Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Lake on Fire

Cwm hedd trout fishery

How’s it fishing?

Overall another outstanding week for fishing at Cwm Hedd, with the mild weather but cool water temperature conducive to some excellent fishing, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday where conditions were near perfect. With all anglers required to take the first rainbow, the Exmoor fisheries stock is turning over rapidly and the excellent condition of the hard fighting rainbows is maintained, as can be seen from the numerous images posted on facebook in the last few weeks.   Another hundred rainbows are on order for this week.

The bay near the main island has been fishing particularly well. On my walk around the lake this morning, there were plenty of rainbows moving and feeding in the bay as well as in several other areas – enjoying their couple of days off no doubt. Can you please remember to pick up your leader line as it can be lethal to the wildlife.

Only a handful of anglers have blanked this week, although Friday – Sunday’s weather conditions made anglers work harder compared to the nirvana of Wednesday and Thursday. Saturday’s top anglers on catch and release, each taking one and releasing their limit of nine were Bob Mayers, Matthew Russell and Kieron Jenkins, all making short work of the wind with Airflo 40+ intermediate fly lines. Matthew and Kieron were on damsels (Kieron also had one on an orange and white lure), while Bob favoured a tequila blob and a sunburst blob.

Welcome back

Great to see Sally Ann Iles back on the water on Saturday, taking one and I think returning at least 6 (forgot to write it down, but I’m sure Sal will let me know if I’m wrong!) Regulars Paul Elsworthy and Alan Powell each took one, with Paul releasing another: Alan on a damsel nymph, midge tip, and Paul on a mini-cat and a ghost tip. First into the wading area this season were Chris Griffiths, Andrew Harvey and Craig Williams, with Andrew and Craig taking one on blood worm and a floating line and Craig using an intermediate line and a red thing as he put it! It was a pleasure to see Terry Bromwell back, sporting a very fetching head scarf –  la Captain jack Sparrow, taking a beautiful rainbow and returning one, both on a damsel. Matthew Evans took one on a black goldhead while Justin Jones opted for an orange blob and a slow intermediate to take three.

With weather from the sublime to the ridiculous at Cwm Hedd on Sunday, Kevin Probert and Keith Cox were two who triumphed against the downpours, resisting the urge to leg-it back to the lodge and hide by the fire. Kevin took his rainbow on a copper John and a sink tip, and Keith took his on a mini-cat and intermediate. Despite some ferocious downpours that found anglers battling to get lines out, perseverance paid off for others too. Mike McKewan surprised himself by taking one rainbow and returning six – one on a white blob and the rest on a green and black fritz. Hurrah!!! On their first visit for a while, Paul Lippett and Anthony Spiller each took a rainbow, Paul on a black and green montana and a floating line behind the main island, Anthony on a white fritz and a sink tip floating line. Well worth putting up with the contrary weather that threw wind and rain in all directions.

The wild and windy Sunday weather didn’t stop Luke Thomas from making a second visit, having taken one rainbow the day before on a white fritz; Luke’s Sunday outing with a white zonker and intermediate line resulted in another rainbow headed straight for the plate and Luke’s recipe involving horseradish of all things, plus butter and almonds.

Regular Roy Western is another angler who enjoys his angling enough to have made two trips to Cwm Hedd, taking two rainbows and putting another two back on a black and green fritz and a floating line on Saturday, and putting six back on Wednesday on a black and green montana.

More young anglers cut the mustard at Cwm Hedd – who said that fly fishing is for the more mature person?

We’ve had more talented young anglers at Cwm Hedd this week: Regular Derek Mills with grandsons Ben Jackson and Jacob Mills finished an afternoon’s fishing with a cracking rainbow each. I forgot to write down what flies and lines they were on, but I think Ben also returned three rainbows and Jacob another two.

Cerys Edwards helped her dad to take one on a mini cat with a floating line on his birthday, while Ken’s wife Donna enjoyed sitting in the lodge by the fire and admiring from afar. Happy birthday Ken!

Also honing their skills this week were Rebecca and Bethan Elms with dad Richard, Callum Russell with dad Matthew, and Kian with granddad Ron Shottle, each young angler keeping older anglers on their toes. With some great teamwork, Rebecca Elms (aged 6!) took her first rainbow, dad cast the line out but Rebecca hooked and retrieved the fish on a cats whisker and a fast glass line, with sister Bethan (aged nine!) ready with the net. Bethan hooked several herself too, but was unlucky to lose them, as did several very experienced anglers that day, so I’ve no doubt a bit more practice will soon see Bethan in with a fish too – More teamwork resulted in Callum Russell putting five back and Kian taking one, Callum on a damsel and intermediate line and Kian on a white daddy and a floating line.

