South West Lakes Trout Fisheries Report June 2021

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Wistlandpound has been producing some good brown trout with several fish of over 1lb banked. Jason Hayes has had success with both brown trout and good quality Rudd. The Rudd are present in large numbers and can offer great sport on light fly tackle taking small dries and wets. Large wild browns feast on the Rudd fry and have been caught to over 3lb. The water clarity is excellent this season with no sign of the prolific algae blooms that have blighted the venue during recent seasons.

Kennick – The air and water continued to warm up in June, with a mid-month cold snap and heavy rain freshening the water. Weekly rod averages fell from 4.32 to 2.37 fish per angler as the month progressed. While some rising fish were taken on Beetles, Black Hoppers, Claret Snafflers, or Green Klinkhammers in the evening rise, most fish were caught subsurface with a slow figure-of-eight retrieve, using either nymphs (Diawl Bachs, Buzzers, and Montanas) or deeper fished lures (Tadpoles, Boobies, Cats Whiskers, and Kennick Killers). Favoured locations included the north end at Smithacott and the Causeway, Sycamore Wall, with boat anglers catching well in The Narrows and Boat Bay. Notable catches included nine rainbows to 3lb4oz by R.R., three rainbows to 3lb 8oz by Geoff V, and nine rainbows to 3lb caught by Malcome U.

The Snowbee Top Rod Competition was held on 13 June, and won by Alec Hoare of Abbotskerswell, with a bag of five fish weighing in at 8lb 12oz.

Siblyback – Some excellent fishing was enjoyed by Siblyback anglers, with rods averaging 3.16 fish per rod over the month. Plenty of beetle activity meant that fish were looking to the surface to feed, although with such plentiful food available, the fish were often very picky, and would ignore anglers’ offerings. Stocky Bay proved to be the most productive location, with a Damsel Nymph or Orange Gold Head nymph fished on a floating line and long leader proving successful in the deeper water by the dam. An Orange Blob fished as a dropper, with Black and Green Goldhead fished on the point also produced good results. John R had a couple of excellent sessions, catching eight rainbows to 2lb 6oz and eight rainbows to 2lb 8oz.

Burrator – Anglers enjoyed another great month’s fishing at Burrator, with anglers averaging 3.2 fish per rod, with the best locations being Longstone, Discovery Bank, and Sheepstor. As the month progressed, more Hawthorns and Beetles were evident, and plenty of surface activity (particularly during the morning and late afternoon), when floating lines and long leaders performed particularly well (especially when there was some cloud cover).Earlier in the month the fish tended to be at various depths – Mark M caught eleven fish on Black Buzzers and Pheasant Tail Nymphs, while Miles P caught twelve fish on a Pearly Spider and Tungsten Hares Ear.

Stithians – The fishing has really picked up at Stithians now – anglers averaged over 3.6 fish per rod, with early morning and evening sessions particularly productive. Numerous beetles blown onto the surface have produced some excellent dry fly fishing (Beetle patterns and Hoppers both caught well). Fish have been well spread out, and generally eager to feed near the surface – Mossops, Carnmenellis, and Yellowort Bay all proved to be excellent locations. Catches of note included bags of ten rainbows to 2lb caught by Tony C., seven fish to 2lb 9oz caught by Warren C., three rainbows to 2lb 8oz caught by Robert G., and ten rainbows and a small brown caught by John H.

Colliford – Weekly rod averages improved over the month, with the best week producing an average of 4.2 fish per angler. As is usual with Colliford, fish were well spread out around the lake, where keeping on the move with a stealthy approach produces good results. Fish have been feeding well throughout the day (with a lot of surface activity at first light and late evening), and if not on the surface, then no deeper than about one metre, so a floating line, often with a slow retrieve (or dry patterns fished statically), produced the best results, with fish often hitting the fly as it touched the water or on lift-off. Hoppers, Beetles, Sedges, Spiders, Hares Ears, Soldier Palmers and Buzzers all produced results, with the best bags including eleven browns caught on a Bibio by Philip H., Barbara L. catching thirteen browns to 1lb, and Daniel T. catching a bag of sixteen browns.

