Seniors & Juniors enjoying fantastic sport at Exe Valley – Catch Report to 23rd Oct 2016

It’s exactly a month since we reopened our doors at Anchor Lake and since then a whopping 262 rods have caught 594 Trout for an average of 2.3 fish per angler.

The fishing has been really interesting, mainly gin clear water offering testing conditions.  Some have struggled and not tried out the new deep water areas, while plenty of anglers have cracked it by exploring with fine leaders, small flies and slow retrieves to take their fish.  Big flies stripped fast have not been working well.

Showing the adults the way is up and coming junior angler Seth Mayhew-Tuson, age 16, who has just won our heat of the Greys Junior Bank National supported by the Angling Trust.  Seth has picked up many tips having become part of the England Youth Fly Fishing squad, using this knowledge to great effect to secure top spot with 3 fish weighing exactly 10lb. 

Seth with one of his winning Trout

Seth with one of his winning Trout

The fish were caught within 2 hours so Seth also gained himself an extra 2lb 8oz time bonus to finish well ahead of the field.  His successful tactics included an intermediate line and mixed up retrieve (mainly slow figure eight) with a combination of Blobs and Nymphs fished around the deep water inlet.

In second spot was last year’s third placed angler, Toby Bennett, with two fish weighing 5lb 14oz.  He caught these quickly, also in the deep water inlet using a floating line but couldn’t add to his bag before the match finished at 1pm.  Toby is studying fisheries management at college and is an incredible caster winning a major tournament earlier this year with a cast of 32 metres!

A very happy lad!  Charlie Cooper, age 10, with his third placed Trout

A very happy lad!  Charlie Cooper, age 10, with his third placed Trout

Meanwhile the youngest angler, Charlie Cooper, couldn’t get the fish to stick and lost 3 before finally netting a 2lb 14oz Trout to collect third prize of a fly line and line snips.  This was a fantastic effort and the ten year old will now progress on to the 2017 final to be held next April.  Charlie used an intermediate line to catch his fish and it was great to see Seth helping out the younger anglers after he had completed his limit.  This is what competition fly fishing is all about, sharing, learning and meeting new people.

Greys supplied some prizes but we also donated a few extras to ensure the top three anglers were rewarded for their efforts.  All 6 junior anglers received a fly box and line nippers courtesy of Greys, even though three of them did not manage to catch.  They all kept persevering though in very tough conditions including a bitterly cold North East Wind and spells of bright sunshine.

All the young anglers received some goodies for their efforts that we donated.  Fly Fishing tackle prizes were also supplied by Greys fly fishing and the event was supported by the Angling Trust

All the young anglers received some goodies for their efforts that we donated.  Fly Fishing tackle prizes were also supplied by Greys fly fishing and the event was supported by the Angling Trust

Special mention goes to James Mockridge who had a load of takes but couldn’t get the fish to stick this time.  Even so I was impressed by his never give up attitude and awarded him the most determined angler prize ... a Sushi dinner complete with chopsticks.  Take a close look and you will see it is the kid friendly version!

Our senior anglers have also been getting in on the action including some of my fly fishing school guests.  Terry and Dan had a great bag last week after I helped out with their casting before showing them the magic of the washing line technique fished nice and slow. 

Terry & Dan caught well during their fly fishing course, adding two further fish after this photo to complete their day with 7 in total.  All the Trout were landed using washing line tactics.

Terry & Dan caught well during their fly fishing course, adding two further fish after this photo to complete their day with 7 in total.  All the Trout were landed using washing line tactics.

John Hall bagged himself one of the best fish of the week at 7lbs during his third ever go at fly fishing.  John and I spent the morning casting and then we fished during the afternoon using Suspender Crunchers and Buzzers to seduce the Trout. 

Spectacular fun in spectacular autumnal weather which had us stripping down to shirt sleeves and applying the sunscreen.  It’s always great to see guests catching fish and to hear from them afterwards.  John said “Thank you so much for your time & effort yesterday, you have an amazing place”.  All part of the service John, we look forward to seeing you again soon!

