New Stock for North Devon’s South West Lakes Trust Waters

South West Lakes –
Title: New Stock Added


Jennett’s has been stocked with 19 new additions to the lake! 15 mirrors between 16 -18lb and 4 bigger mirrors to just over 23lb

Darracott has received a boost in stocks in 2023, to ensure there is a great future of sport in the lake for years to come. 72 fish have been added all together to 23lb. This should be a good venue over the winter to get a few bites and keep you busy on the bank!

Melbury has received 4 new additions to the lake to improve an already impressive stock. Two mirrors were added from from the Roadford lake carp removals, both of these were doubles and two fish were added from Lana springs carp farm (19 and 20 Plus). These are stunning fish and will no doubt be target fish for the future!




South West Lakes Trout Fisheries Report August 2023

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South West Lakes Trout Fisheries Report

August 2023

The weather was mixed throughout August, with a mixture of wind and rain as well as some warm humid days with the occasional thunderstorm, interspersed with some bright sunny days. Generally water levels continued to fall, although at a fairly slow rate.



Kennick – Boat and bank anglers both enjoyed equal measures of success, averaging just under two fish per rod, with both floating and sinking lines catching fish. Clampitts Bay, Smithacott, Poplar Bay, and The Narrows proved to be the most productive locations. In spite of some large hatches, only a few fish succumbed to dry patterns (Sedges, Daddies, Amber Hoppers, and Klinkhammers), with most fish preferring to feed sub-surface on a variety of wet and nymph patterns (Damsels, Montanas, Diawl Bachs) or lures (Boobies, Vivas, and Blobs). Peter Gilpin (from Newton Abbot) caught seven rainbows to 3lb, mainly on Green and Black Boobies; Graham Roberts (from Totnes) caught a nice 3lb rainbow, fishing deep from the bank at Poplar Bay. Anthony Jenkins (from Modbury) caught five rainbows to 3lb using a sinking line, fishing deep in Clampitts Bay using yellow and Black Blobs. Graham Roberts (from Torquay) caught four fish to 3lbs from a boat, including a spectacular, beautifully coloured  brown trout of 2lb 4oz, using a dry fly in Clampitts Bay.


Siblyback – Fishing continued to be challenging at Siblyback this month, with only very few surface feeding fish evident – this, however, changed in the last week of the month (when rod averages dramatically rose to six fish per rod). Floating lines were the most popular, with a few fish taking dry patterns (Hoppers and Black Gnats), and more taking sub-surface nymphs and wets (Diawl Bachs, Montanas, Soldier Palmers) or lures (Red Baby Dolls and White lures). Most fish were congregated around The Meadows, Stocky Bay, The North Bank, and by the dam. Simon Peters (from Truro) caught a bag of twelve rainbows, most fish coming to a single goldhead Blob, fished on a floating line and long leader, in Stockie Bay. Benjamin Lang (from Launceston) enjoyed a good session, catching a superb wild brown trout of 1lb 8oz from the Meadows bank using a Claret Hopper, as well as five rainbows to 2lb 8oz from the margins along the North Bank using Claret and Ginger Hoppers.

Burrator – Longstone, Lowery Point, Back Bay, and Bennetts South Bank produced most of the fish caught over the month, with anglers averaging just over two fish per rod. Large numbers of flying ants meant that plenty of fish were showing toward the end of the month, when floating line tactics tended to work well, often when pulling a Cats Whisker or Bibio Snatcher – Alan Lawson (from Plymouth) used this method to hook five rainbows to 2lb one morning; on another session Alan caught five rainbows to 2lb, four on a dry Sedge pattern. Mark Sinclair (from Horrabridge) caught three rainbows to 3lb, using a deep-fished intermediate line. Patrick Murphy (from Plymouth) caught a beautiful wild brown of 1lb 8oz in an evening session, fishing tight into the tree cover on South Bank.

