/fishery-news-christmas…

This week – come fishing, spend as little as £25 on permits and/or the shop and be entered into our prize draw for a delicious hamper including smoked trout, cheese, nuts & pickles! The draw will run from Monday 10th to Friday 21st December with the lucky winner able to collect their prize over the weekend 22nd/23rd December … just in time for Christmas!


SAT 22nd DEC – FISHERY OPEN ALL DAY / SHOP OPEN 9.00am – 1.00pm

SUN 23rd DEC – FISHERY OPEN ALL DAY / SHOP OPEN 9.00am – 1.00pm





FRI 28th DEC – FISHERY OPEN ALL DAY / SHOP OPEN 9.00am – 1.00pm

SAT 29th DEC – FISHERY OPEN ALL DAY / SHOP OPEN 9.00am – 1.00pm




WED 2nd JAN – FISHERY OPEN ALL DAY / SHOP OPEN 10.00am – 2.00pm (Normal Business Hours Resume)

Exe Valley Re-opens

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Nick and Sue Hart announce the reopening of this delightful Fly Fishery close to Dulverton.

Anchor Lake is once again open for fishing.  The fishery have received several inquirers from anglers keen to fish and have therefore opened the doors in time for the weekend. 

Please note that there is weed present in the lake although the algae situation is much improved.  Dry flies and top water tactics will be needed, long leaders tied to goldheads and heavy lures will result in frustration rather than good fishing!

We advise that all anglers check the lake prior to making a decision to purchase a permit (which must be paid for prior to fishing), please see the relevant rules and details regarding the current conditions in the permit hut.  A fresh stocking will take place in time for bank holiday weekend.

(Above) A fin perfect 7lb plus rainbow caught just before the fishery closed due to prolific weed growth triggered by the hot summer.

As cooler air moves in with rain and wind small stillwater’s will start to fish well. A dry daddy long-legs could well be the pattern to try with weed still problematic to anglers who fail to adapt to conditions.

Long Dry Summer Brings Temporary Closure at Exe Valley

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Nick Hart posted this message today. Hopefully autumn will see the reopening of the fishery when conditions have improved. This long dry summer is certainly bad news for the game angler.

Unfortunately I am sad to report that I have had to close the fishery today. Huge thanks to Blair Woodland, Simon Autton, Chris Guest, Andrew Berwick, Daniel Osmond, Terry Humphries & John Ackhurst for all your efforts & strong arms.

We were close to sorting it and even as recently as this last weekend fish like this 7lb 8oz fin perfect Rainbow were being caught. However in the circumstances I am not prepared to stock fish into these conditions and due to the reoccurrence of algae, which has accelerated during the last week, the lake is unfishable.

I apologise for the inconvenience and hope to have the venue back up and running when the weather improves.


I joined members of Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club at Exe Valley Fishery on Sunday June 10th and with a sunny day in prospect  I wondered how hard the fishing would be as blue skies and sunshine are not always an ideal recipe for good sport. It was great to arrive and meet up with Nick Hart who manages the fishery with his wife Sue. Nick and I always have plenty to discuss and it was a while since we had last met and there was plenty to catch up on especially with NIck now working away in a prestigious role with Farlow’s in London.

Exe Valley has introduced an enlightened day ticket strategy that incorporates catch and release with catch and kill offering a wide range of options at different prices. The club members elected to purchase a three fish ticket that entitled the angler to retain three trout and then continue fishing releasing the next three trout. Catch and release fishing is strictly barb-less hooks, rubber meshed nets and fish to be returned as soon as possible with minimal handling.

After chatting with Nick  almost half an hour of the competition had already passed by before I strolled out to the lake that looked stunning on this hazy summers day. Several members had already caught their three fish quota and were enjoying a chat and a drink from their flasks.

With trout rising freely all around I decided on using a light weight outfit presenting a small Cul de canard dry fly pattern on a 4lb tippet.

Casting to individual rising fish it was not long before I enjoyed the satisfaction of connection as a trout leisurely devoured the dry fly in that delightful moment of deception savored by trout anglers over many decades.

A few yards along the bank fellow club member Nigel Bird was also enjoying dry fly action practicing catch and release after completing his three fish quota.

Two more trout succumbed to my dry fly in quick succession and gave spirited tussles on the light tackle I was employing. Casting a dry fly to individual feeding fish was great fun and very rewarding fishing. The last of my three fish on catch and release proved to be my best trout of the day and I estimated it at just over three pounds a fish that made my reel sing as it tested my light weight outfit.

With my fishing over for the day it was time to take a stroll around the lake with my camera and capture a few images of this delightful fishery.

Vivid flag Iris brought a pleasing splash of yellow whilst brightly coloured damsel flies flitted amorously  amongst the lakeside reeds and lush plants.

By early afternoon all members had caught their allocation of three trout and it was time to weigh in. Winner by a very large margin was Dave Richards with a three fish bag of 18lb 4oz that included a fine brace of rainbows caught within his first few casts weighing 8lb 8oz and 7lb 8oz.

Runner up was Dave Mock with 8lb and third Colin Combe with 6lb 12oz.

Exe Valley Christmas double !

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This fine double figure rainbow trout brought a smile to Nick Hart’s face as he travelled through the Londons Piccadilly on his way to his work at Farlow’s. Content in the knowledge that his wife Sue is keeping the home lake running smoothly. The cracking fish was tempted from Exe Valley Fishery by fishery regular Danny Ford.  Exe Valley wish everyone a fantastic few days break, and a Merry Christmas!