Wistlandpound – Continues to fish well for wild brownies

The path to the water

Wistlandpound Continues to drop quickly as predominantly dry conditions continue across the region. The exposed banks are white with dying blanket weed as more areas become exposed. The water remains clear with extensive weed growth in shallow areas that does not impede the fishing to any extent.

I spent a couple of hours during late evening and brought six lovely browns averaging 10″ to hand all taking small black and silver spider patterns fished slowly with a floating line and fine tippet. The lake was calm and ringed by the rising trout and rudd.

Migratory Fish other than salmon !

Whilst the Rivers are very low a few migratory fish are still forging upriver. An encouraging story has been two rare shad caught by anglers fishing the Weir Marsh and Brightly Beats on the River Taw. Several of this herring like fish were caught last year an indication that there is a breeding population surviving on the river. Next month it is likely that anglers will see spawning sea lamprey digging redds into the river bed. These prehistoric creatures seem to doing well on both the Taw and Torridge.

Casting Into North Devon’s Rapid Streams

A couple of hours wading upriver passed all too quickly on a North Devon stream. It proved frustrating at time with the river very low and clear making it difficult to approach the pools without spooking the trout that could be seen darting away as I approached.

Flicking a bushy dry fly into the streamy water at the head of pools and runs rewarded me with a couple of beautiful wild browns of around 10″ and 8″.

www.nigelnunnflies.com

The lush green growth and abundant bird life of the river valley in late spring is undoubtedly England at its best.

The water I fished is South Molton & District Angling Club water on the River Bray. I picked a book of my bookshelf ” Trout Fishing On Rapid Streams”, by H.C. Cutcliffe FRCS, Published in 1883 the book comprises A Complete System of fishing the North Devon streams and their like.
In the preface of the book the author mentions David Bale, now I think a letter-carrier, residing at High Bray. He is the best worm fisher I ever saw, and forever, is a most civil, indeed I may say polite man, truthful and honest and will be found a most respectable and well informed companion to the fishermen, who, I Trust will not forget to well acknowledge the merits of honest old David, now I fancy, not over well provided with the good things of this life”. The picture above shows High Bray Church upon the hill. It is reassuring to think that I fished the waters that David Bale cast his worm into over a century ago and the trout that I tempted would be direct descendants. Long may these rivers continue to thrive with their crimson spotted trout.

“In getting at these several little holes and currents, dont be afraid of your knees: keep down close to mother earth: go on your knees or crawl on your stomach; remember the trout is there, and you can catch him if you work properly and do not frighten him away.” These words of wisdom apply equally today!

The Lyn’s Beautiful brown trout

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Dan Spearman enjoyed a session on the spectacular River East Lyn tempting a dozen of the rivers wild brown trout. The fish were tempted on nymph and dry fly tactics. The wild brown trout of the Lyn are surely amongst the most beautiful in the West Country. Dan was delighted to report that there was an abundance of fly life on the river during the evening he fished. The Lyn tumbles through moorland and wooded gorges and its water quality is not impacted by the intensive farming practices that blight many other West Country Rivers.

Many thanks to Dan for allowing me to use his stunning images.

A wonderful time to fish the East Lyn for its beautifully marked wild brown trout.

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Many thanks to Simon Francis for sending North Devon Angling News this update on the beautiful East Lyn

April and early May is a wonderful time to fish the East Lyn for its beautifully marked wild brown trout.

The sun has warmed the waters (which this year is very low). Hatches of grannom and olives are trickling off from mid morning, and the fish are looking up, presenting the dry fly enthusiast with enviable sport. The trees are green but not in full leaf (so casting is mercifully easier), and the native birds are nesting (wagtails, dippers, wrens) and summer migrants like the flycatchers arriving. It’s a wonderful time to be by the river whether fishing or not.

I avoided the few walkers from Watersmeet by fishing upstream from Crook Pool, up through Rockford, and onto Brendon. The water was low so I skipped over the pools in favour of the runs and pots. Fishing these is fun. Presentation can be tricky, with swirling currents and a breeze, and drifts short, but the broken current allows you to get closer than you can on the pools. I fished a 7 foot 2wt old Orvis, overweighted with a 3wt line. I fished a ten foot leader down to 2lb tippet. Some new flies from Phil Middleton (https://instagram.com/thephilmid?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=) graced the business end and worked fantastically. Sedges, olives, CDC’s, work well in this early  season. When the rain comes, a change to Klink and Dink set up with a gold ribbed hairs ear or is very effective, if not as much fun as the dry flies.