Stithians – The fishing proved to be more challenging this month at Stithians, with anglers averaging just under two fish per rod. Generally floating lines with a range of retrieval methods worked best. Successful dry patterns included Sedgehogs, Black Beetles, Sedges, Daddies, Hoppers, and Hawthorns, while Black Pennells, Cormorants, Montanas, and Orange Nomads all caught deeper feeding fish. Fish were well spread out, but Yellowort, Pub Bay, Hollis, and Goonlaze all regularly featured on catch returns. Simon Peters (from Cusgarne) enjoyed a good early morning session fishing in the fog, catching two browns on Daddylonglegs, and three rainbows using Hoppers and fast retrieved Blobs. David Williams (from St Just) caught seven rainbows using Cormorants and Orange Blobs on a floating line.

Fernworthy –  A quiet month at Fernworthy, with little surface activity, in spite of plenty of flying ants on the water. Floating lines with fast retrieved sub-surface patterns (Blue Flash Damsels, Black and Peacock Spiders, Hares Ears, and Pheasant Tails) caught fish, mainly below the boathouse, Brownhills, and Thornworthy. Dave Redding (from Ropely, Hants) caught four browns to 45cm using a Black Gold Ribbed Hares Ear, while fishing in strong winds.

Colliford – Great sport continues at Colliford, with anglers averaging just under 5.5 fish per rod, and the best locations including Lord’s Waste, Fishery Hut Bay, and the bank by the dam (although it always pays to keep on the move and cover as much water as possible). Floating lines, fished either with single flies or teams of three wets, proved to be the most successful, with the most productive patterns including Soldier Palmers, Bibios, Blue Zulu, Daddy Longlegs, and Hares Ear Nymphs. Chris Tilyard (from Fraddon) caught nine browns (and lost another six) in one session, and 9 browns to 16” using a CDC Hopper fished close to the bank in another. Brian Robinson (from Chandlers Ford) caught a bag of sixteen browns to 1lb.

Roadford – The fishing has at last improved at Roadford, with anglers averaging over 5.8 fish per rod, with the best sport at South Wortha, Shop Bank, Grinnacombe, and the Big Oaks. Floating lines are the preferred method, fished in conjunction with a selection of nymph patterns (Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, Diawl Bach, and Kate McLaren). Charles Langton (from Chagford) enjoyed an excellent session, catching nine browns to 14”, using nymphs and a floating line, some in less than a foot of water in the margins, while others were caught fifteen yards off the banks at Big Oaks.


Wistlandpound is giving good sport with rudd and quality brown trout.

Please see South West Lakes’ website ( for more information on buying tickets, boat availability and booking, and forthcoming events.

Chris Hall (August 2023)



Some photos from Matt Wood from his recent session at Upper Tamar:
‘Having never fished Upper Tamar lake before it was a bit daunting to look at an expanse of water like that, just wondering where to start.
After a walk and speaking to a few people I decided to set up on the back of the wind in the “lookout” swim. A lead about confirmed the lake bed was pretty uniform and at 18 wraps I had 6ft of water.
My mate Ben set up next to me and fished slightly closer in and we both put out a good amount of boilies with just simple combi rigs fished over the top.
After 24 hours with no bites it was time to change so out went the solid bags and within a few hours the first fish graced the net at 17lb 8oz and it was a lovely looking common.
Not too long after in the small hours of Sunday morning Ben had his first fish which was a nice looking mirror of 17lb on the nose which he very pleased with considering it was only his 2nd carp he’d ever caught.
A few more hours of getting an absolute soaking from the rain passed and I was into my second fish of the trip which steamed off on a mission. After a bit of a battle I landed a very fit 15lb 12oz mirror.
Both of us can’t wait to get back and have another go, it’s an awesome place and the fish are in really good condition. ‘ #ItsYourOutdoors
John Dowse managed a 3lb Perch and an 18lb 12oz Mirror on a recent trip to Upper Tamar.
Following its introduction in May, we are excited to announce the return of carp fishing at Roadford Lake for September.
Just off the A30, Roadford Lake is a naturally beautiful location perfect for anglers living in both Devon and Cornwall and this unique opportunity should not be missed!
Throughout the month, we’ll be removing carp from the lake for restocking purposes elsewhere, and we ask that all fish caught are placed in the floatation pen situated in the water, where they will be collected each morning.
Carp fishing will only be available in a designated area of the lake and all anglers are advised to bring a pair of waders.


