Winter Trout at Exe Valley – Catch and Release a great option

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Anchor Lake has started 2019 in glorious style with more beautiful sun rises and producing some stunning fish. John Gilmore from Willand caught five cracking fish and also released four fish with his heaviest fish weighing in at around 6 1/2 lbs. John said ‘Great day again Sue. Very good quality and hard fighting fish’. John was joined by four other anglers and between them had 26 fish making an average of over 5 fish per person.

Ben Cheeld has continued his success. On his recent visit he caught 8 fish up to 7lb and is currently on his third permit on the new permit offer (more details below).

Winter Permit Offer

We have been thrilled by the number of anglers taking up the Winter Permit Offer and are keen to see which angler earns the first free permit. Full details below.

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

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.

Pre Order Food

I have been asked several times about bacon rolls/food since Christmas and am pleased to say that I am now offering a small pre-order menu through out the winter opening hours. If you are planning a trip to Exe Valley Fishery and would like something from the menu on arrival or during the day then please contact me to organise.

Many thanks for reading this post and I hope to welcome you to the fishery soon. A reminder of our Winter opening times are below.

Sue x

Telephone Enquiries: 01398 323008

(Above) The ladies didn’t miss out on the action either with Jane Young catching three stunning Rainbow Trout on a Hot Head Cats Whisker with legs.

Lobbs Lake

It hasn’t gone unnoticed by some of our regular visitors that Lobbs Lake seems to yo-yo between being empty and then full of water. I promise this isn’t as a result of me changing my mind each day but in fact the maintenance required so that it can become a fishing lake once again. Thanks to Nick and Blair Woodland (and a small amount of rake pulling by myself – there is evidence!) New Years Eve was Lobbs Lake clearance day with an extraordinary amount of weed removed. The pictures of the lake transforming through the day are incredible. Lobbs Lake is now refilled and ready for its relaunch in the Spring.

Wistlandpound Club enjoy a fine mornings Fly -Fishing

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Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club visited Bratton Water for the second leg of their Winter Challenge Series. Members found the lake in fine form with a variety of flies tempting the hard fighting trout in the clear water. Club secretary Dave Richards won the competition with three fish for 8lb 2oz. In runner up spot was Nigel Bird with three for 7lb 6oz with Paul Grisley and david Eldred equal  third with three for 7lb 5oz.

Andre Muxworthy three for 7lb 3oz, Colin Combes three for 7lb 2.5oz, Dave Mock three for 6lb 6oz and Wayne Thomas three for 5lb 7oz.

A typical catch of three hard fighting Bratton Water rainbows.

Whilst large flies and lures can work well at Bratton I personally prefer an approach with a little more finesse when fishing this picturesque water nestled in a peaceful Valley beside the Bratton Stream. Arriving at the fishery I selected a small gold-head PTN for the point and a small black buzzer on the dropper. Casting out across the lake I allowed the fly to sink for a few seconds before beginning a slow retrieve just keeping the line tight as it drifts in the breeze. The tip of the line was studied carefully and after a couple of casts it was pleasing to set the hook with a quick draw on the line with the left hand. I caught my three fish bag within an hour of starting as did virtually all fellow members. It must be very difficult to get the stocking balance right on these small stillwaters. Anglers vary greatly in angling ability and the trout fluctuate greatly in their willingness to feed. Combine the anglers ability, the vast variation in the British weather with the vagaries of the trout and you have a recipe that seldom suits all tastes. Too many fish and angler catches his fish too quickly, too few fish and anglers will grumble that they cannot catch. Generally Bratton Waters stocking policy is spot on as on its day it can offer challenging fishing yet very few days when anglers go home without a fish or five.

On a cool winters day Wistlandpound Club members enjoy the social aspect of a day by the water. Chatting about fish and life is a big part of the club angling scene and small still-water’s like Bratton are perfect for a Winter morning with members returning to families and home life after a bit of fresh air with a bag full of trout each for tomorrow nights tea.

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.

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Wimbleball Season continues until the end of November

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Its great news for Fly Fishers at Wimbleball Fly Fishery where the season has been extended until the end of November. Its been quite a season with the quality of the fishing surpassing expectation during a difficult year for trout fishing. Throughout the season anglers have enjoyed sport with tail perfect hard fighting rainbows and wild brown trout.

(Above)The 2 browns caught by Duncan Kier, the smaller one from Upton arm and the larger from Bessoms.

See recent comments from visiting anglers below.

Friday John Hern and boat partner bagged up on the boat and had double hook ups in the process

Duncan Kier and boat Partner had 11 fish to the boat which included a 5.5lb and a 8.5lb Brown.

The Withers, Father and 2 sons, caught 17 fish from the bank at Cowmoor of which 6 were browns.

Tight lines.

An excellent evening fishing on Bessoms yesterday. Despite the cold wind, there were 5 anglers. Fish rising, fry being chased, rods bending. I had to pull myself away after taking 2 well sized rainbow trout whilst missing others. Before fishing, I’d read that the “Clifton” used to be the fly of choice. I quickly tied 2 and can say, yes, they work. Savage takes. The smaller version was more successful! Size 12, very short black zonker wing, chartreuse tag, peacock body, red seal fur on the head with a little UV. Wish I had more. Suggest a minimum of 9lb 12′ leader. Steady retrieve with lots of pauses. A big thank you to Mark and Trudi.

