December Update – Lakes Improvements, The Shop Re-Opens & Smoked Trout returns to Exe Valley

The summer weather was not kind to the fishery requiring the lakes to be closed while Sue took on a job, as for several months there was no cashflow available via the business. We are pleased to say that Sue has now returned to the fishery full time and Anchor Lake is fully open and fishing really well. For those who enjoy the sport but don’t want the fish, remember we are one of the only West Country venues with a Catch & Release Permit available for just £25.

Can you spot the fish jumping?! Please comment below …

Can you spot the fish jumping?! Please comment below …

Shop & Café Re-Opens

We have welcomed many anglers since re-opening the lakes in October including three larger groups throughout November whom we are happy to report have enjoyed some really good sport. The fish have been in the surface layers, responding well to natural or black patterns. Now that Sue has returned on a full-time basis the website will be regularly updated and she will be available at the lakes from 10.00am to 2.00pm Tuesday to Friday. The fishery will also be manned by one of us from 9.00am until 1.00pm on a Saturday.

Please note that the lakes will be open as usual on a 7 day per week self-serve basis. During shop opening hours permits can be paid for by debit/credit card, light refreshments and tackle will also be available along with our new range of smoked fish, duck & cheese. The shop will be closed on Sunday & Monday.

Lake Improvements

Bankside maintenance has continued on both Anchor and Lobbs lakes with more non-slip turf laid, the woodchip path replenished, and a new handrail installed between Lobbs & Anchor Lake. Following the poor growing season for stock fish we are also happy to report that the fish farm is now fully replenished and the lakes are being stocked regularly with our famous hard fighting Trout.

Non-Slip artificial grass installed on the feeder stream bridge

Non-Slip artificial grass installed on the feeder stream bridge

New Handrail

New Handrail

Smoked Fish, Duck & Cheese for Sale … just in time for Christmas!

One of the most exciting developments is that we will now be stocking a selection of locally produced smoked food items such as Hot & Cold Smoked Trout, Smoked Chicken and Smoked Duck to name just a few. The shop & café will also evolve over the next few months with some really interesting new products ear marked for the shelves.

Hot & Cold Smoked Trout, Smoked Chicken, Smoked Duck & Smoked Cheese now available at Exe Valley. Please visit the shop from Tuesday to Friday 10am - 2pm & Saturday 9am - 1pm

Hot & Cold Smoked Trout, Smoked Chicken, Smoked Duck & Smoked Cheese now available at Exe Valley. Please visit the shop from Tuesday to Friday 10am - 2pm & Saturday 9am - 1pm

Please visit our Exe Valley Facebook Page for more info and better still head over to the fishery for some great winter sport … warming up in the cafe with a hot cup of coffee.

Thank you for reading and please don’t hesitate to call Sue on 01398 323008 with any questions.

Latest News & Christmas Opening Hours

It’s hard to believe that Nick has been working in London for 8 weeks already and has recently drawn my attention to the lack of fishery reports!  In all honesty, there has been very little to report during December due to the lack of attendance.  So far, we have welcomed just 28 anglers in the last 18 days….

The weather has no doubt played its part with incredibly changeable conditions although I would like to add that contrary to rumours circulating the stocking and general management of Exe Valley Fishery continues as ever.  For example, during the Christmas break we will continue to stock with Trout that are guaranteed to test your tackle in the cold-water conditions. 

Anglers who have braved the conditions enjoyed consistent sport, fishing deep, with a variety of black lures including the Humungus.  Last weekend Nick & Chester grabbed an hour away from the metropolis and found success using a DI-3 and a small Tequila Blob …. fished slow.  Currently the water is around 5-8 C so fast retrieves are not recommended.

Chester gives an Exe Valley Trout the gears hooked using a small Tequila Blob on a DI-3 - slow & deep!

Chester gives an Exe Valley Trout the gears hooked using a small Tequila Blob on a DI-3 - slow & deep!

Cold water conditions are a perfect time to enjoy small still water trout fisheries and while I quite understand that anglers are unlikely to brave howling gales, hail, torrential rain, sleet and snow the last few days have been beautiful and yet just 4 anglers have visited. 

Despite all this I must say a massive thank you to Paul Owen from Tiverton also known as The West Country Angler.  Paul is a dry fly addict and even has his own Weatherbys Dry Fly Powder but on Friday 15th December it was all about fishing lures in the right way, in the right places.  Paul simply said, “Loved It !!” in his comments but both Nick and I couldn’t believe the brilliant video that appeared online after his visit.

