RIVERS RISE BRINGS GRILSE

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Recent rain has brought all local rivers up  hopefully encouraging a few salmon and sea trout to forge up river. Simon Hillcox tempted a fresh run grilse of around 4lb 8oz from a Middle Torridge beat. The salmon was tempted using a Thunder & Lightning double. At present the water is coloured but as it fines down there is a good chance of taking fish.

( Above) River Taw at Umberleigh

South West Lakes Trout Fisheries Report June 2021

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Wistlandpound has been producing some good brown trout with several fish of over 1lb banked. Jason Hayes has had success with both brown trout and good quality Rudd. The Rudd are present in large numbers and can offer great sport on light fly tackle taking small dries and wets. Large wild browns feast on the Rudd fry and have been caught to over 3lb. The water clarity is excellent this season with no sign of the prolific algae blooms that have blighted the venue during recent seasons.

Kennick – The air and water continued to warm up in June, with a mid-month cold snap and heavy rain freshening the water. Weekly rod averages fell from 4.32 to 2.37 fish per angler as the month progressed. While some rising fish were taken on Beetles, Black Hoppers, Claret Snafflers, or Green Klinkhammers in the evening rise, most fish were caught subsurface with a slow figure-of-eight retrieve, using either nymphs (Diawl Bachs, Buzzers, and Montanas) or deeper fished lures (Tadpoles, Boobies, Cats Whiskers, and Kennick Killers). Favoured locations included the north end at Smithacott and the Causeway, Sycamore Wall, with boat anglers catching well in The Narrows and Boat Bay. Notable catches included nine rainbows to 3lb4oz by R.R., three rainbows to 3lb 8oz by Geoff V, and nine rainbows to 3lb caught by Malcome U.

The Snowbee Top Rod Competition was held on 13 June, and won by Alec Hoare of Abbotskerswell, with a bag of five fish weighing in at 8lb 12oz.

Siblyback – Some excellent fishing was enjoyed by Siblyback anglers, with rods averaging 3.16 fish per rod over the month. Plenty of beetle activity meant that fish were looking to the surface to feed, although with such plentiful food available, the fish were often very picky, and would ignore anglers’ offerings. Stocky Bay proved to be the most productive location, with a Damsel Nymph or Orange Gold Head nymph fished on a floating line and long leader proving successful in the deeper water by the dam. An Orange Blob fished as a dropper, with Black and Green Goldhead fished on the point also produced good results. John R had a couple of excellent sessions, catching eight rainbows to 2lb 6oz and eight rainbows to 2lb 8oz.

Burrator – Anglers enjoyed another great month’s fishing at Burrator, with anglers averaging 3.2 fish per rod, with the best locations being Longstone, Discovery Bank, and Sheepstor. As the month progressed, more Hawthorns and Beetles were evident, and plenty of surface activity (particularly during the morning and late afternoon), when floating lines and long leaders performed particularly well (especially when there was some cloud cover).Earlier in the month the fish tended to be at various depths – Mark M caught eleven fish on Black Buzzers and Pheasant Tail Nymphs, while Miles P caught twelve fish on a Pearly Spider and Tungsten Hares Ear.

Stithians – The fishing has really picked up at Stithians now – anglers averaged over 3.6 fish per rod, with early morning and evening sessions particularly productive. Numerous beetles blown onto the surface have produced some excellent dry fly fishing (Beetle patterns and Hoppers both caught well). Fish have been well spread out, and generally eager to feed near the surface – Mossops, Carnmenellis, and Yellowort Bay all proved to be excellent locations. Catches of note included bags of ten rainbows to 2lb caught by Tony C., seven fish to 2lb 9oz caught by Warren C., three rainbows to 2lb 8oz caught by Robert G., and ten rainbows and a small brown caught by John H.