“Today was my day on the bank at Wimbleball and what a day, lovely wild Brownies and scintillating top water sport with super fit, super fast full finned Rainbows taking me into the backing, a C&R ticket allows you to keep two for the pot then go barbless and shake em off.
Check it out I can’t recommend it enough…..Chris”

“Great day yesterday for Mike Stone and boat partner they had 24 fish to the boat drifting right down the middle of the narrows towards Bessoms.”

“Storm Ali and it’s leaden sky’s didn’t stop Ian and myself enjoying superb sport from the bank at Wimbleball today, these rainbows coupled with wild browns were eager to take our offerings, fish were moving close to the bank just as the clean was meeting coloured water disturbed by the gale force wind!”

I visited the lake back in March and hope to return once more before the close of the season on October 31st. Late in the season trout often feed on fry so lures can once again prove effective as can daddy long leg patterns and nymphs.

http://www.northdevonanglingnews.co.uk/2018/03/25/new-start-wimbleball/

For all fishing information please call Mark on 07758561412
Facebook: Wimbleball Fly Fishery
Email: Wimbleballflyfishery@aol.co.uk

Big rainbow for Wistlandpound Club member Nigel Bird

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Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club Members travelled to Wessex Waters Clatworthy Reservoir where members enjoyed a fine days sport with hard fighting rainbow trout that averaged over 2lb. Highlight of the day was the fine rainbow trout of 8lb 6oz caught by Nigel Bird that helped him towards a winning bag of five trout totaling 17lb 15oz. All members caught their limits of five trout with the remaining results below.

Runners up were: Wayne Thomas Five 10lb 10oz and David Eldred 10lb 10oz

Third – Paul Grisley – 10lb    Dave Mock 10lb

Fourth – Colin Combes – 9lb 15oz

I shared a boat with fellow club member Paul Grisley and we both completed our five fish limits before 1:00pm.

(Above)Paul Grisley with a well conditioned Clatworthy rainbow
(Above) Fresh from the water a stunning rainbow of just over 2lb

Autumn is a fine time for reservoir trout fishing with water temperatures starting to drop and fry plentiful in the margins. Its hard to believe that its autumn already. (Below)The reservoirs are showing the result of a  long dry summer that has been a disaster for salmon anglers.

The months of September and October should see some excellent sport enjoyed at reservoirs such as Wimbleball and Clatworthy.

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.

Wimbleball – Wistlandpound Club

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I had been looking forward to Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Clubs Competition at Wimbleball  as I had been hearing good reports of hard fighting rainbows despite the hot summer weather. I was hopeful that the heavy rain prior to the trip would liven up the trout but dipping my hand in the lake it was obvious that the water temperature was still exceptionally warm. We were advised to fish deep and slow using a lure on the point and small imitative patterns on the droppers.

I was sharing a boat with Andre Muxworthy and we headed for the deep water off the dam. After a couple of hours searching the depths we had both failed to connect and realized that it was not going to be an easy day.  Matt Kingdon was fishing with Paul Grisley and we noticed that they were catching a few drifting across the middle of the lake. Andre eventually hooked into a hard fighting rainbow that fought way above its weight before eventually sliding over the waiting net.

Up until this point I had not even had a pull and was starting to fear a blank trip. A move to another area  eventually brought a change of fortune when I felt the welcome pull on the line and for a few seconds a bent rod. Sadly this one came adrift but it wasn’t too long before I hooked another that battled hard before succumbing. The next hour brought a few encouraging twitches through the line and my confidence climbed. Andre added a second rainbow shortly after this. I was using a black and green booby on the point with two droppers, a Diawl bach and a cormorant. It was now gone 2.00pm and the day was ebbing away far too quickly.

A move close the bank to start a fresh drift brought a solid take from a fish that fought deep before appearing beside the boat to reveal golden flanks and dark spots. A fine wild brown trout of 2lb that had unfortunately engulfed the fly and was bleeding profusely from its gills. Despite my attempts to release it turned belly up and floated away before being retrieved to take home for tea.

With just a few minutes remaining of the competition a savage take resulted in a full tailed rainbow that made the reel sing as it surged away cartwheeling out of the water. This fish was the heaviest of the day and scaled 3lb 8oz.

Back at the fishing hut for the results and Matt Kingdon once again proved how he has qualified to fish for England and the commonwealth having boated five trout. Matt had elected to fish on a catch and release ticket bringing back just two trout weighing 5lb 7oz. It was decided to award Matt the trophy his estimated total bag being around 12lb. Matt caught his fish on a variety of flies and changed his line three times during the day as the fish moved up and down in the water. Runner up was Dave Mock who fished from the bank to take three trout for 6lb 1oz. In third was myself with two for 5lb 9oz a bag that included the biggest trout of the day at 3lb 8oz.