The long-range forecast appears favourable for the festive break and I have received several calls to see if I will be opening the fishery.  Self-service permits are available on 23rd December with the main building open between 10am and 12 noon. 

Self-service permits are available on 24th and 26th December, the main building will not be open. 

Christmas Day, the site is closed completely; no fishing available. 

From the 27th through to the 30th December I will open the main building to serve hot drinks and sell flies/leaders from 8am, with Anchor Lake open from 8am as usual.  Barbless flies are available for those who would like to take advantage of our Catch & Release options.

Sunday 31st December and Monday 1st January – fishery open for self-service permits as usual from 8am; the main building will be closed.

If you would like to enjoy a day out with your family please note that Lobbs Lake is currently drained and out of action but children aged 14 and under may share their parents bag limit fishing on Anchor Lake.

Many thanks for reading this latest report.  I am here on a daily basis so if you require further info please do not hesitate to call 01398 323008

As always Nick and I would like to thank all of you who continue to support the fishery in what appears to be a difficult time for fly fishing with some venues fighting closure and the news that a popular fishing magazine has just published its last issue.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope that you are able to enjoy some time in the fresh air to wet a line.

Best Fishes,

Sue.

 

Great fishing on Anchor Lake in the cold weather

Following the heavy rain last week we are now gripped by some very heavy frosts but even so we have welcomed anglers through the doors most days, 98 rods caught 294 Trout during November for a very healthy 3 fish rod average.

Top tactics have not been to strip lures, instead washing line style tactics and patterns with plenty of movement such as the Pseudo Diawl Bach have been accounting for fish in gin clear water.  Andi Avery from Bristol only started fly fishing last month but he has already enjoyed three successful trips to the venue and caught a limit of 5 on each occasion, even during the high water last week, using these subtle patterns on a floating line.  This highly mobile Diawl Bach has also been producing for Exe Valley regular John Gilmore who caught this limit during stunning scenes down on Anchor Lake.

John Gilmore - 30.11.16 - A fine bag of winter Trout all caught on a Pseudo Diawl Bach

John Gilmore - 30.11.16 - A fine bag of winter Trout all caught on a Pseudo Diawl Bach

His only companion was another regular Mr Williamson who caught 5 for 15lb including a best of 3lb 8oz.  Other notable catches include John Clarke with 5 fishing weighing in at 20lb 4oz with a top fish of 6lb 8oz, all caught on buzzers with the exception of the big one which snaffled his favourite Pink Snake!  Rick Price commented simply “BRILLIANT”, landing 5 for 14lb 8oz and Mr Mason who caught a 7lb 12oz Rainbow recently was back for more luring 5 Trout up to 4lb, with a total bag of 16lb.  He said “cold, windy day but fish-a-plenty!” 

Mr Williamson bags up one of his stunning trout caught on an equally stunning day.  Look at the tail on that fish!  It apparently went like a train!

Mr Williamson bags up one of his stunning trout caught on an equally stunning day.  Look at the tail on that fish!  It apparently went like a train!

We also had another tagged Trout make an appearance with Mr Carroll from Bristol winning himself £50 having caught the prize fish amongst his 5 fish limit.  COMING SOON - Look out for news of a special tagged Trout stocking taking place in time for Christmas! 

The Pseudo Diawl Bach - catching well on Anchor Lake in Holo Red & Holo Green rib ... especially when fished as a washing line rig.

The Pseudo Diawl Bach - catching well on Anchor Lake in Holo Red & Holo Green rib ... especially when fished as a washing line rig.

And sticking with the festive theme our Christmas party including a special catch & release ticket has sold out.  I will be joined by Pete Tyjas to host the day which will include lots of fishing, a few demonstrations, bacon sandwiches, cake & mince pies!  Please note that Anchor Lake will be closed for this event which takes place on Saturday 10th December 2016. 

Lobbs Lake will be open and is an ideal place for novice fishers and children.  This week Sue and I have cleared the banks to make casting even easier with fresh stock introduced.  Any method is allowed including small lures and spinners which are an ideal way for young rods to get into the sport.  We also offer a much reduced permit on this lake so if you are looking for something to get your children away from the dreaded X Box this Christmas we will be open!