Day and season tickets for the Watersmeet fishery can be brought from Barbrook service station, both at a fraction of the cost of single “stockie pond” ticket.
If you would like details of the fishing or stay to stay at www.primrosecottageexmoor.co.uk please email [email protected]

Bratton Water – Wistlandpound Club Monthy Competition

Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club visited Bratton Water for their monthly competition and all those attending caught their three fish limit despite challenging conditions. It was a beautiful day to be beside the water but a bright blue sky and crystal clear water are always likely to prove difficult. The margins were alive with tadpoles, lush greenery all-around the occasional mayfly hatching. A perfect day in early May; is there a better place to be than England in late spring?

The trout could be seen cruising slowly just beneath the surface with the occasional fish slurping down surface flies. Shortly after arriving I dropped a  goldhead PTN on the nose of a cruising trout that took the fly without hesitation. A pleasing brown trout of over 2lb.  This proved to be   the exception for I failed to get another take for a couple of hours.

A fresh stocking of trout were introduced whilst we were fishing. I did not move to this area for a while but eventually moved to the half of the lake that had been stocked. With the help of polaroid glasses I observed a shoal of freshly stocked trout and dropped  the PTN into their midst. There was a swirl on the first drop and on the second connection with a rainbow of around 1lb 8oz. I fished on in this spot for 15 minutes or so but the trout appeared to have wised up taking no notice of the fly.

By now my fellow members had bagged up fishing from the dam. I decided to move and drop my fly amongst a fresh selection of trout. A couple of casts and couple of follows then a good brown turned, the white of its mouth showing as the stillwater dinkhammer moved ( dry fly indicator) I lifted the rod and watched the trout react in the clear water. After a spirited tussle the fish was safely in the net.

It was time to weigh in.

Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club – May Competition Result

1st Wayne Thomas  3 trout 6lb 10oz

2nd – Colin Combe 3 trout 6lb 9oz

3rd David Eldred 3 trout 4lb 14oz

Short Sessions with Brown Trout

A cool South West wind ruffled the surface of Wistlandpound and mist descended upon the tree lined perimeter as I waded out into the lake. I had left the rod set up since my last visit with a black tadpole on the point and small black pennel variant on a dropper. I commenced to search the water and after ten minutes hooked into my first brown trout of the evening a valiant scrapper of perhaps 10″. This was only a short session but proved to a good one. During the next hour I banked ten trout up to 12″ and on one cast even managed a brace with one on each fly.

I wondered if the rudd would still be present in the shallow inlet and wandered up for a cast or two. Six rudd later I returned to the trout area and added another brownie to the total as the light faded from the day.

The following morning I decided to head for a short session on the Torridge once again targeting brown trout as with river levels now very low there was little chance of a salmon.

It was a delight to be wading in the cool waters with lush green growth all around. I started out with a new Zealand style set up and hooked a brown trout of perhaps 8oz after a few casts but it came adrift after a brief tussle.

It was good to see plenty of fry darting about in the margins and a few toad tadpoles. I was hoping to spot a few rising fish but they were very few and far between. At the top of the beat I changed over to a pair of nymphs and tried drifting these over promising lies to no avail. With only a short time left a few fish started to rise and I hastily changed over to a dry fly. I flicked the fly into the streamy run where I had spotted the rising fish. A glance at the time and I realised that my time was almost up.  One more cast… a splashy rise and I was into a 12″ brownie to save a blank session.

One of the joys of fly fishing is the lack of preparation required. Just pick up the rod and head to the waters edge.

Quay Sports – New Opening Hours

Quay Sports are amending their opening hours to offer an even better service. This friendly tackle shop boasts a vast range of tackle for all disciplines with good solid advice available from experienced local anglers.

Mon-Wed 8:30am-5:30pm

Thurs 8:30 – 6pm Late opening

Friday 7:00am – 5:30pm Early opening

Sat 8am – 5pm

Sun 10am – 1pm

“We are condensing the hours so we can have 3 or 4 members of staff in the shop more of the time at the busier periods. This will mean we will have more time to offer advice, demo products and serve customers more efficiently.”