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            Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club was formed back in the 1970’s and its members enjoyed fishing the venues from which it takes it name. With the changes in Wistlandpound stocking over the years the club has now adapted and enjoys visiting trout fishing venues across the South West.

Members assembled on February 23rd  at the Ye Old Globe Inn, Berrynarbor. Top of the agenda was the calendar of events for the coming year.

The events were discussed and dates set up with all members looking forward to getting together at the water’s edge for a bit of friendly competition.

The club welcomes new members of all ages and abilities. Membership is just £10 per year. Contact club secretary David Richards for details:-

Mobile 07748685155  email – [email protected]

Club Events – 2023

March 12thWimbleball 10:00am 4.00pm Bank only

April 16th –    Clatworthy  10:00am 4.00pm Bank Only

May 5th – Tavistock Trout Fishery 10:00am 4.00pm

June 25th  Wimbleball – Boat or Bank 10:0am 4.00pm

July 12th – Gammaton – Evening Rise 6.00pm 9:30pm

September TBC

October 8th – Wimbleball 8:30am to 12:30 pm Lunch at the George Inn

November, December, January & February; Winter challenge at small Stillwater venues full details TBC

Bideford Angling Club – Presentation Night

Bideford and District Angling Clubs annual presentation night was held at the Conservative Club where members enjoyed an evening filled with good humoured banter and a celebration of a succesful years angling.
A big well done to all the winners of 2022 who have all been recognised and celebrated at the clubs annual presentation night.  Guests Wayne Thomas, Simon McCarthy, and Chris Connaughton for presented the trophies and awards.

Club man of the year was Nathan Clements who does a sterling job running the clubs shore fishing section.


Monthly Competition Champion : Nathan Underwood

Runner-up Craig Lamey

Third Keith Mountjoy

Midweek Series: Winner Nathan Underwood Runner up Martin Turner

Best bag in competition Richard Jefferies

Pairs winners Nathan Underwood and Darren Polden Junior series winner Imogen Babb Runner up Hope Polden.


Valentine bowl – most points in the Monthly Rover.

Andrew Clements  54 points

Keira short trophy – most points in 48 hour rover.

Julien Stainer + Andrew Clements  13 points

Stephanie Vanstone  – Best specimen caught from the shore.

Stephen Found thick-lipped mullet 7lb 175% 5th August

Jason Talbot memorial plate – Best specimen ray caught from the shore.

Antony Smith Thornback Ray 12lb 8 138.888% 2nd October

Snake Plate – best specimen Conger caught from the shore.

Richard Jefferies Conger eel 22lb 8 112.5% 21st August

Best round fish from the shore

Stephen Found thick-lipped mullet 7lb 175% 5th August

Best specimen flat fish caught from the shore ( no ray)

Stephen Found Flounder  1lb 11 ¼  86.156%

Best specimen shark from the shore.

Andrew Clements Bull Huss  15lb 11 ¼ 157.041% 29th March

Winner of end of season competition

Stephen Found spur 14lb 1 ½ 140.937%  29th January 2023

Big Mike Memorial vase

Nathan Clements bass 4lb 27th August

GAMES FISHING SECTION – Competition League

1st- John McCulham 34pts

2nd- Dan Lock 32pts

South Molton and District Angling Club AGM

I joined fifteen members of South Molton and District Angling Club at the Coaching Inn South Molton for their AGM. As always the event ran smoothly thanks to the sterling work undertaken by the club’s officers. Club Chairman Eddie Rands and Secretary/Treasurer Roger Bray gave their reports to the membership reflecting upon a year plagued by low water levels. The environment and river health were top of the agenda throughout with grave concerns regarding pollution from agriculture and South West Waters numerous sewage treatment works.

South Molton Club is a small friendly club that welcomes new members at a very reasonable cost offering superb wild brown trout fishing on five miles of the river Bray. The club also organise forays to the coast with both boat and shore fishing events.


(Below) The cup winners for 2022.
From left to right
Richard Power 30lb tope, Wayne Thomas bass just under 10lb,Steve Bendle 5lb rainbow and Steve Edmonds 7lb pollack.

After the  meeting I was priveleged to deliver a talk on my fishing and the variuos paths it has taken me on.

South Molton Angling Club – Report good River Fly Results despite low water.

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South Molton & District Angling Club carried out Riverfly and CSI monitoring sessions at Brayley Bridge and Brayford Bridge on Sunday the 21st of August included our chairman Ed Rands, Steve Bendle (Riverfly), Roger Bray (CSI), and club member Mike Coulson.
However, CSI results for both locations were excellent despite the low water levels. Riverfly count for Brayley Bridge results was a little low but the count at Brayford was more encouraging despite the water level being a little low.

Bideford Angling Club & Appledore Shipbuilders – August Rover

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Bideford August rover results 

13 angler’s fished 3 fish caught 

1st Tony Gussin  – Ballan wrasse 4lb 0 1/2oz 89.582%

2nd Stephen Found –  thick-lipped mullet 3lb 2oz 78.125%

3rd Tony Gussin  -Ballan wrasse 3lb 3oz 70.832%


11 people fished Appledore Shipbuilders August rover. “Lots may think that fishing at this time of year is easy but many will know that it’s always a tricky month. Several anglers reported fishing more than one mark to try and locate a fish eligible to be weighed in over 60%”
Winning today was Andrew Atkinson who caught a nice Ballan Wrasse of 4lb 6 3/4 ozs. Josh Atkinson was second with a Smoothound of 8lb 6ozs.  Andrew also secured 3rd with a Bull Huss of 7lb 2ozs.


