ROADFORD FLY FAIR – 2022

Fly Fishing enthusiasts from across the South West and beyond gathered at Roadford on March 6th for the popular Fly Fair. After a two year gap due to COVID the event was rejuvenated with an overwhelming sense of joy at a return to a sort of normal.

The event organised by South West Lakes Trust is an invaluable show case for Fly Fishing providing a platform for companies to display their products and more importantly for anglers and lovers of the waterside to mingle generating firm plans for the coming season.

When I arrived home after a day chatting to fellow anglers my mind was buzzing with talk of flies, presentation, tackle, fish and the waters in which they swim along with the extensive environmental challenges. I will try to give a brief account of the day but would urge all who love fly fishing to attend next year.

Thanks must go to South West Lakes Trusts Dil Singh, technical lead for game fishing who organised the event along with his dedicated team. The event was opened by the Fairs patron Charles Jardine who gave a warm welcome stressing how vital angling is to us all during these challenging times. The fairs main sponsor was Chevron Hackles.

Fair Organiser Dil Singh and its Patron Charles Jardine

Charles delivered a fascinating Fly Casting demonstration later in the day. This was delivered with his normal repertoire of humour with clear inspiring instruction illustrated with a few tales from the waters edge. To watch Charles cast is a true reflection of how an expert makes a task look so easy and effortless. The bitter cold North-East wind was conquered  as he both mastered the conditions and captivated the audience.

The basic principle to learn about fly fishing was the importance of relaxing and being at one with the rod and line.

Amongst the fly fishing topics covered were trout, pike and salmon. A rather sad observation made by Charles was that today salmon fishing consisted of plenty of casting practice with the vague chance of catching once a year. This is rather a poignant statement that to my mind very much describes the state of West Country salmon fishing!

Casting a fly line with broomstick!!

Charles ended his demonstration by casting a fly line using a broomstick!

Retreating to the warmth of the conference centre there was an abundance of Fly fishers to engage with and discuss the wonderful places we share and the issues that we feel so passionate about.

Fly Tying demonstrations

The environment was high on the agenda with members of the fish pass team present to discuss the many miles of water available across the South West via their fishpassapp.co.uk  The invasive species stand gave valuable information about how anglers can reduce the inadvertent distribution of species by cleaning and drying waders and nets between trips.

South West Lakes support the Invasive Species initiative

Several Fly Fishing groups and associations were well represented with Burrator Fly Fishing Association, Kennick Fly Fishers, Siblyback Fly fishers and Stithians in attendance along with the Pike Fly Fishing Association. Apologies to those I have undoubtedly failed to mention.

Simon Kidd of Snowbee gives valuable advice and tips.

Snowbee Tackle were well represented by Simon Kidd and one of their ambassadors Jeff Pearce who mingled with the many angler’s present discussing the finer points of Fly fishing.

Nigel Nunn and his wife Julia enjoy chat at the bar with Jeff Pearce of Snowbee and Wimbleball Fishery manager Mark Underhill

It was a delight to catch up with so many friends that share my passion for fishing. The planning of future forays at such social gatherings is undoubtedly vital for the future of fly fishing and it is very clear to see how valuable quality time at the water’s edge is for our mental health and well-being.

Pete Tyjas is editor of Fly Culture magazine a publication that provides a brilliant and inspiring read incorporating quality writing on fly fishing from across the globe. Pete also produces the excellent Fly Culture podcast that makes for fascinating listening on those long drives to fishing destinations. www.flyculturemag.com

John Aplin and Pete Tyjas sharing in the fun of the fair

It is always good to catch up with John Aplin Managing director at Casterbridge fisheries Limited.  I have been very fortunate to visit Johns wonderful stretch of the River Frome in Dorset and even catch some of the marvellous grayling that swim within the clear waters of this tranquil chalkstream. http://www.casterbridgefisheries.co.uk

I was introduced to Nigel Nunn from Kent who has turned his hobby into a full time job.

