Winter Solstice Reward

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.



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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!”

Bulldog Trout Fishery Latest Reports

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Bulldog Trout Fishery is gaining a reputation for producing quality trout fishing as illustrated here from the latest report sent over by fishery owner Nigel Early.
“At the end of the day nothing like a quite cast or two on my lake, time to reflect how lucky I am. Had my friends down from Evesham fishing today sadly one no longer with them having passed away and is sorely missed. A toast to Rodger during a break.
Well done to Bill for the biggest fish a Magnificent brownie of 10 lb plus,”
(Below) Krystian and his mates traveled from Yeovil to fish Bulldogs trout Lake were well satisfied with a great day with all three anglers taking four fish bags scaling;ing 17lb 9oz, 17lb and 15lb 12oz.The trout averaged between four and five pounds.

(Below) South Molton Bishop Mike Clothier tempted a fine brace of rainbows scaling 4lb 8oz and 8lb.