August is a very difficult month for the still-water trout fishers and today’s result was far better than could be expected on many lakes at this time of year. As the water temperatures begin to drop I am sure Wimbleball will fish exceptionally  well with September fishing something to look forward to as these full finned rainbows go on a feeding frenzy before autumn and winter set in. There is also every chance of big wild brown trout from the fry filled margins.

Wimbleball In top form

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(Above)One of the 5 fish caught by Ashley Scott who tempted the fish on the coch bonddu beetle pattern.

Sport has been excellent at Wimbleball with quality rainbows taking several anglers to the backing from both boat and shore.

                                               (Below) A none fish bag for  boat anglers Brandon and Mark Hayward.

Wimbleball in Fine form

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Wimbleball continues to fish exceptionally well as the season progresses with some superb catches to anglers fishing buzzers and imitative patterns. Th next couple of months offer some excellent prospects.

Peter Hughes enjoyed a superb day’s fishing today off the bank at Ruggs. Despite bright sun and a strong, cold, North East wind Peter and his friend managed to entice 15 strong, hard fighting, bars of silver on a catch and release ticket. Brilliant fish and fishing with all fish coming to buzzer variants on floating lines.

Simon Fuller and boat partner caught full bags from Cow Moor fish ranging from 2.8lb-4.8lb,and bank fisherman Ashley Scott bagged up at Ruggs with fish up to 5lb.

(Below) A fine rainbow for Daniel Loftus

(Below )A couple of the fish caught by Ashley Scott

Blakewell Competition Day

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I arrived at Blakewell just before 9.00am to meet up with members of the Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club and fish for the Edwards Floating Line Cup. It was a very pleasant late spring morning with lush green growth all around and birdsong filing the calm morning air. Dennis Toleman and Rob Hancock also arrived to fish Triple Hook Clubs A & J Barrow Fly Trophy Competition. They were a little concerned when I told them it was Wistlandpounds competition but when I told them it was not starting until 10:00 am they breathed a sigh of relief as they would most likely have got well underway towards their four fish quota by then as early morning before the sun gets on the water is often the best time of day.

After setting up my tackle I took a walk to the lake to capture Dennis and Rob in action and see if I could get any tips for the competition ahead. Both anglers were in action by the time I arrived and I took a few snaps as their rods absorbed the lunges of the hard fighting rainbows that both exceeded 4lb.

(Above ) Dennis Toleman – rainbow trout 4lb 2oz
(Above)Rob Hancock with a 4lb 3oz rainbow

Dennis Toleman went on to win the A & J Barrow Trophy with a four fish bag totaling 13lb 4oz. Robbie Hancock finishing runner up with 12lb 3oz.

Blakewell’s  Lake looked the perfect trout lake on this sunny morning with a brood of ducklings chirping as they dashed to and fro amongst the reeds. A few swallows swooped speedily over the water  and high above a pair of buzzards soared on the thermals.

My fellow Wistlandpound club members duly arrived and after purchasing three fish tickets sauntered out to the lakeside. Within a few minutes several members were in action with bent rods as the lakes hard fighting rainbows surged to and fro in the clear water. I had tied on a damsel nymph and cast it well across the lake towards a rising trout. As I started to retrieve I noticed a trout of a couple of pounds closing in on the fly. Hoping for something a little bigger I stopped retrieving and watched the trout turn away. I fished on and within a few casts felt the pleasing tightening of the line. Whilst not big the rainbow fought gamely before eventually slipping over the rim of the net.

A few casts later I hooked an almost identical rainbow of a couple of pounds. Aware that other members had already landed bigger trout I decided upon a change of tactics and wandered to a shady corner on the far bank. I stood quietly leaning against a tree and peered into the crystal clear water watching as trout cruised past. I had tied on a gold headed green nymph one of my favourite stalking fly’s. After a few minutes a larger fish appeared and I flicked the nymph a few feet in front of the rainbow. I allowed the fly to sink then gave a twitch giving life to the gold head. The trouts mouth opened, the line twitched the rod lifted and I felt the weight of the fish and watched as it shook its head before surging away ripping line though my fingers before making the reel sing and rod absorb the strain. An enjoyable tussle followed before my prize was secure in the waiting net. At around four pound it was a pleasing result and emphasized how a little patience and stealthy angling can bring a better result than fishing blind.

(Above) My rainbow that succumbed to a gold head green nymph.

By midday all members had secured their three fish bags with Paul Grisley taking top spot with a bag of 9lb 9oz the best fish a fraction under 4lb. David Eldred was runner up with 9lb 6oz, Myself third with 8lb 13oz and forth Colin Combes with 6lb 12oz.

( Above) Winner Paul Grisley

With the competition over it was time to retire to the decking for welcome cups of tea and coffee. After a lengthy chat about fishing trips, catches and holidays it was time for a behind the scenes tour of the fish farm with co fishery owner Richard Nickell. Richard gave a fascinating and at times humorous  account of rearing thousands of trout from fry to table size. Explaining the many trials and tribulations that can beset the fish farmer and the extensive costs involved. Richard ended the tour with a demonstration of his skill with the filleting knife and many ways to cook trout.