Pete Tyjas and Nigel Nunn

Nigel is now a full time Fly Tier crafting flies that are intended to catch trout and not anglers. Nigel is a frequent visitor to the South West with his wife Julia who shares his love of fly fishing. Since becoming a full time fly tier Nigel overcame the challenge of impaired vision after developing cataracts on his eyes. Working with fellow anglers Nigel creates flies to imitate the wild insects hatching across the country. He explained how he receives orders from across the country reflecting the timing of fly hatches that move through the rivers of the land generally from South to North.

www.nigelnunnflies.com

Fly Tier Nigel Nunn and Julia discuss the finer details of split cane craftsmanship with rod maker Luke Bannister

Luke Bannister builds high quality split cane fly rods for the connoisseur who delights in the qualities of split cane as a tool to deliver the fly. Luke relishes fishing for wild brown trout that abound in West Country rivers.

www.splitcane.co.uk

Rodney Wevill is vice chairman of the Pike Fly Fishing Association and a keen member of the Facebook group fluff chucker’s. Rodney is a keen fly fishing devotee who targets a wide range of species beyond pike.

www.pffa.co.uk

Rodney Wevill
Selection of pike flies

Rodney has enjoyed success with that most elusive of fish the grey mullet. I expressed my own frustrations at chasing these fish with the fly. Catching mullet on bait is often difficult enough without complicating matters. Rodney and his good friend discussed the intricacies of stalking these mesmerising fish using small flies to imitate their natural food.

Selection of flies to tempt the wily mullet

Shallow water and feeding fish being the key. This summer will once again see me wading in the shallow clear water of summer following wise words of encouragement from Rodney and his good friend Gary Brazier.

Alan Riddell’s stand with an impressive range of flies

I even managed to find a present to take home for Pauline!

I spent several hours at this year’s fly fair and left buoyed with optimism for the future of Fly Fishing. The challenge for the future is of course to encourage more young participants. Angling has undoubtedly received a boost as many have discovered its true value whilst escaping from COVID induced lockdowns etc. In these increasingly dark times solace can often be found at the waters edge. The ability to wander free with a rod and line is without doubt an experience to both cherish and share.

2022 Trout Fisheries Prices

View our guide to catch and release angling here

View our float tubing good practise guidelines here 

Trout Fishery Season Dates Day Ticket Concessionary
Day Ticket
Daily Bag
Limit
Catch & Release
Day Ticket
Evening Ticket Under 18
Ticket
Evening/
Under 18 Bag Limit
Burrator 12th March – 30th November £21.00 £19.00 5 £15.50 £14.50 Free with paying adult 2
Colliford 15th March – 12th October £17.00 £15.50 4 n/a £11.00 Free with paying adult 2
Fernworthy 15th March – 12th October £17.00 £15.50 4 n/a £11.00 Free with paying adult 2
Kennick 12th March – 30th November £27.50 £25.00 5 £20.00 £19.00 Free with paying adult 2
Roadford 15th March – 12th October £17.00 £15.50 4 n/a £11.00 Free with paying adult 2
Siblyback 12th March – 30th November £25.00 £22.50 5 £20.00 £17.50 Free with paying adult 2
Stithians 12th March – 30th November £21.00 £19.00 5 £15.50 £14.50 Free with paying adult 2
Wistlandpound 15th March – 12th October £11.00 n/a 2 n/a n/a Free with paying adult 2
Dil Singh of South West Lakes Trust

South West Lakes Trust Trout Fisheries Report

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South West Lakes Trust Trout Fisheries Report

October 2020

Boat and bank fishing is still available to rainbow trout anglers at the time of writing, with day tickets on sale through the Lakes Trust website or via the telephone (01566 771930). Most of the self-service permit huts are now open, but anglers should confirm this before buying tickets on site. Certain restrictions continue to operate and, before fishing, anglers are asked to read the latest Angling Trust advice with regard to health and social distancing. information is also available on the South West Lakes Trust website – www.swlakesfishing.co.uk.

