Posts Tagged ‘Wychwood Truefly’

The end of the season is fast approaching and looking at my diary over the next couple of months it was quite clear I needed to pay a visit to Kennick trout fishery while I still had the chance. The weather on Sunday was stunning, clear blue skies and an extremely comfortable temperature of around 21c. While it wasn’t ideal trout fishing conditions I am always up for a fishing challenge and what better way could you spend a Sunday afternoon?

Arriving at Kennick around 12 I looked out over the water, flat calm with not a sign of any trout rising or moving. As I made my way to the far side of the reservoir I spoke to a few fishermen, all confirming it was going to be a tough days fishing. I took two rods, a 6wt 9ft Greys GRX-I  rod equipped with a GRX-I reel and sinking line. The other rod was an 8ft 4wt Wychwood Truefly rod equipped with a Pflueger Trion reel and a floating line. Looking in the margins there were plenty of pupa cases/shucks. As I began to work my way through the water depths, fly box and various locations I struggled to find the fish.

A few clouds started to appear and a number of fish started to rise, primarily brownies the occasional rainbow could be seen. Encouraging though it seemed I still failed to get a response, so I started to reach for the less traditional fly patterns. After 2 hours I eventually had a take, the fish came off as quick as it took the lure. I really don’t understand why the goldhead blob in sunburst works so well but whenever the conditions have been tough it consistently produces.

I read a number of articles about the ‘blob’ and how it has caused almost as much controversy as the boobie fly. While it is never my fly of choice I still think it is a valuable addition to anyone’s fly box especially if you are struggling after trying a whole host of traditional patterns. I am certainly not a ‘yob with a blob’, nor am I an ‘Elitist traditionalist’, just being there on the water is enough for me but with hungry cats to feed I feel obligated. Anyway back to the fishing..

Kennick Trout never fail to impress me, each one in perfect condition and always willing to put up a hell of a fight. The stock levels are spot on and I have never come across a fish that has fin damage commonly found on other stocked waters. After landing 3 fish I decided it was time to go home, another happy day fishing at Kennick reservoir.

Although the fishing was tough (I wasn’t alone) Kennick reservoir looked and felt stunning in the beautiful weather. I kept losing myself in the moment, bird life and hypnotic ripples moving across such a vast area of water. As the days shorten and the colours of autumn begin to develop, regardless of catching or not you will get to enjoy an amazing example of the wonderful Devon countryside.

For more information on Kennick reservoir please read my previous post

Kennick Reservoir Trout

Kennick Reservoir Trout

Kennick Reservoir Trout

Kennick Reservoir Trout - great condition

This weekend I decided to visit the Exe Valley Fishery in North Devon, after speaking to James at Exeter Angling. He assured me that although relatively small in size Exe Valley fishery would provide me with some excellent sport on light tackle.  Sounding like my kind of place I loaded up the Turbo Wagon and set off early Saturday morning.

Exe Valley Fishery has been hatching and rearing fish on a large scale for more than 110 years. As well as the hatchery / smoke houses it is the home to Nick Hart Fly Fishing and the Hart Fly shop. Nick Hart is an extremely accomplished fly fisherman and a AAPGAI casting instructor which you can benefit from by taking up one of his fly fishing courses.

The location of the fishery is probably one of the best I have seen. The River Exe forms part of the fishery boundaries giving you a great view of the Exe bridge and a chance to see many of the wild fish rising (which can be fished for on a separate permit).  The walk to the main lake takes you over a small stream running adjacent to a series of houses with beautifully landscaped gardens.

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery- On route to the main lake

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery- On route to the main lake

Before fishing I took a walk around the main lake and was pleasantly surprised by the clarity of the water and a very interesting feature. The lake is supplied by a fast flowing small stream through a channel at the shallow end of the lake. This creates conditions very similar to that of a river and a number of nice fish could be seen sat in the slack waters next to the faster flowing water waiting for food to come their way. This ‘flow’ continues across almost 1/3rd of the lake until the water deepens. Having such a high rate of water flow should mean that the fish benefit from the higher levels of oxygen and should be of quality in terms of taste and fight.