Fernworthy – Plenty of excellent bags were caught at Fernworthy in June, resulting in a rod average of just under four browns per angler. With plenty of insects being blown out of the woods onto the water, fish generally were feeding at or just below the surface, and smallish flies fished on the surface or just under with mixed retrieves produced the results. Fish fed well throughout the day, and would take eagerly even if not showing. Successful patterns included Zulu, Spiders, Black Nymphs, Gold Head Hares Ear, and Hoppers. The North Inlet and Permit Hut Bank both proved productive locations, with fish often fairly far out in the rippled water. Andrew Gooding enjoyed two good sessions catching twenty six fish; Andy W. caught ten browns to 2lb, as did Charles B., while Kevin Primmer caught twelve fish from a float tube, and David G. had fourteen fish.

Roadford – Here the fishing has been relatively quiet, with the fish still lying fairly deep (although some evenings have produced a reasonable rise), and a sinking line with a slow retrieve producing the best results; the fish moved nearer the surface to feed as the month progressed. Davies Bank, Grinnecombe, and the banks close to the centre proved to be the most productive. Duncan Kier caught the best bag – seven browns up to 1lb 8oz.

South West Lakes Trout Fisheries Report

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May 2021

All of the South West Lakes Trust trout fisheries continue to be operated under strict Covid-19 restrictions, in line with the Angling Trust and Government guidelines. At the time of writing, the on-site permit huts are still not yet open, so day tickets, season tickets, and boats should be pre-booked online (www.swlakestrust.org.uk/trout-fishing).

Fishing:

Kennick – The water continues to warm up, although strong, cold winds and one of the wettest Mays on record have meant that this is a slow process, and fishing on some days has been challenging. In spite of this, anglers from both bank and boat have enjoyed some excellent sport, averaging just over three fish per rod (mainly rainbows, along with a few browns). There have been plenty of buzzer hatches, and when these occur, the fish tend to lie in shallow water taking buzzer patterns just under the surface; otherwise, fish tend to be feeding 10-12’ below the surface. In addition to buzzer patterns, other successful flies included Diawl Bachs, Damsel Nymphs, or deeper fished lures (such as Orange Blobs, Cormorants, and Cats Whiskers). Fish were well spread out, with anglers catching well at Clampitts Bay, Oak Tree Point, and off the Lawns, with boats also picking up fish in Boat Bay. Plenty of decent bags were caught, including a bag of ten fish caught by Geoff V, nine rainbows to 2lb 8oz caught by Matt B, ten rainbows to 2lb 8oz caught by Malcome Ure, and nine fish to 3lb caught by James H. David B caught the best fish early in the month – a 4lb rainbow.

Siblyback – Stocky Bay, Crylla, and Two Meadows proved to be the best locations, with rods averaging 3.3 fish per rod. Floating lines with a slow retrieve proved to be the most effective method, with fish often taking just below the surface. Successful patterns included Montanas, Black Buzzers, Diawl Bachs, and Damsels, with the occasional fish coming up to take a Beetle, Sedge, or Black Gnat; otherwise pulled lures (Green Baby Doll, Viva, or Appetiser) caught fish in deeper water. George H caught five rainbows to 4lb in an evening session using Back Sedges and Bibios, while Al L caught a bag of 8 rainbows.

Burrator – Another great month’s fishing at Burrator in spite of the weather, with anglers averaging 4.5 fish per rod. The best locations were Longstone, Pines Bay, Pig Trough, and Sheepstor. Fish have been well distributed throughout the water column, with anglers catching on floating, intermediate, and sinking lines, usually with a slow retrieve. With occasional fish moving on the surface, dry patterns (including Foam-backed Beetles and Sedges) have met with some success, although nymphs (Diawl Back, Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, Damsel, and Montana nymphs) and deeper fished lures (Cormorant, Cats Whisker, and Kennick Killer) have proved the most effective. Better bags included nine rainbows, caught by Alan J; six rainbows to 4lb; and Simon Jeffries catching a ‘full house’ of five rainbows, three browns, and a blue in one session.