Where boats are available, these should be pre-booked, and strict guidelines must be followed regarding their use (see website for details). Catch returns may be completed online, where the latest weekly catch reports will be available to view. Brown trout fisheries closed on 13 October, with some truly outstanding fishing at Roadford at the end of the season. The rainbow trout fishing improved as temperatures dropped, although generally fish tended to stay deep.

Fishing:

Kennick – Lure patterns (such as Boobies and Orange Tadpoles) fished on sinking lines hard on the bottom, or Damsel Nymphs in mid-water, generally produced the best results and, in spite of a few Daddy Longlegs being blown onto the water, fish could not be tempted to the surface. Bank angling was best in Clampitts Bay, while boat anglers preferred to fish in the deeper central water. The best fish caught in the month was a 4lb rainbow caught by Mr. Kent (from Exmouth). The annual Peninsula classic Bank competition was won by Andy Gooding (from Liverton), catching five rainbows weighing in at 10lb 5oz, using Damsel Nymphs and a Black and Green Lure.

Siblyback – In spite of plenty of fish in the water, the fishing was challenging throughout the month, with a number of decent fish being lost at the net. Dry Daddies picked up a few surface-feeding fish, although the majority were taken on lures (Cats Whisker, Sibblyback Sizzler, and Boobies) fished on a sinking line, with Two Meadows, Stocky Bay, and the North Shore proving to be the best locations.

Stithians – The fishing picked up towards the end of the month, with fish looking up to feed and the majority of fish taken on dry patterns (Deerhair Sedges, Foam Beetles and Hoppers in particular). Some sub-surface feeders were caught on Damsel Nymphs, Montanas, Black Spiders and Black Pennells. Fish were well spread out, with Holliss Bank and Sailing Club bank producing the most consistent results. The best fish caught in the month was a 3lb 3oz rainbow caught by Graeme Clement.

Burrator – The fish at Burrator continued to stay down deep, with Boobies and Cats Whiskers fished on a sinking line producing the best sport, with the occasional fish taking a mid-water hackled nymph, Damsel, Montana or Diawl Bach, with Longstone Point producing the best bank fishing.

Colliford – Colliford continued to produce some great sport through to the end of the season, with plenty of free rising brownies coming to a selection of patterns (Daddies, Hoppers, dry sedge patterns and the occasional Adams), with Black Spiders and Claret Pheasant Tails catching sub-surface feeders. As usual, the fish were well spread out. Local angler Dean Boucher finished the season with 18 fish on three visits, including grown-on fish to 2lb and the best fish of the season on the last day – a cracking 3lb brownie caught in the Narrows.

Fernworthy – The season finished with some hard fishing – a few fish were seen to rise but without much consistency (several were taken on Black Gnats and Sedgehogs). Subsurface nymphs and spiders fished on floating lines caught fish, but nothing of any great size, with the South Bank, Lowton Bay and Thornworthy producing the best sport.

Roadford – The fishing at Roadford continued to be truly outstanding, both for brown trout and perch from the boat, and just continued to improve throughout the month. Weekly trout rod averages started the month at four fish per anglers, steadily rising to over nine fish per rod by the end of the season. Cornish angler Roger Truscott banked 20 fish in one visit, including one of the best of the season – a grown-on brownie of 3lb, while Dean Boucher caught 51 fish up to 2lb 4oz in three visits, fishing from the bank. Both boat and bank anglers enjoyed some excellent sport, with fish being caught on a variety of dry patterns (Klinkhammers, Midges and Foam Beetles), wets (Pheasant Tails, Spiders, Soldier Palmers and Zulus) and lures (Tadpoles and Black Nomads), from locations all over the lake. Targeted boat fishing for perch resulted in plenty of fish being caught, the best day being enjoyed by John Deprieelle, catching four fish over three pounds and losing an even bigger one.

Sixty Perch four over 3lb – Roadford Bonanza

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Roadford Perch success for John Deprieelle with four fish over 3lbs!
“These were the best of the day. Only started late afternoon and ended up with 60 odd fish. Mostly up to a pound in weight but topped off with these 4 and lost an even bigger one close to the boat. Great sport on soft plastic lures fished at various depths. The key was to keep moving until you find them. If you’re not catching then don’t hang around.”

