I joined fifteen members of South Molton and District Angling Club at the Coaching Inn South Molton for their AGM. As always the event ran smoothly thanks to the sterling work undertaken by the club’s officers. Club Chairman Eddie Rands and Secretary/Treasurer Roger Bray gave their reports to the membership reflecting upon a year plagued by low water levels. The environment and river health were top of the agenda throughout with grave concerns regarding pollution from agriculture and South West Waters numerous sewage treatment works.
South Molton Club is a small friendly club that welcomes new members at a very reasonable cost offering superb wild brown trout fishing on five miles of the river Bray. The club also organise forays to the coast with both boat and shore fishing events.
(Below) The cup winners for 2022.
From left to right
Richard Power 30lb tope, Wayne Thomas bass just under 10lb,Steve Bendle 5lb rainbow and Steve Edmonds 7lb pollack.
After the meeting I was priveleged to deliver a talk on my fishing and the variuos paths it has taken me on.
We had a bit of a lockdown clear out like many others and in the shed was a box of old trophies many of them from a while back. Whilst Pauline suggested it was a shame to throw them out I decided the re-cycling centre would be their resting place but just to preserve them a bit longer I took a few photos. I hope the images bring back a few happy memories.
(Above) A selection of trophies from the Ilfracombe Fishing Festival that was organised by the Ilfracombe and District Angling Club. Looking back those week long festivals were amongst the happiest days of my fishing life.
Barnstaple & District Angling Club is one of North Devon oldest clubs and has a rich history stretching back to its formation in 1941. The club is now primarily and a Coarse and Game Fishing Club with a beat on the Lower Taw just above the tide and an old quarry lake near South Molton. Details below.
The club owns on the river Taw near three miles of fishing on the left hand bank (looking downstream) ending at the disused Old Iron railway bridge and 500 yards of the right hand bank ending at what is known as Big Pit.
The beat commencing at Newbridge where the road crosses the river on the A 377, a mile or so past the village of Bishop’s Tawton towards Crediton. Post code. EX32 0EW
River is known for it’s game fishing, salmon , sea trout & brown trout although coarse anglers could find roach, dace and eels which have been recorded in the past.
South Aller Pond, is our coarse fishery.
Club has stocked pond over the years and it contains carp, tench, bream, roach, rudd, perch, eels & silver fish.
Membership of club is £50 for seniors and Juniors £15 which allows members to fish both venues.
History of the club
John Webber sent me a few details relating to the clubs long history and some of its founder members.
Details of reforming the club attached July 15th 1941.
I know of two original members
Dr. Harper, the President was a well know GP in Barnstaple. His surgery was opposite which is now the goods entrance into Green Lanes shopping area, Boutport Street.
The Harper Ward at the ND Hospital was named after him.
Dr. Harper had a hut below my house where he came to relax and fish on the Yeo. The family still own the wood and right hand bank fishing here at Snapper. His wife, also an avid dry fly fisher woman, wrote a record of his life in the privately printed book ‘Dr. Richard Harper of Barnstaple’ which records his life story and includes his efforts for the health and well being of the poor of the town.
The Chairman was H.S. Joyce. Author of several fishing books, such as ‘By Field and Stream’, ‘ Holiday Trout Fishing’,
‘By Field & Stream’ and ‘A Trout Anglers Notebook’ plus many articles in periodicals of the day ‘ Game & Gun’, ‘The Fishing Gazette ‘
His son Peter was my next door neighbor here in at Snapper for many years and lent me his father’s notes written on the back of wall paper due to paper shortages in the war years
Harry I understood moved to Dorset and lived in a mill called the ‘White House’, which was left to the National Trust when he died and all his original books were then bound in leather and gifted to them by his late grand-daughter Judith.
Barnstaple and District Angling Association are one of North Devon longest running clubs with a rich history. They control fishing on a popular stretch of the River Taw with salmon and sea trout fishing. They also have coarse fishing at Aller Pond an atmospheric and tranquil water sited within woodland near South Molton.
(Above ) Newbridge on the River Taw B&DAA Club water.
(Above) South Aller Pond
On Monday November 13th a good proportion of the clubs membership gathered in Barnstaple’s Corner House for their AGM.
After the formalities of reports and election of officers members mingled and we swapped tales of local fishing history and prospects for the future. It was good to see that this long established club is still going strong.
Membership Secretary, Colin Ashby, 13 Green Meadow Drive, Barnstaple EX31 4HT. Tel. 01271 323017.
e- mail [email protected]
Club Secretary Sheridan Toms, Upcott Farm, Brayford, N.Devon EX32 7QA. Tel 01598 710857.