📣 Attention all Anglers 📣
We have been made aware of the launch of a new product known as the ‘Magic Twig.’
Until we have seen this product in the flesh and made a full judgment on it, it is NOT PERMITTED to be used on any of the South West Lakes waters.
This decision has been made with fish safety and welfare in mind, which is one of our upmost priorities. We’re sure the safety aspects have been discussed and considered by the manufacturer during the development stage, but we would like to see the product before we can consider allowing it to be used on our waters.
Thank you for your cooperation.
No photo description available.

Trout fishing newsletter from Ashley Bunning July 2023

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Dear fellow anglers,

The last few months have produced some fantastic fishing across the reservoirs. With the lower water temperatures through May, the rod average for the rainbow trout waters was around four to six, giving rise to fantastic days of action-packed sport. The Kennick Bank Pairs competition produced 90 rainbows and eight brown trout equating to a fish every four minutes. This led to a great competition enjoyed by all.

Fernworthy produced some brilliant sport from early May: Blue Zulu and Mini Humungous wet flies and Black and Claret Hopper dry flies produced the goods with anglers having a rod average of eight fish and five fish in late May.

As the months rolled on and the temperatures increased, catch reports reflected this. The weeks of bright sunshine and lack of rain made the fishing difficult on the rainbow trout waters and people had a mixed bag of results when fishing the lakes. Those who ventured out on the boats were able to fish the deeper areas of the lakes and enjoy better sport, whereas the bank angling became tougher.

The brown trout waters still produced some good sport; Colliford produced 34 fish to seven anglers in mid-June, with shorter mornings or evening sessions being popular due to the high temperatures.

New half-day and junior tickets

We’ve introduced two new trout fishing tickets this summer. You can now book a half-day ticket on our rainbow waters (Burrator, Kennick, Siblyback and Stithians), which allows anglers to fish for four hours at a time of their choice between dawn and dusk. We’ve introduced this as a more cost-effective way to fish during the summer months when the trout are less active, and to introduce new anglers to the sport.

We’re also offering a junior option on day permits (all trout waters) so that under 16s may fish for £8 with a bag limit of one fish, accompanied by a non-fishing guardian. Under 16s may still fish for free if accompanied by a full-paying adult.

Image above: Ryan Smith, Kennick
Image above: Jon Dyson, Burrator

Boat procedures

After working with the heads of affiliated fishing clubs on our rainbow trout waters, we have re-assessed the boat fishing procedures.

Firstly, the buddy system: from now on, if you are operating a fishing boat alone outside rescue cover hours or zone, you must ensure you have an agreed buddy system in place with either a person on the bank or another boat in the water.

Personal floatation: you can now bring your own personal floatation device. However, you must ensure it has been serviced in the last two years, is over 150N in buoyancy, is not over 10 years in age, is CE approved and in good working order. If you are unsure then you can always use one of ours provided on site.

Induction and disclaimers: you will need to sign a disclaimer before you can take a boat out. These will be available at the point of booking. The boat induction form will also need to be signed digitally if possible to confirm you have had one. The induction video has been revised to cover these new procedures and will be made available in the coming week

Image above: Jane Read, Kennick

Free taster day at Kennick

As part of National Fishing Month, join us at Kennick Reservoir on Saturday 5 August to have a go at fly fishing with local and experienced guides and anglers.

There are three sessions to choose from: 10am-11.30am, 12pm-1.30pm and 2pm-3.30pm.

The event is kindly supported by Snowbee and Turrall. As well as tuition, there will be fly-tying demonstrations with Brian Ratcliff and Colin Nice, casting demonstrations with Simon Kidd at Snowbee, fishing gear and accessories available to buy from Turrall (cash only as no card facilities at Kennick) and a raffle, as well as countless tips and tricks to use going forwards.