SOUTH WEST FLY FAIR 2020

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Ben Smeeth – Head of Fishing at South West Lakes Trust

The South West Fly Fair at Roadford Lake has become a popular fixture on the West Country angling calendar and always attracts a healthy number of the regions fly fishing enthusiasts. Falling on the eve of a new season the event is always good for stocking up with tackle and catching up with fellow anglers rekindling old friendships and forming new ones.

The Casterbridge Fishery Team

There is always a strong focus on the environment that is vital to the health of ourselves and the fish we seek. After a stormy winter with exceptional rainfall anglers are looking forward to warmer months rising trout and perhaps silver sea trout and salmon.

Gary Champion give a casting demonstration during a lull in the blustery weather.

This year’s event was sponsored by Chevron Hackles. Chevron are a local company who produce top quality fly tying hackles for the discerning Fly tyer.

The following stall holders were present :- Alan Riddell Rods, Arundell Arms, Turral, Homeleigh Angling Centre, Chevron Hackles ( Show Sponsor) Snowbee UK, Casterbridge Fisheries, Luke Bannister Split Cane Rods, British Float Tube Association, Second Hand Tackle Sale, Wild Trout Trust, Author Wayne Thomas, West Country River Trust, South West Lakes, South West Lakes Invasive Species, Virtual Nymph, Grayling society and Launceston Anglers, Milemead Fish Farm, Torre Trout Farms.

The following stall holders were present :- Alan Riddell Rods, Arundell Arms, Turral, Homeleigh Angling Centre, Chevron Hackles ( Show Sponsor) Snowbee UK, Casterbridge Fisheries, Luke Bannister Split Cane Rods, British Float Tube Association, Second Hand Tackle Sale, Wild Trout Trust, Author Wayne Thomas, West Country River Trust, South West Lakes, South West Lakes Invasive Species, Virtual Nymph, Grayling society and Launceston Anglers, Milemead Fish Farm, Torre Trout Farms.

Plenty of flies to tempt both anglers and trout!

West Country Fly Fair 2020

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South West Fly Fair Returns to Roadford Lake for its Seventh Consecutive Year

The South West Fly Fishing Fair will be held at Roadford Lake for its seventh consecutive year on Saturday 29 February, 10.00am – 4.00pm. This event, proudly sponsored by Chevron Hackles, has become a regular fixture in the West Country’s angling calendar as anglers prepare for the start of a new fishing season. Each year the event has built on the success of the previous Fly Fair and the 2020 show will be bigger and better again!

The show will be opened at 10.00am by one of the country’s most respected fly-fishing gurus, and Patron of the show, Charles Jardine. There will be fly-tying demonstrations from both local and nationally renowned experts, with a chance to ‘have a go’, as well as the opportunity to pick up useful tips and valuable advice.

Other activities throughout the day include casting demonstrations, fly casting lessons and clinics for both newcomers to the sport and experienced anglers feeling a little rusty after the closed season as well as casting competitions and the opportunity to try float-tubing or kayak fishing!

There will be Trout cooking demonstrations and a variety of live Trout for people to view including Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Blue Trout.

Trade stands will be selling tackle and equipment at bargain prices and there will also be rod making demonstrations.

It’s a terrific event and the only one of its kind in the South West! Entry is only £3.00 for adults and under 18s go free. The bar will be open for refreshments throughout the day and parking will be free.

For more information please contact Ben Smeeth by calling South West Lakes Trust on 01566 771930 or email [email protected].

The South West Fly Fair 2018

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The South West Fly Fair has become a popular event in the Fly Fishers Calendar and is held on the last Saturday in February each year at Roadford Lake. The event coincides with rising excitement amongst anglers as another River Season approaches and anglers thoughts turn to spring days, daffodil lined river banks, silver salmon and feisty wild trout.

