Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Its been just over six months since I launched North Devon Angling News aiming to be the one stop for angling news in North Devon.

A special thanks to all who have supported the project by sending me news, taking out an advert or just taking a look. In the coming year I will continue to build the site and welcome any pictures, articles that will be of interest to anglers in North Devon. Since June the site has been viewed well over 20,000 times. Below are a few highlights from the year.

Reel Deal -450lb porbeagle shark
Julian and Carla at the Rising Sun Umberleigh a real anglers pub.
Emma Tyjas
Emma Tyjas
Wedded bliss at Anglers Paradise
Andrew Atkinson with a smoothound of 15lb 1oz
Andrew Atkinson with a smoothound of 15lb 1oz
Mick Whitfield with his 45lb 2oz mirror carp
Mick Whitfield with his 45lb 2oz mirror carp A Kracking carp!
Thresher Shark
Thresher Shark – Reel Deal
Rob Scoines with his first brace of trout
Rob Scoines with his first brace of trout from Bratton Water
Dave James and Craig Lacey receive £2000.JPG
Dave James and Craig Lacey receive £2000 South West Lakes Trust
Liam Stevens – 15lb 8oz
North Devon Show
Wistlandpound Brown Trout

14322590_1494095073940038_7282370271101400434_nBlakewell Double

Shore Caught tope
Specimen Perch Upper Tamar – Chris Lambert 3lb 4oz

14695536_10154470454560560_1727186096722278141_nAutumn mullet – Dan Welch15231638_1054230368056045_497843651_o John Shapland – Flounder brace

Blakewell Double – James Thomas


Anglers Paradise

Advert - Summerlands TackleSlide1Rising Sunimage001SAKUMA WEB LOGO

A message from Nick Hart at Exe Valley

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a3c4d24a-d937-4da5-ab7a-31813c4e97e5Merry Christmas from Exe Valley Fishery. Escape the house and enjoy some festive fly fishing on Tuesday 27th December 2016

During the time of year when inboxes overflow with never ending marketing and BUY NOW buttons I don’t want to add to the pile so will keep this brief and hope that there may be something of interest!

I would like to wish all the people who have supported the fishery and fly fishing school for so many years a very Merry Christmas, thank you for visiting. If you need to escape into the fresh air next week, we will only be closed on Christmas Day & Boxing Day, reopening on Tuesday 27th Dec 2016.

Best Wishes,

Nick Hart
Fly Fishing Guide @ Exe Valley Fishery


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img_0250That’s tea sorted; Andy Facey heads for home after a successful day at Blakewell.

Its a busy time at Blakewell as families descend to select their Christmas trees and perhaps chose a tasty goodie from the popular farm shop.

The still-Water trout angler combines a few hours casting for hard fighting trout with taking home fresh trout for tea. Andy Facey above landed six trout to 4lb 8oz in a bag totaling 16lb.

img_0249A well marked brown trout of 2lb 8oz for Trevor Whyborn tempted on a green and black gold head montana.


The Art of Fly Tying

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I joined South Molton Angling Club members at the Coach and Horses Inn at South Molton where local Fly Tier Matt Kingdon gave a demonstration of his skills in creating flies and lures to tempt the wisest of trout. Matt used all the latest materials to whip together fur and feather in an impressive display of skill chatting as he tied about the factors that make a good fly, First rule is of course that the fly should be tied on a quality hook! Each fly is tied using features that create triggers to entice the trout, to do this the fly should appear natural in the water. To this I would add that the fly should appeal to the angler for with confidence in the fly comes success.



Local angling guide Bryan Martin also joined in tying a stoats tail salmon fly that I intend to put to good use next season!

img_1553 Stoats Tail -Variant

In addition to vast range of materials used in tying the flies Matt also gave useful tips such as the use of Hard as nails available from Boot’s and Super drug for varnishing the heads of the flies.

img_1550img_1541Rising Sun

Significant Changes for Underperforming Wimbleball!

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Wimbleball Reservoir has been a splendid location for trout fishers for many years but sadly its days as a premier trout fishery appear to be over as South West Lakes Trust have today sent out a letter indicating that the fisheries future is to change for the worse.

Dear All

May I take this opportunity to thank you for supporting Wimbleball fishery during the 2016 season.

I am writing to inform you that there will be significant changes next year and wanted to make you aware of these at an early stage before you plan your fishing for next season.

Unfortunately the fishery at Wimbleball has continued to underperform in the face of rising costs and as a charity we cannot continue to operate in this unsustainable way. Therefore in 2017 we will not be stocking the lake while we take the time to review the operation and identify the best way forward. We all know what a great fishery Wimbleball can be and its future remains important to us. However we also believe that it should only operate as a premier rainbow trout fishery if we are able to offer the very best experience to our anglers, so we are going to take this time to make the right decisions, both for the Charity and you, our customers.