Colliford – Weekly rod averages improved over the month, with the best week producing an average of 4.2 fish per angler. As is usual with Colliford, fish were well spread out around the lake, where keeping on the move with a stealthy approach produces good results. Fish have been feeding well throughout the day (with a lot of surface activity at first light and late evening), and if not on the surface, then no deeper than about one metre, so a floating line, often with a slow retrieve (or dry patterns fished statically), produced the best results, with fish often hitting the fly as it touched the water or on lift-off. Hoppers, Beetles, Sedges, Spiders, Hares Ears, Soldier Palmers and Buzzers all produced results, with the best bags including eleven browns caught on a Bibio by Philip H., Barbara L. catching thirteen browns to 1lb, and Daniel T. catching a bag of sixteen browns.

Fernworthy – Plenty of excellent bags were caught at Fernworthy in June, resulting in a rod average of just under four browns per angler. With plenty of insects being blown out of the woods onto the water, fish generally were feeding at or just below the surface, and smallish flies fished on the surface or just under with mixed retrieves produced the results. Fish fed well throughout the day, and would take eagerly even if not showing. Successful patterns included Zulu, Spiders, Black Nymphs, Gold Head Hares Ear, and Hoppers. The North Inlet and Permit Hut Bank both proved productive locations, with fish often fairly far out in the rippled water. Andrew Gooding enjoyed two good sessions catching twenty six fish; Andy W. caught ten browns to 2lb, as did Charles B., while Kevin Primmer caught twelve fish from a float tube, and David G. had fourteen fish.

Roadford – Here the fishing has been relatively quiet, with the fish still lying fairly deep (although some evenings have produced a reasonable rise), and a sinking line with a slow retrieve producing the best results; the fish moved nearer the surface to feed as the month progressed. Davies Bank, Grinnecombe, and the banks close to the centre proved to be the most productive. Duncan Kier caught the best bag – seven browns up to 1lb 8oz.

QUAY SPORTS – RECRUITING STAFF

Quay Sports are looking for experienced anglers to join their friendly team  at their new fishing tackle store – See Advert post below –

Job description

Company description

Quay Sports is a fishing tackle shop catering for all types of angling including carp, coarse, sea and game. We aim to provide a wide and extensive range of fishing tackle to the Devon area and online.

Job description

Quay Sports fishing tackle store require an enthusiastic and keen angler with an all-round knowledge of carp, coarse, match, sea & game fishing. Our busy Barnstaple based store needs another team member to help with daily tasks such as serving customers, offering guidance to customers, re-stocking and managing inventory, entering products onto a database, and various other store related jobs.

A good knowledge of angling is essential as we would expect the successful applicant to be able to offer advice to the customers on all aspects of angling.

Previous customer facing experience and I.T experience would also be advantageous.

We are looking for someone that has an approachable and cheerful character to fit in with our established and well harmonised team.

This is a permanent full time position with 28 days paid leave per annum.

In return we can offer an attractive salary working in a sector that you would love, great staff discounts and working within a friendly team.

Applications should include your CV but most importantly you’re angling knowledge and experience.

Reference ID: QS-1

Application deadline: 09/07/2021

Job Types: Full-time, Permanent

Salary: From £16,700.00 per year depending on experience.

Applications should be initially by email to [email protected].

QUAY SPORTS – OPENS ITS DOORS

QUAY SPORTS  – Opened on Saturday, June,26th with its staff greeting over 100 customers.

Chris Connaughton & Nick Cole at Quay Sports

I called into the newly opened Quay Sports conveniently located on the Roundswell Industrial Estate close to Lidl’s and Sainsbury’s. To find an extensive range of tackle to cater for all disciplines and levels of expertise. The company has already established a strong online presence with its Roddarch Tackle label and is expanding to offer an over the counter service for local anglers. Owner Mark Potter is supported by store manager Chris Connaughton who is well known on the local carp scene. Nick Cole is a keen sea angler. Local companies like Lakebed Leads are well represented along with many mainstream brands. One of the benefits of a tackle shop is the increased interaction between anglers with rigs, tactics and locations often hot topics. There is also the advantage of being able to see and handle the available tackle before purchasing.