Just his third time fly fishing!  John Hall from Bridgwater looks very happy with this stunning 7lb Rainbow caught on a Buzzer during glorious sunshine.

Just his third time fly fishing!  John Hall from Bridgwater looks very happy with this stunning 7lb Rainbow caught on a Buzzer during glorious sunshine.

Thanks also to everyone who has visited during the last few weeks.  The majority seem pleased with the work which we have carried out and plenty of new faces have been trying out the facilities including Mr Potter fishing this weekend.  He caught 5 fish weighing 14lbs and said “First time here and will definitely be back soon” Four of the bag took a Blue Flash Damsel and the limit was completed using a Buzzer.

Ian Nadin also used similar tactics and said “Nice Sport on Buzzers” with a 5 fish bag totalling 14lb 8oz while his fishing buddy Perry managed to get the Trout to chase lures also landing a 5 fish limit.  There are too many others to mention who have commented on their returns that they will be back soon.  I hope they do visit as the water temperatures are nice and low, the clarity exceptional and the Trout are fighting very hard indeed in the high oxygen conditions.  If you have not tried the lake since the work remember we are open throughout the autumn and winter; this really is prime time!

Look out for more updates and catch reports online soon via this website or for day by day catch news please check out facebook.  We are also on the end of the phone at 01398 323008 if you would like to find out how the lakes are fishing.

Thanks for reading & best fishes.

Nick.

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Anglers back in action on Anchor Lake - Opening week catch report to 23rd September 2016

It feels great to be sitting down at the keyboard to write up a catch report for the website after a gap of two months following the issues we experienced with Anchor Lake this summer.  I am pleased to report that we are now open as usual!

Currently there is no need to book and if we are not available in the lodge when you arrive please purchase a permit in the self serve facility and take advantage of the newly refurbished Anchor Lake.

So far at the time of writing, Friday 23rd Sept, 49 rods have visited the lakes enjoying some favourable autumn conditions.  At times the bright sun and a cool breeze have made the fishing tricky, but for those willing to search the depths and experiment with their tactics the rewards have been well worth the effort.

Opening Day

Best bag on opening day went to Ian Nadin who commented on his return card “What a fantastic mornings fishing.  Good Luck with the reworked lake”.  Ian caught his 5 fish weighing out at 20lb using a Drowned Daddy.  Just to show how fishing can change he returned a few days later for an afternoon session and found that the Trout would chase his fly but not take it!  His companion for that session, Perry Bamonte, did manage a couple but had to move around the lake experimenting with tactics to wet the net.

Light Leaders worth a go

Considering how much work has been carried out on the lakes during the last few weeks the clarity is unbelievable which is possibly the reason why fish are sometimes shying off heavy weight leaders or following flies and not taking them.  Spotting this issue local DJ Shaun Rowden dropped down to 4lb breaking strain and went looking for fish.  He found his prize in the form of a 6lb 4oz full tailed Rainbow which took a Montana.  I was lucky enough to spot Shaun netting his fish and did the honours with the lens while listening to the excited story of the catch!  Shaun said he was literally shaking with excitement.

Shaun Rowden with the 6lb 4oz Rainbow he stalked during a beautiful day on Anchor Lake

Young anglers catching BIG fish!

Another good catch went to Alfie Chapman, just 13 years old but already reeling in the big ones in the form of a 9lb Rainbow which was part of a 9 fish haul weighing 36lbs, caught during a day out with his Dad.  The fish has been entered into the Trout Fisherman Junior Troutmaster competition which we are crossing rods he does well in and reaches the final.  One of our star young anglers, James Mockridge, did just that this year and wound up being one of the top 5 anglers in the country.  He was then selected to try out for the England Youth team and was just 2 places away from making the cut.  A fantastic achievement and no doubt he will make the team in future seasons.

Star Angler - James Mockridge is one to watch!

