In this months Trout Fisherman mag (issue 490) John Gilmore took top spot in the Sept/Oct round of Troutmasters at Exe Valley with a fish of 10lb 6oz In second place was Dave Bull with an 8lb 14oz Rainbow while Keith Ratcliffe managed third with a fish of 6lb 10oz Well done to all the badge winners.
Nick Hart at Exe Valley Fishery is pleased to announce that on Sat 10th December they are hosting a pre-Christmas bash on the renovated Anchor Lake.
Join Nick Hart & Pete Tyjas for interactive demos on tackle, casting & fishing techniques plus a chance to see what Grayling fishing is all about.
We will be available throughout the day to provide help & assistance with anything from tuning up a cast to fixing up a leader!
This special event is limited to 10 people, includes a 2 fish permit and unlimited catch & release. We might break out the fly tying vice and there will be cake!
The day will be £45 per person and
if you would like to register your interest please message or call 01398 323008.
More info will also be posted on www.exevalleyfishery.co.uk this week.
Blakewell Fishery has produced some superb trout over the past few days with clear water and cooler temperatures fishing has been very rewarding. Kevin Keast travelled from Plymouth and was rewarded with a fine rainbow of 11lb 13oz.
Nick Hart reports from just over the border at Exe Valley Trout Fishery.
Showing the adults the way is up and coming junior angler Seth Mayhew-Tuson, age 16, who has just won our heat of the Greys Junior Bank National supported by the Angling Trust. Seth has picked up many tips having become part of the England Youth Fly Fishing squad, using this knowledge to great effect to secure top spot with 3 fish weighing exactly 10lb.
The fish were caught within 2 hours so Seth also gained himself an extra 2lb 8oz time bonus to finish well ahead of the field. His successful tactics included an intermediate line and mixed up retrieve (mainly slow figure eight) with a combination of Blobs and Nymphs fished around the deep water inlet.
In second spot was last year’s third placed angler, Toby Bennett, with two fish weighing 5lb 14oz. He caught these quickly, also in the deep water inlet using a floating line but couldn’t add to his bag before the match finished at 1pm. Toby is studying fisheries management at college and is an incredible caster winning a major tournament earlier this year with a cast of 32 metres!
Meanwhile the youngest angler, Charlie Cooper, couldn’t get the fish to stick and lost 3 before finally netting a 2lb 14oz Trout to collect third prize of a fly line and line snips. This was a fantastic effort and the ten year old will now progress on to the 2017 final to be held next April. Charlie used an intermediate line to catch his fish and it was great to see Seth helping out the younger anglers after he had completed his limit. This is what competition fly fishing is all about, sharing, learning and meeting new people.
Cooler water suits the trout far better than the warmth of summer making fishing at still waters such as Blakewell a joy. A real tonic for the salmon or sea trout angler whose fishing is now but a memory until next spring.
Ian Patch travelled from Weston- Super- Mare to fish at Blakewell and his journey was well worth the effort. Ian ended his day with a four fish bag including fish of 13lb 2oz, 4lb 10oz, 4lb 10oz and 4lb 2oz.
Richard Banks from Ilfracombe landed a fine rainbow of 13lb 2oz in a bag that totalled 26lb.
Please find the latest catch report for Wimbleball from Danny Ford. Plenty of fish showing in the narrows from the old pontoons down to Bessoms. They are holding off the weed bank 10 yards out. Anglers have been doing well with nymph patterns, Diawl Bach in particular, fisher either on a midge tip or intermediate.
The fish off for the Orvis Boat Pairs was held on Sunday, Steve Ebdon, and Andy Gooding taking 1st place with Pete Kempton and Phil Sharpe runners up. Steve and Andy won a season ticket for 2017 while Pete and Phil take home a lovely Orvis access reel and a £50 gift voucher. Both boats chose to fish the top end of the lake, with Steve and Andy doing particularly well drifting from the old pontoons to the bouy in Bessoms. Well done!
Wimbleball hosted their final competition of the year on Saturday, 4 Anglers attended the boat comp which ran from 10-4.30pm. 18 rainbows were caught with a return of 4.5 per angler!
1st Danny Ford 6 fish for 8lb 1oz
2nd Ed Trickett 5 fish for 7lb 4oz
3rd Dave Ridgway 4 fish for 6lb 1oz
4th Howard James 3 fish for 5lb 9oz
(Comp results will be included in next week’s report)
Wimbleball will stay open for November and fishing will be available from boat and bank at a reduced price. £8.50 for 2 fish, second permits may be purchased. Boat prices TBC.
A plea from Nick Hart at Exe Valley!