Raffle tickets available in advance. Raffle prizes include Snowbee Classic Fly Rod, Fly Reel and Fly Line, Kennick Full Day Permit, Kennick Catch & Release Permit, Boat Permit.

Tickets are free but booking is essential.

A Spring Trout at Wistlandpound

A short session at Wistlandpound brought reward in the shape of a fin perfect brown trout. A bitter cold Easterly wind was blowing down the lake as I enjoyed a short morning session. The sunshine occasionally broke through a grey sky illuminating the lush green growth of early spring. Sand martins swooped low over the water and I thought of the epic journey they had just made from Africa. What a chill welcome they were getting as our spring stutters towards the warmth of late spring and summer.


I did my normal routine walk around the reservoir casting into familiar spots that had proved successful over the years. I chose to use three flies, a black lure on the point with a black pennel and black spider on two droppers. There were no fish rising and very little sign of insect life. After numerous casts I changed the point fly for a beaded PTN and adopted a very slow retrieve.

After a further searching the line momentarily tightened giving that encouraging injection of hope. A few casts later the line zipped properly tight and the rod absorbed the plunges of a hard fighting brown. I admired its spotted flanks and delighted in its return to the cold spring waters.

Message from Dil  Game Fishing Lead – South West Lakes

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Dear fellow anglers

With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, the 2022 fishing season is also drawing to a close, with the extended rainbow trout fishing ending on 31 December. We would like to thank the many anglers who have visited our waters this year. We have seen some fantastic fishing followed by very challenging conditions as the water dropped to unprecedented levels all over the UK and we have enjoyed meeting many of you on the bankside, at the Roadford Fly Fair and at the Fly Fishing Taster Day.

Your support during the season has been much appreciated as well as the all-important catch reports and written accounts of your fishing trips that are submitted – we find these immensely helpful for planning stockings, ensuring we focus efforts and resources where needed, and in encouraging new anglers to our sport.

Looking ahead to the opening of the 2023 season, plans are already well under way for the Roadford Fly Fair. This year saw a record number of visitors at the event who gave very positive feedback and enjoyed the day. It was a fantastic opportunity for the angling community to get together as well as stock up on supplies – a great way to kick off the new season! The date for next year’s Fly Fair is confirmed as Sunday 26 February. We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.

Here are some more dates to look forward to – more details will follow but do put them in the diary:

26 February 2023 – Roadford Fly Fair
5 March 2023 – Kennick Fly Fishing Taster Day
9 March 2023 – Season Permit Preview day Kennick & Stithians
10 March 2023 – Season Permit Preview day Burrator & Siblyback
11 March 2023 – All Rainbow Trout waters open fully
2 April 2023 – Siblyback Team of 4 Competition (sponsored by Snowbee)
22 April 2023 – Stithians Fly Fishing Taster Day
14 May 2023 – Kennick Bank Pairs Competition
25 June 2023 – Kennick Peninsula Classic Competition
5 August 2023 – Kennick Fly Fishing Taster Day (National Angling Month)

Angling season tickets for 2023 will be available to purchase shortly before Christmas onwards if you are looking to get prepared in good time, or would even make an ideal gift.

We hope you have a happy and peaceful festive season and look forward to seeing more of you out on the water next year.

Tight Lines.

South West Lakes Trout Fisheries Pre-season Information 2022

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Looking ahead to the 2022 season at the lakes, the trout fisheries will be stocked, opening and operating under the latest Covid-19 guidelines, in line with the Angling Trust and Government guidelines.

Tickets and boats:

The on-site permit huts will not be open, so day tickets, season tickets, and boats should be pre-booked online ( or via telephone. Alternatively day tickets can be purchased using the Westcountry Rivers Trust FishPass app, or from the Kennick, Siblyback, Burrator, or Stithians Clubs (available for club members only).

