After the previous weeks success with the rainbow trout at Bellbrook Fishery, it seemed only natural that when I found myself at a loose end on Sunday I should pay the lakes another visit. The drive through the Devon countryside to get to Bellbrook was an experience in itself – the reason I found myself at a loose end was that a planned surf trip had been cancelled due to the massive storm battering the west country this weekend. Waves are good for surfing, yes – but storm force winds not so good and discretion being the better part of valour I decided to stay on dry land. After being buffeted by wind, dodging flooded roads and branches in the country lanes I eventually reached Bellbrook. This series of lakes tucked away amongst the trees in their steep sided valley really is like some secret hidden valley from some mythical tale.
Stepping out of the car it was pretty amazing just how sheltered the valley is from the westerly gale. Whilst I could hear the wind howling in the trees further up the valley the lakes themselves were reasonably sheltered. Thats not to say that the odd gust didn’t rippled the water, but on the whole it was calm.
I’m guessing that the weather forecast had put most people off, as I was untroubled by other fishermen whilst I was there! With the place to myself I flitted between the different lakes. I missed a fish on the first cast, and then had a few takes following quickly afterwards, before landing the first trout of the day on my favourite lake here – Sedgemoor.
After moving down the valley to Exmoor lake I swiftly proceeded to miss a few more tentative plucks from fish before landing the 2nd rainbow of the day. This fish really made me work for it as well, with 3 spectacular displays of jumping and tail walking before being guided to the net.
Moving on down to Dartmoor I fancied my chances of having 3 fish from 3 different lakes in less than half an hour, and with a take on the first cast I thought it was all over for the day. It wasn’t the case though as the fish slipped the hook almost as soon as it had taken it, the next few cast all had plucks and nibbles all without me managing to connect with anything. Things then went quiet and it took a move back up to the other lakes to get back into the action.
I headed back up to Sedgemoor lake and hooked into something that went berserk and disappeared to the other end of the lake in one massive surge. 30 seconds later I lost the fish without ever seeing it. Devastating!! don’t know how big it was but it felt pretty hefty! curses…
A third and final sparkling rainbow trout finished the day off quite nicely shortly afterwards, bring to an end a great afternoons fishing.
Similarly to the last trip here the successful setup was a #5 rod, braided leader, 4lb flourocarbon tippet and damsel fly. 2 of the fish came to a white and lime green fly with gold bead head (nice and visible in the murky water) while the other fell to the trusty olive damsel. Slow and deep retrieves seemed to be the order of the day on this occasion.