Festive Fishing Fun, Damsels & Doubles

It’s New Year Eve so I will be brief!  Since 27th Dec 73 anglers have visited catching 224 Trout for a rod average of 3.1A variety of tactics are working although Damsels seem to be attracting the larger fish.

Colin Oram used a small Olive Classic FM to tempt this full tailed 14lb 8oz Rainbow, using 7lb leader and battled for 15 minutes before finally being able to net his prize fish.

 Best fish of the week goes to Colin Oram from near Bath - 14lb 8oz on a Goldhead Olive Classic FM 

Best fish of the week goes to Colin Oram from near Bath - 14lb 8oz on a Goldhead Olive Classic FM 

Returning a couple of days later Colin also bagged himself one of our tagged fish winning himself £10 along with 8 other lucky winners so far which means there are still 4 prize winning fish swimming around Anchor Lake.

 New Years Eve 2016 - there are still 4 tagged Trout in  Anchor Lake  waiting to be caught!

New Years Eve 2016 - there are still 4 tagged Trout in Anchor Lake waiting to be caught!

With the lakes so busy we have been regularly restocking but a fish was landed today by Don Mansell which has been roaming Anchor for some time.  Pulling the scales down to excatly 10lb Don said “This is one of the hardest fighting, best looking Trout I have ever caught”, playing the double for 20 minutes on a 5 weight.  The successful fly was a Blue Flash Damsel which accounted for four of Dons five fish limit which weighed in at 25lb 8oz, his last took a dry fly ... in December!

 A five fish 25lb 8oz bag for a very happy Don Mansell - caught using Blue Flash Damsels with the excpetion of one which took a dry fly.

A five fish 25lb 8oz bag for a very happy Don Mansell - caught using Blue Flash Damsels with the excpetion of one which took a dry fly.

The favourable weather conditions have certainly inspired plenty of anglers to wet a line this week and although not everyone can go home with a jumbo Trout there have been some excellent bags, including Colin Orams second day 5 fish limit of 19lb 8oz including a best of 6lb 4oz, Jesse Dominguez5 fish weighing 17lbs, Fran Eastwood 5 fish weighing 17lb and Simon Autton 5 Fish weighing 18lb 8oz including another double of 10lb 8oz (apologies Simon that I wasn’t there to photograph!)

Generally floating fly lines have worked very well, even during the cold mornings although the best of the sport seems to be from 10am onwards.  Perry Bamonte stuck to Buzzers on a floater, while others caught quickly on lures, taking his time over his limit but catching them using a really enjoyable tactic.

As for 2016 I am not going to regurgitate every moment month by month, but it goes without saying that one of the highlights was Mike Websters record Exe Valley Brown Trout below which weighed 14lb 10oz, caught using a Goldhead Hares Ear.  Take a look at this link for the full story.

 Mike Websters record Brown Trout caught in April 2016 weighing 14lb 10oz

Mike Websters record Brown Trout caught in April 2016 weighing 14lb 10oz

Not so good was the local road closure for nearly two months which kicked off 2016 followed by the sweed which lead to a further closure of around 6 weeks.  None of this is very good for business and we will try even harder in 2017 to remain open.

We also hope to offer more events such as the recent fly fishing experience held here just before Christmas and look out in the near future for news of some special limited number catch & release dates to kick off 2017.

Well although there is always more news it is the time for family and a few beers so I will sign off although we are open throughout New Years Day and beyond if you need to work off a hang over or make use of an extended holiday next week!

Thanks to all who have supported the fishery once again during 2016 and we hope you will visit again during the season to come.

Happy New Year & Best Fishes,

Nick

Find regular catch updates & reports on the Exe Valley Fishery Facebook Page

Exe Valley Fishery – Christmas Opening Times & 12 Tagged Trout

The warm temperatures and clear water conditions have offered excellent sport during December so far and we will be open during the Christmas break if you need to escape the house for a few hours!  Exe Valley will close on Christmas Day & Boxing Day with fishing available once again from Tuesday 27th December 2016.

12 Tagged Trout to be stocked

And to celebrate the festivities there will be a special stocking of 12 tagged Trout which are worth £10 each to the lucky captors for the usual £1 entry fee.  These fish will be stocked into Anchor Lake on the day we reopen after the Christmas break, Tues 27th Dec.

 From 27th December there will be 12 Tagged Trout in Anchor Lake waiting to be caught - all worth a £10 prize (£1 entry fee)

From 27th December there will be 12 Tagged Trout in Anchor Lake waiting to be caught - all worth a £10 prize (£1 entry fee)

Catch & Release Event held on Sat 10th Dec

Currently the rod average is 3.1 with 79 anglers catching 243 fish up to 20th Dec, which doesn’t include our special catch & release event held recently.  This event attracted the full house of 10 anglers who were treated to the opportunity to release fish while enjoying tuition and demos. 

Graham Lavendar struggled for the first hour until I gave him a bit of help with tactics, replacing a long leader and heavily weighted gold head with a washing line set up.  Fishing with a Coral FAB on the point and a Diawl Bach on the dropper, spaced by 7’ to give an overall leader of 14’, the first ultra slow retrieve attracted not one but two Trout which after a decent tussle won the day and got off!  But Graham was hooked on the new found method saying that just this one piece of advice had been “well worth the £45”, leaving the water with 12 fish and renewed confidence.

