Exe Valley Fishery … like you have never seen it before!

The sun is out at last, and we hope you have been able to dust down the rods and go fishing.  Have you visited Exe Valley Fishery recently?  If not here is short a reminder of the spectacular scenery and fishing to be experienced at our beautiful Somerset location captured superbly on film by Blair Woodland.

A birds eye view of the spectacular Exe Valley Fishery which provides day ticket stillwater Trout fishing in the West Country. In this video shot from a drone we see the scenery and manager Nick Hart casting a fly across the beautiful clear water ... video footage courtesy of @novafisha on instagram

And if that doesn’t get the piscatorial juices flowing then here are a few comments rounded up from angler’s recent visits .... 

10 C&R - buzzers, hares ears, damsel.  Buzzer under indicator, slow about 2' - John Akhurst

Excellent Day! Caught on Dries, buzzers, snakes and lures - Matt Hunt

Excellent - Variety flies dry/lures/cats whiskers - J Morgan

Lovely day.  Will be back - Andrew Elkins

Another great days fishing.  A day of 2 halves.  In the morning naturals, in the afternoon lures - Mike Duckett

Kept a 3lb fish but returned a 6lb 8oz - R Winser

Released 8 fish including a 5lb 3oz - P Winser

Managed 5 and released 1 inc. 4lb 4oz – L Williamson

However, if you are now gagging to dash down this Saturday 21st April 18 (please come on Sunday 22nd instead!) because the site will be closed for the day as we are hosting a private event.  We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Meanwhile if there are any budding young anglers out there please give Fred Leach a call who is hosting a Youth Fly Fishing Day on Saturday 20th May 2018 at Exe Valley Fishery.  There will be a group of qualified instructors on hand teaching the basics of fly casting and fishing for Trout.  In previous years this successful event has produced Trout of up to 6lbs for the children, with many discovering a new passion for the outdoors and fishing.  Please call Fred on 01398 331019 for further details.

And for further info and updates on the fishery please don’t forget that we have social media sites here Exe Valley Facebook … and here Exe Valley Instagram

Until next time, thanks for reading and enjoy your fishing!

Sue & Nick.

Troutmasters Reports & Easter Fishing Update

The weather during the last few weeks has resulted in our quietest March on record with just 44 anglers visiting (yes, that’s correct …just 44!) ... 11 of them for the Troutmasters match which had to be rescheduled due to snow.  Despite the lack of customers, we continue to maintain and stock the fishery as always, shown in the catch figures of 153 fish caught by the 44 anglers up to 29th March resulting in a rod average of 3.5

 Ten year old Sam Shepherd shows us all how its done, playing a fish to granddad Stuarts net! 

Ten year old Sam Shepherd shows us all how its done, playing a fish to granddad Stuarts net! 

With the continued changeable conditions and lack of footfall we have regrettably taken the decision to delay the reopening of Lobbs Lake until such time that we feel the venue will have the support required to operate the lake on a day to day basis.  Enough of the bad news and on to the Troutmasters...

 Sam with his first two fish, part of a four fish total which won him a place at the 2018 Junior Troutmasters final.

Sam with his first two fish, part of a four fish total which won him a place at the 2018 Junior Troutmasters final.

Rescheduling to the following Saturday after the snow unfortunately reduced the field from 18 anglers to just 11, although three of the competitors were juniors which is very pleasing to see, especially as between them they caught 14 fish.  Thirteen-year-old James Mockridge was the eventual winner with a bag of 5 fish plus one extra he caught when the match had finished! 

The two remaining juniors, Max Mockridge & Sam Shepherd both caught 4 fish using a mix of orange and black lures eventually tying weights at 9lb 12oz.  Huge congrats to both on such a good result and as up and coming England junior James is heading off to training during the weekend of the junior Troutmaster final it looks like both Max & Sam will have their chance to compete at the Thrunton Long Crag fishery grand final in July.  Best of luck and tightlines to both!

 The Mockridge Brothers (fish off winner James is on the left) show off their catches.

The Mockridge Brothers (fish off winner James is on the left) show off their catches.

First time senior fish off winner at Exe Valley was Phil Duckett who caught his fish with 2 hours to spare, gaining a 2lb time bonus and a final winning weight of 16lb.  Good luck in the final to be held at Draycote in October Phil!  Close behind was first time competition angler John Slaven and both of his regular fishing companions John & Rick also had good days landing their five fish limits. 

 From left - Senior Winner Phil Duckett, 2nd place John Slaven, Rick Price & John Clarke

From left - Senior Winner Phil Duckett, 2nd place John Slaven, Rick Price & John Clarke

Without doubt the tactics which came out of that match (and I have mentioned in previous reports) was to go deep, often counting the fly down for at least 20 seconds on an intermediate or medium sinker before using a mixed up snappy figure-of-eight retrieve to induce takes.  If you can feel the fly clipping weed at depth you are in the right zone and will often experience a violent take as the fly pulls free. 

 John Slaven looking very pleased with a quality rainbow caught while fishing deep during the 2018 Exe Valley Troutmasters fish off.

John Slaven looking very pleased with a quality rainbow caught while fishing deep during the 2018 Exe Valley Troutmasters fish off.