The banks on Lobbs Lake are now nice and clear after recent clearing work.  An ideal venue for young rods this Christmas.

The banks on Lobbs Lake are now nice and clear after recent clearing work.  An ideal venue for young rods this Christmas.

Please call before you travel

If you have a long distance to travel or would just like to find out up to date info on how the lakes are fishing please call us on 01398 323008.  Many have stayed away this week during the cold snap but as can be seen from the pictures above there is often room to fish around the ice and the results can be spectacular!

Ice didn't stop this fish rising or Mr Williamson from catching a 5 fish limit of top quality winter Trout.

Ice didn't stop this fish rising or Mr Williamson from catching a 5 fish limit of top quality winter Trout.

Big Fish, Lures & Dry Flies – see this week’s catch report to 7th Feb 2016

Storm Imogen thrashed the fishery during the weekend, resulting in a local fly fishing club cancelling their match at the very last minute.  Even so a few anglers braved it on Sunday, local angler Mark Thompson bagging himself a 6lb 2oz Trout and both Ashley Gough and Arthur Daukszys taking their limits of five by mid afternoon.  Once again in the coloured water Black & deep was the order of the day.

The week ended with 24 anglers catching 86 fish for an average of 3.6 per rod, enjoying gin clear conditions during the main part of the week.  After a storm the River Barle will rise and the fishery colours, but as the river falls back it soon returns to the beautiful clarity for which Exe Valley Fishery is famous.

As per last week’s report, use flies with plenty of movement (especially if you are hoping for a big fish), think about silhouette and expect to be using an intermediate line or faster.  Rosie Coles did just that and landed a stunning Rainbow Trout of 8lb 1oz which fell to the highly mobile Flexi Black Zonker, incorporating rubber legs for even more mobility.  Rosie twitched the lure using an intermediate line and said the fine fish put up a very strong fight.  It’s a definitely in contention as a Troutmasters badge winner for the month so well done Rosie!

A very happy Rosie Coles with her 8lb 1oz Rainbow caught using a Flexi Black Zonker

A very happy Rosie Coles with her 8lb 1oz Rainbow caught using a Flexi Black Zonker

Best bag of the week fell to the rod of Robert Stevens from Tiverton who commented on his return “A brilliant day.  Fritzy Blob did the trick today for me.  A Fritzy Cats Whisker also caught.  Thank you, I will be back” Unfortunately I wasn't around to record Roberts catch on camera but his 5 fish resulted in a total weight of 21lb and included a double of 10lbs.  Great fishing and we are particularly pleased that Robert had such a good day as he was out for the 2015 season due to a broken arm.  Other lure caught Trout include a 5lb 4oz Rainbow to Jenny Harris on a Black Nomad, a five fish limit of 14lb for Rob Date (4 of them taking a White Nomad) and a brace for Sampford Peverells Mike Good, both lured by that fly again ... The Cats Whisker.

Full of movement - Flexi Black Zonker

Full of movement - Flexi Black Zonker

If lures are not your thing, then there is sport to be had with more imitative patterns.  Wimbleball Lake ranger Danny Ford picked up a quick limit of 4 with a single fish to a Cats Whisker but the other 3 all fell to a Dry Daddy, meanwhile Andy Cottam from Plymouth also presented his flies in the top layers including one caught on a Claret Hopper.  Mr Dodds had even more success with a 5 fish bag of 17lb, including a 7 pounder and said on his return card “All taken on the top!”  We may be enduring a season of Atlantic storms but the temperatures remain high for the time of year, so don’t discount imitative tactics, especially in the super clear water that results following a flood.

Despite the weather I have been getting my hands dirty again this week and I have to say I love it.  Being part of everything that goes on here at Exe Valley helps me to better understand how I can improve the venue.  Along with more improvements to Anchor Lake, the car park was long overdue for a make over and so along with ace contractor Henry Godfrey Plant we have been laying many tons of new gravel.

Getting my hands dirty - well, almost!

Getting my hands dirty - well, almost!

That's it for this week, the weather looks like it might be improving for a few days so if you are suffering cabin fever from the long winter of storms dust down those rods and have a few hours out fishing.  But before you travel and due to the A396 road closure at Cove, please check out these directions which can be downloaded & printed for your journey.

And if you would like an update before you travel on water clarity and how the lakes are fishing please call 01398 323008.

Have a great week. 

Best Fishes,

Nick.