( Above)Ben Smeeth – South West Lakes Trust

The event is hosted by South West Lakes Trust and was sponsored by Turrall Flies  and Cortland. There were wide ranges of demonstrations held throughout the day including Casting, Cooking and Fly Tying. Close to 250 attended the show making it one of the biggest angling events in the West Country Game Fishers Calendar.

(Above)Charles Jardine the Fly Fairs Patron

Indoors at the conference venue there were a wide range of displays of fishing related interests including fishing tackle, art, media and environmental interests. My wife Pauline and I managed to get a round only a short section of the many stalls as we spent time chatting with the stallholders who were all passionate about fishing and their connection with it.

Conservation Officer Mike Blackmore (Above Right) and his colleague represented the Wild Trout Trust an organisation that nurtures nature to ensure the well being of the native wild trout. The world of the wild trout is a complex one and we learned that the gene pool of the trout is extremely diverse with populations of fish showing a vast differential despite being the same species. Each river population adapts over the years to its own unique environment with variations in colour, patterns, size and even tolerance to water quality. www.wildtrout.org

(Above) Alan Riddell Rod Builder and Fly Tyer displayed his range of quality rods and quality trout and salmon flies.

Mark Underhill Fishery Manager chatted about his plans for Wimbleball Fly Fishery that is due to open on March 23rd an exciting day for West Country Fly Fishing with quality rainbows to be stocked ranging between 3lb and 6lb.

Jane and Mandi from the established Get Hooked Guide were at hand to offer advice on where to fish throughout the West Country. There excellent guides and website have been providing an A to Z of fishing venues for close to thirty years.

Pete Tyjas and Duncan from the Devon School of Fly Fishing were at hand to promote the excellent on line fishing webzine Eat Sleep Fish and  offer advice on casting and fishing on the River Taw and other local rivers. On Sunday April 22nd they will be busy hosting the West Country Fly Fishing Seminar at the Fox and Hounds Country Hotel, Eggesford. Pauline and I attended this event last year and had a very enjoyable and informative day.

Other exhibitors included Fly Fishing Tackle of Crediton, British Float Tubing Association, BASC, Arundell Arms, Crayfish UK, West Country Rivers Trust/River Fly Partnership, Turral and Cortland (Show Sponsors) Robin Armstrong, Luke Bannister Split cane rods, Chevron Hackles, Weatherbys Dry Fly, Milemead Fish Farm, Torre Trout Farms, Homeleigh Angling Centre, England Commonwealth Fly Fishing Team, Crediton Fly Fishing Club and Virtual Nymph.

(Above)Charles Jardine demonstrates the art of Fly Tying.
(Above)Peter Tyjas demonstrating casting and fishing techniques.

Below is the press release from South West Lakes Trust Just in case I missed anything.

Annual Fly Fair Attracts Over 250 People to Roadford

The sixth South West Fly Fair got the Trout fishing season off with a bang on Saturday (24 February) as fly fishermen from all over the region attended the annual show, held at Roadford Lake and hosted by South West Lakes Trust.

The show is always a great place to grab a bargain, watch some fantastic demonstrations from Trout fishing celebrities and speak to the many organisation and trade stands that attend. There was also a free fly casting and fly tying zone for anyone to have go.

The show was launched by Ben Smeeth, Head of Angling for South West Lakes Trust and then officially opened at 10.20am by Charles Jardine, one of the country’s most respected fly-fishing gurus and patron of the show.

Activities throughout the day included casting demonstrations with Charles, who gave an entertaining and impressive display with the Trout rod, and Gary Champion, a local expert who travels worldwide teaching people to fish and give demonstrations. Pete Tyjas from the Devon School of Fly Fishing also gave a great display on river fishing for all to enjoy.

More than 30 people took advantage of the free fly casting lessons and clinics for both newcomers to the sport and experienced anglers feeling a little rusty after the closed season. The Chef from the local angling hotel, the Arundell Arms, gave a fantastic demonstration on ways to prepare and cook your Trout once you have caught it with samples to taste. This was a real treat on a very cold day!

