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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.img_2080

Richard Banks from Ilfracombe landed a fine rainbow of 13lb 2oz in a bag that totalled 26lb.



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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! Junior Anglers

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!!!


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Slide1BLAKEWELL 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.



The Rising Sun at Umberleigh played host to a gathering of anglers and their partners at an end of season dinner. A late flurry of action on the river allowed a few accounts of battles over good food and ale as the log burner emitted a welcome warmth. Len Francis hooked a fine 17lb salmon its flanks reflecting the autumnal hues of the season. The fish was tempted from the Weir Marsh and Brightly Beats controlled by Ivan Huxtable.  Nathan Judd also enjoyed success on the beat with an end of season grilse. Nick Briant also  landed a fine hen fish estimated at 18lb that was tempted on a small copper tube fly. The last month of the season proved a little disappointing with those fish caught all stale fish that had undoubtedly been in the river for a while. Sport has generally been very sporadic throughout 2016 with river levels generally low and fish coming as expected on the few spates that we have had. The most disappointing aspect has been the poor numbers of sea trout.

Emma Tyjas
Emma Tyjas enjoyed success earlier in the season.

It seems such a short time since I joined an excited gathering of anglers in the Rising Sun at the start of the season and I feel sure that in six months time enthusiasm will be recharged after the long winter break. Every season is different dependent on both the weather and the success of spawning on the redds in the five years preceding the season. As the leaves start to fall and the swallows have departed those spring days with daffodil lined banks seem so far away yet as live races past they will soon be here once again. In the mean time there is no need to pack away the rods with stillwater trout fishery’s at their best.

The River Torridge fishers have a fortnight extension to enjoy with special permits available from Charles Innis 0n 01409 231237. Fishing is strictly catch and release with single barbless hooks only. A few salmon have been tempted in the last week of September as river levels fluctuate  as a result of some heavy bursts of rain. John Graham and Garry Duggan both landed grilse of around 6lb from mid river beats. When conditions allow there is every chance of a good fish from the Torridge with plenty of water to encourage a run of late fish. Charles Inniss informed me that he had a momentary contact with a large fish whilst fishing the upper river.

dscf2667img_1592Rising Sun

Wimbleball News – Wistlandpound Club Result

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Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club held their Beeny Trophy competition at Wimbleball Reservoir on September 25th.

Colin Combe won with 6 fish for 8 lb 12 oz and Danny had 6 fish for 8 lb 10 oz and was runner up. 8 people fished and all by boat.

Heavy rain showers punctuated the day.

Please find the weekly catch report for Wimbleball from Danny Ford. We have been seeing some great sport in front of the bridge on dry flies, claret and black hoppers being the most productive, with foam daddies also taking their fair share of surface feeding trout. Rod average is 2.6 with the boats showing a return of 2.8. Water temp continues to drop and is showing 16.5°C

Regular anglers Tom and Bob (season tickets) had a bumper day from the boat on Friday with both anglers achieving a full bag fishing hoppers on a southerly wind in front of the bridge. Fish were showing everywhere during the spells of cloud cover and Tom commented that is was one of the best days he has had this season, well done both!

From October 1st, our boat availability will be from 9am-5pm 7 days a week. We may start to bring a few off the water so please book to avoid disappointment. October is one of my favourite times to fish on the reservoir, with many of the larger fish starting to show. Last year Steart bay was producing good bags, one to try!

Danny Ford
Wimbleball Countryside Warden




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Jon Ogbourne and Peter Coleman Smith enjoyed a cracking day in the Wistlandpound Clubs Boat . Taking fish from from all shores of the lake. Side opposite boat slipway particularly product fished tight in under the trees. The shallow bank to the left of the stream also provided some fruitful drifts including a first ever treble hook up! All fish coming to traditional loch style tactics with a size 12 claret bumble by far the most successful fly on the middle or top dropper, followed by a gold head black and peacock spider on the point. Nice ripple all day with helpful wind and broken sunshine. Ended up with 32 brown trout to the boat + 1 Rudd. Biggest 14″. A very special fishery declared the pair of anglers.unknown



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The latest Newsletter from Blakewell Fishery

Well Summer has passed and we’re starting to get an autumn flavour with the leaves turning that lovely golden colour. The start of Autumn has seen the weather remain reasonably mild and settled which is producing perfect fishing conditions at our refurbished lake. Consequently, we are pleased we took the decision to drain the lake in August to undertake some extensive maintenance. The lake is now looking fabulous, completely weed free and fishing very well with a settled and comfortable water temperature of around 12 degrees. The trout have been in the top few inches for the first part of September and as you would expect they are happily taking Daddy’s off the surface especially when there has been a ripple. When it has been very bright, anglers have also been having good success in the top couple of feet with either a drowned daddy or gold head version.That time of the year when the trout like to take the daddy long legs off the surface! Apparently we are in for a bumper year for Daddy’s so best come to the tackle room and stock up as they’re already favourites with the Blakewell fish!

Don’t ignore the margins, some serious Rainbows have been seen cruising just a few feet from the bank! They’ve likely learnt that there are good pickings to be had close in where the water is much shallower and the fry can hide!


Jerry pictured above had seen some big fish cruising the margins and adopted a stalking approach to his fishing, very successful he was too! Fishing a 9wt Shakespere rod with a 6.4 lbs fluro Carbon Tippett he induced takes from two double figure rainbows just a foot out from the bank. The brace of rainbows weighed in at 18lb 2oz and 16lb 10oz, his fly was a gold head damsel with lure flash in the tail. Apparently a fly he swears by when stalking.