The BIG update – Exe Valley Fishery Report March 2016

Sorry folks, not sure what happened to March but just realised it is almost a month without a report!  Tons of news, so let’s get started with the top of the page.  Have you noticed the fresh new face of Exe Valley Fishery?

We thought that having dug 1000 tons of silt out of Anchor Lake last August and made a raft of other improvements to the fishery during the winter that it was about time to freshen up the branding for 2016.  Hope you all like it ... and team Exe Valley would like to say a huge rod bending thank you to the uber talented David Burton for coming up with our all new Trout badge. 

 Artist, angler and all round top bloke David Burton

Artist, angler and all round top bloke David Burton

A super passionate angler himself, David swapped his day job with a mouse for a date with the fly last week and joined me for opening day on the rivers.  But on the way back from the Exe we couldn't resist and stopped off for a cast on Anchor landing some super conditioned Rainbows that put a truly delicious curve into our lightweight river set ups.  And then it was back to the ranch for cake & tea ...

 Tea, bacon butties & Trout ... find all the good things in life at Exe Valley Fishery

Tea, bacon butties & Trout ... find all the good things in life at Exe Valley Fishery

... which is also undergoing some changes.  We have created a new room that is nearing completion and is available for anglers taking a break and now that our kitchen is almost finished it won’t be long before you can enjoy hard fighting fish ... and a bacon butty!

And you may need your strength as Team Snowbee found out last Friday as they enjoyed a get together to fish, talk fishing, try out tackle and of course there was a fairly steady stream of friendly banter throughout the day!  Here is well known West Country photographer Russ Symons capturing Andy Cottam as he tamed a lively three pounder on the newly christened Exe Shore.

 Russ Symons captures moments from the Team Snowbee day at Exe Valley

Russ Symons captures moments from the Team Snowbee day at Exe Valley

After a hot pie lunch and copious amounts of tea the afternoon session yielded the biggest fish of the day to Jay Curry, who was on fire, beating this full tailed lump with a four weight rod.  There have been so many good fish recently that it is difficult to choose between them, but here are a couple of my favourites for different reasons. 

 Jay Curry beat this brute on a 4 weight!

Jay Curry beat this brute on a 4 weight!

The first is to the rod of Ellis Hawks, enjoying a fishing holiday in the company of three generations of his family.  Doesn't that smile say it all?  That is bragging rights there, over a beer after blanking at a different fishery the day before when of course his family didn't spend the previous evening ribbing him about it at all!  But what makes this fish even more special is that it was only Ellis second ever Trout caught on fly, which also turned out to be the best of the day weighing 7lb on the nail.  Between the party of 7 they ended up with 23 fish!

 2nd ever Trout - Ellis Hawks looks properly chuffed with this 7 pounder.

2nd ever Trout - Ellis Hawks looks properly chuffed with this 7 pounder.

Next day we hosted a round of the Bank Master competition sponsored by Airflo, Costa & Snowbee and late in the morning all round gent Mike Ellis suddenly latched into something big using a home tied Black Tadpole.  A point based match, the specimen didn't help him win, eventually providing him with an 11th place finish but it has to be a Troutmasters contender for the month weighing in at 10lb 12oz.  To say Mike was thrilled was an understatement and he left with a picture that we printed of his prize fish beaming from ear to ear.  Love it.  Just awesome to see such a happy angler.  Well done Mike!

 Happy Angler - Mike Ellis with the best Rainbow Trout of the month so far - 10lb 12oz

Happy Angler - Mike Ellis with the best Rainbow Trout of the month so far - 10lb 12oz

 Is that fish going to fit in the bag?!!

Is that fish going to fit in the bag?!!

Back to the match and the eventual winner was Chris Short with 8 fish and 11 points.  This was a very well deserved top spot as Chris is without doubt our most regular angler and after 3 years supporting the event he finally took the top prize of £100 of boxed flies from competition organiser Iain Barr.

 Bank Masters - Left to Right: 2nd - Alan Jukes, 1st - Chris Short & 3 rd - Toby Bennett.  Far Right - £50 tagged Trout winner, Gavin Argyle.

Bank Masters - Left to Right: 2nd - Alan Jukes, 1st - Chris Short & 3 rd - Toby Bennett.  Far Right - £50 tagged Trout winner, Gavin Argyle.

In 2nd place was that man again, Alan Jukes, also on 11 points but with 6 fish and pipped by just 4oz the third spot went to Toby Bennett who also came 3rd in last year’s Greys Junior Bank National.  It is brilliant to see teenagers like Toby fishing the lake and doing so well and he was closely followed by another, 15 year old Sam Walker in 4th place with 5 fish and 9 points.   Overall 14 competitors banked 53 fish for a rod average of 3.8

The qualifiers will all head to Elinor fishery in April with the hope of winning the £2000 top prize.  Gavin Argyle was £1950 away on Sunday because he not only bagged himself a 6th place qualifying position (so he is in with a chance!) but also caught one of our tagged Trout during the match to win himself £50.00!  There are currently 2 fish tagged in Anchor Lake, including one Brown Trout which went in as part of this batch of stunning spotties stocked today. 

 Most recent stocking - 23rd March 2016 - a net of super condition Brown Trout make Anchor Lake their new home.

Most recent stocking - 23rd March 2016 - a net of super condition Brown Trout make Anchor Lake their new home.

Figures so far this month up to 23rd March are 289 fish have been caught by 88 anglers for a rod average of 3.3 with the best fish of 10lb 12oz caught by Mike Ellis and reported upon above.  Lots of flies working but Black lures such as the Minkie are still accounting for many of the larger fish and so too are Black Snakes.  White Dancers are another favourite but if you like to go imitative then a heavy buzzer on the point with another fished higher in the water on a dropper is well worth a go.  Want one of those Browns?  Buzzers might do well on a floater or midge tip but I still favour an intermediate, Humungus or Woolly Bugger and fish with long, smooth pulls.

And finally ... it is open!  Despite a 2 week delay the A396 route is reopening in time for the Easter break.  We are open throughout the holiday so if you are keen to see the changes and get amongst the kind of fish you see above please be assured that it is no longer necessary to take a long detour as of Thurs 24th March.  Please call 01398 323008 or visit Help & Info for up to date details.

Thanks for reading, have a great Easter & Best Fishes,

Nick.