Exe Valley Fishery voted one of the Top 50 Stillwater Trout Fisheries in the UK

It looks like the work to improve Exe Valley Fishery and most notably Anchor Lake is paying off as the venue has just been voted as one of the Top 100 UK Stillwaters by the Trout Fisherman magazine.  In fact the fishery entered the top 50, reaching 42nd place, even better news, this year the water remains open to anglers after last year’s disastrous summer when I had to close.  There is no doubt that the cooler air and heavy rainfall have helped, but extensive work to clear weed has also assisted.

Exe Valley Fishery - Enters into the Top 50 Stillwater Trout Fisheries in the UK

Exe Valley Fishery - Enters into the Top 50 Stillwater Trout Fisheries in the UK

Just yesterday I was down teaching Robin “Cooky” Cook from Wales and he caught several fish on a mixture of Buzzers & Tequilla Blobs.  No need to pull them fast, just throw out and figure 8 slowly, using any wind present to help drift the flies. 

Cooky couldn’t believe the power of our fish, especially considering it is summer and says he will be making the journey across the border and heading South to enjoy some sessions at Exe Valley.  Today Cooky and I we were on the river (which was also noted in the TF blurb about the fishery) and he landed his first ever Grayling.  The River beat is only lightly fished and available on a separate permit although booking well in advance is essential.

"Cooky" with his first Grayling from the River Exe which flows past the fishery.  He also caught several fish the day before using Buzzers & Tequilla Blobs on  Anchor Lake .

"Cooky" with his first Grayling from the River Exe which flows past the fishery.  He also caught several fish the day before using Buzzers & Tequilla Blobs on Anchor Lake.

Meanwhile John “The Snakeman” Clarke has been back in action on the lakes using his favourite pink snake fly to good effect, bagging 5 fish to 3lb 8oz and seemed very happy leaving the comment “Brilliant morning, credit to all the effort moving the weed”.   Johns mate ( John Slaven) also bagged 5 to 4lbs fishing Buzzers and said “After a long spell of DIY it is nice to be back and not disappointed

Apologies that this current report is going to be brief, I am very busy with tuition and have to get organised ready for the next visitors.  So in summary head to Exe Valley and move around the lake using Buzzers, Blobs, Dries and nymphs such as the Diawl Bach and chances are you will enjoy some good sport. 

Anchor Lake is closed on Monday 7th August for a junior fishing day - reopening as usual on Tuesday 8th August 2017

Anchor Lake is closed on Monday 7th August for a junior fishing day - reopening as usual on Tuesday 8th August 2017

Just before I sign off please note that ANCHOR LAKE WILL BE CLOSED ON MONDAY 7th AUGUST 2017 for a junior fishing day.  The fishery is open this weekend and will be again on Tuesday 8th Aug as normal.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at one of the Top 50 stillwaters in the UK very soon!

Nick.

Keep up to date online here at the website and also on the Exe Valley Fishery Facebook page

Another great month of Fly Fishing action

Another month has passed far too quickly at Exe Valley with the first taste of summer now upon us.  Although some inevitable weed has appeared during the hot spell Anchor Lake continues to provide excellent sport.  The deep areas are looking in better condition than this time last year and up to today, 27th May 17, 147 anglers have caught 547 Trout for a very healthy rod average of 3.7 fish per person.

Rick Price with a fin perfect slab of a Rainbow Trout caught while fishing  Anchor Lake

Rick Price with a fin perfect slab of a Rainbow Trout caught while fishing Anchor Lake

Thank you to Rick Price of Taunton for sending in the picture of this cracker which he caught in Littlebrook Bay.  Rick said “What a brilliant day.  Thank you!”  And there have been plenty more happy anglers with a lot of new faces amongst them, often commenting on their returns that they will be returning to enjoy the hard fighting fish we offer here at Exe Valley in beautiful surroundings.