There were a variety of angling conservation organisations including The Westcountry Rivers Trust, The Wild Trout Trust and two local custom rod makers, Alan Riddell and Luke Bannister, who has built up an international following for his beautiful hand-crafted split cane rods. The British Float Tube Association (BFTA) and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) were also on hand to provide information and advice.

South West Lakes Trust’s Trout suppliers, Milemead Fisheries and Torre Trout Farms Ltd, were on hand to talk to anglers and show a sample of the fish they could expect to catch in 2018. There were some stunning Tiger, Brown, Rainbow and Blue Trout on display for people to view. Those looking for new fishing opportunities in 2018 were able to speak to representatives from various fishing clubs throughout the region and ‘Get Hooked’ magazine who were also on hand to advise.

There was also a large selection of angling trade stands including impressive displays from the shows sponsor Cortland UK, with the opportunity to handle, try and buy this year’s latest equipment as well as an astounding selection of fur, feathers and specialist fly-tying equipment from suppliers based all over the country.

Mark Underhill of Wimbleball Fly Fishery was also on hand to inform everyone of his intentions for Wimbleball and its future as a Trout fishery now he has taken the operation on.

The 2018 Trout fishing season on the South West Lakes Trust Rainbow Trout reservoirs starts on 3 March at Siblyback, Stithians and Burrator and has already kicked off in spectacular form at Kennick reservoir. The Brown Trout season for Roadford, Fernworthy, Colliford and Wistlandpound starts on 15 March. Full details and this year’s prices are on the Trust’s website – www.swlakesfishing.co.uk.

ENDS

Issue date: 26 February 2018

For more information, please contact:

Rosie Vine

Communications Manager

South West Lakes Trust

01566 771930

[email protected]

A selection of paintings and prints from renowned angling artist Robin Armstrong

South West Fly Fair Returns to Roadford Lake for its Fifth Consecutive Year

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A must go event in the West Country Angling Calendar

The South West Fly Fishing Fair will be held at Lakeside, Roadford Lake for its fifth consecutive year on Saturday 24 February, 10.00am – 4.00pm. This event, sponsored by Cortland UK, has become a regular fixture in the West Country’s angling calendar as anglers prepare for the start of a new fishing season. Each year the event has built on the success of the previous Fly Fair and the 2018 show will be bigger and better again!

The show will be opened at 10.00am by one of the country’s most respected fly-fishing gurus, and Patron of the show, Charles Jardine. There will be fly-tying demonstrations from both local and nationally renowned experts, with a chance to ‘have a go’, as well as the opportunity to pick up useful tips and valuable advice.

Other activities throughout the day include casting demonstrations, fly casting lessons and clinics for both newcomers to the sport and experienced anglers feeling a little rusty after the closed season as well as casting competitions and the opportunity to try float-tubing or kayak fishing!

There will be Trout cooking demonstrations and a variety of live Trout for people to view including Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Blue Trout.

Trade stands will be selling tackle and equipment at bargain prices and there will also be rod making demonstrations.

The introduction of a second hand tackle sale was very popular in 2016 with anglers bringing their unwanted equipment along and having it sold on their behalf. This will be taking place again in 2018.

It’s a terrific event and the only one of its kind in the South West!

Entry is only £3.00 for adults and under 18s go free. The bar will be open for refreshments throughout the day and parking will be free.

For more information please contact Ben Smeeth by calling South West Lakes Trust on 01566 771930 or email [email protected].

ROADFORD FLY FAIR

South West Lakes Trust are holding their annual Fly Fair at Roadford Lake on Saturday February 25th. This popular event is an ideal curtain raiser for the Spring Season with a range of tackle and Fly Tying equipment on display along with casting demonstrations, Kayaking, Float-tubing, cooking and plenty more to interest the angler. Special guests on the day include Charles Jardine, Mike Weaver and Gary Champion.

There is also the opportunity to purchase season tickets for local waters at a discount of 5%.