Fly fishers enjoyed some great sport over Christmas and New Year at Bulldog Trout Fishery with plenty of hard fighting rainbows and sone cracking browns.
The Winter solstice, the shortest day of the year so with time limited and Christmas looming I decided on a short session at Bulldog Fishery in search of a winter trout. With a cold Easterly wind blowing this sheltered water was an ideal venue to grab a couple of hours sport.
I arrived close to 10:00am and was given a cheery welcome from fishery owner Nigel Early who was busy preparing Christmas turkeys.
The lake was crystal clear with very little weed growth remaining. I set up and took a wander around the lake glimpsing the occasional rainbow but none of the double figure browns or rainbows that have been recently stocked. I had tied on a small bead headed pheasant tail nymph and cast this to the middle of the lake where a few trout could be seen cruising high in the water. The first couple of casts resulted in missed takes.
The inlet area is often well worth a try and the sight of large trout rolling in the turbulent inlet water prompted a move to the far bank where I could cast my fly into the flow.
The line sailed out the small nymph dropping past the flowing water. I tightened the floating line and watched the tip intently. The line twitched and I lifted the rod connecting with a hard fighting rainbow of around 6lb.
A large trout repeatedly swirled within my casting zone and I wondered if it was one of the lakes big browns? I persisted with the small nymph adding a couple more trout to the bag each full tailed rainbow in the 3lb to 4lb range.
The water was crystal clear yet the light was wrong to get a really good look into the water. The occasional good sized trout drifted into view but takes eased off a little. I experimented with a wet daddy longlegs to no avail then switched to the tried and trusted damsel nymph.
First cast a large rainbow followed the lure before turning away after following for a couple of feet. Next cast the line drew tight and the rod bent over in a satisfying curve as a large trout shook its head in an effort to shake the hook free. The flanks of a large brown trout flashed in the clear water and a tense tussle ensued before the fish was safely in the net. I admired its boldly patterned flanks and slipped the hook from its jaws. The brown trout looked to be about 7lb a very pleasing result to celebrate the turning of the year. I held the fish for a moment in the cool water until with a kick of the tail the prize was once again within a different dimension beneath the cold surface of the winter lake.
I fished on for a while changing back to the pheasant’s tail nymph to take a last rainbow before heading for home in time for an early lunch.
As temperatures drop and the days grow shorter the smaller stillwater trout fisheries offer exciting sport. Bulldog fishery near Barnstaple are building a reputation for quality hard fighting trout that are regularly stocked into double figures.
(Above) Tom Early stocks the latest trout in Bulldog fisheries trout lake.
“Summers out, big fish in! A few of the many fish we stocked in the fly lake here at Bulldog today! Ranging from 2lb- 10lb we think the anglers in the weeks to come will be very happy with the lumps that will be coming out!”
(Below) South Molton Bishop Mike Clothier tempted a fine brace of rainbows scaling 4lb 8oz and 8lb.
Dan Spearman fished Bulldog Fishery to take this stunning brace of double figure brown trout!