New catch report, round up of November & tagged Trout stocking

Well let’s hope the December weather is a little kinder than it was in November!  Often the forecasts were a little over the top, as per various posts from last month, but by the last week of November the conditions did become truly awful!

Even so just a small break in the torrential rain and high winds tempted a few to wet a line, with 15 anglers catching 51 fish for a very healthy rod average of 3.4 Well rewarded for their efforts!

For example Mr Bonner on holiday from Nottingham visited Exe Valley this week and took a brace of fish for 10lb 4oz on Anchor Lake, including an 8 pound Rainbow, leaving the comment that it had been “A good morning of sport

A good morning of sport it may have been but unfortunately the big fish was tagged!  The entry fee had not been paid and so although Mr Bonner left with a decent Trout, he didn't win the loot!  So we have a tagged fish roll over, and a beautiful Brown Trout in the region of 7lb has been stocked worth a £100.00 to the lucky captor.  So don’t forget to add the entry fee of £1 when purchasing a permit because as the saying goes, you have to be in it to win it!  And the rumours are true ... this Brown is providing company for its much bigger brother which we stocked through the week.  Check out our Exe Valley Fishery Record Brown Trout story here.

Fred stocks a new tagged fish into Anchor Lake, Exe Valley Fishery, November 2015

Fred stocks a new tagged fish into Anchor Lake, Exe Valley Fishery, November 2015

The Trout has a blue tag and is worth £100 - just add £1 to your permit fee to enter.

The Trout has a blue tag and is worth £100 - just add £1 to your permit fee to enter.

Other notable catches include Charles Merin and Roger Bowskill, both managed bag limits of 4 fish each using a combination of White & Green Tadpoles and Orange Nomads fished with a clear intermediate line.  Their two best fish weighed in at 6lb 8oz and 6lb 4oz. Meanwhile Mike Webster couldn't catch them in the morning but had a better afternoon using a Cats Whisker to complete his 4 fish limit.

With December upon us the final figures for November are 63 anglers caught 228 fish which is a very healthy rod average of 3.6 and shows that winter fishing can be far more productive than during the summer months.  If you are keen but put off by the weather, please don’t hesitate to call me on 01398 323008 and I will give you up to the minute info on the water conditions, wind speed and how the lakes are fishing.

And if you would like to keep up to date on a regular basis please use the subscribe box up on the top right.  We had a great response from our last newsletter sent out on what we dubbed Fish Friday.  Thank you for all the lovely emails we received afterwards and to those who have visited the lakes since.  Although more unsettled weather looks like it will head our way by the weekend there is an expected break around Thursday/Friday.

Stocking takes place every week throughout the season on Exe Valley Fishery, including during the winter when the sport is often at its best. Here we are loading up Anchor Lake with some more feisty Rainbows ... just look at the backs on those fish!

Whatever the weather, we are always here and the lakes are topped up every week (often twice) with more top quality Trout.  See this little video that I shot of the most recent stocking using the new track which we constructed specifically for winter stocking.  This means that the fish can be driven right to the edge of the lake, meaning less stress for the newly introduced Trout and a less achy back for Fred the fish farmer!

Thanks for reading and let’s hope we are all wetting lines this month rather than getting wet! 

Nick

Record Brown Trout stocked into Anchor Lake

Yesterday afternoon I received a call from top bloke and all round fish farmer extraordinaire Fred to say that he had a rather large Brown Trout that I may like to have a look at.  And what a beast it is!

Fred releases a potential record breaker into Anchor Lake!

Fred releases a potential record breaker into Anchor Lake!

Now swimming around the cool waters of Anchor Lake , this bus of a Brown is a potential fishery record. Weighing in at very nearly 15lbs someone is going to go home very, very happy indeed. Will it be You ....?

This week’s catch report – Trout not Turkey!

The weeks seem to be disappearing all too rapidly as we head towards Christmas but I am happy to report that anglers are leaving thoughts of Turkey at home and turning their attention to Trout instead!

At the beginning of the week our weather was let’s say interesting, but by the weekend just past things had improved substantially.  Once again the banks of Exe Valley welcomed some keen winter fly fishers with clear, cold water conditions that offer a variety of tactical possibilities.

For example I heard by email from Exeter’s Rob Wilkinson who caught three fish weighing 2lb 4 oz; 2lb 15 oz and 6lb 6oz.  Rob said it was an “Unusual day in that I caught my first two within 90 minutes and began thinking this is easy ... but then didn’t catch my last one until late in the afternoon just as the light was fading!  Haven’t had so many pulls on the line for a long time – must have had at least five – but could I set the hook! All good sport.” And he added “the water levels certainly have changed, for the better, since the major works were carried out a while ago.”

This morning I was walking the banks and realised that the conditions were very similar to this time last year.  I am often carrying the camera and grabbed a couple of quick shots.  These photos offer a good comparison of what the lake was like last year and now the improvements; in particular note the manicured banks and addition of turf platforms. 

The Bay - November 2014

The Bay - November 2014

What cannot be seen in this photo of course is that the depth of this bay has increased from not much more than 4ft up to 8ft!  See this video to watch the excavators carrying out the work in this area of Exe Valley Fishery.

The Bay - November 2015

The Bay - November 2015

One of our regular lady anglers Rosie Coles dropped in for a midweek session and said she had “A nice but windy morning”, taking a 4lb 8oz Rainbow on a Black Nomad from Anchor.  And on the same day another lady Vivien Wheatley caught her first ever Trout weighing 2lbs from Lobbs and said “First Time & Fabulous – going home with supper!” 

