Fishing Report & join our special event on Saturday 10th Dec 2016

November has got off to a fine start at Exe Valley with plenty of good weather and of course at this time of year the fish are in tip top condition.  This one weighing in at 7lb 12oz was caught just a couple of hours ago by Richard Mason from Dawlish using a Black & Green Lure. 

Richard Mason - 11th Nov 16 - 7lb 12oz Rainbow caught on a sink tip line and a Black & Green Lure.

Richard Mason - 11th Nov 16 - 7lb 12oz Rainbow caught on a sink tip line and a Black & Green Lure.

Richard looks more than pleased with his stunning Rainbow and Andi Avery below was even happier!  Andi visited for a two day fly fishing course during the week and took to the casting so well that by lunchtime we had a fly in the water. 

After half an hour and a couple of missed takes the line suddenly tightens up and a pretty Blue Trout is cart wheeling across Anchor Lake.  But it was not just the fish Andi netted but £50 in cash because he had landed a tagged Trout!  A couple of days later he returned to spend his winnings achieving a limit of three fish!  Nice work Andi.

Beginners Luck - Andi Avery with his first ever Trout and his winnings!

Beginners Luck - Andi Avery with his first ever Trout and his winnings!

Tagged Trout

So a new fish has been tagged and is currently cruising around Anchor Lake.  To enter this competition is very simple, just add a pound to your permit fee and then hope you get lucky.  If you catch the tagged fish you win £50!

Enter the competition and catch this fish to win £50 but ...

Enter the competition and catch this fish to win £50 but ...

... you will have to find it first!

... you will have to find it first!

Troutmasters Competition

Don’t forget that we are open throughout the winter and that the ever popular Troutmasters competition is also in full swing.  Clear water means hard fighting Trout and at this time of the year it is safe to stock the larger size specimens such as this 10lb 12oz specimen caught by Steve Bowker in late October.

Could this be next months winner?  Steve's 10lb 12oz Rainbow may top the list but more doubles will be stocked during November.

Could this be next months winner?  Steve's 10lb 12oz Rainbow may top the list but more doubles will be stocked during November.

Last month’s winners printed in issue 490 of Troutfisherman magazine were John Gilmore from Cullompton 10lb 6oz, Dave Bull from Exeter 8lb 14oz and Keith Ratcliffe from Exeter 6lb 10oz.  Well done to all and see you in the fish off next year.

November Tactics

Part of the magnetism of fly fishing is the many tactics & techniques available.  Some people like to fish fast, others slow.  Some anglers don’t mind watching an indicator all day while others get their kick from a dry fly.  For this reason you are allowed to use up to 4 flies on a leader at Exe Valley, go deep with Boobies or suspend a fly beneath a bung.  If it is fly fishing and you enjoy it we want you to visit! 

My top tactic with guests just recently has been to fish lightweight leaders (4lb to 6lb) with a 2 fly set up consisting of a Buzzer 6’ – 7’ from the fly line and then a Blob (or FAB if we need to stay up in the water) 6’ – 7’ from the dropper.  Chuck it all out, pull straight and then fish nice & slow with a figure eight retrieve, allowing the current/wind to do most of the work.  Be ready for some explosive takes but watch the line too because sometimes it is possible to lift into the fish, even before you feel it.

November so far.

Up to Fri 11th November 54 rods caught 132 fish for an average of 2.4 fish per angler.  Best Trout so far is 7lb 12oz and best 5 fish bag is 18lb 2oz

Diary Dates

We apologise for any inconvenience but due to a corporate fishing day Anchor Lake & Lobbs Lake will be closed all day on Tuesday 22nd November 2016

Join in with our Special Event - Devon & Somerset Fly Fishing Day at Exe Valley

Saturday 10th December 2016

We are having a bit of a pre Christmas bash here at the newly renovated Anchor Lake on Saturday 10th December 2016.  Fellow guide & qualified fly fishing instructor Pete Tyjas is heading over to assist and the idea is to give 10 people the opportunity to fish while we are on hand to help improve both casting & fishing techniques .... and net some fish!

Pete Tyjas (right) with Tom and his first ever Grayling.  Pete will be heading over on Sat 10th Dec to help run the Devon & Somerset Fly Fishing Day.

Pete Tyjas (right) with Tom and his first ever Grayling.  Pete will be heading over on Sat 10th Dec to help run the Devon & Somerset Fly Fishing Day.

There will be interactive demos and the day also includes a 2 fish permit plus as a very special addition ... the opportunity to catch & release throughout the day!  Other attractions include the option to watch a Grayling demo on the River Exe, enjoy some fly tying at the cafe and there will be mince pies!

All this fun & information is available for just £45 for the day to include a 2 Fish Permit, unlimited Catch & Release plus the tuition and activities as listed above. 

The event is limited to 10 people so if you would like to register your interest or book a spot please call 01398 323008. Alternatively please email here ... we hope to welcome you. 

Spectacular Stillwater Fly Fishing

Finally we have had some spectacular autumnal scenes here during the week including this one captured on a particularly frosty morning.  You can’t beat being outside in weather like this, especially when the fish are biting!

Thank you for reading and good fishing.

Nick.

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Exe Valley Fishery Reopening - Sunday 18th September 2016

As many of you will know, the main Anchor Lake has been closed for a considerable period of time, shutting its doors on 29th June.  A few people braved the lake in July and despite the weed choked conditions they caught fish.  Special thanks to those who continued to support the fishery through such tough times.  

By August Anchor was virtually impossible to fish and so late on in the month we drained the lake and set about continuing the work carried out last year.  The maintenance has only just been completed to the point that we can flood the lake and we are currently in the process of getting ready to reopen this Sunday 18th September.

