Tavistock trout fishery is a fly fishing and self-catering holiday cottage venue situated on the edge of Dartmoor. The owner Abigail is incredibly enthusiastic about creating a fishery that exceeds ones expectations of fishing. Tavistock trout fishery manages to achieve this through the opportunity to catch sizable fish in a picturesque setting while having access to great on-site facilities.
As I passed over the bridge and onto the fishery I was greeted by a pot belly pig, chickens of various shapes / sizes, cats and a great authentic farmyard feel. As you walk down through the farm and past the self-catering cottages you eventually stumble upon the 5 lakes. The fishing lodge is great, it caters not only for the fisherman but for partners and children. The tackle shop is surprisingly well stocked and the staff are friendly and approachable. In terms of what a small fishery could offer Tavistock trout fishery has it all.
1. Tavistock trout fishery lodge and tackle shop
The fish stocks vary depending on which of the 5 lakes you fish but each contains a few surprises. There are some enormous fish to be caught if you are lucky enough to hook into one. They regularly stock 10lb+ brown and rainbow trout along with a large number of smaller fish. None of the lakes are particularly large in size but some are between 12-18ft deep, so I am assuming there is enough water volume to avoid over-stocking.
On the day of my visit the weather seemed pretty much perfect, overcast and not boiling hot. For the first couple of hours I struggled and after fishing 4 of the lakes (ponds) all I manged to induce was the frustration of a fish swirling. I went super fine and ended up using my 4wt rod, a 2.5lb leader and a very small gold head nymph. I eventually induced some more confident pulls and using a very slow retrieve hooked into a 5.5lb rainbow.
2. 5.5lb Rainbow Trout
After a while more fish started to show in the upper level of water and throughout the rest of the day I managed to catch another 4 fish. The staff made me aware of a number of escapee’s from the stock ponds one of which I caught, it was the smallest rainbow I have ever landed, all 4 inches of it.
I left around 5pm after an enjoyable but difficult fishing, out of the 7-8 anglers there I was the only person to catch. Without wanting to blow my own trumpet I think that a lot of other fly fishermen under-estimate how difficult fisheries of this size can be. The fish can become extremely wary of being fished for so I like to use very small flies and cast to moving fish, rather than relentlessly casting again and again hoping something will take.
Although I prefer to fish larger venues I think you can learn a lot from fishing smaller venues when conditions are not perfect. On the day I was rather optimistic and purchased a 6 fish permit with limited catch and release for £40 which is not cheap but nor is it expensive. I read a few negative reviews about Tavistock which I think were unfair, and more than likely based on people thinking it would be easy to catch. If you keep an open mind and don’t make the assumption it will be easy and enjoy the facilities and relaxed environment you will have a great days fly fishing.
I had fun at Tavistock Trout Fishery and I think Abigail has created more than just a fishery. If you interested in learning about everything it has to offer take a look at – http://www.tavistocktroutfishery.co.uk/
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3. Tavistock trout fishery resident
4. Overlooking Kingfisher lake from the lodge
5. Osprey Lake
6. Tavistock trout fishery resident
7. Entrance to Tavistock trout fishery
8. Tavistock trout fishery resident
9. Tavistock trout fishery lake
10. Tavistock trout fishery