Stunning Bratton Browns for Wistlandpound Club

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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.




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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.





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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“The fish bite the least, when the wind is in the north better not go forth, when the wind is in the west the fish bite best and the wind from the South blows the bait into the fishes mouth”.  Or something like that. After a few days away from North Devon I have returned and there is not a lot to report on unless you know different. The best chance of a fish would be to fish one of our local still waters for trout. Bratton Water is sheltered from the East wind and has a healthy stock of quality brown trout that respond well to small imitative patterns.


If it’s big fish your after then Blakewell Fishery has been producing some superb double figure rainbow trout in recent weeks and there is every chance of couple of doubles in the fishery’s popular Christmas Competition on December 4th. The event is now fully booked though it might be worth giving the fishery a ring just in case of a cancellation. I will give a full report here.


If you fancy a day out a little further afield then Exe Valley Fishery is a great venue with some hard fighting browns and rainbows present.  It is also well worth considering purchasing a tuition session with Nick Hart; a great Xmas gift.



Sat 10th Dec Exe Valley 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.




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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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IMG_3404I called into Blakewell Fishery on the way home from Barnstaple just in time to meet Roger Ackriod weighing in a four fish bag of quality trout to 4lb 2oz tempted on blood-worm imitation.

IMG_3405Roger Ackriod

The fishery re-opened today September 10th after extensive weed clearing work on the lake that has certainly paid dividends with the water now crystal clear and the bank-side vegetation  still lush and green. After a cup of tea and coffee Pauline and I took a walk around the lake to capture a few images on re-opening day. The early autumn sunshine shone into the clear water giving glimpses of several fine trout that I feel sure would have seized a well presented nymph. John Nickel informed me that several double figure rainbow trout have been stocked along with some pristine brown trout. The next few weeks will see some fine trout landed by visitors to this fine still-water with small imitative patterns most likely to succeed.

Afternoon tea at Blakewell
Afternoon tea at Blakewell