Wistlandpound – Continues to fish well for wild brownies

The path to the water

Wistlandpound Continues to drop quickly as predominantly dry conditions continue across the region. The exposed banks are white with dying blanket weed as more areas become exposed. The water remains clear with extensive weed growth in shallow areas that does not impede the fishing to any extent.

I spent a couple of hours during late evening and brought six lovely browns averaging 10″ to hand all taking small black and silver spider patterns fished slowly with a floating line and fine tippet. The lake was calm and ringed by the rising trout and rudd.

Snap shots from the waters edge

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North Devon has a vast range of waters to fish with an abundance of different species to target. Below are a few snap shots from the Water Edge,

The dwindling waters of Wistlandpound on a late spring evening.

A typical Wistlandpound brownie; great fun on a 5 wt.

(Above) An unsuccessful trip to the coast with the lure rod the sea full of suspended weed; but it was still good to breath in the salty air.

(Above) A short morning session resulted in this mirror carp at Bideford Clubs Karens Lake.

(Below)

Sometimes its good to get back to basics. James joined me for a session at Jennetts watching a crimson topped float close to the water Lily’s. Watching the float disappear was a delight and resulted in small roach, skimmers and a tackle twisting eel that reminded me of my younger days when these slimy tackle twisters were a common feature of catches.

Short Sessions with Brown Trout

A cool South West wind ruffled the surface of Wistlandpound and mist descended upon the tree lined perimeter as I waded out into the lake. I had left the rod set up since my last visit with a black tadpole on the point and small black pennel variant on a dropper. I commenced to search the water and after ten minutes hooked into my first brown trout of the evening a valiant scrapper of perhaps 10″. This was only a short session but proved to a good one. During the next hour I banked ten trout up to 12″ and on one cast even managed a brace with one on each fly.

I wondered if the rudd would still be present in the shallow inlet and wandered up for a cast or two. Six rudd later I returned to the trout area and added another brownie to the total as the light faded from the day.

The following morning I decided to head for a short session on the Torridge once again targeting brown trout as with river levels now very low there was little chance of a salmon.

It was a delight to be wading in the cool waters with lush green growth all around. I started out with a new Zealand style set up and hooked a brown trout of perhaps 8oz after a few casts but it came adrift after a brief tussle.

It was good to see plenty of fry darting about in the margins and a few toad tadpoles. I was hoping to spot a few rising fish but they were very few and far between. At the top of the beat I changed over to a pair of nymphs and tried drifting these over promising lies to no avail. With only a short time left a few fish started to rise and I hastily changed over to a dry fly. I flicked the fly into the streamy run where I had spotted the rising fish. A glance at the time and I realised that my time was almost up.  One more cast… a splashy rise and I was into a 12″ brownie to save a blank session.

One of the joys of fly fishing is the lack of preparation required. Just pick up the rod and head to the waters edge.

A Short Session at Wistlandpound

As I walked down to the dam at Wistlandpound I was surprised to see just how low the reservior was so early in the season. After a long dry spring and a relatively dry winter it will need a lot of rain to regain the levels with water pumped from the River Bray near Challacombe.

This was only a short session that was to prove far more productive than I expected. I tied a small black lure on the point and black spder pattern to a dropper. Walking to the point on the West Bank I started putting out a line and started a slow retrieve. After each cast I took a step to my right planning to cover plenty of water. After half a dozen casts I was encouraged by a boil on the surface as a fish swirled at the fly without connecting.

A few cast later came a solid tug as I connected with a brown trout that gave a spirited account spending plenty of time leaping high out of the water before coming to hand. During the next 45 minutes another five trout followed all pristine looking fish of around 10″.

I decided to walk to the far end close to the inlet to see if any rudd were showing. After a couple of casts another brown trout siezed the fly and was brought protesting to Hand. I caught sight of swirls close to the weeds and put the flies into the area. The line pulled tight and I lifted into my first rudd of the season. During the next thirty minutes a dozen or so rudd were brought to hand. These were beautiful fish the light bouncing off their scales and fins glowing red. Th size of the rudd was encouraging with the average size bigger than those caught last year. The best was around 12oz and I have heard runours of fish well over 1lb.

I walked briskly back to the car after a short but rewarding session.

Wild Brown Trout Sport at Wistlandpound

After a successful trip to Wistlandpound last week and reports of good sport from other anglers I headed back to the reservoir again. On arrival I met up with Fluff Chucker Rodney Wevill who had travelled up from his home close to Launceston. It was good to meet up with Rodney on his first visit to the picturesque water close to my home in North Devon. We chatted fishing on our way to the water and I was able to give a quick run down of the waters history since I started fishing it in the late 1970’s.

Starting on the South Bank of the lake we commenced putting out a line on the water. We both connected with hard fighting browns within five minutes and admired their spotted flanks and varied hues. I was using a small black lure on the point with a black spider pattern on the dropper. The fish were hitting the point fly and a slow retrieve seemed to be the favoured approach.

Rodney hooked a cracking fish that came off close to the net whilst I was pleased to bring a pristine fish of around 10″ to hand.

Rodney Wevill hooks a good brown

Martins swooped above the lake and birdsong filled the air. It really felt that spring had arrived at last after weeks of predominantly North and East winds.

