Tackle Shops Essential for the Angling Community

Many thanks to the Summerlands Team for welcoming me into their treasure trove of fishing tackle to promote my book “I Caught A Glimpse”. It was an enjoyable couple of hours spent chatting with local anglers and reminded me of the importance of tackle shops in maintaining angling rich community.

CHASING RAINBOWS

Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club members travelled to Clatworthy Reservoir high on Exmoor and enjoyed some fine autumn sport. All members caught but it was those who were in the right place early in the day who secured the best bags of hard fighting rainbows. On arrival at the lake overnight showers were clearing away and a vivid rainbow stretched across the lake as autumn sunshine beamed down onto the lake.

I started my day at the top end of the lake and used a bead headed Montana on the point with a diawl Bach and black buzzer on the droppers. A floating line and 8lb b.s leader completed the set up. Casting out with a stiff breeze blowing from my left I retrieved the flies slowly delighting as the line drew tight and hard fighting rainbows surged to and fro before being coaxed in the waiting net. Within just over two hours I had completed my five fish bag limit and spent the next three hours taking in the scenery and atmosphere. White clouds drifted quickly across the vivid blue sky, I watched as three buzzards drifted high on the thermals mewing continually as they often do in late summer and early autumn. Brown and bronze hues are starting to appear amongst the green signalling that the seasons change is starting to paint the countryside. Hard to believe that another summer has drifted into the past. The last time we fished here was in the spring with summer to come.

Wessex Water Ranger Danny Ford told me that it had been an excellent season with good fishing and plenty of anglers returning frequently to enjoy the fine sport on offer. We are very fortunate to have Clatworthy and Wimbleball offering the region some of the best trout fishing in the country.

Result :-

1st -David Eldred – Five trout 11lb 3oz

2nd – Colin Combe – Five trout – 10lb 9oz

3rd – Wayne Thomas – Five trout –  10lb

4th- Dave Mock –  Four trout – 9lb 14oz

5th – Andre Muxworthy – Three trout – 7lb 8oz

6th – Paul Grisley – Three trout – 6lb 14oz

7th – Nigel Bird – one trout – 1lb 15oz

South Molton Anglers Visit Bratton Water

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I joined several members of South Molton Angling Club on a mild misty autumn morning at Bratton Water. Conditions were ideal for trout fishing and all members completed their three fish bags before the close of the competition. The water was gin clear and small imitative patterns resulted in the quickest full bags. The best trout caught was a stunning brown trout of 3lb 15oz that fell to my rod on just the second cast of the morning. Roger Bray tempted the best rainbow of 3lb. All fish fought hard and were in superb condition.

This picturesque and sheltered  water should offer great sport in the coming months as autumn hues tint the wooded valley. Dry flies can work well right through the autumn with some stunning browns caught each season.

GOODING IS BEST OF THE BEST FOR THE THIRD TIME…

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GOODING IS BEST OF THE BEST FOR THE THIRD TIME…

Andy Gooding has won the annual Snowbee Best of the Best competition at Kennick Reservoir for the third time in five years. Andy scooped a cool £1000 for his efforts, catching 8 fish for 15lbs 12oz with the successful flies being Damsel Nymphs fished high in the water on a floating line with 20 foot leader. Andy’s largest fish was 2lb 14oz.

32 anglers fished on the day and a huge congratulations goes out to all of them in qualifying for the final. The weather was very unsettled with sunny spells and gentle breeze turning into gale force winds and very heavy downpours! Casting in some zones was very difficult but the anglers really stuck at it well.

A cracking BBQ was provided by South West Lakes Trust (SWLT) Countryside Warden Mark Baxendale and the presentations were made at the Kennick Lodge.

The event was sponsored, yet again, by Snowbee UK who are a leading manufacturer of fishing equipment and clothing. The products they supply are simply superb – www.snowbee.co.uk.

Ben Smeeth, Head of Angling for SWLT, thanked Simon Kidd and Russell Weston of Snowbee for supporting the event and being very generous in the prizes they provided.

