Friday, 19 September 2008

Fly Fishing in the Sun!

The River Exe has suddenly come into fine form and at last the sun has arrived. However autumn is in the air and although we have had a day or two of bright blue skies and gorgeous sunshine there is a definite nip in the air. The water temperature is also low and on the river the fish seem to be staying down with heavy nymphs the best tactic.

Last week I spent a few days on Clatworthy Reservoir. I had not been for a good while favouring Wimbleball as it has a catch & release option. However the Wimbleball boats were out of action so I booked Philip Bradney in for a day spent casting over the beautiful expanse of Clatworthy high up on the Somerset Hills. It was not easy fishing but Philip who only began fishing just over a year ago did a great job of tempting the resident Rainbows including these fine specimens.

"I really enjoyed our fishing last week and learned a lot which I am looking forward to putting into practice on a regular basis." Philip Bradney, Leicestershire, 2008

A few days later having landed these fish for Philip I took to the lake myself in the company of good mate James Warbrick-Smith. We spent most of the morning cruising the bays looking for fish but by lunchtime had just a pull between us. At the start of the session we had noticed a few fish moving in the water immediately opposite the lodge and returned in the hope that we would at last hook up with the kind of quality fish that Philip had enjoyed just a few days earlier. We were not to be disappointed and after a few tactical changes I realised the fish were really high and that in fact we had been below them.

The next few hours heralded some brilliant sport as we took several fish, all on dries. Just look at the fins on these fish. A credit to Dave Pursey who manages the fishery and grows on his own fish. Spooning the Trout we found them stuffed with food but virtually all of it was beetles and other terrestrials. Head up there with your dry fly box, take a boat and enjoy the action. We found the best sport was during the warmest hours although a little cloud cover will help. There are also some very nice pound plus Wild Browns to be had which of course should be returned unharmed.

The rivers are also in fine form and following on from Matts success his girlfriend Adele better known as "Browny" has been practicing all year and can now chuck a serious loop. After some casting in the morning we took off to Badgworthy Water and as usual the fish were only too happy to play ball. Short lining we found dries were consumed with confidence, the fish very willing to feed after a summer of high spate conditions. The fish maybe small at this venue but the sport can be explosive and the scenery is breath taking.

Thankyou again for a great weekend we both really enjoyed it and can't wait to get to NZ and put it all into practice. Matt & Adele, London, 2008

Closer to home the River Exe is also getting back into form. I lost a Salmon myself on Tuesday but we won't talk about that! Instead look at this superb Grayling that was caught by Jim Self on a short lined dry at the top end of our beat. He latched into another of similar quality plus another smaller. We also hooked something very big (possibly a Grilse) that took a very deep fished nymph. All we do know is that it charged off downstream breaking our 2lb fluorocarbon tippet with ease!

Today I am out on the water again and really looking forward to meeting and guiding Mike Latham on the river. Tomorrow I have a very rare weekend day off as my young lad Chester is due for his first hair cut! I am also taking some time off to visit Torrington as tomorrow Chris Yates will be there at the River Reads bookshop. He is signing copies of his new book "Out of the Blue" between 10am & noon and then again from 2.00pm to 3.00pm. £2.00 from each signing will go to Wateraid. Anyone who has ever seen the amazing BBC series "A Passion for Angling" will know that Chris is a legendary angler. In fact at one time he held the British Record Carp from Redmire Pool, perhaps one of the most famous fishing venues of all time. For further information check out or call Sandy on 01805 625 888

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