Orange Blobs are winners but so too are Black Snakes, Apps Bloodworms and really any highly mobile lure.  Black is my favourite go to shade if the water has coloured up, don’t rely on bright lures in these conditions and remember that a stripped fly can suddenly disappear from view so that your trout has no chance of taking it!  Try deep, try slow and go for dark highly mobile patterns if the brighter stuff isn’t working!

Amongst the poor March turn out was Ben Cheeld who is relatively new to fly fishing.  When I caught up with him on the bank he had released 2 fish .... but as he explained that was several hours ago.  I explained the above tactics and suggested he was fishing his flies too high in the water.  Within an hour Ben had lost two fish and banked one.  We also got to talking about his previous experience at Exe Valley when he had not been wearing glasses and how he had narrowly escaped a serious injury when a fly pierced his unprotected eyelid, resulting in a trip to A&E.  A few millimetres away and Ben would have been in serious trouble so please do make sure you wear eye protection when casting a fly.

 Ben Cheeld enjoying a much more enjoyable session at Exe Valley!  Always remember to wear eye protection when fly casting ...

Ben Cheeld enjoying a much more enjoyable session at Exe Valley!  Always remember to wear eye protection when fly casting ...

Rounding up I have uploaded a bunch of photos here to show the quality of fish being caught and well-maintained banks, despite the harsh winter conditions experienced.  The Easter weekend weather does not look perfect, but the fishery is open for business as usual.  We hope to see a few anglers because with rumours of another well-known UK fishery closing its doors to fly fishing going around and the poor footfall we have experienced during the last 6 months it is only a matter of time before we will need to re-evaluate whether catering for anglers or using the site in an alternative way is best for us as a business.  It is indeed time to use it or lose it!

Thanks for reading & good fishing.

Sue & Nick.

Connect with Exe Valley on Facebook here

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Troutmasters Fish Off Cancelled on 18.03.18 due to Extreme Weather – New Date Set as Saturday 24th March 2018

Well so much for the Spring is in the Air post!  It appears the beast is back and more extreme weather is about to hit the West Country.

Unfortunately with forecasts of strong NE winds, snow and temperatures in the minuses we have no other option but to postpone this weekends fish off on Sun 18th March 2018.  Please do not attend as the competition will not be taking place! The fishery will of course be open to anyone mad enough to want to enjoy a Baltic session of small stillwater trout fishing...!

The new date set is the following week on Saturday 24th March 2018 which is the only date available that does not clash with other local fish offs and Easter.  We have contacted all competitors by phone to explain the situation.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you will/wont be attending the rescheduled fish off on Saturday 24th March.

Updates also available on our Exe Valley Fishery Facebook page

At last … a little bit of spring in the air at Exe Valley Fishery

The Beast from the East seems to have retreated and just hopefully spring is around the corner as it has been a looooong winter!  If you have had enough of it all why not head out West and wet a line, one thing is for sure the water is cold, full of oxygen and the Trout just love it.

Our anglers are making use of the Catch & Release tickets which will be held at the price of £25 for a 10 fish limit this season, with all other ticket options also held as per the 2017 rates. 

 Blair Woodland makes use of the higher temps to enjoy a Catch & Release session at Exe Valley.

Blair Woodland makes use of the higher temps to enjoy a Catch & Release session at Exe Valley.

Reading from the returns archives Mr Tomkins recently tried a sporting ticket and worked nymphs for 4 fish over a few hours before switching to a stripped Blob which gave him another 5 fish in just half an hour.

Other returns mention the depth of the fish with the word “deep” used consistently along with “cold” including Mr Hobdens comment which made us chuckle “Bloody Freezing!!  But good sport!”  There is no doubt that wrapping up warm is required to enjoy a day at Exe Valley but if you put in the effort the chances are you will be rewarded with some action. 

Mr Hobden banked 4 fish during his chilly session, but John Slaven had an even more fruitful day with 5 taken and 4 released, noting that it had been a “Cold day but worth it.  Fantastic!”  Johns bag tipped the scales to 15lb 2oz with a best fish of 3lb 2oz

John will hope for an equally impressive bag in just over a weeks’ time when on Sunday 18th March Exe Valley will host its annual Troutmasters Fish Off to determine who will head to the final later in the year.  This event is already well signed up with around 15 anglers attending but if you have an invite and have yet to contact us, there is still time, if you are quick!  Please note that the fishery will be closed to regular day tickets on 18/03/18 until after the match which is due to end around 2pm.

If you are going to practice beforehand or if you are just heading to the fishery for a pleasure day it would be well worth packing Blobs, Snakes, Blue Flash Damsels, Apps Worms and a few buzzers.  Floating lines with long leaders (fished slow) will work well but in recent weeks intermediates and medium sinkers such as the Di-3 have been well worth trying.

And to round up this catch report please note that Lobbs Lake will be open by the end of the month (in time for Easter) with further details regarding the fishing that will be available on this venue posted next time.

Many thanks for reading and look our for more news soon.

For more news & pictures please check out our social media sites, Exe Valley Fishery Facebook & Exe Valley Fishery Instagram