New Children’s Permits available at Exe Valley Fishery just in time for the bank holiday

It’s been a busy few weeks at Exe Valley fishery as finally we have experienced something like late spring weather.  This has got the fish up and feasting on fly so those prepared to try a dry have often been rewarded.

Small buzzers under indicators have also accounted for plenty of fish and if lures are your thing they will often work early morning.  By afternoon something a little more subtle might be required, try these Foam Head Crunchers, they are deadly!

Foam Head Crunchers - fish 2 on a 14ft leader and let the wind/current drift them along with a slow retrieve

Foam Head Crunchers - fish 2 on a 14ft leader and let the wind/current drift them along with a slow retrieve

Lots of great comments again this month as 155 anglers have tried their luck so far to 24th May including J Ratcliffe from Exmouth who said “very enjoyable, lovely tidy set up” after catching his 2 fish limit.  Len Woodland had “A very enjoyable time at a very attractive venue” leaving with a brace of fish. Paul Griffiths on holiday from Fishguard landed a 2 fish bag weighing 8lb 8oz with a best of 6lb and joined the long list of “will be back again” comments along with local angler Ian Nadin who said “Greats mornings fishing again!  I’ll be back”, after a full bag of 5 that pulled the scales to 16lb.

First Trout on fly for Brent Stephen - a 6lb beauty which took a Blue Damsel fished on a floating line.

First Trout on fly for Brent Stephen - a 6lb beauty which took a Blue Damsel fished on a floating line.

My fly fishing course guests have been getting amongst the fish including this lovely 6 pounder for Brent Stephen, the first fish he has ever landed on fly and we have had some great events such as the UK Hydrographic Office visit when 13 anglers took over Anchor Lake for the day.

The UK Hydrgraphic Office enjoy a day fly fishing at Exe Valley Fishery ...

The UK Hydrgraphic Office enjoy a day fly fishing at Exe Valley Fishery ...

... and some amazing weather

... and some amazing weather

Which brings me on to our new permits! Following the extensive work carried out on Anchor Lake last year we now have a designated permit.  There is much more room to fish on Anchor and since the work Lobbs Lake has seen very little action.  The current prices of 2 fish - £25, 3 Fish - £30, 4 Fish - £32 & 5 Fish £34.00 will remain but these permits will only be valid for fishing on Anchor Lake.

Meanwhile a brand new permit has been introduced which is aimed specifically at young anglers, although we welcome novices to purchase these permits and if you want some Trout for the BBQ the fish stocked into Lobbs will be of an ideal size.  This new Lobbs Lake only permit is available for fly fishing, spinning & bait with the following prices:

1 Fish - £ 8.00

2 Fish - £12.00

3 Fish - £15.00

4 Fish - £18.00

And there is more.  Up to 2 children of 14 years or below can share the bag limit of the Lobbs Lake permit! 

The new Lobbs Lake Permit - ideal for young & novice anglers keen to experience the thrill of a fish!

The new Lobbs Lake Permit - ideal for young & novice anglers keen to experience the thrill of a fish!

The forecast looks reasonable for the upcoming holiday so why not introduce your sons, daughters, grand children, nieces & nephews to fishing?  So many people seem to feel that children will find fishing boring but at Lobbs lake they have a great chance of catching.

It doesn't have to be fly fishing and once their first fish has been hooked I bet they will want to do it all over again, which is now very affordable with fish from just £4.50 each when purchasing our new 4 fish Lobbs Lake ticket.

Keep up to date with the changes as they happen on our designated permit page and click the link here for more on Lobbs Lake.  And please note that the A396 road is now fully opened!

As always if you would like further info and to check if the fishery is open etc before making the journey please call us on 01398 323008

Hope you have a tight line this holiday!

Nick.

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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.

Exe Valley Troutmasters Heat 2016 – Results & Catch Report to 28th Feb

It has been a busy week at the fishery as the improved weather inspired anglers to get ready for the new season.  62 fished during the last 7 days, catching a haul of 211 fish, slightly improving last week’s average to 3.4 per rod. 

Overall up to 28th Feb the 3.4 fish per rod average was maintained by 140 anglers catching 475 Trout, a new February record.  This is a great total and I would like to thank everyone who has supported the fishery during not only poor weather but the A396 road closure (more later). 

Ready for the off - Troutmasters pegs for the Exe Valley Fishery 2016 Fish Off

Ready for the off - Troutmasters pegs for the Exe Valley Fishery 2016 Fish Off

Main event this month was the first of our competitions as 15 anglers got together to decide the Exe Valley Troutmasters Fish Off winner for 2016.  The field consisted of 13 adults and two young rods, William Gentle &  James Mockridge.  No stranger to success, James landed himself a prize during the Greys Junior Bank National in October 2015 while Will took fish to 5lb 8oz during his last visit.

At 9am the whistle was blown and the entrants (who qualified by catching a big fish in 2015) began fishing the first of 8 half hour sessions, moving 4 pegs every 30 minutes, to ensure everyone had a fair chance to try different areas of Anchor Lake.

