A wet and rain drenched new years eve was my last chance for a fishy end to the year. Given the atrocious weather of the last few weeks, I decided to pay a visit to Bellbrook Fishery up near Tiverton in the hope that the venue would at least be fishable. The River Exe was seriously flooded with the surrounding fields looking like one gigantic lake. Quite an impressive sight but I was glad to get to Bellbrook without having to traverse any flooded roads.
The lakes at Bellbrook are set within a steep sided valley that provide shelter from most wind unless its a northeasterly, so even though I could hear the wind howling in the trees when I arrived, the lakes themselves were flat calm. The lakes are stream fed and due to the heavy rains were quite coloured: the bottom lake especially was particularly murky and downright un-fishable due to the strong flow from the stream discharging into it. The remainder of lakes looked worth a go however.
I tried various flies, concentrating on large and brightly coloured flies due to the murky water conditions. Within a few casts my fly choice seemed well founded when I connected for a second or two with a fish. Sadly this seemed to be the tale of the day as I then went on to miss takes from, or lose another 6 or 7 fish! Whilst I might expect to lose the odd fish, it seemed inexplicable to have so many takes and yet not catch any of them. I must of been doing something wrong, but frustratingly for the life of me couldn’t figure out what.
I did see a few other anglers fishing, and at least a couple of them caught a couple of nice rainbows, so this proved the fish weren’t uncatchable. Not how I’d hoped to end the year but that’s the way it goes sometimes I guess.
I’m looking forward to the coming year now and hope to build on the success of this last year. New years resolution? Catch more sea fish on the fly! A two week holiday in the Scilly Isles in the summer should be a fine opportunity to do so. I just need to find some other venues closer to home to get to test out the saltwater fly fishing!
All that said, it’s been a great year of fishing! hopefully 2016 will be as fruitful!