The shop offers a discount to all blue light emergency service workers. They also produce a guide to fishing for beginners at a cost of 50p with all proceeds going to the Children’s Hospice.

New Fishing Tackle Store for Barnstaple – Quay Sports

North Devons anglers have a new tackle store opening on Saturday, June 26th. Located at Roundswell near Sainsburys it will be a convenient stop off for local anglers. I look forward to visiting in the near future. The recent upsurge in angling participation following the COVID outbreak will hopefully ensure that this and other local angling outlets prosper.

I spoke with Chris Connaughton (Above) Saturday, 8am – 5pm. We have free goody bags with every purchase including a remix baits sample for the carpers 😉🤣. We have also made a guide to fishing for beginners which will be available for free with our starter kits but also able to purchase in store with proceeds going to charity. Saturday, 8am – 5pm. We have free goody bags with every purchase including a remix baits sample for the carpers 😉🤣. We have also made a guide to fishing for beginners which will be available for free with our starter kits but also able to purchase in store with proceeds going to charity.( Above) a well known local carp angler who works at the store and is excited by this exciting new development that caters for all disciplines.

Saturday, 8am – 5pm. We have free goody bags with every purchase including a remix baits sample for the carpers 😉🤣. We have also made a guide to fishing for beginners which will be available for free with our starter kits but also able to purchase in store with proceeds going to charity.

Fishing Amidst Summers Splendour at Wimbleball

It was always likely to be a challenging days fishing with a hot sunny day forecast requiring the packing of sun cream and plenty of water. The drive to Wimbleball was a delight with Exmoor in full summer splendour. Bright yellow buttercups and the delicate white flowers of cow parsley lined the roadside and the trees were close to being in full leaf.

I met up with Matt Kingdon at Wimbleball’s  boat jetty at 9.00am, we were fishing in South Molton Angling Clubs annual visit to the fishery where members hoped to catch a fish that could win the Mac Trophy.

Matt had fished the venue a few days earlier and enjoyed good sport using sinking lines and brightly coloured blobs and boobies. With warm sunshine we hoped that the fish might start to feast upon the brown beetles that were present in good numbers.

During early season I am happy to fish Wimbleball from the bank where fish can generally be tempted using buzzer tactics or lures on long leaders. As summer progresses access to deeper water can be beneficial and the ability to search the vast acreage becomes a distinct advantage.

We headed to Cowmoor for our first drifts searching previously productive areas with bright blobs and boobies. The first half an hour brought no action despite covering plenty of water as we set up different drifts.

We moved to the far end of the bay and found a few fish rising prompting a change to floating lines. Half an hour casting beetle patterns at rising fish resulted in a handsome wild brown trout of around 1lb.

With fish hard to find and less fish rising we decided to head for the tree shrouded Upton Arm. We pushed up into the far end of the Upton Arm with its steep wooded banks giving an almost Amazon jungle atmosphere as a hot sun beat down and thousands of small roach massed in amongst the tree branches.

We worked our way out through the Upton Arm at times frustrated by the cyclonic wind that dropped away and veered frequently in direction. Matt was first to succeed hooking a rainbow of around 3lb that as always gave a spirited tussle.

We persevered in the Upton Arm and Matt had a few follows and added another rainbow to his tally. My flies remained untouched as I fished hard and expectantly, a rainbow did follow my flies to the surface actually leaving the water as I lifted and taking a nip at the point fly as it dived back into the depths.

Perhaps we should have stayed in the Upton Arm instead of moving on? But move we did, back to Cowmoor and then to search Rugg’s and Bessom’s for a while before returning to Cowmoor for the Final effort.

We found fellow club members Ed Rands and Steve Bendle anchored up and reporting that they had found a few fish including a stunning 6lb 8oz rainbow to Steve’s rod.

We commenced a search close by and once again Matt was in action with hard fighting rainbows and a beautiful wild brown trout.

Suddenly my line zipped delightfully tight as a 3lb rainbow hit my yellow blob to give a hard battle before succumbing.

We fished on for a while having several last drifts before eventually deciding we had had enough.

