South West Lakes Trust, a charity dedicated to caring for and enhancing the South West’s reservoirs and lakes, has released a summary of their trout fisheries’ impressive latest season. Despite depleted water levels during the hot dry summer, they managed to host some excellent initiatives and fishing opportunities.
Trout fishing report for the lakes and reservoirs in Devon and Cornwall.
All South West Lakes Trust trout fisheries operated without any Covid restrictions, although the self-service permit huts remained closed, with both day tickets and boat bookings being made either online or by telephone. The brown trout fisheries closed in mid-October, while the rainbow waters close at the end of December.
The season began with the annual South West Fly Fair, held at Roadford on 6 March, with anglers able to watch demonstrations, see and try the latest tackle, buy everything needed for the new season, and catch up with old friends. The next South West Fly Fair will be held at Roadford on Sunday 26 February 2023 (see the Trust’s website for details).
There was some excellent fishing to be had across the region, especially at Burrator, and Kennick, while the fishing improved dramatically at Colliford in the last few months. Many fisheries suffered from a lack of water during the hot dry summer, with some of the Cornish reservoirs falling well below 20% capacity.
• The Snowbee Team of Four bank competition at Siblyback in April was won by the Kennick A team, with a team bag weight of 39lb 3oz;
• The Kennick Bank Pairs competition in May was won by John Hern (catching five fish for 8lb) and Alex Venn (catching five fish for 9lb 5oz);
• The Peninsula Classic Bank competition, held in June and sponsored by Fly Fishing Tackle Crediton, was won by Darren Penfold, catching eight fish weighing 14lb 11oz;
• A free trout fishing taster day was held at Kennick in August as part of the National Fishing month, supported by Snowbee UK and Turrall, with fly-tying demonstrations and the chance to have a go, as well as casting tuition for beginners and more experienced anglers. The day was a great success, with plenty of juniors as well as adults attending – there were lots of laughs, and all enjoyed the opportunity to try fly fishing in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
• The ‘Fishing For Life’ project (supporting people living with breast cancer) continues to grow, with regular monthly sessions throughout the season at various fisheries.
Siblyback: best fish – 5lb rainbow caught by Leighton Carhart;
Kennick: best fish – 7lb rainbows caught by both Eddy Carter from Starcross (in a bag of twelve fish using a Damsel Booby on 26 March), and Daryl Jones (on 14 April);
Stithians: best fish – 3lb Rainbows caught by both John Henderson (from Falmouth), and Simon Peters (from Frogpool);
Burrator: best fish – 4lb rainbows caught by both Paul Tyson, from Launceston (as part of a bag of ten rainbows), and Allan Lawson, from Plymouth (as part of a bag of ten fish);
Colliford: best fish – 3lb 4oz brown trout caught by Tim Laws;
Fernworthy: best fish – 3lb 4oz brown trout caught by Gary Stickland (from Chagford);
The season opening dates and prices for 2023 will be posted (along with other information) on the Trust’s website and on their Facebook page (Trout Fishing South West Lakes Trust).