 Anglers gather on the banks of Anchor Lake for one of the demos at the recent catch & release day at Exe Valley Fishery.

Anglers gather on the banks of Anchor Lake for one of the demos at the recent catch & release day at Exe Valley Fishery.

Youngest member of the team was 12 year old Freddie Millard who hooked a lot of fish during the day and in his words “it was so good!”  It is great to see young anglers on the water, we need more of them and especially those with Freddies infectious enthusiasm.  But these young people need someone to take them fishing and special mention has to go to Malcolm & Sue Rotheram, Freddies grandparents, who stuck out the rain to ensure their grandson could enjoy himself.  Secretly I think they may be getting the bug themselves as I had a lovely email the following day which said,

“Sue and I and especially Freddie, would like to thank you for a warm welcome and a most enjoyable day on Saturday. 

Freddie went to bed a very happy boy. Sue and I bagged one fish and the other was given to a friend as a 50th wedding anniversary present. The friends were very pleased and excited to receive something different as a gift.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves despite the best efforts of the meteorological office to ruin the day.  The event was well staged and extremely interesting and engaging.

The  teach in was informative and well presented. Our thanks also go to Peter and Duncan for imparting their expertise in such an interactive manner."

Thank you for all the comments & emails we received after the event which included some great ideas that will make the next one even better.  Look out online for details but also don’t forget that you can sign up to our reports to receive the latest news about events plus catch reports.  Look for the sign up box on the right hand side of the website.

 12 year old Freddie Millard loves fly fishing and caught this cracking Trout during our recent get together to celebrate Christmas at Exe Valley Fishery.

12 year old Freddie Millard loves fly fishing and caught this cracking Trout during our recent get together to celebrate Christmas at Exe Valley Fishery.

Flies & Tactics

Turning to tactics it is still the case that the water is gin clear, after rain this will add some colour but it does not take long for the clarity to return.  Fine leaders down to 4lb help in these conditions and imitative flies are working as Mike Good from Sampford Peverell found catching 3 fish for 8lb 10oz with a best of 3lb 8oz.  He read my last catch report and the advice about Pseudo Diawl Bachs commenting on his return “Dead calm and peaceful.  Thanks for the Diawl Bach advice – it accounted for all 3.  I’ll be back!” 

 Exe Valley veteran Alan Jukes with another big fish to add to his tally!

Exe Valley veteran Alan Jukes with another big fish to add to his tally!

Tom Potter bagged a 5 fish limit weighing in at 21lb including his personal best of 7lb 8oz caught using an Apps Bloodworm while Alan Jukes got in amongst the big fish again with a Troutmasters contender for this month weighing 8lb 14oz caught on an Orange FAB.  John Gilmore was also back in action with 5 fish weighing 17lb 12oz, again all caught using Diawl Bachs.  John mentioned the fish have been fighting very hard and new comer to the sport Kirsty Curtis couldn’t believe how strong they are!

 Fly Fishing novice Kirsty Curtis enjoyed her recent  fly fishing course  at Exe Valley and couldnt belive the power of the Rainbow Trout she caught.

Fly Fishing novice Kirsty Curtis enjoyed her recent fly fishing course at Exe Valley and couldnt belive the power of the Rainbow Trout she caught.

Last minute gift ideas - fly fishing course & permit vouchers.

Possibly due to the mild conditions I was out running fly fishing courses well into December for Kirsty and several other guests which included casting tuition, some basic tactics and the chance to catch a fish.  Exe Valley is ideal for novice & improving anglers, hence the reason I decided to base my fly fishing school here well over a decade ago! 

With Christmas around the corner (and the current postal strike taking place) if you are stuck for a gift then we can email course vouchers right up to 24th Dec and it is also possible to buy the special angler in your life a gift voucher permit.  Payment can be made via card but we have also now introduced PayPal to the online system.  Click here to see the Exe Valley online shop.

New Exe Valley Clothing

Next to appear in the online store will be our new pullovers & long sleeve t shirts which came into stock recently and are already finding their way on to the banks of Exe Valley.  They are very reasonably priced at £30 for the hoods and £20 for the long sleeve Ts, available in the lodge here at the fishery or we can mail order for £4.50 P&P charge.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Exe Valley Fishery

Thank you to all our anglers this year for supporting the fishery, remember we are open during the break from 27th December, closing only on Christmas Day & Boxing Day - its the perfect place to escape the house for a few hours!  We hope to see you in person to wish you a Merry Christmas but if not have a great day and we look forwards to welcoming you during the 2017 season.

Best Fishes,

Nick, Sue, Chester & Scarlett ....... ><((()*>

                                              ><((()*>        ><((()*>    

                                                                                   ><((()*>      ><((()*>

Keep up with the Christmas catches and latest info on the Exe Valley Facebook page

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. &nbsp;Look at the tail on that fish! &nbsp;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 &amp; 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. &nbsp;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.

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 &amp; 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? &nbsp;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. &nbsp;Pete will be heading over on Sat 10th Dec to help run the Devon &amp; 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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