Full results and prize winners:
Result                                          Fish Weight  
Winner – Andy Gooding 8 15.12 £1000 BOB trophy & Snowbee Hat
Runner up – Paul Jones 5 10.07 £400 BOB trophy & Snowbee Hat
Third – Ron Wilday 5 9.02 £250 BOB trophy & Snowbee Hat
Heaviest Fish (not finishing in the top three) John Huckings 2.06 £200 & Snowbee Hat
Second heaviest fish (not in top three) Dave Perks 2.05 Snowbee Stowaway Bag
Blind Pairs winners: A Gooding/R Gale 9 17.11 £50 each (£100)
Blind Pairs runners up: P Jones/M Sinclair 6 12.11 £25 each (£50)
4th  – John Huckings 4 8.00 Snowbee Nivalis Jacket
5th Andrew Alger 4 7.04 Snowbee Onyx Cass. fly reel system
6th Al Lawson 2 3.14 Snowbee Breeze Bloc Softshell Jacket
7th Roger Truscott 2 3.11 Snowbee Ultralite Chest Pack
8th Allan Brown 2 3.08 Snowbee 14740 Fly Box Tool Kit
 

9th

 

Dave Perkls

1 2.05 Snowbee Easy vue competition fly box L

 

 

 

QUALIFYING PRIZES

Weight

 

Heaviest Fish Kennick  –

 

Janet Till 4lb 8oz Snowbee Softshell Gilet
Heaviest Fish Burrator  –

 

Mark Sinclair 3lb 11oz Snowbee Softshell Gilet
Heaviest Fish Siblyback –

 

Ron Wilday 3lb 14oz Snowbee Softshell Gilet
Best Qualifying Junior  –

 

Alex Venn – Kennick 2lb 4oz Snowbee 16203  Classic Trout Bag L
Name Number of Fish Biggest Fish Total Weight Position Prize
Andy Gooding 8 2.14 15.12 1 £1000 BOB cheque & Snowbee Hat
Paul Jones 5 2.06 10.07 2 £400 BOB cheque  & Snowbee Hat
Ron Wilday 5 1.15 9.02 3 £250 BOB cheque  & Snowbee Hat
John Huckings 4 2.06 8 4 Snowbee Nivalis Jacket
Andrew Alger 4 2 7.04 5 Snowbee Onyx Cass. fly reel system
Allan Lawson 2 2.04 3.14 6 Snowbee Breeze Bloc Softshell Jacket
Roger Trustcott 2 1.14 3.11 7 Snowbee Ultralite Chest Pack
Allan Brown 2 2 3.08 8 Snowbee 14740 Fly Box Tool Kit
D Perks 1 2.05 2.05 9 Snowbee Easy vue competition fly box
Graham Watts 1 2.04 2.04 10
Mark Sinclair 1 2.04 2.04 10
Malcolm Ure 1 2 2 12
John Rumbold 1 1.15 1.15 13
Rob Gale 1 1.15 1.15 13
P Brown 1 1.14 1.14 15
Andy Lobb 1 1.13 1.13 16
Chris Bolt 1 1.11 1.11 17
Alec Hoare 1 1.1 1.1 18
Janet Till 1 1.09 1.09 19
Darren Penfold 1 1.09 1.09 19
John Hern 1 1.07 1.07 21
Alan Behan 0
Terry Diamond 0
Stuart McCullough 0
Tom Hendy 0
Paul Wicks 0
Barry Ware snr 0
Andy Lawson 0
Alex Venn 0
Darren Everitt 0
Mike Stone 0
Barry Ware Jnr 0

 

Andy Gooding has won the annual Snowbee Best of the Best competition at Kennick Reservoir for the third time in five years. Andy scooped a cool £1000 for his efforts, catching 8 fish for 15lbs 12oz with the successful flies being Damsel Nymphs fished high in the water on a floating line with 20 foot leader. Andy’s largest fish was 2lb 14oz.

32 anglers fished on the day and a huge congratulations goes out to all of them in qualifying for the final. The weather was very unsettled with sunny spells and gentle breeze turning into gale force winds and very heavy downpours! Casting in some zones was very difficult but the anglers really stuck at it well.

A cracking BBQ was provided by South West Lakes Trust (SWLT) Countryside Warden Mark Baxendale and the presentations were made at the Kennick Lodge.

The event was sponsored, yet again, by Snowbee UK who are a leading manufacturer of fishing equipment and clothing. The products they supply are simply superb – www.snowbee.co.uk.

Ben Smeeth, Head of Angling for SWLT, thanked Simon Kidd and Russell Weston of Snowbee for supporting the event and being very generous in the prizes they provided.

