More Bellbrook Trout

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.

Bellbrook Rainbow Trout

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.

white and green fly


Starting 2016 with a few Rainbows

The combination of terrible (fishing) weather and the pull of surfing conspired to keep me from wetting a line for the first few weeks of the year. My first fishing trip of 2016 ended up being at Bellbrook Fishery near Tiverton chasing rainbow trout. I’d fished this venue with some success previously, and on this occasion was joined by my fishing buddy Jason on his first trip of the year also.

With the short amount of daylight at this time of year and the desire to not have to start off at the crack of dawn we opted for half day tickets that allowed us 3 fish each. Starting around midday we would just about have enough daylight to make full use of the half day tickets if necessary.

We started up on ‘Sedgemoor’ lake and switched between this and ‘Exmoor’ and ‘Dartmoor’ lakes, and were both into action pretty much from the start. The fish seemed to really be feeding and we both had takes and lost fish aplenty before landing the first trout. This proved to be the format for the day as we hopped from lake to lake.

The successful flies were montana’s and olive damsels. Sometimes it was the swift, shallow retrieves that worked but more often it was the deeper and slower approach that scored. We had loads of plucks, takes, hooked and lost fish besides the banked fish. We could easily have filled our quota in the first hour!

My setup was the trusty #5 rod, with a floating line. I used a braided tapering leader and a few foot of 4lb fluorocarbon for the tippet. This set up allowed the beaded damsels & montana’s to sink slowly and seems to be really working for me for these stocked rainbows.

Successfully finishing the day with my quota of 3 trout, the only task remained to find a friend or neighbour who wanted the fish.. maybe my new years resolution for this year should be to find a good recipe for trout!