Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club held their latest Match at Bulldog Fishery where David Richards secured top spot with three rainbow trout for 9lb 2oz the best a fish of 3lb 9oz.
Dave Mock was runner up with three for 7lb 15oz and Colin Combe third with three for 7lb 13oz. The club are holding their Christmas Competition at the venue on December 17th.
I joined members of South Molton Angling Club at Bulldog Fishery for one of their monthly fishing competitions fishing for the Mac McCarthy Trophy. The trout fishing lake has undergone a significant transformation since my last visit and is now twice the size of the previous lake with the dividing roadway removed to create one large lake. This has been generously stocked with rainbows to 7lb and a mix of spartics and browns.
A good number of club members were in attendance in addition to a few day ticket visitors and it was immediatly apparent that the lake could now host a dozen or more anglers in comfort. A strong South West wind was blowing up the valley with occasional drizzle driven over the lake. Despite the rather gloomy weather it was at least mild and everyone was in good spirits as they tackled up and took up places at the waters edge.
I set up with an intermediate Snowbee line and tied on the ever reliable damsel nymph with a black cormorant on a dropper. I chose to fish close to the lake inlet with the raging and murky River Yeo racing down behind me. The water in the lake was surprisingly clear despite heavy rain over previous days and I could see the occasional rainbow trout cruising in the margins. I put out the line allowed the the flies to sink slowly before beginning a slow irratic retrieve.
After three or for casts the line tightened and I felt the pleasing tug of a trout. A hard fighting rainbow was eventually pulled over the rim of the net. I added two more full tailed rainbows over the next twenty minutes to complete my three fish bag,
I poured a coffee and took a walk around the lake catching a few images of other anglers enjoyed tempting the lakes trout. Several trout to over four pound were caught including some good fish by anglers trying fly fishing for the first time. It was interesting to note how some experienced anglers were struggling to complete their bags whilst others were catching the trout with ease. Subtle differences in presentation can make all the difference to success whilst at other times trout determine that the lucky angler bags up.
The late Autumn and Winter months offer great sport at small Stillwaters with weed growth at a minimum and trout in tip top condition in the Cool water.
Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club members fished their Christmas Competition at Bulldog Fishery where Colin Combe tempted a fine brown trout of 9lb.
Andre Muxworthy took the best bag of three trout totalling 9lb 6oz.
Dave Mock was second with three for 8lb 10oz and Dave Richards third with 8lb 4oz.
The icy cold conditions do not deter rainbow trout that thrive in the cold well oxygenated water of winter. A variety of flies worked for members.
David Jenkins pictured here with a colourful koi of 18lbs caught on his latest trip to Bulldog Carp Fishery in North Devon!
North Devon’s anglers are looking forward to the Opening of new Day Ticket Carp Fishery at Bulldog Fish Farm Ltd
Richie Eaton was lucky enough to be invited for a nights fishing at the new carp lake which is soon to be opening to the public for day tickets this common being the biggest of a couple fish landed.
I will announce full details of opening as soon as I receive them along with a full report on my own visits to water.
A smashing first trip to Bulldog Trout Fishery for Keith, Dave and Howard. Braving the cold weather the lads had great results, keith finished the session with 4 fish, biggest of which 4lb6oz and a combined weight of 15lb8oz! Dave also managed 4 fish of a similar size and Howard ended with just the two.
I joined eight members of South Molton and District Angling Club at Bulldog Fishery where a good days sport was enjoyed. It was a surprisingly mild and sunny day for early November and several good sized trout could be seen cruising in the clear water.
Bulldog is a small water and eight members is close to the maximum comfortable number for the water. But with all members being friends and it being very much a social event the fact that lines came close at times didn’t matter.
The hotspot seemed to be close to the lake inlet where several fish were showing including a large fish well into double figures. Small imitative patterns seemed to be the way to go with several fish tempted on montana nymphs. My first fish of the day succumbed to this pattern with a further three falling to small gold head PT nymphs.
I believe at least half the members ended the day with four fish limit bags with most fish weighing between 3lb and 5lb.
Bulldog is an intimate water that is stocked with rainbows averaging over 3lb and browns into double figures. It is a perfect winter venue that offers good sport and a good chance of a double figure fish.
It’s an exciting time of year as winter passes with new fishing adventures on the horizon. Today was the last day of winter yet at this time of year the seasons seem to fluctuate from day to day and even from morning till night. There was frost on the grass when I looked out of the bedroom window as the moon sank beneath the tree line and the sun rose from the opposite direction illuminating the fields as the frost melted away in a warm dawn glow.
I was fishing at Bulldog fishery which is less than five miles from my home so truly local. The lane to the fishery winds down through woodland and between the remains of the old Lynton to Barnstaple Railway. The Fishery is located beside the Barnstaple Yeo that was running high and clear its sparkling water flowing into the top of the lake. I have been meaning to pay the fishery a visit for sometime after seeing some stunning images of its big brown trout.
I set up and walked the fishery bank peering into the clear water. The shaded far bank proved an ideal vantage point with the sun behind me I could see clearly into the lake. The downside of course was that my shadow could also be cast onto the water alerting the fish of my presence.
The trees would hopefully break my silhouette. Half way down the Lake I glimpsed two very large trout just a couple of rod lengths from the bank. I pulled a few yards of line from the reel and wetted the damsel nymph in the margin. The line was carefully flicked out in front of the trout; my heart was in my mouth the fish turned towards the fly eyeing it with intent for a moment before turning away showing disdain at my offering.
Such chances are often fleeting but it was an exciting start to the trip. I moved along the bank and put a long line parallel to the bank. After a couple of pulls the line drew tight and a trout pulled back. An impressive brown trout its spotted sides showing clearly in the gin clear water. The trout close to five pounds was certainly a great start to the day.
A few casts later a rainbow chased the olive damsel nymph close to the bank where I saw its mouth open and engulf the lure.
With two trout on the bank I was pleased to take a break from fishing and chat with the fishery owner Nigel Early about his exciting plans for the fishery. The trout lake is due to be considerably enlarged to provide far more bank space making it an ideal venue for visiting clubs or small groups of anglers. This is an intimate Stillwater trout fishery that contains some huge brown trout up to 15lb that are undoubtedly wily and worthy targets. The fishery policy is for all browns over 5lb to be returned carefully to the water preserving a valuable asset and ensuring that visiting anglers have the chance to catch the fish of a lifetime. There are two day ticket options; four fish £30 or five fish £35. Large returned browns do not count as part of this bag.
Nigel is no stranger to big trout and was proud to tell me that he had provided stock fish from the trout farm that have set English, Scottish and Welsh records Including rainbows of 26lb 9oz (Welsh) and 24lb 6oz ( Scottish).
Another project underway is a carp lake of several acres that has been stocked with ten carp over thirty pound and another 120 carp ranging from low doubles to mid twenties. There will be ten swims on the lake that should open in early May and will undoubtedly provide some exciting fishing. I feel sure that the lake will mature nicely over the coming years to bring a valuable carping venue close to Barnstaple.
After leaving Nigel to continue his work I returned to the trout lake where I managed to spot another huge brown trout that once again frustrated my efforts swimming at my nymph before turning away and disappearing into the depths of the lake. Several good sized fish were showing near the inlet and followed my olive damsel before turning away. With the sun beaming down from a clear blue sky it was undoubtedly time for a little finesse. A bead headed nymph was flicked out and the lines tip twitched. A 4lb plus rainbow was added to my bag. With Sunday dinner waiting I reeled in and headed for home thoughts of big browns etched on the minds eye.