Full results and prize winners:
Result                                          Fish Weight  
Winner – Andy Gooding 8 15.12 £1000 BOB trophy & Snowbee Hat
Runner up – Paul Jones 5 10.07 £400 BOB trophy & Snowbee Hat
Third – Ron Wilday 5 9.02 £250 BOB trophy & Snowbee Hat
Heaviest Fish (not finishing in the top three) John Huckings 2.06 £200 & Snowbee Hat
Second heaviest fish (not in top three) Dave Perks 2.05 Snowbee Stowaway Bag
Blind Pairs winners: A Gooding/R Gale 9 17.11 £50 each (£100)
Blind Pairs runners up: P Jones/M Sinclair 6 12.11 £25 each (£50)
4th  – John Huckings 4 8.00 Snowbee Nivalis Jacket
5th Andrew Alger 4 7.04 Snowbee Onyx Cass. fly reel system
6th Al Lawson 2 3.14 Snowbee Breeze Bloc Softshell Jacket
7th Roger Truscott 2 3.11 Snowbee Ultralite Chest Pack
8th Allan Brown 2 3.08 Snowbee 14740 Fly Box Tool Kit
 

9th

 

Dave Perkls

1 2.05 Snowbee Easy vue competition fly box L

 

 

 

QUALIFYING PRIZES

Weight

 

Heaviest Fish Kennick  –

 

Janet Till 4lb 8oz Snowbee Softshell Gilet
Heaviest Fish Burrator  –

 

Mark Sinclair 3lb 11oz Snowbee Softshell Gilet
Heaviest Fish Siblyback –

 

Ron Wilday 3lb 14oz Snowbee Softshell Gilet
Best Qualifying Junior  –

 

Alex Venn – Kennick 2lb 4oz Snowbee 16203  Classic Trout Bag L
Name Number of Fish Biggest Fish Total Weight Position Prize
Andy Gooding 8 2.14 15.12 1 £1000 BOB cheque & Snowbee Hat
Paul Jones 5 2.06 10.07 2 £400 BOB cheque  & Snowbee Hat
Ron Wilday 5 1.15 9.02 3 £250 BOB cheque  & Snowbee Hat
John Huckings 4 2.06 8 4 Snowbee Nivalis Jacket
Andrew Alger 4 2 7.04 5 Snowbee Onyx Cass. fly reel system
Allan Lawson 2 2.04 3.14 6 Snowbee Breeze Bloc Softshell Jacket
Roger Trustcott 2 1.14 3.11 7 Snowbee Ultralite Chest Pack
Allan Brown 2 2 3.08 8 Snowbee 14740 Fly Box Tool Kit
D Perks 1 2.05 2.05 9 Snowbee Easy vue competition fly box
Graham Watts 1 2.04 2.04 10
Mark Sinclair 1 2.04 2.04 10
Malcolm Ure 1 2 2 12
John Rumbold 1 1.15 1.15 13
Rob Gale 1 1.15 1.15 13
P Brown 1 1.14 1.14 15
Andy Lobb 1 1.13 1.13 16
Chris Bolt 1 1.11 1.11 17
Alec Hoare 1 1.1 1.1 18
Janet Till 1 1.09 1.09 19
Darren Penfold 1 1.09 1.09 19
John Hern 1 1.07 1.07 21

 

End of Season Flourish

Len Francis ended his salmon fishing season in style tempting a brace of 11lb 8oz and 4lb 8oz from the Weir-Marsh and Brightly Beats of the Taw. Ed Ruell caught a fish of 4lb 8oz. Several salmon were also seen in the high water conditions that would have deterred many anglers. A large salmon was also hooked and lost after a battle in the high water. Heavy overnight rain has now almost certainly brought an end to this season. The heavy rain has come too late to save what has been a difficult season hampered by low flows.

SEASONS and CHANGING TIMES – A few thought from the waters edge.

Autumn seems to be setting in early this year with the salmon fishing seasons end almost upon us and no prospect of wetting a line with heavy rain bringing a big spate that has come too late to save what has been a lacklustre season as a result of low flows for much of the year. On the plus side the swollen rivers will enable salmon and sea trout to forge upriver and with no anglers or nets to impede their progress they will hopefully successfully spawn ensuring fish for future seasons.

Autumn colours are already showing on many trees on higher ground; martins and swallows are glimpsed as they head south battling the autumn gales as they start their epic journey. In a few weeks they will be swooping over a different landscape in Africa with elephants, lion and wildebeest instead of red deer, foxes and badgers. Each year these natural migrations take place and to some extent we take it all for granted expecting it all to continue year on year. Sadly things don’t always go on and we should watch with concern as nature faces troubled times. I read today of a threat to the Horse Chestnut trees and a shortage of conkers. Ash die back threatens to decimate our woodland.