Stithians – With plenty of surface activity (especially in the evenings) and terrestrials being blown onto the water, floating lines and dry patterns (Foam-Head Hoppers and Hawthornes in particular) have been producing some exciting sport, with some decent bags of fish up to 2lb 4oz. Nymph patterns (Hares Ear, Montana, Diawl Bach, and Buzzer) and Lures (Viva, Cormorant, Kennick Killer) have both worked well with the deeper feeding fish. Fish are well spread out around the water, with anglers reporting a variety of successful locations (including Yellowort, Pipe Bay, Mossops, and Carnmenellis).

Colliford – Weather conditions have played a crucial part in the sport at Colliford this month, when a sudden change (such as a change of wind direction, cloud cover, or rain) has killed off what had started as a promising day’s sport of feeding fish and surface activity. Nevertheless, slow retrieved nymphs (Diawl Bachs, Buzzers, and Crunchers) on floating lines worked well for roving anglers, and when conditions permitted, a Dry Sedge or Bob’s Bits brought fish up to the surface. Successful locations included Hut Bay, the Dam area, and Browngelly Bay.

Fernworthy – In spite of the challenging weather conditions, anglers averaged three fish per rod in May, on either sub-surface nymph patterns (Damsels, Black and Peacock Spider, and Hares Ear) or, as there have been good hatches, with plenty of fish moving on the surface, small dries (Black Gnats in particular) fished on the surface letting the wind take the fly naturally; fish have also been rising to take a twitched sedge pattern. The most popular and successful location has been the bank near the permit hut, with anglers finding fish while fishing the margins. The better bags included eleven fish caught by Andrew G, and eight fish caught by Stuart M.

Roadford – Rods averaged around four fish per rod over the month, and while fish are well spread out around the lake, Big Oaks, Grinnacombe, and Goodacre Bay are worth a mention, with both boat and bank anglers catching fish. The trout are present throughout the water column, and are being caught on floating, intermediate, and sinking lines with a wide variety of patterns, from dry Hawthornes to a selection of nymphs (Pheasant Tails, Orange Buzzers, Montanas, and Damsels), and deeper-fished lures (Tadpoles and Woolly Buggers) – all with a slow pull retrieve. Notable bags included eight browns to 12” caught by Ian S, seven fish to 1lb 8oz caught by Duncan Kier, and five browns caught by Gary Stickland.

Please visit the South West Lakes Trust website (www.swlakestrust.org.uk/trout-fishing) for the latest Covid-19 updates, as well as details on ticket prices, fishery information, clubs, competitions, and boat availability.

Chris Hall (May 2021)

 

BLAKEWELL FISHERY

Blakewell Fishery is a picturesque and tranquil small-water trout fishery that is located just over a mile from the market town of Barnstaple. The clear waters offer quality Fly Fishing for rainbow trout and brown trout that are stocked into double figures attracting anglers from across the region.

The fishery is best approached using a light to medium outfit (6/7wt) with floating lines and imitative patterns working throughout the year. Day Tickets are £45.00 for a five fish limit. You can book online or call Richard Nickell on 07884 073932

The venue is perfect for new comers to Fly Fishing as it is less-intimidating than larger venues that may prove off putting to those starting out. Fly Fishing tuition is available on site with resident instructors. See Website for full details. www.blakewell.co.uk

The fishing is often at its best during the winter months when the trout flourish in the cool water that flows in from Bradiford Water.

A Brace of Winter Doubles

Blakewell Features in Trout & salmon

I always tend to associate Spring with trout and salmon fishing so when picking up the Tesco shop I indulged in the April Edition of Trout and Salmon Magazine. Browsing through its pages of pleasing images I was delighted to come upon local fishery owner Richard Nickell’s familiar smiling features.

The magazine has another excellent feature on trout fishing on Dartmoor with local cane rod builder Luke Bannister.

A pleasing brace of doubles taken on my last visit to Blakewell back in December.

South West Lakes Trout Fisheries Report

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South West Lakes Trout Fisheries Report

February 2021

General:

At the time of writing, only two of South West Lakes’ rainbow trout fisheries have opened (Kennick and Siblyback), with Stithians and Burrator opening on 5 March for season permit holders and 6 March for day tickets. The brown trout fisheries open on 15 March (Roadford, Colliford, Fernworthy and Wistlandpound).