Rob Weaver from Bishops Lydeard caught and released 4 fish and said “Great mornings sport – 4 fish all around 2lb.  Daughter caught her first Trout!  We will be back” while Jeff Evans from Burnham on Sea said “Great Day Fishing.  Great Surroundings.  Will be Back.  5 Star”  Andrew Seal drove all the way from Radstock and was not disappointed landing a total of 8 fish to 5lb 8oz, returning 3 of them and leaving the comment “First time here & will definitely be back.  Lost more than I caught but great fun on the surface”

Andrews comment is a positive take on the need to use the right tactics to catch.  Quite a few returns simply said “Hard Fishing” although many of the anglers commenting as such had caught their limits!  My aim here at Exe Valley Fishery is to provide good sport which requires some thought about tactics.  15lb leaders and great big goldheads are unlikely to work.  Leaders of 6lb to 8lb and a much more subtle approach are likely to score, with a great deal of fish now succumbing to dry fly tactics and nymphs such as the Diawl Bach.  Mr Bellamy from Wiveliscombe put it perfectly after releasing 6 fish with the comment “Good Fish.  Good Challenge”

Andy & Carl caught 8 fish between them using washing line tactics, Hopper Booby on the point and Crank Shank Buzzer on the dropper.

Andy & Carl caught 8 fish between them using washing line tactics, Hopper Booby on the point and Crank Shank Buzzer on the dropper.

Just this week I used imitative tactics while guiding Andy & Carl from the Birmingham area.  We had to experiment with a couple of different fly patterns and in the end enjoyed some great sport using a washing line consisting of a Black Hopper Booby on the point and a simple Crank Shank Buzzer on the dropper.  Fish fell to both patterns and the takes were fantastic; not to mention the fighting qualities of these fish!

If you are interested in improving your casting techniques please see my website Nick Hart Fly Fishing for details and check out this recent article written by the editor Russell Hill and published in the most recent issue (496) of Trout Fisherman magazine. 

Find out how to get started fly fishing - see Trout Fisherman magazine Issue 496

Find out how to get started fly fishing - see Trout Fisherman magazine Issue 496

Talking of the magazine many congrats to the most recent Troutmasters badge winners (issue 496 & 497) who will be invited to attend next year’s fish off competition

Richard Quick, 10lb 0oz Rainbow, Snake Fly  

Alan Jukes, 8lb 14oz Rainbow, Damsel

Keith Ratcliffe, 8lb 8oz Rainbow, Alley Cat

Michael Wright, Lympstone, 8lb 0oz Rainbow, Damsel

Daniel Stocker, Ashburton, 7lb 0oz Rainbow, Black Buzzer

Oliver Smith, Surrey, 5lb 8oz Rainbow, Orange Pheasant Tail Nymph

More updates are posted to the Exe Valley Facebook Page during the month and please make note of Saturday 3rd June 2017. 

Anchor Lake will be closed for one day on SATURDAY 3rd JUNE 2017 for a special event and I would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience.  The lake will reopen for business as usual on SUNDAY 4th JUNE 2017

Thanks for reading and I hope the next month offers you some great fishing.

Nick Hart.

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.

Keep up to date - Find Exe Valley Fishery on Facebook

Great fishing in improving weather - catch report to 3rd May 2016

As the season gathers some pace and the weather improves ... a little, there haven’t been enough hours in the day to post up to the minute reports as my diary is crammed with teaching & guiding.  So I am going to try a slightly new style with the key info and some pix to keep you all updated with the latest catches and news from the fishery.

First up you might have spotted Exe Valley Fishery in the Trout Fisherman magazine this month?  If not check out issue 483, pages 34 to 37 and a cracking article by the West Countries Russ Symons, the longest serving contributor to TF.  There are some great bits of advice plus a few new flies to try.

Article shot at Exe Valley Fishery by Russ Symons featured in this months Trout Fisherman magazine.

Article shot at Exe Valley Fishery by Russ Symons featured in this months Trout Fisherman magazine.

Sticking with Trout Fisherman for a moment it was a great pleasure to welcome the editor, Russell Hill last week and photographer Peter Gathercole.  We had a ball even though it was windy and cold. 

Tom Hendy has his big fish snapped by TF photograoher Peter Gathercole

Tom Hendy has his big fish snapped by TF photograoher Peter Gathercole

The sun shone though and a good few decent fish hit the bank including Tom Hendys personal best of 13lb 8oz which he caught on a home tied fly featuring a Rainbow bead.  Tom said “What can I say.  Personal best of 13 1/2lb.  Only decided to come at last minute.  Good decision”  Look out for the full feature in a future issue of Trout Fisherman.