Exe Valley Fishery - Stream supplying water to the main lake

Exe Valley Fishery - Stream supplying water to the main lake

Exe Valley Fishery - Interesting lake feature

Exe Valley Fishery - Interesting lake feature

Without wanting to miss an opportunity I quickly assembled my 4wt Wychwood Truefly rod and attached a black Diawl Bach. It is always magical to watch fish oriented against the flow of water, and even more so being so close and with the chance of catching them many times over. I made a small cast and watched the Diawl Bach drift slowly through the slack water against the flow of the faster water. The fly drifted a little too far in front of the fish so I gently retrieved the line and made another cast. Disaster, the line brushed against one of the fish spooking it into the fast water. I made a third cast. The fly gently drifted towards the fish and with an extremely small tweak I induced a take. I struck and the fish exploded out of the water, jumping straight into the faster water. After receiving a face full of fly line and spooking everything (including myself) within an 8 mile radius I moved further down the lake to the deeper water.

Towards the middle of the lake there was a lot of fish activity and when the sun came through the cloud dark shapes could be seen moving. There were so many fish concentrated around this area I was constantly casting over fish and spooking them. To reduce this I decided to start with a short cast, increasing the distance each time. Despite the large number of fish I was struggling to get any positive takes and after 2 hours, some swearing and trying quite a few sub surface patterns I thought it would be a good idea to try a dry fly.

My favorite dry fly pattern has to be the Klinkhammer. For me it has always been extremely effective and consistent on rivers, streams and still waters. It remains buoyant, easy to see and if using a foam topped Klinkhammer is robust enough to be able to catch more than one fish. I started with a black Klinkhammer, applied a small amount of gink to the emerging part of the fly and made a short cast to some fish moving. As soon as the fly hit the water a fish burst from the water, I wasn’t expecting such an instant response and stuck into all the slack I had in the line.

After missing another take I struck into a fish that felt rather solid. It started to swim towards me and I had trouble keeping in contact, it turned and made a series of lunges stripping enough line allowing me play it on the reel. The fish happily swam around making my Pflueger Trion scream. After a nice 5 minute fight I had a 7lb rainbow in the net.

Exe Valley Fishery - 7lb Rainbow Trout

Exe Valley Fishery - 7lb Rainbow Trout

Over the next couple of hours I managed to catch (and lose) some great fighting fish all of which greater than 3lb in weight. My favorite fish of the day had to be a 4lb’er that was very dark in colour and in great fighting condition.

Exe Valley Fishery - Dark coloured hard fighting rainbow

Exe Valley Fishery - Dark coloured hard fighting rainbow

Exe Valley Fishery - Trout taking a Klinkhammer

Exe Valley Fishery - Trout taking a Klinkhammer

As mentioned in previous posts small trout fisheries can prove to be quite tricky to fish and many people come away disappointed because they have failed to catch. Even though they contain a large number of fish in a small volume of water they can become very wary especially after a day of fly lines slapping the surface. If you find that your are struggling, talk to other people who are catching and see what a change in approach can do.

Exe Valley Fishery provided me with a great day of sport amongst beautiful surroundings. I opted for a 5 fish ticket at £25 which is very well priced considering the size of the fish and the oxygen rich environment they have been given. Amongst the small fly fishing venues in Devon the Exe Valley Fishery is one of the best. If you are new to fly fishing, looking to improve / gain confidence or just for a place to relax and have some fun then you should definitely visit the Exe Valley fishery.

For more information on the fishery and Nick Hart take a look at the following websites.

Exe Valley Fishery – http://www.exevalleyfishery.co.uk/
Nick Hart Fly Fishing – http://www.hartflyfishing.demon.co.uk/
Hart Fly Shop – http://www.hartflyshop.com/


View Exe Valley Fishery in a larger map

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

When it comes to choosing fishing tackle, accessories and clothing I find myself in a bit of a quandary. Because I like to fly, sea and coarse fish I cannot afford to buy at the expensive end of the scale for every item I use (which at my last count was 20 rods, 10 reels and all the accessories and clothing that goes with it) but nor do I ever want to buy cheap and suffer a lack of quality.  Therefore I think it would be interesting to share what in my opinion are really great quality pieces of kit that are affordable and yet ooze quality in terms of finish and detail.

When fly fishing I always like to use my 4wt rod whenever the conditions allow. To me fishing light is a joy and hooking into anything really tests you and the tackle. I have used the following set up on small rivers, ponds and reservoirs as large as Kennick. If you read some of my other posts on Kennick reservoir and Tavistock trout fishery you can see I have managed to land some very nice fish.

8ft Wychwood Truefly fly rod
As I mentioned in the first paragraph of this post I am very keen on kit that is affordable and of quality in terms of finish and detail. After buying quite a lot of rubbish in the past I first discovered Wychwood when I was looking for a couple of decent carp rods. Those rods didn’t fit my criteria but exceeded them and since then every Wychwood product I have purchased has been the same.