The fisheries will all be operating under strict Covid19 restrictions, in line with the Angling Trust and Government guidelines. This means that the fishing will be available to local anglers only, until the current travel restrictions are lifted. The on-site permit huts will not be open, so day tickets, season tickets and boats should be pre-booked online – www.swlakestrust.org.uk/trout-fishing.

Fishing:

Kennick – The season began with a cold snap, but with some superb fishing, with rods averaging 6.5 fish per angler in the opening week. As one would expect, the fish were lying deep, with fish often taking on the drop, with the best sport to be had in Forest and Clampitts Bays and the deep water by the dam, with weighted Damsel Nymphs, Montanas, and lure patterns (Boobies, Tadpoles and Orange Blobs) all working well. The best bag caught in the month was 20 fish (19 returned) caught by M.Dadd, with Mark M catching 14 fish up to 3lbs on a Blob fished on a sinking line from the bank.

Siblyback – The cold easterly winds made the fishing at Siblyback on the opening weekend challenging, with the sheltered banks in Stocky Bay producing the best sport as well as the most comfortable conditions, with Blobs and slow-fished Damsel Nymphs catching well. As the month progressed, and the wind direction changed, the North Shore and West Bank also started to produce fish, with Montanas, small nymphs and spiders on intermediate lines attracting fish, and rod averages improving to 2.55 fish per angler. P.Murphey caught the best fish – a 3lb rainbow, while G.Hext caught 11 rainbows and a superb 2lb Brown on his first two visits of the season.

2021 Trout Fishing Pre-season Newsletter South West Lakes

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Introduction

A new season is upon us already. Having closed our Rainbow waters at Christmas it’s been a short turnaround this winter. I’m sure you can’t wait to wet a line again, especially with the current health crisis. One thing I have found during the current lockdown is that having something to look forward to is absolutely vital at the moment and I cant wait for the trout season to open! I’ve bought some new waders and some new wellies and I will be spending as much time fishing as I can this year.
I hope that you enjoy your season, wherever you fish.

Ben Smeeth 

Covid-19 Update

We are opening and stocking our fisheries as planned but please remember, when visiting our trout fisheries, you must read and adhere to the information below which highlights the restrictions in place so we can continue to fish.

  • Fishing is allowed as exercise so long as participants adhere to the rules of staying local, gathering limits, social distancing and limiting the time spent outdoors. (DCMS 06/01/2021)
  • Only local travel is permitted for the purpose of daily exercise as set out in the Government’s travel guidance.
  • The local area is specified as the town, village or part of the city in which you live. There is recognition that there will be a need to travel for outdoor exercise, this should be done locally, but you can travel a short distance within your area.
  • Anglers will need to apply judgement in defining their local area.
  • Boat fishing can continue and the boat fishing rules and regulations during Covid-19 remain in place.
  • You can only fish with members of your own household, your support bubble or with one other individual.
  • You must adhere to social distancing measures: Hands, Face and Space.

Competition fishing, or any other organised fishing event, is prohibited by law during lockdown.

For further information on local exercise please visit the Angling Trust website or the Government website.

2021 Pricing and Dates

Our prices for all day and season tickets have remained the same as 2020.

All of the prices can be found here.

The opening dates are as follows:

Rainbows:
Kennick and Siblyback – 13 February
Stithians and Burrator – 6 March

Season ticket holders for the Rainbow waters can fish one day earlier than day ticket anglers.

Browns:
Roadford, Colliford, Fernworthy and Wistlandpound – 15 March

New Trout Website LaunchedWe have launched a new trout fishing website which has all of the information you need for your trout fishing with us this year.

We have made buying your ticket easier with the new ‘buy a ticket’ option on the homepage.

All of the weekly catch reports and summaries, along with the latest news, are all displayed prominently making them easy to find.

