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img_0250That’s tea sorted; Andy Facey heads for home after a successful day at Blakewell.

Its a busy time at Blakewell as families descend to select their Christmas trees and perhaps chose a tasty goodie from the popular farm shop.

The still-Water trout angler combines a few hours casting for hard fighting trout with taking home fresh trout for tea. Andy Facey above landed six trout to 4lb 8oz in a bag totaling 16lb.

img_0249A well marked brown trout of 2lb 8oz for Trevor Whyborn tempted on a green and black gold head montana.


The Art of Fly Tying

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I joined South Molton Angling Club members at the Coach and Horses Inn at South Molton where local Fly Tier Matt Kingdon gave a demonstration of his skills in creating flies and lures to tempt the wisest of trout. Matt used all the latest materials to whip together fur and feather in an impressive display of skill chatting as he tied about the factors that make a good fly, First rule is of course that the fly should be tied on a quality hook! Each fly is tied using features that create triggers to entice the trout, to do this the fly should appear natural in the water. To this I would add that the fly should appeal to the angler for with confidence in the fly comes success.



Local angling guide Bryan Martin also joined in tying a stoats tail salmon fly that I intend to put to good use next season!

img_1553 Stoats Tail -Variant

In addition to vast range of materials used in tying the flies Matt also gave useful tips such as the use of Hard as nails available from Boot’s and Super drug for varnishing the heads of the flies.

img_1550img_1541Rising Sun


Members on the way to the water.

Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club members enjoyed a brown trout bonanza at Bratton Water Trout Fishery where they assembled for their Christmas Competition. All but one of the members who took part successfully completed a four fish bag limit with the trout averaging over three pounds in weight. The first hour of the competition saw the trout on a feeding frenzy with most members catching their days allocation within this golden hour.


The brown trout within the fishery are stunning looking fish each one carrying a distinctive pattern of dark and crimson spots upon their flanks of gold, bronze and buttermilk. Each fish is so much more distinctive than the rainbow trout and  in my view deserves a far grander title than brown trout.


Members used a wide range of patterns to tempt their fish with damsel nymphs and small gold-head nymphs all successful.

Winner of the competition was Roger Bray who caught stunning browns of 5lb 4oz, 5lb, 4lb and 3lb 12oz for a total of 18lb.


Runner up in the competition was Matt KIngdon with a four fish bag of 14lb 4oz that included the days biggest trout scaling 6lb 4oz.


Full results

1st Roger Bray 18lb 2nd Matt Kingdon 14lb 4oz 3rd David Eldred 13lb 4oz 4th Wayne Thomas 12lb 5th -Colin Combe 11lb 4oz

6th – Nigel Bird 11lb 7th Andre Muxworthy 10lb 4oz


The event was fished in calm conditions with glimpses of winter sunshine. This intimate lake is nestled within a peaceful valley providing an ideal location for a winters day of trout fishing, After catching their bags of trout members retired to the fishing hut to chat of future plans for the coming year as they drained their flasks of hot tea and coffee.


My own twelve pound bag of stunning trout( Above) would delight from any fishery throughout the country. The lake is certainly well worth a visit over the Christmas period if you fancy tangling with some hard fighting trout; an ideal time to test out those fishing related Christmas gifts.


Junior Bank National @ Exe Valley Fishery

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Nick Hart reports from just over the border at Exe Valley Trout Fishery.

Showing the adults the way is up and coming junior angler Seth Mayhew-Tuson, age 16, who has just won our heat of the Greys Junior Bank National supported by the Angling Trust.  Seth has picked up many tips having become part of the England Youth Fly Fishing squad, using this knowledge to great effect to secure top spot with 3 fish weighing exactly 10lb.

14700824_1372488729430706_7209416904044056339_oSeth Mayhew-Tuson, (Above)

The fish were caught within 2 hours so Seth also gained himself an extra 2lb 8oz time bonus to finish well ahead of the field.  His successful tactics included an intermediate line and mixed up retrieve (mainly slow figure eight) with a combination of Blobs and Nymphs fished around the deep water inlet.

In second spot was last year’s third placed angler, Toby Bennett, with two fish weighing 5lb 14oz.  He caught these quickly, also in the deep water inlet using a floating line but couldn’t add to his bag before the match finished at 1pm.  Toby is studying fisheries management at college and is an incredible caster winning a major tournament earlier this year with a cast of 32 metres!

A very happy lad! Charlie Cooper, age 10, with his third placed Trout

Meanwhile the youngest angler, Charlie Cooper, couldn’t get the fish to stick and lost 3 before finally netting a 2lb 14oz Trout to collect third prize of a fly line and line snips.  This was a fantastic effort and the ten year old will now progress on to the 2017 final to be held next April.  Charlie used an intermediate line to catch his fish and it was great to see Seth helping out the younger anglers after he had completed his limit.  This is what competition fly fishing is all about, sharing, learning and meeting new people.

14691446_1372488619430717_4422733307727603956_o(Above)All the boys received something from Greys fly fishing and we threw in a few prizes. These are the fly anglers of tomorrow and need as much encouragement as possible.



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Cooler water suits the trout far better than the warmth of summer making fishing at still waters such as Blakewell a joy. A real tonic for the salmon or sea trout angler whose fishing is now but a memory until next spring.

Ian Patch travelled from Weston- Super- Mare to fish at Blakewell and his journey was well worth the effort. Ian ended his day with a four fish bag including fish of 13lb 2oz, 4lb 10oz, 4lb 10oz and 4lb 2oz.img_2080

Richard Banks from Ilfracombe landed a fine rainbow of 13lb 2oz in a bag that totalled 26lb.


A plea from Nick Hart at Exe Valley! Junior Anglers

A plea from Nick Hart at Exe Valley!

Do you know any budding young fly anglers that are free this Sunday 23rd Oct? I am running a heat of the Junior Bank National at Exe Valley Fishery and there are some places to be filled. This is a great fun event, see pix from last year. Entry open to anyone aged 17 years or under on the day of the final which is 9th April 17. Prizes by Greys and event supported by the Angling Trust. Please message or call for details. Fishing Permit & Entry is just £5!!!


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Good news at Exe Valley Fishery …  Anchor Lake  will reopen on Sunday 18th September 2016

Continuing on  work carried out in 2015 the lake has received a five figure sum investment to completely rejuvenate the main attraction at Exe Valley Fishery.

Far too much work has taken place to list but look out for further info on  website and via social media such as Facebook in the near future.

If you would like to see the brand new Anchor Lake for yourself then please note that Sunday 18th, Monday 19th & Tuesday 20th September are available on a book only basis.

To reserve your space please call 01398 323008 or email [email protected]


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Slide1Blakewell’s Fly fishing Lake will re-open on Saturday 10th September ’16
Blakewell thank all customers for thier patience during the past couple of weeks,saying “time to dig out your gear, grease up your line and get down here to bag yourself some hard fighting trout!”

As autumn descends and temperatures drop these small still water trout fisheries come into their own providing the opportunity for great sport and a means of keeping in practice when the rivers close for salmon and sea trout fishing.

IMG_2966Blakewell in winter