Enter the Greys Junior Bank National

Sticking with our young anglers for the moment I am pleased to announce that once again a heat of the Greys Junior Bank National will be held at Exe Valley Fishery on Sunday 23rd October 2016.  This is a great way for young anglers to meet new friends, experience competition fishing for the first time or perhaps even add to their list of successes. 

There are 6 regional heats and we are very proud to offer the South West option here for up to 15 anglers.  Three anglers from each heat will go through to the final to be held at one of the top stillwaters in the UK, Ellerdine Fishery , on Sunday 9th April 2017.  If your son, daughter, grandchild or any young people you know might be interested in taking part please see the Angling Trust Junior Bank National website for further info and download an entry form here.  The entry fee for the Exe Valley heat is just £5 and that includes the permit and fantastic prizes sponsored by Greys!  Please do support this important event; young anglers are the future of fishing.

Double Delight

Finally we are not a big fish water but we do stock a few in the hope that someone will get lucky and latch into a monster, just like Dr Mike Webster did back in April when he landed our record Brown Trout of 14lb 10oz.  No records have fallen this week and I have missed a couple of doubles with the lens but fortunately was on hand when John Gilmore landed a 10lb 6oz Rainbow on an Intermediate line using a Goldhead Orange Lure.  The fish put up some fight and was tamed on a 9 foot 6 line rod.  Not content with just the double, John also bagged another quality fish of 7lb 4oz and left the car park with a bass busting 24lb bag!

A very happy John Gilmore with one of the first double figure Trout following the reopening of Anchor Lake at Exe Valley Fishery.

Huge thanks to all of you who have supported the fishery this week and visited for a session.  The onset of some cold autumnal weather has not always made for easy sport but those anglers willing to try out varied tactics on the new look lake have been rewarded. 

If you are thinking of visiting soon, packing an Intermediate line would be well advised although if the temp rises definitely try a static dry fly or twitch a Blue Flash Damsel just sub surface.  White & Yellow Dancers have also been working and Buzzers are worth a go, especially if the fish start following but not taking lures.   

I don’t have the exact statistics as anglers are still out there fishing currently but so far 49 rods have accounted for 101 fish for an average of 2.1 Plenty of fish have alluded capture following the initial stocking and another 100 Trout have been introduced this week so if they switch on the weekend could be very good indeed!

Until next time, thanks for reading and best fishes.

Nick at Exe Valley Fishery.

11lb Trout landed, Greys Junior Bank National & New Catch Report up to 16th Aug 2015

I have to say, it only seems like yesterday that I was writing last week’s report! The summer is marching on and September is knocking at the door, but the lakes are looking beautiful and the fishing has been excellent. So, here I am again sifting all of your lovely comments and catch returns to bring you another weekly update from Exe Valley.  First up some stats - 56 anglers visited this week catching 108 fish for a rod average of 1.93

Thank you for visiting and sending in the photo Duane - what a bag of fish!

Thank you for visiting and sending in the photo Duane - what a bag of fish!

I’ll open the comments and catch returns with an email we received from Duane Prentice. Duane pays us an annual visit whilst on holiday from Ipswich, and has done so for the last three years since he first visited and took out one of our hire kits, progressing with his skills and interest he then upgraded a year later to one of our Hardy Jet fly rods!

Duane often succeeds at Exe Valley and this week was no exception as he completed a cracking limit of 5 fish, the heaviest being a 7lb 8oz hog! All fish fell to an indicator set up using a blob for bite detection and a smaller fly on the dropper. Four of the fish took an Olive Buzzer and the largest took a red and gold Diawl Bach Nymph. He was clearly chuffed with the sport he experienced and rounded off his complimentary email with “I would just like to say a big thank you on a superb fishery and for getting me that fly fishing bug back”. Well Duane, thanks for visiting and we look forwards to seeing you again next year!