I was on the search for an 8ft rod to fish the upper Teign more effectively. The 7ft rod I had been using was ok but I found I needed something a little longer so it was easier to mend the line, but not too long as it is hard to cast on the majority of the Teign. Naturally I started to look and see what Wychwood had to offer in the way of fly fishing rods. There are currently two types of Wychwood fly rods available, the Truefly range and the more expensive Aura range.

After handling both rods in the shop (Exeter Angling, great shop and even better advice) I was extremely impressed, each felt and looked great. The Aura range doesn’t include a 4wt rod so I couldn’t say no to the 8ft Truefly rod price tag of £55 and made a purchase.

The rod specification includes..

- Middle to tip smooth casting action
- Multi-modulus carbon
- Dual anodised aluminium reel seat
- Premium grade AAA cork
- Section labelling & eyesights
- 3 piece rods
- Matching cordura rod tube & rod sleeve

Wychwood Truefly 4wt -  Quality finish and detail

Wychwood Truefly 4wt - Quality finish and detail

Small details on the reel seat give it a quality look and feel. The cork is as good as that found on my more expensive coarse and fly rods.

Wychwood Truefly 4wt - Rod tube, always a bonus

Wychwood Truefly 4wt - Rod tube, always a bonus

Wychwood Truefly 4wt - Rod tube, always a bonus

Wychwood Truefly 4wt - Rod tube, always a bonus

I cannot do without a rod tube, not only does it offer awesome protection but they also dare I say it, look cool. Chucking a few rods in the back of the car and not having to worry about them being crushed or damaged in transit is a no brainer.

Wychwood Truefly 4wt - Small details make all the difference

Wychwood Truefly 4wt - Small details make all the difference

Wychwood Truefly 4wt - Quality Snake rings

Wychwood Truefly 4wt - Quality Snake rings

Each rod section has ‘eyesights’ to ensure all of the snake rings are aligned and also should you have more than one Truefly rod and get them mixed up, each section is labeled.

Fishing with the Truefly is fantastic, the casting action is very smooth and because it is so light you can cast and cast all day. The rod is sensitive enough to pick up the smallest of knocks and although not ideal for playing 5lb+ trout it absorbs anything the fish throws at it.

You can purchase the Wychwood Truefly rods from Sportfish – Online Fly Fishing Superstore

Shakespeare Pflueger Trion
After using the Truefly rod with my extremely cheap 3/4 wt reel I decided it needed a reel to match it’s performance and looks. Being a 4wt rod I didn’t need to worry or think about having a floating, intermediate and sinking line set-up so disregarded a cartridge spool style reel. While in the tackle shop (Exeter Angling) I asked what was available in the £50-100 price range. The first reel I was pass was the Shakespeare Pflueger Trion costing £60.

The Pflueger Trion has been machined from cold forged aluminum making it extremely light as well  looking the part. Like Wychwood have done with the Truefly rod, Shakespeare has matched in the Pflueger Trion range. For the price it is hard to believe what Shakespeare have achieved and it is no wonder the reel has won numerous awards, and apparently it is one of the best selling reels in the UK.

The reel includes the following features

- Forged, machined and anodized aluminum frame and spool.
- Mid arbor spool design.
- Over-sized ball bearing.
- One-way clutch bearing.
- Patented center-disc drag system for total drag control.
- Convertible left/right hand retrieve.
- Large rosewood knob.
- Easy-release spool switch.
- Protective storage bag included.

Shakespeare Pflueger Trion

Shakespeare Pflueger Trion

Shakespeare Pflueger Trion

Shakespeare Pflueger Trion

Shakespeare Pflueger Trion

Shakespeare Pflueger Trion - Details

Using the reel is a joy, it makes all the right noises, is extremely smooth and has a great drag that can be easily tightened or loosened.  To finish the overall look of the reel the line happened to be a mint green, which I am sure you will agree again looks great.

This combination of rod and reel cannot be beaten on price. Out of all my fishing tackle I don’t think I have anything that I have been more pleased with. I am fully aware there are better rods and reels available but nothing really gets close in matching these two for quality and price.

Wychwood Truefly 4wt and Shakespeare Pflueger Trion

Wychwood Truefly 4wt and Shakespeare Pflueger Trion

Wychwood Truefly 4wt and Shakespeare Pflueger Trion

Wychwood Truefly 4wt and Shakespeare Pflueger Trion