Fantastic Christmas Sport at the Valley & Latest Report to 31st Dec 2015

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!

 Christmas Day Crackers!!!

Christmas Day Crackers!!!

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.

 Terry Bridgman with his £10 winning tagged Trout

Terry Bridgman with his £10 winning tagged Trout

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.

 Alex fished a Straggle Cat to bag not only this Rainbow but a £20 note.  Well worth the visit from Plymouth!

Alex fished a Straggle Cat to bag not only this Rainbow but a £20 note.  Well worth the visit from Plymouth!

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!

 What could be better than a big blue sky & a big Trout?  A big blue sky and an 8lb Trout worth £10!  

What could be better than a big blue sky & a big Trout?  A big blue sky and an 8lb Trout worth £10!  

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! 

 Nearly there!  A crowd gathers to watch as Paul lands his big fish.

Nearly there!  A crowd gathers to watch as Paul lands his big fish.

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.

 Paul survived the pressure to land an 8lb 14oz Rainbow under a perfect Blue December sky.

Paul survived the pressure to land an 8lb 14oz Rainbow under a perfect Blue December sky.

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 digGreg 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!

Nick.

Father Christmas Fishes Exe Valley & Catch Report to 21st Dec 2015

It’s the last report before the big day ... so here is another round up of the action at Exe Valley, plus the sighting of a rather important red suited gentleman! 

Unfortunately despite his very best efforts and winning the award for most brightly dressed angler of 2015, Mr Claus managed to lose all the Trout he (says he) hooked.  Let’s hope St Nick does a better job with the presents eh!

    Mr Claus protested that this picture proves he hooked a Trout during his most recent visit, but with no "grip & grin" evidence we must conclude that he hooked Rudolf on the back cast!

 

Mr Claus protested that this picture proves he hooked a Trout during his most recent visit, but with no "grip & grin" evidence we must conclude that he hooked Rudolf on the back cast!

First to unwrap himself a Trouty gift was Richard Hansell, visiting the lakes for the first time this week he picked up three fine Trout for a bag weight of 10lbs although there were opportunities to catch something even more substantial as Richard said “Lovely Day, some very large fish eluded me

It could have been another Rainbow like Rob Grisley’s fish of course that was our best fish of the week, weighing in at over 9lb and no doubt a contender for the last round of the Exe Valley 2015 Troutmasters.  Apologies I was not ready with the camera Rob!

If Rob caught the best fish then my vote for toughest angler of the week goes to octogenarian Cedric Boddington.  Visiting the lakes with Sally Pizii’s Age UK group he commented on his return that it was “A great day in the rain”, landing a nice brace of fish including one of 3lb 8oz.

    Well done to Cedric Bodington, age 83, he took no notice of the rain and was rewarded with a brace of Trout caught on a floating line near to the Anchor Lake feeder stream.

 

Well done to Cedric Bodington, age 83, he took no notice of the rain and was rewarded with a brace of Trout caught on a floating line near to the Anchor Lake feeder stream.

We also welcomed back John Gilmore who said “Very good day & quality fish”, reaching his limit of 5 for a total weight of 16lb 12oz and Darren Penfold, a Kennick regular, took some time out during the reservoir off season to give Exe Valley a try and was also rewarded with a limit of 5, tipping the scales to 17lb. 

Fly patterns have almost always been on the large size with the Snake (in Black or Pink!) once again proving to be deadly but for those who do not enjoy casting these brutes, or just can’t bring themselves to tie on 10cm of fluff, you will be pleased to hear that the Blue Flash Damsel has also been highly successful.  Goldhead Daddies, Taddies and of course that good old winter staple, the Cat Whisker, have also done the business.

I am almost eating my words; is it really winter?!  With temps of around 12C to 14C on a regular basis last week it feels more like late Autumn or even early spring, so much so that I am wondering if I should have cut the grass one more time?  We will take the conditions while we can because no doubt Mother Nature has some payback in store!

Whatever the weather if you are going stir crazy after being shut indoors for Christmas you will be pleased to know that we are open throughout the festivities!  Take a peek at the Christmas Exe Valley Fishery page for full details and find out about our very special 12 Trout of Fishmas! 

Eleven more tagged Trout will be stocked to join the Brown Trout which remains elusive.  All Rainbows, there are 5 Trout worth £20 and another 6 that will win £10, plus the Brown of course which has a top prize of £100See here for more info about this special Christmas event.

