We are proud to have been supporting the Troutmasters competition, organised by Trout Fisherman magazine, for many years now.
It’s a kind of FA cup style fly fishing contest which means that pleasure anglers have the chance to compete against (and most importantly, learn from) more experienced competition anglers. To be in with a chance of qualifying contestants attempt to catch one of the biggest fish of the month from a host of participating waters across the UK.
Following this qualifying round, badge winners are invited to an early season fish off to determine which Exe Valley angler will head to the 2016 grand final. But there are only a couple of weeks left as the event will close on 20th December for 2015 entries ... so be quick! With a double figure Brown Trout swimming defiantly around Anchor Lake (I spotted the beast this morning!) there is at least one fish which could guarantee somebody’s place in that fish off.
And here is another good thing about this friendly competition; three lucky anglers receive a badge each month and a mention in the magazine. Steve Guscott contacted me this week to say how chuffed he was to receive his badge in the mail for his 8lb 12oz Rainbow caught during October (see that fishing report here) which formed part of a huge bag weighing in at 27lb 12oz.
Checking this month’s Trout Fisherman magazine I see that John Salter took the top honours with his 10lb Rainbow, Exe Valley regular Mary Ratcliffe was runner up with an 8lb 12oz Rainbow and Robert Grisley placed 3rd with an 8lb 7oz Rainbow. Well done to all! (see TF issue 477, page 89)
This week I am pleased to report that we have been much busier as the weather has been a little better. Once again the 26 anglers who decided that a day out in the fresh air wetting a line was more fun than sitting indoors were rewarded for their efforts catching a total of 70 fish for a rod average of 2.7
The best Trout of the week was landed by one of our new regulars Peter Bridges fishing sensibly in the margins with a Black Snake Fly to outwit a lovely looking fish of 8lb 1oz Meanwhile it is not just regulars visiting Exe Valley these days, we are noticing a lot of new faces too.
Patrick Silk is one of them, commenting on his return card “First Visit ... there will be more”, landing a limit of 3 fish for 14lb 4oz including another beautiful example of a Rainbow Trout, weighing 7lbs. And all of this on a light 6 weight rod, floating line and a Blue Flash Damsel in double figure temperatures!
Floating lines have certainly been catching fish but Graham Lavender wisely opted for an intermediate early in the week, after a couple of days of heavy rain which lowers the water temperature. His successful fly was also a Blue Flash Damsel, helping him to a 3 fish total of 13lb 10oz including a best of 7lb 10oz.
Of course not every angler walks away with a specimen fish that visits Exe Valley and a few comments have said it has been “hard fishing” this week. However some of the anglers making these comments have bagged themselves limits, so success is here to be had. It's just a case of using the right tactics, which is why we believe Exe Valley is now a far more interesting fishery since the big dig back in August.
But what do you think? This is your fishery after all. Is the fishing too hard now? Do more anglers want to be catching their fish in a couple of hours? Please use the comments section below to tell us what you think or contact me here.
And just before I sign off for another week, we have had several enquiries about purchasing gift vouchers as Christmas presents for both permits and tuition. Watch this space; I am aiming to have something live on the website by the end of this week or please call 01398 323008 and we can organise on the phone. And just before I go, the main update this week has been to improve the text font used (hopefully the site is easier to read now?) and the permit page has also been updated.
Thanks for reading and look out for more soon ... I have a few exciting bits of news lined up!