Stunning Bratton Browns for Wistlandpound Club

posted in: Game Fishing, Sidebar | 0
Danny Fords winning bag of four trout for 13lb 3oz

Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club members enjoyed quality trout fishing at Bratton Water with some impressive bags of brown trout. Danny Ford won the D & D Cup competition with four trout for 13lb 3oz. Danny caught his fish using small buzzer patterns and spent time after bagging up sharing his knowledge with other club members.

(Below) Danny Ford with brown trout each weighing 4lb 1oz

Runner up in the competition was David Richards who landed  four trout topped by a fine specimen of 5lb 5oz that was winning the biggest trout of the day until David Eldred secured the biggest trout of the day prize with yet another stunning brown of 5lb 8oz. David Eldred secured third place with a four fish bag for 11lb 3oz and I took forth with an 11lb 2oz bag that included a fin perfect brown of 4lb 14oz.

[Above) David Richards with a beautiful 5lb 5oz brown trout
(Above) This 4lb 14oz brown trout is probably the best looking trout I have ever caught.

Fishing at Bratton Water was enhanced by the onset of spring with daffodils and primroses in full bloom and toads spawning in the lakes margins. Fishery owner Mike Williams spotted two house martins on the morning of the competition a sure sign that Spring has truly arrived.

South Molton & District Angling Club AGM

South Molton & District Angling Club held their 48th AGM at the Coaching Inn in their hometown and as always it was a friendly and convivial evening. The formalities were handled by long serving secretary Ian Binding and club Chairman Mike Evans who has stood down after seven years in the role. His efforts were been much appreciated by all present. The Chairman’s role has been taken by Eddie Rands who also runs the clubs sea-fishing activities. Eddie dominated the clubs sea fishing trophy presentation winning the clubs top four trophies with an 8lb bass and a 30lb tope.

The clubs Mac Trophy for the biggest trout caught during the annual trout fishing competition was won by club treasurer Roger Bray who landed a fine 6lb rainbow from Bratton Water Trout Fishery. (Below)

The clubs primary focus is the fishing it leases on the River Bray where members enjoy some delightful fishing for an abundant population of wild brown trout that thrive in the clear waters of this delightful tributary of the River Taw.

Paul Carter the local full time Fishery Officer was a welcome guest at the meeting and reflected upon his 30 years as a fishery officer in North Devon. The fact that he was once part of an eight-man team of officers brings into focus how times have changed. Paul stressed the need for anglers to share information with the Environment Agency reporting any signs of pollution immediately to the E.A on their 0800 80 70 60 Hotline.


posted in: Game Fishing, Sidebar | 0

Bratton Water’s stature as a first class brown trout water is growing with some stunning fish being tempted. Chay Boggis visited the fishery and had a fine bag of trout to just over five pounds. Successful tactics were a white dog nobbler fished close to the surface with a fast erratic retrieve. Nick Hart and top angling photographer Henry Gilbey paid a recent visit to the fishery and their work should appear in a top trout fishing publication this spring!

(Above)Chay Boggis with a qaulity 5lb plus Bratton Brown.



posted in: Game Fishing, Sidebar | 0


My friend Danny Ford dropped a me a Facebook message to say he was visiting Bratton Water; would I like to join him. Whilst I had not got time to fish I had got time to pop down for a chat and a catch up. On arrival the lake was mirror calm with the trees and reeds casting reflections across the still-water that was punctuated by the pleasing rings of feeding trout.

Danny was casting a line from the Dam and fishing a team of small buzzers very slowly watching the tip of the line intently for any movement that could indicate the deception of a wily trout. Danny pulled a fine prize from his trout bag a stunning brown trout of around 6lb. Its flanks were decorated in crimson spots. its tail was full, a perfect brown trout that would please any angler.


We chatted about fish, waters and prospects for the coming year. I told Danny I wanted some action shots and for a while he struggled to get a take. This is so often the way with trout in small still waters, Danny had caught three trout within his first hour and had taken a short rest to find that the fish had stopped feeding. Eventually after half an hour of varied retrieves the line drew tight and Danny played a beautifully marked brown trout to the net.dscn5053dscn5017dscn5029dscn5034dscn5039

Danny undoubtedly went on to catch his final fish of a five fish limit bag. We talked briefly of flies and concluded that one of the most important aspects of fly is that the angler has confidence in it. Danny carries a small selection of flies on most outings and has total confidence that he can catch on all but the hardest days.


Danny’s five fish bag



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.



High water temperatures and extensive weed growth have made fishing challenging at Bratton Water as at many other waters in the area some of which have been forced to close temporarily. The skillful angler can generally tempt a fish or two from the Bratton Waters Crystal clear waters using either dry flies or small nymphs. South Molton Angler Bob Gooding put his many years of experience to good use catching five brownies in a session the best two scaling 7lb 8oz and 5lb. Arthur Bond landed a brace of 5lb brown trout and rainbow trout.

Bob Gooding

As autumn sets in sport at this tranquil lake will improve with the trout rising freely. Daddy long-leg patterns are well worth trying fished virtually static; this visual fishing is a particularly pleasing way to deceive the specimen browns that cruise within the clear waters.




Close to twenty members of Bratton Fleming Cricket club descended upon the normally tranquil waters of Bratton Water Trout Fishery for what will undoubtedly become an annual event. A mixture of experienced fly Fishers and first timers enjoyed the event that was blessed with warm summer sunshine. In the clear water small imitative patterns proved most successful with a gold headed pheasant tail nymph responsible for the demise of several of Bratton Waters hard fighting residents.


On arrival at the fishery I found experienced local trout fisherman and Bratton Water regular Glyn Rees who had enjoyed a good day at the water landing four brown trout to 4lb targetting the fish using dry fly tactics.

Whilst the fishing fraternity cast their offerings to the lakes trout the remaining members of the Cricket club prepared the BBQ and played a primitive form of cricket using bats made from old sticks. Others watched the anglers and helped with the netting of fish.


Most anglers landed their brace of trout despite the warm sunshine that beamed into the water. A pair of Polaroids were a distinct advantage enabling individual fish to be targetted with the two trout I caught both actually seen to take the tiny fly. The fish were a mixture of brown and rainbows with Debbie Tucker landing the biggest brown trout at 3lb 1oz. James Thomas landed a hard fighting of rainbow of 3lb 8oz that was leading the biggest fish of the day when we left the event to join another local event. Rob Scoines fresh back from a trip to Norway chasing big fish adapted to the finesse of trout fishing landing a brace of rainbows each weighing 2lb 9oz.

The Cricket club give special thanks to fishery owner Mike Williams for hosting the event that raised valuable funds for the Cricket Club.

Debbie Tucker with brace of Bratton Trout including a 3lb 1oz brown trout
Debbie Tucker with brace of Bratton Trout including a 3lb 1oz brown trout
James Thomas with a 3lb 10oz rainbow
James Thomas with a 3lb 8oz rainbow
Rob Scoines with his first brace of trout
Rob Scoines with his first brace of trout
Hard fighting trout
Hard fighting trout
Safely in the net
Safely in the net, Sophie Welby nets a rainbow for James Thomas
The waiting net
The waiting net
Darren Drew with a brace of rainbows
Darrin Drew with a brace of rainbows
James Thomas and myself with our catch.
James Thomas and myself with part of our catch.