Rodney with a typical Wistlandpound brown trout

We fished an enjoyable session with Rodney catching eleven browns to just under 1lb. I managed eight fish the best a stunning trout of 15″, Its buttercup flanks dotted with spots of brown, black and crimson.

A stunning trout of 15″, Its buttercup flanks dotted with spots of brown, black and crimson.

These fish though small by commercial fishery standards are a delight to catch offering truly wild fishing at a very reasonable cost. Day Tickets are £11.00 from

https://www.swlakestrust.org.uk/book-now#e

http://www.snowbee.co.uk

Wistlandpound – Beautiful browns brighten a stormy day

Wistlandpound is just a short drive from my home in North Devon and provides the opportunity for shorts sessions with the fly Rod in search of the wild brown trout and Rudd that abound in the lake.

As I walked to the water via the wooded path I was delighted to hear the sound of chiff-chaffs calling from the trees a sure sign that spring has truly arrived despite the overcast sky and near gale force south west wind. I arrived at the waters edge with the wind blowing from left to right which made it easy to put out a decent line despite its strength.

I retained the team of flies that had brought some success at Colliford at the end of last month. A small black lure on the point and a black spider on the dropper.

I put out the floating  line and paused to allow the fly to sink a little before starting the retrieve. My plan was to cover plenty of water making a step along the bank between each cast. On the third cast I was delighted to feel a strong pull that resulted in a spirited scrap from a wild brown of around 10″.

Half a dozen casts later after missing a few tentative takes I once again felt a strong pull and connected with a good fish that put a decent curve in the rod. After a short tussle I was thrilled to bank a beautiful wild brown of 14″.

This was a truly stunning looking trout that was admired briefly and its image captured.

I continued to search the bank missing several takes and connecting with several more stunning wild browns that were between 10″ and 12″. Each fish was totally different in appearance with some almost silver like a sea trout others golden flanked and crimson spotted. In the short two hour session I brought seven trout to hand each one released carefully ensuring future sport.

I look forward to warmer days with a gentle breeze rippling the lake surface but I doubt the fish will be so eager to grab the fly then.

A New Trout Season underway

The trout season on North Devon’s Rivers started on Tuesday and opens up many miles of wild brown trout fishing to fly fishing enthusiasts. The Fish pass scheme offers many miles of fishing across the Westcountry with many of the beats lightly fished in delightful countryside. It is well worth checking out their website https://fishpassapp.co.uk

They also sell tickets for several South West Lakes Trust Waters including Wistlandpound Reservoir near Blackmoor Gate that also opened on March 15th with fishing for wild brown trout and rudd.

I have a season ticket for Wistlandpound and took an opening day stroll around the lake having a few casts here and there. It was late afternoon and the sun was starting to sink beneath the horizon as I savoured the pleasing actions of putting out a line on the water. A few fish rose across the lake and a good swirl behind my fly gave hope of action.

The last stop on our walk saw me cast out as a few more fish rose in the lake. I retrieved the small black lure and was delighted when the line zipped tight. A wild brown gave a spirited tussle before being safely netted. I admired its black and crimson spotted golden flanks before watching the fish dart away into the dark waters in the fading light. The first fish of the season is always special!

Evening brings prizes of gold and silver

I took a stroll around Wistlandpound Resevoir rod in hand as afternoon drifted into evening beneath a cloudless blue sky. It was good to be out enjoying these longer Spring evenings as birdsong fills the air and fresh growth is bursting forth all around. With just a few flies in my waistcoat pocket, a net on my back and a five weight rod I had no intention to stay in one place.

It felt good to cast a line out across the calm water. A small bead headed PTN on the point and small black spider on a dropper. The open bank brought no interest in the flies so I moved on to the inlet shallows where shoals of Rudd were cruising amongst the weed. I flicked the flies into a passing shoal and watched a red finned Rudd divert to converge with the fly. The line zipped tight and a colourful Rudd was brought to hand. Flanks of burnished gold and silver, fins of crimson red a pleasing prize that was quickly followed up with another sparkling jewel.

I moved on and began a search of the windward bank casting the flies out and allowing them to drift around in an ark taking  a step along the foreshore with each cast. Suddenly the line zipped tight and the rod took on a pleasing curve as a wild brownie dashed to and fro.

A pristine wild brown trout slipped into the net. The barbless spider slipped easily from its jaws, I admired its golden spotted flanks illuminated in the evening sun as I slipped it back into the gin clear water.

To book online visit –https://www.swlakestrust.org.uk/book-now#e

Wistlandpound Fly-Fishers – Result

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Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club held their Berry Shield Summer Competition for the single best trout a cool North West Breeze kept the fish down. I won the event with a 12oz brown one of three I tempted using a team of wet flies fished with a floating line. All three were tempted with a Montana nymph on the point. I also landed numerous golden rudd. Colin Combe was runner up with a brown trout of 10oz.

Wistlandpound Fly Fishers enjoy brown trout sport at home venue

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Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club held their Edwards Cup Floating line competition at their home venue.  The competition was for the best brace of trout and was won by Dave Mock who landed who two trout for 2lb 15oz, Close behind was David Eldred with a brace totalling 2lb14oz and in third Paul Grisley with a single trout weighing 1lb 9oz.