If you follow my writings over several years you will have read my ramblings regarding the Barnstaple & District Angling Clubs hut situated beside the river at Newbridge. During what was perhaps the clubs heyday this fishing hut provided a welcome meeting point where members could meet and socialise as the river glided slowly past. The river then was thriving with salmon and sea trout and the club was also thriving in unison with the healthy river.

As catches dwindled a generation of anglers drifted away from the river and the hut sadly fell into disrepair. In recent seasons the club has seen an influx of enthusiasm and just maybe some sentiment from my writings stirred a will to resurrect the hut. I have spoken with the clubs river keeper Don Hearn on several occasions and was delighted to hear that the hut is to be restored.

It was very sad to recently receive news from Don via an email that vandals have visited the hut setting fire to the old bench and wood saved to help in the restructure.

Don asked if I could highlight the issue in the hope that police could be informed to help with their enquiries.

My initial reaction at hearing this was anger; but as I thought more it was sadness that replaced the anger. The world is sadly full of angry and intolerant people. Anger is contagious hitting out in anger and frustration just extends the problem. I have to ask what is gained by vandalising and inflicting damage to the dreams and efforts of others?

I look forward to enjoying the new club hut with fellow members. There are still a few salmon in the river and we can only hope that efforts to curb pollution and the many other issues that face the river eventually  bring rewards. I hope to write a full article on the huts history and its resurrection in due course.


South Molton Angling Club – AGM

South Molton Angling Club held their AGM at The Coaching Inn South Molton on April 12th. There was a good attendance with the Environment at the forefront of discussions. The local Environment Agency Fisheries Officer Callum Underhill gave a brief outline of the vital work undertaken by the EA across the region. Good news is that two Agricultural EA Officers are being recruited to focus on the issues surrounding agriculture and its impact on the regions rivers. He also reported on a successful operation to target illegal netting last year in the local estuary with cooperation between EA officers, IFCA and the police.

The clubs members have undertaken citizen Science studies in the local rivers including water quality monitoring, River Fly Surveys, gravel washing, redd counts and river clearing.

The clubs trophies were presented with:-

Steve Bendall winning the Mac Trophy for the biggest trout with a fine rainbow from Wimbleball weighing 6lb.

The Tope Cup was won by Matt Brady with a tope of 30lb.

The best specimen was won by Ed Rands with a cuckoo wrasse of 1lb 8oz.

The Bass Trophy was awarded to Wayne Thomas

Mike Moser gave a fascinating presentation on Nature Recovery in the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere.


Mike highlighted the many issues that face the rivers and watercourses within North Devon all of which flow into local coastal waters. He highlighted what we can do as individuals and how local businesses and organisations are collaborating towards a recovery for nature following many years of miss-management.

The decline of salmon and other fish throughout Devon was discussed at length with members sharing many memories of days when fish were more abundant. The loss of habitat for breeding bird populations and mammals was also highlighted.

Mike outlined the many benefits linked to the reintroduction of beavers in South West Rivers.


The clubs chairman Edward Rands would like to thank all those who attended the 53rd AGM last Tuesday at the Coaching Inn who provided us with excellent facilities and food.
Edd opened the meeting at 7.30 pm and gave a very comprehensive re’sume’ of our 2021 season which included all the hard work carried out by members attending bank clearing, redds counting, the Riverfly checks, and the introduction of the Citizen  Science program being carried out by himself and the secretary.
The treasurer’s report included the current healthy bank balance but he is concerned about the lowly number of paid-up members for 2022 so far. The resumption of some more normal post covid activities could put pressure on our funds for 2022. The only other expense will be the new website being released shortly.
Our chairman Edd invited Calum Underhill who is our new EA bailiff and gave a short talk and report. This was followed by a very interesting talk given by Mike Moser who is the chairman of the Nature Biosphere Improvement Group. 
The meeting closed at 9.45pm.
On a personal note I visited the Lower River Taw the morning after the meeting to cast a line in hope of salmon. The river was running low and clear and it was alarming to note how slippery the rocks have become so early in the season. A layer of algae and weed smothers the river bed undoubtedly a result of high nutrient levels in the water. It is sad to observe the decline in the river over the past forty years. I remember fondly how a visit to the river thirty or forty years ago would almost always result in the sighting of a salmon or sea trout leaping from the water.
The decline of salmon and sea trout during my own lifetime has been alarming and if it continues these iconic and once prolific fish could be extinct within twenty years. The reasons for this decline are as I often state complex. Agricultural practices and sewage discharges are undoubtedly a major factor in the decline of the rivers health. Many in the general population fail to appreciate the devastating impacts of intensive dairy farming. Investment is needed to eradicate pollution and improve farming practices. A buffer zone should be implemented beside rivers to create a wildlife corridor boosting biodiversity.
Cows grazing contentedly beside river at what cost to the rivers?
On a positive note it was heartening to catch several silver smolt during my short session and to observe good numbers of fry in the margins. If action is taken rivers can return to health in a relatively short time.
As I walked back from the river I noted the discarded junk lying throughout the river. A Childs buggy, an old piece of carpet and a vast array of other relics illustrating a total lack of respect for the rivers that are at the heart of the land in which we live.