We have also made completing a catch report much easier with the catch return tab on the homepage.

www.swlakestrust.org.uk/trout-fishing

Season Tickets

Season permits can be purchased directly from our websiteAlternatively, please give our head office a call on 01566 771930 or drop me a line on 01288 321262 and we will be more than happy to help you purchase your ticket over the phone.

Why buy a season permit?

  • You can fish a day before our day ticket anglers at the Rainbow waters
  • You can fish as many times as you would like throughout the season as long as weekly bag limits are not exceeded
  • It gives you the flexibility to fish for an hour or the whole day
  • Boats are £10 per day instead of £15
  • We have multiple lake season tickets with our all waters and castabout (brown trout) options
  • If you are a member of the Burrator Fly Fishers, Siblyback Fly Fishers, Kennick Fly Fishers or CAST fly fishing club (Stithians) we will give you 5% off your season permit
  • If we extend the season to the end of November your ticket will be extended without charge
  • You won’t have a to buy a day ticket every time you fish

Stocking

Our stocking in 2021 will be done by two suppliers with our Rainbows coming from Mark Underhill at Rainbow Valley Trout Farm.

In 2020 the Rainbow’s supplied by Rainbow Valley were extremely hard fighting, quite often stripping line to the backing!

The Browns are coming from Richard Howe and his team at Torre Trout Farms.

We know all the fish will be of high quality and be sure to give you some great sport as always.

Day Permits

Our permit rooms on sites will be closed until further notice with the coronavirus situation.

Permits are only available through our website or by calling our main office on 01566 771930.

Please note, the office is open Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm.

Tickets can be purchased days in advance of your visit.

Castabout Ticket

I want to highlight the value for money with the Castabout ticket. This ticket covers all four of our brown trout waters, three of which are stocked (Colliford, Fernworthy and Roadford) and Wistlandpound where the fishing is for previously stocked and wild fish. At £250 for a full season, or £212.50 for concession, the value for money is outstanding.

Roadford in particular fished absolutely superb last season with 110 browns to 3lb being caught in the last week of the season by just 11 anglers! Colliford showed glimpses of returning to its former glory and, although we are not there yet, we are working towards it. Numerous fish of 2lbs were caught with the majority being released to fight another day.

Fernworthy wasn’t its usual self in 2020 but still provided plenty of pulls. I’m expecting the fishing to be great this season when we stock more fish into the lake.

Competitions

  • 11 April – The Snowbee team of four competition at Siblyback
  • 2 May – Kennick bank pairs
  • 23 May – Cornwall v Devon at Siblyback
  • 20 June – Kennick Peninsula Classic singles
  • 17 October – Best of the Best final at Kennick

The Best of the Best competition, sponsored by Snowbee, has a £2,000 prize fund for the final. Here’s how it works:

  • There will be 6 heats of 12 anglers maximum
  • 6 will qualify for the final from each heat leaving 36 anglers in the final at Kennick on 17 October

The dates for the heats are:

  • Siblyback – 6 March
  • Kennick – 20 March
  • Stithians – 24 April
  • Burrator – 8 May
  • Siblyback – 29 May
  • Kennick – 2 October

If you would like more information on any of the competitions please visit our website. If you would like to book onto one of the heats please call our office on 01566 771930.

A Sunday morning brace of trout

It was good to be beside the calm waters of my local trout fishery as a weak wintry sun peeped through the morning clouds. I threaded a five weight floater line through the rings relishing a quiet couple of hours searching the water. I tied a buoyant fly from barbless flies https://www.barbless-flies.co.uk/products/stillwater-dinkhamer-selection  and suspended a couple of small nymphs beneath it. I stretched the line out across the water retrieving at a slow pace focussing on the floating fly. On the second cast the fly disappeared and I tightened and felt the pleasing resistance of a rainbow trout.

I spent the next half an hour enjoying the motions of fly fishing. The swish off the rod and pleasing settling down of flies and line one upon the calm water. With no further action I pondered upon the fact that a trout so often falls on the first couple of casts at the water. It is as if the catching of that first fish transmits a warning to the lakes residents?