It was dry but a bitterly cold NE wind was making things tricky, as the late winter sun cast a harsh light across the water.  Tough conditions to say the least, especially after the mild temperatures we have been experiencing recently.  Even so, a few rods began to bend and it was clear, from the off, that fish were spread around the lake.

A rare sight this winter - the sun!  It was cold in a brisk North East wind but 11 year old James Mockridge (above) didn't let the conditions stand in the way of success.

A rare sight this winter - the sun!  It was cold in a brisk North East wind but 11 year old James Mockridge (above) didn't let the conditions stand in the way of success.

Some competitors stuck it out with floating lines, but the most successful tactics required an intermediate or medium sink line to be fished deep and slow.  The new depth and areas of fishing has really changed how matches play out and throughout the day several competitors were in with a chance.   By the end of the 4 morning sessions Alan Jukes was out in front with 5 of a possible 6 fish limit caught using Bead Minkies & Squirmy Worms, while several others were on 2 or 3 Trout. 

Meanwhile junior angler James Mockridge was off the mark with a lovely Rainbow he landed using a Black Lure.  There were tense moments as a very fit Trout made a determined effort to throw the hook but eventually James had his prize nestling safely in the net.

Proud Dad - Dean Mockridge with his son James and the Trout which helped him to win the 2016 Exe Valley Junior Troutmasters Fish Off

Proud Dad - Dean Mockridge with his son James and the Trout which helped him to win the 2016 Exe Valley Junior Troutmasters Fish Off

Following a change of tactics to an intermediate Mary Ratcliffe got her first and as it turned out, only fish of the day, although it was the heaviest of the match at 4lb 12oz.  However it definitely was not the biggest hooked.  That prize would go to Richard Burt who has had some great bags in recent weeks, although this time his luck ran out when a huge fish lured by a Black Snake Fly thrashed at the surface, crash dived and threw the hook.  It turned out to be a costly loss as Richard was one of three anglers to land 4 fish and the specimen would have earned him top spot and a chance to fish the Grafham final.

Mary Ratcliffe with the best Trout of the match - a beautifully marked Rainbow weighing 4lb 12oz

Mary Ratcliffe with the best Trout of the match - a beautifully marked Rainbow weighing 4lb 12oz

Eventually the winner turned out to be Alan Jukes, a previous winner back in 2014, he had to hang on by the skin of his teeth as he struggled for his last fish while several other competitors began to catch up in the afternoon, most notably Mike Kennedy who qualified with this 10lb Trout in November last year.  Mike ended on 5, followed by John Ewington with 4, Richard Burt with 4 and Rob Grisley, also with 4.

A last gasp Trout for Rob Grisley fishing Peg 9 in the afternoon

A last gasp Trout for Rob Grisley fishing Peg 9 in the afternoon

Overall it was a very fair competition with the top 5 anglers all in with a real chance of taking the crown in a match that produced 35 fish for an average of 2.3 fish per angler.  Huge congrats to Alan and good luck in the final plus I would like to make a special mention of our young entrants, James & Will. 

Unfortunately Will didn't manage to catch and James could not add to his first Trout, but neither of the boys gave up in very cold conditions.  They are a credit to young anglers and it was fantastic to see how much encouragement the adults gave these boys.  We need more like them!

Exe Valley Fishery 2016 Troutmasters Fish Off Winners - James Mockridge (Left) and Alan Jukes (Right)

Exe Valley Fishery 2016 Troutmasters Fish Off Winners - James Mockridge (Left) and Alan Jukes (Right)

Lots of other news and great comments but this post is lengthening quickly so I will finish off the fishing for this week with Ivor Topps lovely Brown Trout of 5lb 8oz.   It’s much bigger brother continues to evade capture (tantalising anglers again today!) and I have also stocked 3 more tagged Trout.  One of these fish was caught yesterday but two more roam Anchor Lake winning £50 for just a £1 entry fee.

Ivor Topps lovely Brown Trout of 5lb 8oz

Ivor Topps lovely Brown Trout of 5lb 8oz

Finally, I had posted details of a diversion via Stoodleigh to Exe Valley following the closure of the A396 at Cove.  Due to dangerous driving and accidents these directions are no longer valid as one of the lanes featured in the original directions has been closed by Highways. 

However there is a very convenient route via Tiverton Old Road which is available by looking at this page and can also be printed by clicking this link – Tiverton Old Road Directions to Exe Valley Fishery.  Use these directions if you are approaching from J27 of the A361.  Thanks as always to the anglers who have made the detour.  The full closure is not going to be in place for much longer as the road reopens on 12th March 2016.

I can’t quite believe that February has been and gone.  We have welcomed a record number of anglers for the time of year and as the nights begin to draw out we are looking forward to some more great fishing at the lakes and some additions to the services that we provide.  Sign up using the form on this page (see top right) for regular updates and if the Troutmasters report has inspired you to have a go at fishing in a competition why not get involved with our Bank Masters heat on 20th March?  Find out more about the bank masters competition here.