Boats will be available for pre-booking at Kennick, Roadford, Siblyback and Stithians, with boats available via the Burrator Club for club members only.

Opening dates:

The rainbow fisheries (Kennick, Siblyback, Stithians, and Burrator) will open on 12th March (with one-day preview days for season ticket holders on Thursday 10th March at Kennick, and Friday 11th March at Siblyback). The brown trout waters (Roadford, Fernworthy, Wistlandpound, and Colliford) will open on 15th March.

Early in the season the water will still be cold, so expect the fish to be lying deep, with sunk lines and weighted lures (Blobs, Nomads, Tadpoles, and Cats Whiskers) or Goldhead Damsels and Montanas the most likely patterns to produce results.


South West Fly Fair:

The annual South West Fly Fair will be returning to Roadford on Sunday 6th March, with fly tying, casting, and cooking demonstrations, along with tackle and trade stands, and will be opened by Charles Jardine at 10am.


The Siblyback Team Bank competition will be held on 10th April, Kennick Bank Pairs on 8th May, and the Peninsula Classic at Kennick on 26th June.

Self-launch float-tubing will be available at Kennick, Roadford, Siblyback, and Stithians (this will only be available with a ‘buddy system’ or if safety cover is present) – see the Trust’s website or telephone for more information.

Please visit the South West Lakes Trust website ( for the latest updates, as well as details on season and day ticket prices, fishery information, clubs, competitions, and boat availability.

South West Lakes Trust Season Report Summary

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Trout fishing report for the lakes and reservoirs in Devon and Cornwall.


All South West Lakes Trust rainbow trout fisheries operated under Covid restrictions, Angling Trust, and Government guidelines throughout the 2021 season, with self-service permit huts closed, and tickets and boat bookings made available via the telephone or online through the Trust’s website. The rainbow waters closed for the season at the end of November (Brown trout waters in Mid October).

Season Summary:

There was some good fishing across the region, especially at Burrator, Kennick and Siblyback, while the fishing improved dramatically toward the end of the season at Colliford and Roadford in the last few months.

The Snowbee Team bank competition at Siblyback in April was won by the Innis Fishery Team from Cornwall, catching 23 rainbows weighing in at 30lb 5oz;

The Snowbee Top Rod competition in June was won by Alec Hoare (of Abbotskerswell), catching five rainbows weighing 8lb 12oz; the Peninsula Classic Bank Competition at Kennick (also in June) was won by Darren Penfold, catching seven fish weighing in at 12lb 1½ oz; the ‘Best of the Best’ final was also held at Kennick on 17 October, with the winner, Dave Johns (from Cornwall) catching 12 rainbows weighing in at 25lb 2oz, and taking home the first prize of a cheque for £1000.

The ‘Fishing For Life’ project (supporting people living with breast cancer) continues to grow, with regular monthly sessions throughout the season at various fisheries.

Fisheries Summary:

Siblyback: Best fish – 4lb 4oz brown, caught by David Ryder in April, using a Black and Green Cats Whisker.

Kennick:  Best fish – 5lb rainbow caught by Sharif Adams (as part of a bag of six rainbows between 2 – 5lb) using a Gold Damsel.

Stithians: Best fish – 7lb Brown trout caught by Adam P on 25 June. The best rainbow weighed in at 3lb 8oz, caught by Clive P in July.

Burrator:  Best fish – 4lb  rainbow caught by Benjamin L in July. Al Lawson (from Plymouth) caught a 4lb brown trout on 22 October.

Colliford: Best fish – 2lb 8oz brown trout caught by Dean Boucher (part of a bag of eight fish) caught using Foam Beetles and Red Hoppers in early October.

Fernworthy:  Best fish – 3lb 1oz brown trout caught by Rodney Wevil in April.

Roadford: Best fish – 3lb brown trout (as part of a bag of twenty fish) caught by Jamie Gillman (from Plymouth) in September.

The season opening dates and prices for 2022 will be posted (along with other information) on the Trust’s website and on their Facebook page (Trout Fishing South West Lakes Trust).