Duane was not the only angler to bank some our beautiful and hard fighting fish this week, as Lewin Heaven-Ince took 5 fish for 18lbs, accompanied by Ben Roberts who also had five fish but for a total of 21lbs including a stunning 6 pounder. David Wood fell one short of his limit but still enjoyed his day as he commented “Very good, lovely spot”.

The biggest fish of the week was landed by Tim Ahern who banked a 11lb beast on Tuesday and continued the day by catching four more fish, reaching a total weight of 25lbs and said “Great day thanks!” The big fish continued to be fooled by our anglers as Will Atkins took a plump 6lb 2oz fish as part of a 14lbs 2oz bag of three and Jenny Harris had a single 5 pounder. Not only have we seen a lot of big fish landed this week, but the average stamp of fish has been up to the usual Exe Valley standard as Adam Smale found out during a trip to celebrate his birthday (which he did in style!), leaving with 5 fish for 16lb.  Regular Peter Bridges had another cracking day on Anchor lake taking 4 fish for 13 ½ lb and noted “Great fishing, great fish, good value”. Another regular Paul Tiso also paid us a visit and did his usual damage on the buzzers ending the day with 5 fish for an enormous 27lb 8oz, accompanied by Paul Stark who had a lovely 3lb fish from Anchor and proceeded to bag up on Lobbs lake finishing up with 12lbs on the nose.

Best Fish of the Week - 11lb Rainbow to Tim Ahern of Collumpton

Best Fish of the Week - 11lb Rainbow to Tim Ahern of Collumpton

Now comes some very exciting news!  Last week we hosted the annual RETA Junior day and now we have more news regarding our efforts to inspire young people to go fly fishing.  It is with great pleasure that we can announce that The Greys Junior Bank National will be coming to Exe Valley Fishery for the South West regional heat on Sunday 25th October 2015. In this competition organised by the Angling Trust and supported by Sport England, under 16’s have the chance to qualify for the national final in Shropshire!

Enter the South West heat of the Greys Junior Bank Fly Fishing Competition - coming to Exe Valley Fishery on Sunday 25th October 2015

Enter the South West heat of the Greys Junior Bank Fly Fishing Competition - coming to Exe Valley Fishery on Sunday 25th October 2015

Three junior anglers will qualify for the final from each heat, and with only 15 entrants allowed be sure to come and see us to get yourself signed up without delay! Entry forms available at the lakes or we can email you a copy.  Over £100’s worth of prizes have been supplied by Greys for the heat and the final event has prizes of over £1,500! It’s brilliant that competitions and events like this are now being organised to encourage young anglers into the sport; it’s just what Nick & I love to see and we can’t wait to host the event.  Oh and did we mention the entry fee ... just £5 per head and that includes the fishing permit!!!

Father & Son team Steve & Adam Morley with the result of their 1 day fly fishing course.  Well done guys!

Father & Son team Steve & Adam Morley with the result of their 1 day fly fishing course.  Well done guys!

Nick has also been very busy hosting fly fishing courses on the shores of the lake and during this week the diary has been particularly packed.  Best catch went to father & son team Steve & Adam Morley from Hackney who stayed at the renowned Swan Inn and managed to bank 5 fish including a six pounder for Adam on his first ever day spent fly fishing!  It was a particularly memorable course and we have found that Adam is not just a talent with a fly rod ... believe it or not he has also helped Jamie Oliver show the world how to Chop an Onion!  Yes Its Funny!

Rounding off this report with a little bit of meteorology, our local readers will know that we have had a lot of rain lately! Don’t let this put you off.  We are fed by the river Barle, and a little extra water flowing through freshens things up, introducing cool oxygenated conditions which the fish love! Water clarity is fantastic as usual. It looks as we will have some variable weather arriving this next week, with rain showers & changeable winds so pack your coat!! If you are new to the sport or struggle with casting simply position yourself with your back to the wind. If you visit during over cast conditions dry flies should not be ignored; especially on a warm flat calm day.

That’s it from Nick and me ... Sam Baycock, for another week, we hope to see you soon & Best Fishes!