During 2017 we will be offering low cost fishing for over wintered Rainbows, Blues and natural Browns. Browns will remain as catch and release to protect the very good natural stocks. In 2016 we stocked Rainbows to 7lbs and some cracking Blues, many of which were not caught and we anticipate there will be plenty of fish to catch in spring and early summer and some terrific brown trout fishing in August and September. There will be one type of ticket available (day permits) at £10.00 for up to 3 Rainbows. Catch and release is optional.

We will not be operating the boats for 2017 so fishing will be from the bank only. Some new areas of bank have been cleared by our Wardens.

The permits will be available online at or from the permit room on site.

For clubs and group bookings we would be happy to offer some really good rates for fishing at our other fisheries such as Kennick or Siblyback where we have terrific boat or bank fishing available. For individuals we would also be happy to discuss great rates for buying day tickets in bulk.

Wimbleball will remain a qualifying venue for the Best of the Best competition with the final being held at Kennick on 15th October.

While I appreciate that this will not be welcome news, I trust that you will understand our position and in the meantime I hope you will take advantage of the low cost option for 2017.

If you would like to discuss our plans further please do not hesitate to contact myself, Alex Forster or Ben Smeeth.

Your sincerely

Colin Vallance
Heritage and Environment Director, South West Lakes Trust
Managing Director, Wheal Martyn Trust



Members on the way to the water.

Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club members enjoyed a brown trout bonanza at Bratton Water Trout Fishery where they assembled for their Christmas Competition. All but one of the members who took part successfully completed a four fish bag limit with the trout averaging over three pounds in weight. The first hour of the competition saw the trout on a feeding frenzy with most members catching their days allocation within this golden hour.


The brown trout within the fishery are stunning looking fish each one carrying a distinctive pattern of dark and crimson spots upon their flanks of gold, bronze and buttermilk. Each fish is so much more distinctive than the rainbow trout and  in my view deserves a far grander title than brown trout.


Members used a wide range of patterns to tempt their fish with damsel nymphs and small gold-head nymphs all successful.

Winner of the competition was Roger Bray who caught stunning browns of 5lb 4oz, 5lb, 4lb and 3lb 12oz for a total of 18lb.


Runner up in the competition was Matt KIngdon with a four fish bag of 14lb 4oz that included the days biggest trout scaling 6lb 4oz.


Full results

1st Roger Bray 18lb 2nd Matt Kingdon 14lb 4oz 3rd David Eldred 13lb 4oz 4th Wayne Thomas 12lb 5th -Colin Combe 11lb 4oz

6th – Nigel Bird 11lb 7th Andre Muxworthy 10lb 4oz


The event was fished in calm conditions with glimpses of winter sunshine. This intimate lake is nestled within a peaceful valley providing an ideal location for a winters day of trout fishing, After catching their bags of trout members retired to the fishing hut to chat of future plans for the coming year as they drained their flasks of hot tea and coffee.


My own twelve pound bag of stunning trout( Above) would delight from any fishery throughout the country. The lake is certainly well worth a visit over the Christmas period if you fancy tangling with some hard fighting trout; an ideal time to test out those fishing related Christmas gifts.



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Blakewell Fishery’s Christmas Competition is always a highlight of the local game fishing calendar and this year competitors enjoyed some great sport beneath the winter sunshine. The trout seized anglers fly’s from the start of the event with rods bent all around the lake during the first hour. The twenty eight anglers landed a total of 168 trout; twenty eight six fish limit bags!

Four double figure trout were landed the best to the rod of Peter Fairclough weighed a touch over 13lb.

img_3771Peter Fairclough – 13lb Rainbow Trout

Phill Colwill landed an 11lb 2oz rainbow trout, Peter Furze a rainbow of 11lb 1oz and James Thomas a rainbow of 10lb 9oz.

img_3776 James Thomas – Rainbow Trout 10lb 9oz

The winning bag of the day was taken by Pete Furze and totalled 28lb 4oz, runner up was Phil Colwill 25lb 14oz, third Peter Fairclough 24lb 5oz and forth James Thomas 23lb 6oz.

Double figure trout for Phil Colwill, James Thomas and Peter furze


Several brown trout were also brought to the scales the best a fish of 3lb 14oz to the rod of Brian Howarth.

img_3791A pleasing brown that seized my damsel fly nymph.

The competition was punctuated by a delicious stew cooked by the Blakewell team and the packed tea room was filled with  chatter as friends old and new exchanged tales and experiences.

img_1500Mulled wine, stew and minced pies!

img_3806Reflections in the lake

img_3800Moorhens are just one of many birds at Blakewell

Richard and John Nickel were pleased to have Simon Kidd sales and marketing manager at Snowbee, fishing the competition and donating some great tackle prizes for the end of day draw.

img_3816Simon Kidd of Snowbee

img_3796The path to the lake

img_3815There are fish everywhere at Blakewell