Dads and granddads had better watch out, these young anglers are fast learners!

The best day’s fishing I’ve ever had! Colin Cox was over the moon on Wednesday, taking one and releasing nine in the bay, declaring it to be ‘The best day’s fishing I’ve ever had!’ It was also a great day for regulars Bill Williams, with Bill taking 1 and returning seven on a daddy. Jim Mckay and Wayne Evans each took one and Wayne put another back, Jim on a mini cat and Wayne on a montana. A new face at Cwm Hedd, Wales team member Stephen Roberts enjoyed his first visit, taking one and returning two on a cormorant and a dry fly with a floating line. Two of his catch were brought to the bank in the bay next to the small island – good to see this area is holding fish as it tends to be neglected in the rush for the expected hot spots! Novice Gareth Neale is learning fast – taking four rainbows and putting another six back on a fantastic fishing day for all.

Steve Rowley arrived early on Thursday, taking 2 on a green and white humungus and putting 9 back, using a 12 foot leader and a medium strip, fortified with a bacon sandwich at the lodge half way through his visit. Another early bird, regular Ian Humphries on a well- deserved day off work took one rainbow and put seven back on a cats whisker, floating line, with only one coffee break in the middle. Terry Griffiths was sorry to see that there was no bread pud on Wednesday, but cheered himself up by taking one rainbow and returning two on a black buzzer and a cats whisker on a floating line.

A trio of Kens found more good fishing at Cwm Hedd on Thursday. Ken Davies took his rainbow on a bloodworm with a floating line off the far bank, while Ken Pascoe favoured a floating sink tip line and a small nymph to take 1 and put three back. Ken Bowring and Roger Martyn each took one and released their limit of nine each, so for the second week running brought twenty to the bank between them on goldhead cats whiskers and intermediate lines 🙂 . Roger Martyn had so much fun he did it all over again on Friday, taking another and again returning his bag limit.

New to Cwm Hedd, another novice angler Huw John took a lovely rainbow off the side of the main island, having retrieved his fly from a tree several times (I’m sure with good humour!). Friend Justin Williams helped to net the fish taken on an orange lure and looks forward to taking his own fish in the not too distant future.

Lee Ashcroft took one and released seven on a black and green tadpole and an intermediate line on Friday, in good natured competition with friend Graham Davies, who was also on an intermediate, taking one and returning three on a diawl back. Of course Graham didn’t mind at all that Lee returned more as he had had his bag limit the week before, so no fisticuffs in the lodge.

Chris Jago and John parsons also took one and returned three, Chris on a holographic buzzer and a floating line, John on a black buzzer and intermediate. Regulars Tom Collier and dad Rob, each took and returned one on bloodworm and cats whiskers. New to Cwm Hedd, Joseph Chevrier had a great day, taking two on an orange blob. Also new to Cwm Hedd, Leighton John from Neath took one on a green and black fritz, while Stewart Woodfield from Barry and Alun Davies each took one on cats whiskers, and Gary Collins took two on a daddy and a floating line.

Angling development

As noted last week I’m very keen to get some angling development programmes established and I’m on the case,   but remember to let me know what you want so programmes can be planned. My thoughts last week were the following:

Taster/beginner sessions (juniors); taster/beginner sessions (adults); Novice development for juniors; novice development for adults Master classes eg casting general/casting into the wind/ fly tying

Opening hours: Monday and Tuesday closed; Wednesday-Sunday: 8am ’til sunset; last admission: 2 hours before sunset. By next Sunday sunset will be 4.30pm, so last admission will be 2.30pm from Wednesday-Sunday this week.

Tel: 01633 896854 (lodge during opening hours); 07813 143 034 (any time/day before 6pm)

Poppy fish: British Legion Competition 16th November 2014.

Less than two weeks to go: some places still available, but not sure if they will be by next week, so if you are still ruminating you need to decide soon.

Remember that even if you are not fishing the comp feel free to come along to the lodge with your nearest and dearest from 10am, where tea/coffee and cakes will be available for purchase via donation, with profit going to the British Legion. Any contribution to the raffle or cake table will be gratefully received. I’m hoping Rad will bring some of his Welsh cakes, so will Ian Humphries please put in a request from me!

Help on the day in the lodge or with the comp would be very much appreciated, so please contact me if you would like to volunteer.

Comp entry: £30 in advance (three fish ticket), plus sponsorship: sponsor money to be brought on the day. Free bacon roll, tea/coffee on arrival for competitors. Cash prizes totalling £215.00. Entry forms at the lodge or on or download at