Star of the Day - Tom Hendy with a double caught during the Trout Fisherman visit

Star of the Day - Tom Hendy with a double caught during the Trout Fisherman visit

Well done to this month’s Troutmaster badge winners Lukasz Adamczyk with a 12lb 10oz Rainbow on a UV Olive Bead Damsel, Michael Ellis from Minehead with a cracking 10lb 12oz Rainbow in 2nd place and finally Peter Bridges who did not make double figures but used a Rainbow Fly to take 3rd spot with a fish of 8lb 3oz .  All fish caught between 21st Feb to 20th March 16. 

Tom Hendy will be in with a shot of claiming a badge in the next round with his double, another of 13lb 6oz fell to Roger Bowskill and Colin Wayman banked a fin perfect beauty of 12lb 4oz but is doubtful that this fish will make the cut!

A razor finned double of 12lb 4oz for Colin Wayman but it probably wont be big enough to win him a Troutmasters badge!

A razor finned double of 12lb 4oz for Colin Wayman but it probably wont be big enough to win him a Troutmasters badge!

The BIG news of course in recent weeks is that finally our record Brown Trout was caught.  Stocked back in November 2015, it finally got it wrong in mid April, taking a Hares Ear nymph fished by Mike Webster.  The huge 14lb 10oz fish spent an hour trying to throw the hook but in the end I was very happy to slip the net under Mikes prize.  Read the full story here.

The current Exe Valley Fishery record Brown Trout of 14lb 10oz caught in April 2016

The current Exe Valley Fishery record Brown Trout of 14lb 10oz caught in April 2016

Looking through the returns top flies to try at the moment include Blue Damsels, Palmered Goldhead Cats and of course Buzzers.  We have had some great hatches, signified by the airborne feeding frenzy of Martins & Swallows with the Trout feasting below.  When the wind is strong fish fluorocarbon to keep the flies down a little and one or two Buzzers, chuck them out and let them swing on the wind.  Easy & effective!

It’s always great to receive feedback from our anglers and without a doubt the top comment seems to be “I will be back”.  Take Steve Thompson for instance who said “A day off the planet.  Stress Free and lovely.  I will be back.”  We look forward to seeing you Steve and well done on your bag limit of 5 fish for 14lbs.  Robert Stevens took a 21lb bag of 5 fish and said “What a wonderful day.  Dry flies went really well as did Buzzers.  Weather was very kind.  I’ll be back” and David Beavey got a double amongst his 5 for 22lbs leaving the comment that the “last fish, a 10 pounder, made my day.  As the saying goes “I will be back!!” 

This is just a small amount of the great comments we receive, thanks to all who take the time to write a few words and remember that completing your return might just land you a prize.  This month John Melrose from Minehead was first out of the hat for April and wins a complimentary 5 Fish Permit, which is even better as he caught 2 fish previously and it was his first ever day fly fishing ... so have a 2nd day on the house!  Meanwhile tagged Trout continue to be caught and the latest £50 prize winner is Richard Carr from Wiveliscombe.  Just add a £1 to your permit fee to be in with a chance!

Anchor lake fitted out with its new wooden sign 

Anchor lake fitted out with its new wooden sign 

And finally we have some new signs on the lake and the road closures on the A396 are drawing to a close.  The last closure is from today 3rd May 2016 to Sat 14th May 2016, please see here for latest info & reportsHowever please note: the road is only closed from 9.30am to 3.30pm.  Prior to these times it is possible to use the main route via Cove on the A396 and all you will have to negotiate is traffic lights rather than a 45 minute detour.  The fishery is open as usual and fishing well, but please note that Anchor Lake will be closed all day on Thursday 5th May for a private event.

... and Lobbs!  We think they are very eye catching and would like to thank Rob of Anstey Gates for his superb craftsmanship.  If you need a wooden sign call him on 07816 966494

... and Lobbs!  We think they are very eye catching and would like to thank Rob of Anstey Gates for his superb craftsmanship.  If you need a wooden sign call him on 07816 966494

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 month of wet nets!

Nick.

Keep up to date - Find Exe Valley Fishery on Facebook

Stats for April 2016 are 155 anglers caught 487 fish for a rod average of 3.1