It had been a hard day’s fishing beneath a cloudless sky. Sunseekers and water-sports enthusiasts were present in large numbers but there is room for all on Wimbleballs vast acreage.

We observed how natures calendar seems to be running slightly late with may blossom still in full flower in mid-June as foxgloves bloom. Sometimes a hard day’s fishing such as this is just as enjoyable as an action filled day when the fish come easy. Is there a better place to be than bobbing about in a boat beneath a blue sky amidst Exmoor’s pristine summer landscape?

Double figure Taw sea trout

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Richard Nickell co-owner of Blakewell Fishery followed up recent successes with salmon and Twaite Shad tempting this stunning sea trout estimated at 10lb 8oz.

As the rivers drop back after the recent summer spate sea trout will provide exciting fishing for the nocturnal fly fisher.

Salmon numbers after the big summer spate have been disappointing with around half a dozen reported from both Taw and Torridge. This could be as a result of reduced fishing effort from the ongoing COVID crisis or possibly as a result of the salmon run being well spread after the prolonged spate.

Moments

A gentle South Westerly breeze and broken cloud are perfect conditions for fishing. With Low water at 7.00am I headed for the coast armed with the trusty lure rod. The sea was calm with a moderate swell caressing the shoreline. Water clarity was good with minimal amounts of weed present in the shallow rocky water. I felt confident from the first cast expecting a take at any moment. I watched the lure intently upon each retrieve hoping to see that shadow intercepting my pulsing soft plastic. The tide pushed in and my favourite taking places passed over. A slight knock at the lure gave encouragement to persist.

The sea air, calm conditions and a pleasing backdrop made the whole experience enjoyable as I followed the edge of the incoming tide. I changed to a bright green Mega bass lure and second cast there came that pleasing jolt as a bass hit the lure hard. A brief tussle in water less than a foot deep followed and a silver flanked bass was briefly admired before being carefully released. That moment of success is etched upon the mind and encourages future casts.

Later in the day I get an offer to fish a mid Torridge beat. With the river still at a good height and colour how can I resist this kind offer? I fish the beat with care covering each known lie in expectation. A wild brown trout of just over a pound seizes my fly and gives a brief tussle.

I walk to the top of the beat and wade out into the river working a line out across the river and searching one of my favourite runs.

Shafts of evening sunlight penetrate the tree canopy illuminating a world populated by thousands of flies dancing and darting above the water including a few mayflies. I glimpse a movement on the far and bank watch mesmerised as a stoat scurries quickly along the top of the bank totally unaware of me watching from my position waist deep in the cool river. I pause briefly until the stoat disappears and then resume with a swish of the rod watching the line unfurl, the fly alighting inches from the far bank. A kingfisher flashes past iridescent blue.

The line draws tight and there is life pulsating at its end. I keep it tight as a fish surges up river before erupting from the water. It’s a sea trout of perhaps a pound and a half. I draw it towards me and it flips free, I reckon it still counts as a catch and release prize!

Such moments accumulate in an anglers life painting a picture that is etched upon the mind.  These memories draw you back to the waters edge time and time again and perhaps they even give a place to retreat to when things in life are not how we would wish.

Rare Twaite Shad caught on the Mole

Richard Nickell co owner of Blakewell Fishery kindly sent North Devon Angling News a picture of a twaite shad caught whilst fishing for salmon on the River Mole a tributary of the River Taw. The twaite shad is a migratory fish that resembles a herring and run freshwater rivers to breed during late spring. The fish have declined greatly over recent decades with ever decreasing reports of captures in the West Country. The River Wye and Severn still have good runs each year that run into top of the the Bristol Channel.

(Below) Twaite shad caught from the River Wye

James Thomas with a shad from the Wye

It is to be hoped that Richards catch is evidence that a population are still hanging on in the River Taw.

Another migratory fish that enters North Devons river is the sea lamprey an eel like fish that can grow to almost a metre in length. The fish excavate pits amongst stones where they spawn the adults dying shortly afterwards.