Do you know any budding young fly anglers that are free this Sunday 23rd Oct? I am running a heat of the Junior Bank National at Exe Valley Fishery and there are some places to be filled. This is a great fun event, see pix from last year. Entry open to anyone aged 17 years or under on the day of the final which is 9th April 17. Prizes by Greys and event supported by the Angling Trust. Please message or call for details. Fishing Permit & Entry is just £5!!!
BLAKEWELL FISHERY- are holding one of their popular Competitions on Sunday October 23rd. With water temperatures starting to drop and water clarity good this bound to be a very enjoyable day with every chance of a double figure trout or two!
. Please book early to avoid disappointment, we can only cater for a maximum 25 anglers. The competition will run from 9am to 5pm with lunch provided at 12.30pm.
As I walked to the river rod in hand it seemed difficult to comprehend that another season had passed by for it seemed such a short time ago that I had trod this same route to see the wild daffodils lining the bank back in early March. It was a still morning without a breath of wind a good thing at this time as it would reduce the number of leaves fluttering into the tree lined river. October 8th end of the first week of the two week Torridge season extension. Looking at the trees still bearing their foliage in predominantly dark shades of green it seemed that nature was denying the passing of the year. Yet I know that within a month the majority of the leaves will have dropped and the rivers salmon will be beginning their spawning ritual in earnest high up on the redds.
The river is looking good a slight tinge of colour still, but a little below perfect height, a week having past since the last spate. I wade out and cast the fly across the river allowing it to drift across searching for the salmon that are surely present? The fly I have selected is a barb-less single with a gold tinsel body and brownish wing with a flash of orange. I bought a small selection of flies at Ilfracombe’s Variety Sports a couple of weeks ago, after fifty odd years this well established tackle shop is closing down its owners John and Janet Fennel taking a well deserved rest after many years serving the local angling community.
I fish the pools and runs methodically enjoying the seclusion and savouring the timeless scene that somehow always reminds me of a Constable fine art painting. With the river at its present state I have a hunch where I will find a fish a deep tree shrouded pool. The first fish through brings no result. I select a tungsten headed fly with a black and silver body with long marabou tail. An awful fly to cast but it sinks quickly and may just cover a deep lying fish. First cast, I watch the path of the fly as I lift it I spot a big salmon rise in the water its flanks a mix of gold and bronze hues. Its mouth clearly opens as it attempts to seize my fly, unsuccessfully! Two casts later it again pursues my fly and again misses. The margin between success and failure is small. The image of the salmon within the river will live in my minds eye for many years. A valuable image that will ensure I return next season hopeful of success. That occasional glimpse is essential to maintain the desire, that and the tales from other anglers who have tasted success.
On this last session I have seen kingfishers, squirrels, pheasants, long tailed tits, wagtails and even a salmon. It has not been a successful season fish wise for myself with no salmon or sea trout landed. Others have fortunately fared better as I discover at the end of season dinner.
The annual Torridge Fishery Association dinner was held on Saturday October 8th at the Half Moon Inn, Sheepwash. Opening the door of this old fishing Inn Pauline and I stepped into a burble of excited chatter. The pub was packed with locals and fishers from near and far, a mixture of both old and new faces. Enthusiastic greetings from the ever cheery Charles Inniss immediately set the warm tone of the evening.
We were joined at the dinner table by Anthony and Amanda the new owners of the historic Little Warham Fishery two miles of some of the River Torridges best salmon and sea trout fishing. Listening to their plans gives confidence in the future of fishing on the Torridge.
One of the main beneficiary’s of the annual Egg Box dinner as it has been called is the associations hatchery that has enabled the stocking out of close to 250,000 swim up fry over a ten year period. This years dinner will also help to fund vital fry surveys on selected stretches of the river. The association thank all those who gave generously buying raffle tickets in the hope of winning an array of prizes donated by supporters of the association.
The three course meal was as ever delicious and enjoyed over deep discussions primarily relating to subjects of a piscatorial nature. The previous week had seen around half a dozen salmon caught. A 12lb salmon to the rod of Chris Powell fishing a middle river beat, a brace of 6lb salmon to the rod of Reg Lawton, a 6lb salmon for Anthony McInness fishing an upper river beat and another 6lb salmon to the rod of Graham Henderson fishing an Upper River Beat.
Members of the Torridge Association will meet again in the Spring when they assemble at the Half Moon for the AGM. By then another season will be underway and with good fortune several thousand more salmon fry will have been stocked out into the river’s tributary’s. During the winter months the hatchery team will have spent many hours nurturing the salmon eggs through to swim up fry stage.
2016 has not been a brilliant season with river levels on the low side throughout much of the season. Seasons fluctuate greatly and are always dependent upon many factors particularly the success of spawning fives years previously. Some have speculated that the severe floods experienced a few years ago may have impacted upon this years run of fish.
I will bring any news I receive from the river over the winter months as I receive it so watch this space.