A change of tactics is called for and I tie on an olive damsel removing the buoyant Dinkhammer and cast out allowing the bead headed lure to sink deeper into the lake. After a couple of casts the line draws tight and a vividly spotted full tailed brown trout is brought protesting to the net.

With a brace of trout secured its time to stroll back along the lakeside taking note of the daffodils pushing forth in a promise of the coming spring.

I return home for Sunday dinner and still have time for a walk around the village on a quiet winters day with thoughts of better times ahead.

Bulldog Fishery – Building a fine reputation

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Bull Dog Trout Fishery is fast establishing a reputation for quality trout fishing with some superb trout caught over the Christmas period. The Day ticket water offers a variety of trout to double figures and is a sheltered venue just minutes from Barnstaple. Day Tickets are £30 for 4 fish or £35 for 5 fish.

Trout Farm & Fishery

A few recent captures are shown below:-

Laurie with a Magnificent 8lb 12 oz rainbow.
Reef Patten with a double figure rainbow
(Above)Jon Patten with a fine brown trout
(Above) Sean Mutch with a pleasing 3.5 lb brownie
(Above) Harry Liddle with a fine bag of trout including rainbows 8 lb, 5lb 14oz, 6lb 6oz and 2lb followed by a 3 lb brownie.
(Above) Double figure rainbow for Reef Patten

South West Lakes Trust Trout Fisheries Report

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South West Lakes Trust Trout Fisheries Report

December 2020

General:

All of South West Lakes’ rainbow trout fisheries will stay open until 24 December. Please see website for details on tickets and prices as well as the latest Covid19 advice and restrictions – www.swlakesfishing.co.uk. Note that tickets may only be purchased online or over the telephone on 01566 771930. Water temperatures have been falling over all of the sites and, with stocking continuing through the month, the fishing has continued to be good with the fish lying in deeper water as the month progressed.

At Kennick the boat anglers enjoyed the best sport. Mr. M.Ure netted 14 fish, while Andy Birkett from Plymouth caught a bag of 13 fish up to 2lb 12oz in one session while drifting off the East Wall, pulling small white fry patterns about six feet down, and 12 fish on another visit. Matt Baines caught the best fish of the month – a rainbow of 3lb 5oz. Kevin Primmer caught rainbows of 3lb 4oz and 3lb in a bag of four fish.

Burrator continued to produce consistent sport using deeper fished gold-head patterns (Blue-flash Damsels and Montanas) and sunk lures, with plenty of fish up to 2lb caught, as well as a good number of blue trout.

The fishing at Stithians showed a marked improvement, with a number of reasonable bags (John Henderson caught nine fish up to 2lbs+ using orange patterns) and plenty of fish around 2lb being caught, the best being 2lb 8oz, mainly on sunk nymphs and lures, although George Eustace did manage to pick up a rainbow on an Olive and Black Hopper.

Season Summary:

In spite of the Covid restrictions, and the ‘stop-start’ availability of fishing, the 2020 season produced some good fishing across the region, especially at Burrator, Kennick and Siblyback, while the fishing improved toward the end of the season at Stithians and Roadford produced some outstanding sport in the last few months.

The season started with the hugely successful Fly Fair at Roadford at the end of February, with many anglers in attendance, exhibits, trade stands and demonstrations. The Peninsula Classic Bank Competition at Kennick in October was won (for the fourth time) by Andy Gooding (from Liverton), catching five rainbows weighing in at 10lb 5oz, using Damsel Nymphs and a Black and Green Lure.

The new fishing club at Siblyback continued to build up numbers and hosted a number of events this season, including competitions, fly tying evenings and other social gatherings and are continuing to welcome new members (contact: derek.aungerbtinternet.com).