Barnstaple & District Angling Association – Launch New Website

Barnstaple & District Angling Association held their AGM on line consulting the membership via email. The club Chairman John Webber reported on a very successful year with positive developments on the upkeep of the waters on the Lower Taw and at South Aller. The club launched it new website last Tuesday evening that will provide a valuable working link to the membership. http://www.barnstapledistrictangling.co.uk

The B&DAA formed in 1941 is one of North Devon’s longest running clubs and it is good to see that it is thriving thanks to the dedication of its long running committee. The club gave special thanks to Colin Ashby who has been membership secretary  for at least 25years. Don Hearn and Alan Jump also deserve credit for the work that they have undertaken on the club waters.

Click home to visit :-




Bideford and District Angling Club Coarse Section Match Report 2021

Many Thanks to Martin Turner for an excellent round up of this years Bideford Matches.
Our match calendar was, once again, interrupted by the continuing Covid restrictions. October’s 2020 match was our last competition at Tarka for the year, fortunately we were able to resume running regular monthly matches in May of this year. A fantastic attendance of 23, almost a full house, met up to once again compete on George’s Lake. Paul Elworthy had almost 30lbs to win the day, which reassured us that the measures taken to protect our fish stocks had been successful. With Covid procedures in place we were again in a position to begin our Wednesday evening competitions. Kevin Shears set the early pace winning with a bag of 20lbs mainly Skimmers. After 4 matches new member Steve Johnson and ex-Bude member Nathan Underwood were forging ahead in the league. The matches were mainly dominated by Bream, Tench and smaller Carp, 30lb plus needed to win most weeks. Halfway through the evening league Steve had withdrawn due to family illness, Nathan continued to score well. Mike Snudden using a chopped worm approach managed to put some good bags together and 3 consecutive wins, the best 54lbs 2oz in 3 hours! We averaged 18 attendants which was great, and the weather was fantastic allowing us to weigh in almost all 10 matches without head lamps. 26 different anglers fished throughout the league; the final scores were: first overall Nathan Underwood with 115 points; second Martin Turner 102 points and third Kevin Shears 91 points. Our last evening event was our pairs match drawn top to bottom from the final league. Kevin Shears and Craig Lamey 52lbs 2.5oz were the winners on the night; second were Anthony Bentley and Tyler Scott with 45lb 2oz.
We were once again able to fish our inter-club match against Plymouth and District Coarse Angling Club, our team travelled to their water at Cadover Lakes, a very deep ex-clay pit on Dartmoor. It proved tricky and we came away with a narrow lead 34lb to 29lb. We welcomed the Plymouth lads back for the return leg at Tarka; 2 teams of 12 fished. Led by Kevin Shears, 37lb top individual, we won the day with a whooping 230lb to PDCAC’s 63lb.The other team event was held at Stafford Moor, where we took a battering from North Devon Match Group Pros.
Bideford and District Angling Club’s aims and objectives are (from memory) ‘to promote and foster angling in the area’; with this in mind we ran some Junior events this summer. By running these as small matches I had hoped to be able to introduce new youngsters to our sport and to encourage those that already compete regularly. Saturday afternoons saw some excited youngsters eager to catch some fish, the over 14’s group was a very close-run affair this year with Thomas Scott edging out his older brother on weight count-back over 4 matches. Under 14’s section was won by 8-year-old Charlie Hedden closely followed by Brodie Allin. We must thank Thomas Downing for securing 2 magnificent boxes of goodies from his sponsor Bait-Tech, Summerland tackle for their generous support with prizes and Mervyn Beale for supplying the engraved medals.
As our monthly senior competitions continued to attract 20+ anglers the catches began to be dominated more by Carp, although Skimmers, Bream, Roach, Tench and Crucians always featured in the nets.
Currently, with 2 matches remaining, Kevin Shears and Nathan Underwood are tied for the lead with 77 points. Les Polden third on 59 points and a late run of 2 wins, has pushed Steve Craker up to fourth with 51 points.
As I write the ropes are being placed across the lake to protect our stock from cormorant attack throughout the winter months. Pegs will therefore be limited but I hope to be able to run the remaining matches on Tarka.
In conclusion the lake has fished exceptionally well this year, with great attendances and excellent bags being brought to the scales. All species seem to be thriving, particularly the Tench and Crucians. Hopefully if we can remain vigilant over the winter period we can look forward to a bumper, FULL season next year.
Obviously, I cannot conclude my report without expressing my thanks to Steve Bailey and all those who have made it possible for us to fish at Tarka. Personally, I would like to say how sorry I am to hear that Steve has decided to stand down from the role that he has held for many years. He will be sorely missed.
Martin Turner