I hope you have had a fantastic Christmas and have now turned your attention to ushering in the New Year!
Here at Exe Valley it has been the busiest Christmas I can ever remember with 60 anglers fishing between Christmas Day and 29th December.
Well done to John Akhurst who swapped a Christmas morning at home for a session by the lakes ... and what a gift he received, a two fish brace weighing 9lb & 8lb, caught on an intermediate line. The larger Trout succumbed to a home tied Orange Tadpole and the other to a Black & Silver Cats Whisker aka The Humungus.
I was of course at home with the children, so sadly no pictures of John with his catch, although he kindly emailed me this picture. Even better one of the fish had a Red Tag and so John finished his Christmas day session with 17lb of Trout and a £20 prize!
On Boxing Day the crowds began to arrive and it was to prove to be Christmas day all over again for Tony Ponting when he managed to tempt the elusive blue tagged Brown Trout, netting not only a fine fish of 6lb 12oz but also £100 in cash.
The 26th was busy, but by 27th even more anglers turned up to fish as news has travelled about how much extra water there is to enjoy at the valley these days, along with the chance of not just some great sport, but also the opportunity to win a tagged trout prize. Visiting for the first time, Terry Bridgman from Crediton not only managed a 4 fish limit but also won himself a tenner; landing a green tagged Rainbow using a drab nymph fished slowly in mid water.
The 28th was busier still and with more fresh stock added to stir up the residents the 12 Trout of Fishmas continued to put in an appearance as 13 year old Alex Cottam from Plymouth found when he won £20 for catching a Rainbow using a size 10 International Straggle Cat, assisted by his Dad Andy Cottam, himself an England International fly fisher.
Shaun Whitehead didn't get a tagged Trout, but he was very pleased to land his first ever Blue Trout in the deep water near to the feeder stream while Andrew Scragg got his 5 fish limit for 14lb and said on his return “Was able to catch fish everywhere” Meanwhile another first timer at Exe Valley, Mr Metters from Exeter landed a brace and said “First Time. Lovely Fishery. Will definitely come again”
By 9am on 29th there were already 8 cars in the park and the anglers were treated to a day of glorious blue skies ... and some cracking Trout! Simon Autton has not been fly fishing for much more than a year but he really uses his head and when the going got a little tough he pulled out the intermediate and fished a Flash Tag Orange Blob ultra slowly to finish with 3 (although he lost 3 times as many!) including this beauty of 8lb, describing his day as “Brilliant” And it was about to get better as this Green tag fish was worth a tenner!
Richard Price from Taunton also seemed to enjoy his day saying “Brilliant – first time fly fishing, I’ll be back” ... and little wonder as one of his fish weighed 7lb 2oz! Returning for another visit following his recent success, John Slaven bagged another 5 fish limit, including a best of 4lb and said “It gets better & better, see you next month”.
With several fish over 5lb and a couple over 7lb and one of 8lb the 29th Dec 2015 was already shaping up to be a pretty good day at the lakes, until winter season ticket holder Paul Grisley’s rod suddenly took on an alarming curve and something pretty substantial bolted for the middle of the lake ... 3 or 4 times!
Without any rib tickling from me whatsoever I mentioned to Paul that he didn’t want to lose this fish as he had attracted an audience to watch the battle unfold! But he held up under the pressure to net an absolute rugby ball of a Trout that proved to be the best of the day at 8lb 14oz. Awesome Paul ... well done and many thanks for your kind words received by email.
“I thought I had to put finger to keyboard to thank you for a wonderful mornings fishing, the lake performed wonderfully considering the number of people fishing it that day, and the day before. No-one wants to just dangle a line in the water and catch fish but you seem to have got the balance right”
And on that note I will bring the last report of the year to an end, but just before I go, I must say thank you to the many people who have helped bring the lakes back to life this year including Chris Short and his son Pete for the platforms, Henry Godfrey the awesome chap who masterminded the big dig, Greg the amazing digger driver who did the dig, Sam Baycock for never ending enthusiasm, Derek for maintaining the gardens, Fred for keeping the lakes stocked with such fantastic fish and to my family for putting up with the crazy hours that I do to keep this place going.
But of course my most profound thanks must go to those of you who turn up and fish Exe Valley every week in all kinds of weather. It has been incredible to see the response to the improvements and quite honestly I am blown away by your support. This month we have welcomed 135 of you to the lakes so far resulting in a catch of 367 Trout for a rod average of 2.7 What a way to finish 2015!
There is more to come and we expect to continue improving the lakes well into 2016, with the website also receiving further updates. Please keep checking back on the exe valley fishery reports and if you would like to have information delivered straight to your inbox there is a sign up form up on the top right of this page.
There are still a few days of the holidays to go and we will be open throughout including New Years Eve & New Years day. With a double figure Brown, a mid double Rainbow, 7 tagged Trout and more stock introduced why let the weather stop you? As always if you would like a live update on water conditions, please don’t hesitate to call me on 01398 323008.
Happy New Year!