It’s time for me to wind up the last report before the festivities begin.  If (unlike me!) you are just counting down the days, with presents wrapped and everything perfectly organised why not tie yourself a Christmas Tree Fly?!

And finally we would like to say a BIG thank you to all of you have supported us this year and wish you a Very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Exe Valley Fishery! 

Best Fishes, Nick, Sue, Chester & Scarlett. 


Christmas Opening Hours at a glance


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.

Last two weeks of Troutmasters 2015 plus this week’s catch report to 6th Dec

We are proud to have been supporting the Troutmasters competition, organised by Trout Fisherman magazine, for many years now. 

It’s a kind of FA cup style fly fishing contest which means that pleasure anglers have the chance to compete against (and most importantly, learn from) more experienced competition anglers.  To be in with a chance of qualifying contestants attempt to catch one of the biggest fish of the month from a host of participating waters across the UK.

Following this qualifying round, badge winners are invited to an early season fish off to determine which Exe Valley angler will head to the 2016 grand final.  But there are only a couple of weeks left as the event will close on 20th December for 2015 entries ... so be quick!  With a double figure Brown Trout swimming defiantly around Anchor Lake (I spotted the beast this morning!) there is at least one fish which could guarantee somebody’s place in that fish off. 

And here is another good thing about this friendly competition; three lucky anglers receive a badge each month and a mention in the magazine.  Steve Guscott contacted me this week to say how chuffed he was to receive his badge in the mail for his 8lb 12oz Rainbow caught during October (see that fishing report here) which formed part of a huge bag weighing in at 27lb 12oz.

Checking this month’s Trout Fisherman magazine I see that John Salter took the top honours with his 10lb Rainbow, Exe Valley regular Mary Ratcliffe was runner up with an 8lb 12oz Rainbow and Robert Grisley placed 3rd with an 8lb 7oz Rainbow.  Well done to all! (see TF issue 477, page 89)

This week I am pleased to report that we have been much busier as the weather has been a little better.  Once again the 26 anglers who decided that a day out in the fresh air wetting a line was more fun than sitting indoors were rewarded for their efforts catching a total of 70 fish for a rod average of 2.7 

    Regular Peter Bridges with the best fish of this week - 8lb 1oz caught on a Black Snake Fly.

 

Regular Peter Bridges with the best fish of this week - 8lb 1oz caught on a Black Snake Fly.

The best Trout of the week was landed by one of our new regulars Peter Bridges fishing sensibly in the margins with a Black Snake Fly to outwit a lovely looking fish of 8lb 1oz Meanwhile it is not just regulars visiting Exe Valley these days, we are noticing a lot of new faces too. 

Patrick Silk is one of them, commenting on his return card “First Visit ... there will be more”, landing a limit of 3 fish for 14lb 4oz including another beautiful example of a Rainbow Trout, weighing 7lbs.  And all of this on a light 6 weight rod, floating line and a Blue Flash Damsel in double figure temperatures! 

    Patrick Silk with a 7lb Rainbow landed on a 6 weight rod

 

Patrick Silk with a 7lb Rainbow landed on a 6 weight rod

Floating lines have certainly been catching fish but Graham Lavender wisely opted for an intermediate early in the week, after a couple of days of heavy rain which lowers the water temperature.  His successful fly was also a Blue Flash Damsel, helping him to a 3 fish total of 13lb 10oz including a best of 7lb 10oz.

Of course not every angler walks away with a specimen fish that visits Exe Valley and a few comments have said it has been “hard fishing”  this week.  However some of the anglers making these comments have bagged themselves limits, so success is here to be had.  It's just a case of using the right tactics, which is why we believe Exe Valley is now a far more interesting fishery since the big dig back in August.  

    This angler worked out the tactics & is rewarded for his efforts - Exe Valley, Sun 6th Dec 2015

 

This angler worked out the tactics & is rewarded for his efforts - Exe Valley, Sun 6th Dec 2015

But what do you think?  This is your fishery after all.  Is the fishing too hard now?  Do more anglers want to be catching their fish in a couple of hours?  Please use the comments section below to tell us what you think or contact me here.

And just before I sign off for another week, we have had several enquiries about purchasing gift vouchers as Christmas presents for both permits and tuition.  Watch this space; I am aiming to have something live on the website by the end of this week or please call 01398 323008 and we can organise on the phone.  And just before I go, the main update this week has been to improve the text font used (hopefully the site is easier to read now?) and the permit page has also been updated.

Thanks for reading and look out for more soon ... I have a few exciting bits of news lined up!

Best Fishes,

Nick.