Dave Matthews – Siblyback Fly Fishers Association Competition

Fisheries Summary:

Siblyback: Best fish – 8lb 4oz rainbow, caught  by George Hext; the best brown was a 4lb fish caught by Stephen Pearce. Fishery rod average 2.7 fish

Kennick:  Best fish – 5lb 10z rainbow caught by Kevin Primmer. Fishery rod average 2.7 fish

Stithians: Best fish – 4lb 8oz rainbow caught by Roger Marks. Fishery rod average 1.4 fish

Burrator: Best fish – 5lb 8oz rainbow caught by Paul Lee; the best brown was a 4lb fish caught by Kevin Sellar.  Fishery rod average 3.5 fish

Colliford: Best fish – 3lb brown trout caught by Dean Boucher. Fishery rod average 2.6 fish

Fernworthy: Rod average 2.7 fish, up to 2lb 4oz

Roadford: Best fish – 3lb 8oz brown trout caught by Duncan Kier; fishery rod average 4.4 fish

The season opening dates and prices for 2020 will be posted (along with other information) on the website and on the ‘Trout Fishing South West Lakes Trust’ Facebook page.

Wimbleball – Autumn Fly Fishing

Fly Fishers are enjoying some great autumn sport at Wimbleball Reservoir with hard fighting rainbows and stunning wild brown trout. Harry Plant banked five rainbows including a stunning rainbow of 7lb 8oz. Barry Ware boated a prime conditioned brown trout of 6lb 8oz.

Mark Underhill comments
‘Receiving lovely comments like this just make our day’…
“These are the best quality and condition stocked rainbows I’ve ever caught. Certainly hardest fighting fish we’ve ever had pleasure to catch. We had a couple of real monsters break us off on 7lb fluorocarbon – buying stronger leader for next time! Trevor was super friendly & helpful. All in all a cracking days fishing – so thank you all involved.”
Tom & Max had 11 fish between them & lost several more…

Wimbleball Lake is attracting Fly Fishers from all over the country as its reputation for producing hard fighting rainbows and stunning wild browns grows ever stronger.

I was keen to get back on the Lake and booked a boat and a day off work to share with our son James in mid-October.

In life not everything goes to plan and James Fiancée’s raging toothache resulted in James staying at home leaving me to take the boat out alone.

The drive over Exmoor in the early morning light was a delight with bronzed beech hedge rows illuminated as the leaves took on their rich autumn hues.

I had arranged to launch the boat at 9.00am and arrived shortly after this to be greeted by the ever enthusiastic Trevor who told me that the fishing had been a little slower in recent days in calm sunny conditions. The brisk South East wind should improve matters and this view was reinforced as two anglers were already enjoying bent rods in the sailing club bay.

I eagerly loaded my gear onto the boat and set off up the lake. I dropped the anchor part way up the Lake towards Bessom’s and tackled up. An intermediate Line an olive damsel on the point and diawl bach on the dropper. A few casts and then I up anchored, put out the drogue and started a drift up the lake 30-yards off the shoreline. After a dozen casts or so there came that thrilling jolt through the line as a trout hit the lure. I failed to connect but there was plenty of time ahead and more chances to come.

A couple of hours later my confidence was ebbing after searching several areas of the lake. The wind was picking up and had become a little challenging at times. I changed tactics frequently. Set up a second rod and had short spells drifting a set of buzzers on a floating line. With no fish showing I went to a sinker searching with black lures and the olive damsel. The other two anglers had left the Sailing Club Bay and were fishing close to lakes inlet. Their tally was up to five each with an orange blob the successful pattern.

A moment of hope came as a large rainbow materialized behind my lure, an image that remains etched on my mind’s eye as I type this account of the day.

As the hours drifted past at an alarming rate I decided to try the Sailing Club Bay. By now the wind was uncomfortably strong and getting the anchor to grip was a challenge. With plenty of rope out I got the boat to hold firm thirty yards off the bank and sent out my lure and blob combination. First cast and I felt a good tug. Next cast another. Then after fifteen minutes I hooked rainbows on consecutive casts both coming adrift after a few seconds with the rod well bent.

A handsome wild brown trout of around 8oz eventually saved a blank. At 5.30pm I reluctantly admitted defeat. Disheartened? Not at all I often liken fishing to a game of chess with nature and on this occasion the fish had won the day. The fishing at Wimbleball is not always easy the the fish it holds are without doubt a worthy prize. I will be back in search of success as soon as possible. As autumn enters its final month the weather may be cruel and frosty mornings may sting the fingers but those hard fighting rainbow will be waiting and really need that reel to sing!