Sometimes it’s good to just go fishing for the day no agendas just a day with a friend catching up. I had not fished at Riverton Fishery for several years and when Gary suggested a day there I was keen to revisit. There are three lakes at the fishery a float fishing lake, Willow Lake and the specimen carp lake that is run on a syndicate basis.


            After a little deliberation we had decided upon Willow Lake a 2.5 Acre lake that was once a match fishing venue. The lake is now described as a pleasure lake with a wide variety of species stocked.

            The lakes have matured well with large trees partially surrounding the venue and plenty of platforms spaced out from which to fish. The only downside to the venue is the constant traffic noise from the link road. Fortunately this is soon forgotten as the vista of lake sky and nature takes the focus away from the buzz of the modern world.

            Gary and I set up in the first two swims on the lake and planned to alternate between float fishing and quiver tipping.

            I started feeding micro pellet and corn just over a rod length out. I set up a waggler float setting the depth so that the bait rested on the lake bed with a small shot 3” inches from the bait. I was fishing with an old centre pin reel loaded with 4lb b.s line simply because it is fun to use. The float sat pleasingly to attention before sliding delightfully out of sight within seconds.

            This set the pattern for the day with sweetcorn and small prawn segments bringing a variety of fish to the net from start to finish. Roach to 8oz, bream close to 4lb, carp on the float to 4lb and a few small perch.

            I catapulted pellets to the island and when I fancied a rest I put out banded pellet on a hair rig. On my first cast  the tip ripped around before I could place the rod in the rest. A hard fighting mirror of around 4lb was the result!

            I alternated between float and tip from midday until we packed away at around 4.30pm. Both methods pleasing in their own right. The delightful and frequent disappearance of the float and the savage dragging round of the quiver tip as the carp hooked themselves.

            We lost count of our catch but certainly had a great day’s sport and vowed to return for a rerun. It’s great to simply share a day at the water.


A Rare Devon Grayling

Grayling are scarce in Devon with the River Exe and a few of its tributaries the only stronghold for these ladies of the stream. When I saw that well known South West Angler John Deprieelle had acquired a stretch of fishing on the Exe near Tiverton I was keen to try for the grayling that resided within the fishery.

See below link to video of the fishery produced by John Deprieelle.


Trotting a float down a river seemed the ideal opportunity to catch up with my good friend Martin Turner so on a cold and frosty morning Martin and I both full of cold set off for a stretch of river below Tiverton. Thick mist lay in the river valleys as we travelled to Tiverton stopping off at Wetherspoon’s for full English and a couple of coffees. This was no intensely serious fishing trip just two mates catching up putting the world to rights and hopefully catching a rare Devon grayling.

The fishery consists of around a third of a mile of river much of it difficult to access with steep wooded banks that added a sense of mystery and wildness I had not expected so close to the town. It is always exciting and perhaps slightly daunting to visit a fishery for the first time. John had described a salmon pool in the centre of the stretch that had a deep run that produced grayling on a regular basis.


We scrambled down the bank having located a well-worn fisherman’s path. This was no manicured fishing location but the river and the deep pool looked promising. We fired  a few maggots to the head of the pool and set up our trotting tackles. Both of us had elected to use centre pins, mine an ancient Grice and Young Avon Royal Supreme. I paired this with a15ft Dr Redfin roach rod. https://cotswoldrods.co.uk/product/dr-redfin-15ft-float-rod/

I threaded a crimson topped grayling float onto the line, Martin set up with a more streamlined stick float. I waded out onto the rocks at the head of the pool whilst Martin fished from the rocks at the base of the bank. A steady trickle of maggots were introduced and we searched the deep water trotting maggots beneath floats that we struggled to see as the bright sunlight beamed through the trees.

After ten minutes or so my float dipped delightfully and the rod pulsed in my hands. A grayling of perhaps 8oz was guided into the net. Ten minutes later Martin’s float sank and he too enjoyed the plunging of a grayling as it used its large dorsal fin to sail to and FRO in the strong current. The grayling was probably close to a pound and crowned the day a success as we had both caught our target species a rare Devon grayling.

We fished on savouring the delights of trotting a float as dippers flitted past and warm winter sunshine shone into the swirling clear waters of the Exe. From time to time, we managed to tangle our lines as we fished a swim that was really only suitable for one; a good job we are good friends.

We missed a few bites but eventually decided to move on after a couple of hours. We moved to a faster shallower stretch in the Open fields where we could explore a few new swims. I hooked an out of season brownie of around 12oz and lost a reasonable fish hooked at the end of a long trot.

The sun slowly sank beneath the hills and a chill air descended upon the valley. Expectation had drained away and we were both content with our day having caught our target fish. We viewed a spectacular sky decorated in red and golden hues as we headed for home plotting further forays to waters both old and new.

A Stubbornly Buoyant float

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I fished in hope of perch today suspending half a juicy lobworm beneath a sliding float. The six hours passed by all too quickly with the float remaining stubbornly buoyant throughout the day. It was sheltered in the old quarry as gale force winds roared above, the trees swaying vigorously too and fro. The dark and moody water hiding its secrets. Fallen trees lay rotting at the waters edge. It has been several years since I last fished here and it was good to be back finding that it was reassuringly familiar. Waters are like old friends that never seem to age.