If you would like to fish on Sunday 18th, Monday 19th or Tuesday 20th September please note that permits are only available by advance booking.  An email has been sent out to coincide with this post on our website and details will also be posted via social media including Twitter & Facebook.  Please call between 9.30am and 2.00pm on 01398 323008 if you would like to try out the refurbished lake on any of the dates above.  Alternatively please email the office here. 

Please Note: Permits will not be available for self service or by turning up on the day.  

Here are some images from the recent works showing the extensive excavation and reconstruction of Anchor Lake which has taken place.

Anchor Lake during closure, choked with weed & Algae

Draining Anchor Lake revealed why we were experiencing such huge problems.  Despite considerable investment in 2015 we had only scratched the surface, huge silt beds remained offering perfect nutrient levels for weed & algae to thrive.

In full daylight the quantity of silt is even more impressive.  Here the excavator begins the process of cleaning Anchor Lake artery's.

As silt was excavated so to was rock which we transported around the lake using dumpers. The rock was then used on every surrounding bank to construct a dam wall effect, perfect for aquatic insects and friendly weeds.  

Here is Anchor after the excavation showing the rocked banks.  Compare this with the images above and the changes to the lake bed can clearly be seen.

Another angle showing the excavated lake bed

Learning from our mistakes in 2015 this time we excavated as much silt as possible, added gradient to the lake bed and most important of all, found rock.  We managed to excavate to rock in just a very few areas last year and found that these small sections were largely unaffected by weed.

This is how the lake bed looked in 2015! Note the difference in depth above and how the water is pooling into certain areas, this will provide fantastic features for the fish and the opportunity for anglers to try varied tactics and line densities.

Another view of the new lake bed.  Note the rock, new slip way (ideal for Booby fishing!) and the pool of water on the left.  This area is already deep prior to flooding and set to become a hotspot.

Compare the inlet area above in 2016 after the recent works with how it looked back in 2015. Where there is 8' to 10' now there was just 2' originally!

A new dawn.  It has taken many 18 hour days and a five figure sum but at last the sun is rising on a new Anchor Lake and this weekend, Sunday 18th September 2016 we will reopen after a 10 week closure.  

There are no guarantees that the work carried out will cure the problems experienced this season, but we have invested large amounts of time and money in the hope that from now and in future seasons we will not have to take such drastic action.

We hope that you will visit soon, judging by the many calls and emails received (thanks to all!) it sounds like you are all gagging to wet a line!  If you would like to book yourself in this weekend please call 01398 323008 or email here.

anchor-dawn-after-dig.jpg

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.

A brace of 6 pounders and this week’s Exe Valley catch report to 14th Dec

This week the two Johns, that are John Slaven & John Clarke from the Taunton area, visited for a session and the friends both bagged fish of 6lb 6oz!

Well done guys!  Once again it was a Snake Fly but this time in Pink which did the business for John C, leading him to a limit bag of 5 fish weighing 18lb 6oz and a comment of “Great day again!” 

John Slaven (Left) & John Clarke (Right) both caught fish of 6lb 6oz this week!

John Slaven (Left) & John Clarke (Right) both caught fish of 6lb 6oz this week!

The Big Brown Trout has been spotted throughout the week, but no one has been able to tempt it so far, although I have had a couple of comments reported on the returns such as Andrew Hooper who said “Lost a BIG one” ... but was it THE big one?  Perhaps the beast will prove to be a Christmas present for someone ...

Going imitative this week was John Winson from Exeter, using a sunken Klinkhammer fished with a Midge Tip line to land a best fish of 6lb on the nose.  His friend Gavin Argyle got 4 for 14lb 8oz and my thanks to them for introducing one of their fishing companions, Tom Heidy from Chudleigh, who got a couple on Anchor and another brace on Lobbs for a total of 9lbs.  Tom said “very good day, first time here

Just digressing from the report for a moment, if you have a friend or friend/s that would like to try Exe Valley fishery then it might be possible to bring them along for half price, with a free permit available to anglers who introduce three friends.  See our Fishing for Friends Voucher page, over in the new Help & Info Section.  Please note that it has been very busy recently so my apologies that this section is not fully developed yet, over the next few weeks & months there will be a great deal of extra info added including some useful how to articles.

Regulars Roger Bowskill and Charles Merwin said “Yet again, another good day” taking limit bags of fish and the ever consistent Keith & Mary Ratcliffe both caught 5 apiece; their 10 fish weighing 36lbs.  Richard Cooper also got 5 and both Paul Carter & R Coleman got bags of 3 fish weighing 9lbs.

Altogether 28 anglers fished in some varied conditions ranging from sunshine & calm through to wet & windy, landing a total of 77 fish for an average per rod of 2.75  And due to the varied weather conditions that can be experienced at this time of year we have launched a brand new service, check out our Winter Season Permit Deals ... you could fish for as little as £12.50 per session!  You may also have noticed the new shop page which includes details about how Permits can be purchased as a gift and also information regarding my fly fishing lessons.

The weather this coming week looks much the same as last week, but pick your day and there is every chance of some good sport.  This is not always the best time of year for a slow nymph style, give it a go of course, but have an intermediate line and something like a Black Taddy close to hand.  Big can be beautiful at this time of year, hence the success of the Snake Fly; fished on a variety of lines it can be deadly ...

Thanks as always for reading and look out for the last report before Christmas coming soon along with details about our opening hours during the festivities.  And if you would like to check up on how the lakes are fishing please do not hesitate to contact me on 01398 323008.

Happy fluff chucking!

Nick.