Thanks for reading & best fishes,

Nick

01398 323008

(Below) Full Results - 2016 Exe Valley Fishery Troutmasters Fish Off


More improvements to the fishery, more big fish & catch report to 31st Jan 2016

As seems to be the case with January, it starts off slowly and before we know it, February is upon us.  And with much to occupy me here at the lakes during the run towards the main season I managed to miss uploading a report last week.  So this weekend usual service is resumed with a round-up of what’s been going on at Exe Valley Fishery recently.

Despite the weather there have been a healthy number of anglers turning up to wet a line, taking advantage of the high oxygen levels which mean our Trout are fighting even harder than usual!  Including winter season ticket holders 40 anglers have visited over the last couple of weeks catching 148 fish for an average of 3.7 fish per rod.

John Clarke with a fin perfect 8lb January Rainbow Trout from  Anchor Lake

John Clarke with a fin perfect 8lb January Rainbow Trout from Anchor Lake

One of the best fish I have seen landed is this fin perfect 8lb Rainbow to the rod of John Clarke fishing during the last weekend of January, resulting in a total bag of 5 for 22lb 4oz.  The successful pattern was a White Snake Fly fished from the main point.  John said that the big fish fought like a Salmon for several minutes and that his heart was in his mouth as it was a barbless fly!  John is no stranger to our big fish landing another stunner back in December, this time on a Pink Snake.  His fishing buddy John Clarke also got in on the action that day with a 6lb 6oz Rainbow and again this weekend took another of 6lb in a 10lb 8oz bag of 3.

Other notable catches in the last couple of weeks include Dean Mockridge with 2 for 11lb 8oz, including a possible Troutmaster winner of 9lb.  Not to be out done Deans eleven year old son James, who is a bit of a young angling star, also caught a brace of lovely Trout weighing 10lb 8oz in total, with his best at 5lb 8oz. 

Meanwhile Gerry Manser visited for a second weekend in a row and managed a 3 fish bag of 19lb 8oz including Trout of 9lb 8oz, 6lb 8oz and 3lb 8oz, leaving the comment that “it was a brill day, even better than last week!!!”

Mark Thompson from Dulverton also had a 5 pounder in his full bag of three; Trevor Ball said he had an “excellent day” with 5 fish for 22lbs while Rob Wilkinson took a best Trout of 6lb in a 5 fish haul that totalled 16lb.  Rob also very helpfully made a note of his successful flies  on his return which included 2 fish on a Cats Whisker, 2 on a Woolly Bugger and 1 to a Bloodworm and he finished off by saying “Beautiful sunny day – hard to beat!

Cats Whiskers definitely seem to be a favourite at the moment, but don’t forget the Snake Fly and as one of our regulars Alan Jukes found during his most recent session, a Squirmy Worm might catch when all else fails. 

Top fly line still seems to be a Floater amongst most of the anglers that I speak to, although it is worth changing to a sinker, especially after changes in water & temperature conditions.  Even if using a floater, it is definitely the case that most of the big fish are being caught after the fly has been counted down with a mixed up slow retrieve.

The lake continues to fish all around but hot spots are; the main outlet, point and new platforms over on the river side of the lake.  Just recently I have improved the platforms with the addition of a layer of pea gravel to save damaging both expensive lines and muddy boots, while some further deepening with a mini excavator has taken place around the edges.  And if you value your alloys then you will be pleased to know that the potholes on the lane have also been fixed!

Improved fishing platforms on Anchor Lake

Improved fishing platforms on Anchor Lake

Talking of driving please take note regarding the road closure around Cove on the main A396.  The official detour is mammoth and would require around 30 + minutes extra travel time, but fortunately there is an alternative route.  We have provided directions here which can be downloaded and printed out.  We also hear that the main closure is temporary from 1st Feb to 12th March and then a convoy system will be in place from 9.30am to 3.30pm each day.

Troutmasters entries are steadily increasing, please let us know if you will be attending the heat on Sunday 28th Feb 16, letters have been sent out by the magazine recently and to keep up to date with what’s going on please see the events page, which includes news of the Bank Masters competition taking place here on Sunday 20th March.

Tagged Trout continue to roam the lake, including some of the fish stocked back in December.  Richard Burt was the latest lucky angler, using a Black Blob fished under an indicator to outwit a five pounder with a Green tag to take home a tenner.  That leaves 2 Red Tag Trout in the lake both winning £20 and 3 others with a Green Tag worth £10 each to the lucky captors.  The cash pool has grown considerably so very soon there will be more tagged Trout roaming Anchor Lake; watch this space!

Richard Burt heads home with a very nice bag of Trout and wins a tenner into the bargain! Happy Days!

Richard Burt heads home with a very nice bag of Trout and wins a tenner into the bargain! Happy Days!

Finally each month we run a permit draw which is free to enter, simply fill out your return in full after a day’s fishing and post in the box.  At the end of the month we draw out a winner which I am pleased to announce in Jan 2016 is Sam Walker from Sampford Peverell.  Well done Sam, a complimentary 5 fish permit will be in the post this week!

As always thank you for reading and we hope to welcome you to the fishery soon.

Nick.