Talking of which I might add a few of my favourite Trout recipes up here at some point in a new Help & Info section that I am developing.  If you think this is a good idea or you have other thoughts about how the website could be improved please use the comments section below.

Later on in the week one of our winter regulars, Richard Cooper bagged yet another limit of 5 fish, taken mainly on White Nomads, weighing in at 18lb 8oz and including a Trout of 6lb 4oz while his fishing companion for the day Mr Coleman also managed a 5 fish total.

Another 3 fish were extracted from Anchor by Mr Bellamy, along with a singular Trout from Lobbs.  His total weight came in at 14lb and he left a comment to say “Brilliant as usual.  Well kept, good fishing & lovely surroundings”

Mr Honey travelled from Torquay to fish the lakes and said he had “a very cold but very good day thank you”, landing 2 fish on Anchor Lake & 2 fish on Lobbs Lake.

Best bag of the week went to Dick Burt from Burnham on Sea, with a round seven pounder making up his bag of 5 that was exactly 20lb,  his best fly being a Cats Whisker.

One of the best fish of the week - a 7lb Rainbow for Dick Burt, caught on a Cats Whisker.

One of the best fish of the week - a 7lb Rainbow for Dick Burt, caught on a Cats Whisker.

In stark contrast Mr Davies from Honiton went imitative catching 4 fish for 13lbs on a Size 16 Hares Ear before turning to a dry lake olive to finish off his bag.  All Mr Davies fish came from the lower end of the lake, well away from the point and popular board’s area.  Anglers that are experimenting, especially with their location on Anchor Lake, are beginning to reap the rewards.

So that wraps up another report.  Last week we welcomed 24 anglers and between them they managed 68 fish for a healthy 2.8 fish per rod average.  This cold snap has really helped to clear the water even more and in the conditions our visitors are reporting that the fish are fighting extremely hard. 

Cold it may be - but these are cracking condtiions for a winter session.  Photo by Nick Hart - Mon 23rd Nov 2015

Cold it may be - but these are cracking condtiions for a winter session.  Photo by Nick Hart - Mon 23rd Nov 2015

Just before I go, a new page has been added this week which will be of particular interest to families with small anglers, especially with the Christmas holidays looming in the distance.  Please see the new Lobbs Lake page for more info and pictures, it’s a great place to wean youngsters from computer games and introduce them to a fascinating pastime spent enjoying the great outdoors.  On that note I had better head home as my eldest boy has reached his 9th birthday already and a party awaits!

Many thanks for reading this week and if you would like up to the minute info the best number to call is 01398 323008.

Best Fishes,

Nick

The lakes continue to offer great sport

We welcomed a few more anglers to Exe Valley than during the previous week and despite forecasts they often found calm conditions on the sheltered shorelines.  In total 19 anglers caught 51 fish for a rod average of 2.7

Sat 14th November 2015 - Flat calm & taking Trout.

Sat 14th November 2015 - Flat calm & taking Trout.

Anglers who figured out the right tactics include Peter Bridges, banking 4 fish for 13lb 8oz from Anchor with a best of 4lb, all on a Green Fritz mentioning on his return that he had enjoyed a “Great Mornings Fishing

Meanwhile over on Lobbs Lake John Bunce managed 3 for 6lb 14oz with a best of 3lb and remarked “Beautiful condition fish

One of the best bags of the week went to Mr Charles Merwin from Tiverton, relieving Anchor Lake of 5 fish for 21lb 8oz with the heaviest Trout tipping the scales at 7lb 6oz.  Catching up with Charles on the bank he showed me a variety of flies which he had used including a White Taddy with a long mobile tail and a Two Tone Blob.  He also mentioned that he was moving around the lake a lot.

Some anglers seem determined to stay in the old spots but after the big dig back in August there really is a huge amount of extra water to try out.  In particular it is well worth stalking the margins carefully as I have spotted some good fish cruising just off the edge of the new drop offs.

Experienced rod John Glanfield fishing on the same day as Mr Merwin didn't fare quite so well, with a singular Rainbow for his efforts weighing 3lb 8oz.  But he had enjoyed some interesting fishing with takes and lost fish, leaving the comment “Fish showing but difficult to tempt!

Keith Ratcliffe was as consistent as ever, fishing Suspender Buzzers to take another limit of fish on Anchor weighing out at 16lb although his wife Mary struggled a little more this time around with 2 fish out of Anchor and a couple from Lobbs.

Fly of the Week:  Fred's Flapper  - highly mobile and a proven fish catcher at Exe Valley.

Fly of the Week: Fred's Flapper - highly mobile and a proven fish catcher at Exe Valley.

But it was regular Chris Short, fishing on a wet but calm Saturday that caught one of his best ever bags of Trout weighing 25lb 8oz and including specimens of 7lb 8oz and 6lb 8oz.  Chris was fishing a long leader coupled with a Black Freds Flapper, held up in the surface with a roly poly style retrieve.  Well done Chris!

Regular Exe Valley angler Chris Short with one of his best bags, caught on a Black Fred's Flapper weighing 25lb 8oz

Regular Exe Valley angler Chris Short with one of his best bags, caught on a Black Fred's Flapper weighing 25lb 8oz

As always the lakes are open year round and if the wind is coming from Southerly/Westerly direction the water often flattens off.  As I write this on Monday morning the various forecasts show winds in the West of 18mph to 25mph and yet all we have is a nice gentle ripple!

And just before I go, have a look around the site for some new features including our sign up box on the top right of this reports page, plus a handy calendar of archive reports.  Over on the Anchor Lake page there have been several updates and this week I intend to add a few more additions.  If you have any suggestions that would help you enjoy the site or that you think are missing please let us know by emailing here.

Thank you for reading and have a great week.

Nick.