As I drive around North Devon I am dismayed at the number of houses being built. Have we the infrastructure to cope? How will all of this impact upon the natural landscape and wildlife of North Devon? My recently published book “I Caught A Glimpse” reflects upon a North Devon I grew up in. Each year the stories within its pages seem far removed from the present day.

The coming months are often the best of the year for many anglers with carp already showing from our local lakes at impressive weights their bronze flanks reflecting autumns hues. Stillwater trout are likely to bring exciting sport. On the coast sea anglers will be relishing the chance to catch tope, bass, conger, Huss and grey mullet. In the estuary flounder anglers will enjoy simple fishing as rod tips rattle as bunches of ragworm are engulfed.

These autumn storms will of course pass and warm sunshine will bring reminders of summer warmth. November generally gives those first chill days but even then garfish and mackerel can bring a pleasant surprise on the coast. Part of the joy of angling is not knowing what will happen next and being out there by the water is a constant adventure. What better place to watch the drama of life on earth unfold?

Blakewell – Rainbows Give great Autumn Sport

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Garry Brown enjoyed a great session at Blakewell Fishery on the day of my book launch banking six fine rainbows the best a superb fish of 6lb that secured a bottle of champagne for the best fish caught during the event. The coming months should see anglers enjoying good sport on the small Stillwater trout fisheries with both Blakewell and Bratton Water well worth a visit.

Wimbleball – Fine Autumn Trout sport

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Stillwater Trout anglers are enjoying fine sport at Wimbleball Reservoir with rainbows into double figures succumbing to lures fished close to the surface. The catch and release policy is proving extremely successful with anglers catching up to twenty fish a day with 3lb plus fish frequently stripping anglers lines to the backing. September and October are exciting months for the trout angler on big reservoirs with the trout falling to fry imitations or dry daddy longlegs.

Denis Bilkey with a fine Wimbleball rainbow

I CAUGHT A GLIMPSE – BOOK LAUNCH

(Above) Image – Courtesy of Tony Gussin

After what seems like a long journey my book ” I Caught A Glimpse” has finally been published and I am delighted with the end result. The launch day at Blakewell Fishery proved to be an enjoyable event with a good number of local anglers attending to meet with publisher Wayne Cryer from the Little Egret Press and myself. The lush water gardens, pools of swirling trout and tea rooms bathed in bright sunshine proved the perfect setting. There was a steady stream of anglers arriving throughout the event and it was pleasing to see generations of North Devon Anglers mingling and reminiscing with several old friends reunited.

The book will be judged by its readers so I await feed back confident that I have produced a worthwhile tome. There is of course far more that I could have written about and this becomes increasingly obvious as I talk further with the anglers of North Devon.

A big thank you to all of those who attended the book launch from both Wayne Cryer and I.

On a hectic day Pauline and I then attended the Annual River Torridge Dinner at the Half Moon Inn. After a wonderful meal with members of the Association I was pleased to sign a few more copies of “I Caught A  Glimpse”. Special thanks must go to Charles Inniss who wrote a foreword to the book and promoted the book enthusiastically to the Torridge Fishery members.

I must of course give a very big thanks to all who assisted me in writing the book for it was by no means a solo effort and those who helped are acknowledged within the book. Though I have to say I have undoubtedly missed a few.

Artifishal – @ Loxhore Village Hall – Friday 20th September

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ARTIFISHAL is a thought provoking film that everyone should see that has concern for the natural world.

Loxhore Village Hall – Friday, September 20th 7.30pm

Be Informed :-
Open net fish farms threaten the survival of wild fish including Atlantic salmon, sea trout and Arctic char but governments are not doing enough to address the problems. Instead the industry is set to expand exponentially in the pristine fjords of Iceland and continues to grow at alarming rates around Norway, Scotland and Ireland – using massive open net pens that allow the free flow of disease and pollution into the surrounding environment where wild salmon are struggling to survive. In the last 40 years, the population of Atlantic Salmon has dropped from 10 million to 3 million and if we fail to protect their habitat they could soon become an endangered species.

The film will be introduced by Wayne Thomas and screening will start at 7.45pm the film will be followed by an interactive discussion. Wayne will also give details of his new book on angling in North Devon with the opportunity to purchase signed copies.
Note 50% of profits to Village Hall Funds and 50% to the River Taw Fisheries Association. Tickets £5.00 on the door.