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

Winter Trout at Blakewell

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On a cold winters day rainbow trout can provide some exciting sport! With only a month to go until the start of the salmon season why not get a bit of casting practice in, an appetiser for the main course ahead…

Some very nice, hard fighting Rainbows coming out at the moment, all methods are taking fish but surprisingly they are still up in the top couple of feet so floating lines still working, but bigger flies and lures seem favourite, like the black or viva woolly bugger…

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.

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.

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!

CHRISTMAS OPENING 2018

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

CHRISTMAS EVE – FISHERY OPEN ALL DAY / SHOP OPEN 8.00am – 12.00 Noon

CHRISTMAS DAYFISHERY CLOSED

BOXING DAY – FISHERY OPEN ALL DAY (SELF SERVE PERMITS ONLY)

THURS 27th 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

SUN 30th DEC – FISHERY OPEN ALL DAY (SELF SERVE PERMITS ONLY)

MON 31st DEC – FISHERY OPEN ALL DAY (SELF SERVE PERMITS ONLY)

TUES 1st JAN – FISHERY OPEN ALL DAY (SELF SERVE PERMITS ONLY)

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

World Wide Web brings together a vast angling community

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Whilst the internet and social media gets a lot of negative publicity there are many positive sides to its growth. Angling is a worldwide sport and its participants across the world have a huge amount in common. It is of coarse more than just anglers that have a lot in common for fish and the habitats in which they dwell also have many parallels. The internet has bridged many gaps and has opened up a vast amount of knowledge to be shared among anglers from different continents.

I received an email from David Straus who is the main editor at https://www.tackle.org/ David had read my feature on the West Country Fly Fishing Course http://www.northdevonanglingnews.co.uk/2018/04/03/west-country-fly-fishing-course-2018/

David asked me if he could share his latest feature on my website and having had a look I noted how relevant the tactics described are to those discussed at Eggesford. So if you have five minutes have browse at the tactics used to tempted trout across the pond and around the world.

https://www.tackle.org/ultimate-guide-to-fly-fishing/

Pete Tyjas talks trout tactics at the recent Fly Fishing Coarse at the Fox and Hounds Eggesford.

http://www.exevalleyfishery.co.uk

Chillcheater Carp and trout fishing green- New Range

Chillcheaters are now producing army green jackets, smocks and bib and brace in their renowned Aquatherm material these products are ideal for the carp and trout fisherman who want 100% waterproof clothing that is both lightweight and hard wearing. Braunton Baits are stocking the products. The jackets are £159, The smocks £140 and the Bib and Brace £130.

Beating the elements and cheating the chill

Bull Dog Farm – New Fly Fishery

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         North Devon Fly Fishing enthusiasts have new a venue to fish that offers catch and release fishing for big brown trout along with catch and keep rainbow trout. The lake is approximately 1.5 acres and is close to River Yeo where day tickets are also available for wild brown trout and the occasional sea trout. A catch and release ticket is £20 per day and a four fish rainbow ticket £30. Owner Nigel Early is applying for Trout Master status at the venue. Nigel Early – nigel@bulldogfishfarm.co.uk

Chay Boggis with a fine Bulldog Brown
Mervyn Symons of Bideford with fine bag of rainbows

 

Threats to the vital arteries of the land!

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Spring seems to be in the air today and thoughts are turning to running water, spring salmon and crimson spotted wild trout that thrive in Devon streams.

We must not take these delights for granted as there are threats to these vital arteries of the land brought home to me as I read through the latest emails from Chairman of the River Taw Fisheries Association Alex Gibson.

Open the below link to see what a badly managed dairy operation can do. The pollution here was on the Taw system, but fortunately did not affect the main stem of the river. Nevertheless the damage to fish stocks was extensive. If you come across anything of this kind when at or around the river please report it immediately to the EA Emergency Hotline – 0800 807060

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dallyns-dairy-stream-thick-with-cattle-dung-near-barnstaple

The Pollution Threat from Sewage Treatment Works (STWs) on the Taw System

As we are all well aware, the importance of water quality in our river cannot be overstated.

The Committee has come across a new, to us, cause for concern in this area, namely the STWs on our system which are owned and managed by South West Water (SWW). Simply put – Are these STWs currently fit for purpose and will they be fit for purpose when all the planned house-building in our catchment’s towns and villages has been completed? For example, South Molton is planning over 1,200 homes and Chulmleigh over 90. Is the right amount of maintenance being carried out by SWW and is sufficient investment committed for the future?

There are at least 35 STWs on our system, all of which discharge into the main stem or its tributaries. SWW like other water companies runs STWs on the basis of “operator self-monitoring” which immediately raises an amber or even red warning light in our opinion. Also there is a question about how rigorous the Environment Agency is or indeed can be in this area given recent cut-backs.

This is not a Taw specific problem and we have raised it regionally with South West Rivers Association so that individual rivers in the south-west can take their own action. From discussions with Angling Trust we understand that they are aware that this is a national problem and are working with World Wildlife Fund.

As for the Taw specifically, we are working with Fish Legal to discover whether in relation to STWs the EA is fulfilling its role to protect and improve river quality under the Water Framework Directive and carrying out its duties towards fishermen. Other initiatives to raise awareness of this problem are being undertaken.

The Committee believes it is important that members are aware of this threat, particularly those who fish directly below STWs. Any obvious signs of pollution from STW sources should be reported to the EA emergency hot-line – 0800 807060. Also, as we understand more about the STW situation it may be that we will need to mount a campaign with the support of our membership.

Alex Gibson

Game Fishing News

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The salmon fishing season on the River Taw came to an end last Saturday and rods enjoyed some late season sport on the Weir Marsh and Brightly Day Ticket beats. Len Francis landed salmon of 9lb and 5lb. John Shrimpton a 9lb salmon and Graham Nichols a grilse of 5lb. Over on the Torridge around at least a dozen salmon were caught during September with most from Mid to upper river beats.

(Below)England Junior Fly Fishing Team Member Seth Tuson caught his first salmon from a middle river Torridge beat.

Torridge Fishers can enjoy salmon fishing on the Torridge until October 14th but must obtain a special permit from Charles Inniss prior to fishing that is strictly catch and release with single barb-less hooks only.

Following a Committee Meeting the River Taw Fishery Association  has decided to follow the lead of the Angling Trust and South West Rivers Trust in its response to the Environment Agency Consultation on Managing Salmon Fisheries. In brief the, RTFA considers that all salmon netting should be stopped and that rod fishermen should continue to operate under voluntary catch and release while aiming for a very high release rate and adhering to appropriate good practice.

Salmon anglers are being urged to respond the consultation by visiting the E.A website and completing the relevant documentation. Submissions must be completed by October

Fly Fishers missing the river can ensure they keep their casting action in good shape by fishing for the hard fighting rainbow and brown trout in local stillwaters. Blakewell, Bratton Water and Exe Valley.