Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 03/06/14

Cwm Hedd Lake

Weather conditions have been much better this week, the more overcast weather with scattered showers earlier in the week providing good fishing conditions. Cwm Hedd is brim-full of Exmoor Fisheries hard fighting rainbows that are enjoying the relatively cool summer so far.

Whatever floats your boat

Anglers are enjoying the late opening til 9.15pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Welsh international angler Kieron Jenkins, a regular at Cwm Hedd, took his float tube out on the seven acre lake on one such evening. Kieron noted that the fish are feeding very high in the water:  the slow head and tail rises indicate that the trout are cruising just below the surface steadily picking buzzers from the surface film. Kieron used a two-fly cast strung together with 6lb co-polymer nylon, with a shuttlecock buzzer on the point and shipman’s buzzer on the dropper. In just a few hours on the float tube Kieron caught seven rainbows, three to the red shipman’s on the dropper, but as the light faded, the shuttlecock took the rest.Kieron Jenkins Float Tubing

The Shipman.s buzzer has been favoured by many other anglers, such as the week’s top anglers Ken Bowring and Roger Martyn, who each took one and returned nine and seven on the Shipman’s and a floating fly line. Huw Davies chose a Griffith’s gnat and an olive emerger, taking one and returning 6, while Graham Davies favoured a hare’s ear to take one and return 3. Using different tactics Keith Cox took one and returned 3 on a black and green tadpole and an intermediate line.

Kieron’s top tips:

De-grease your leader regularly as the fish are line shy in flat calm conditions. When playing lively fish, try and keep the rod to the side to increase the tension on the line and keep everything tight. This works extremely well at Cwm Hedd as the hard fighting fish have a tendency to jump when hooked. When the fish jumps the tension on the line/hook will slacken, allowing the hook to be thrown.

Flies to use at Cwm Hedd

Biggest fish of the month

No one managed to top Kieron’s four and three quarter pounder in May, but on his first visit to Cwm Hedd William Edwards got June off to a good start taking a cracking 4 pound rainbow on a bloodworm, returning another 3 on bloodworm and an orange egg fly (photo on facebook).  Plenty of bigger rainbows have been seen and are there for the taking.

Net that £200 tag fish!

The tag fish is still evading capture, but Velindre Cancer Centre is benefiting from the tardiness of the elusive rainbow. So far nearly £170 has been collected for Velindre on top of the £200 that will be scooped by one lucky angler!

‘Poppy fish’: British Legion Competition 16th November 2014. £30 entry fee plus sponsorship. Cash prizes totalling £215.00. Entry forms available at Cwm Hedd lodge or download at

Open Wed/Thurs 7am-5pm last admission 3pm; Fri/Sat/Sun 7am -9.15 pm:  last admission 6pm. Tel 07813 143 034 or (during fly fishing opening hours) lodge:  01633 896854 Directions on

Iain Barr – Early January

January saw the launch of the new Airflo World Bank Masterf competition. With heats across the UK that are filling fast, it promises to be a a massive competition. Cash prizes, holidays and more prizes to be won. See for more details.

I took a trip to Ellerdine fishery in Shropshire on the 11th and wasnt disappointed! Ellerdine offers a lake for all with it’s on site 5 lakes to choose from!

Most of the lakes are relatively shallow, averaging 6-8 foot, with the larger lake being 16 feet at it’s deepest. I opted for a 90 degree corner with the light winds pushing in on what was a mild sunny day in Shropshire.

I enjoy the fight from fish when not competing so took my Airflo Streamtec #4/5 which couples for a great small water rod as well superb for the river. Takes can be very subtle during winter months as the fish slow down so I fished a non-stretch airflo floating fly line to pick up the slightest of takes.#5


It didnt take long before my line started to slowly draw away and I landed my first of a 30+ fish haul. When fishing any small water I always start with a SunBurst Blob and two buzzers. I opted for a my original flexi blob as I had one handy in my patch from my last outing.


Remember to stay low at these kind of waters as they tend to slope off close to the shore and fish will not be lurking far out! The line slid away and I was into my first fine Ellerdine trout of about 2lb. It was rapid fire after that with about 10 following in the next hour or so. With the fish still pulling, I was keen to see the other 4 lakes on offer and made my way around them all.

They offer variations and no matter how strong the wind and from what direction you will always find a sheltered spot and almost flat calm somewhere! Superb! I decided not to take the comfort factor and chose again to fish in to the wind and across in a 90 degree corner on the largest of the lakes.

I had switched to a Neon Damsel which will catch on every water you will ever fish. It didn’t take long again until I was in to action but as quick as they were taking the fly they stopped! The lake switched off as bending rods around the lake ceased for everyone. Time for one of Ed’s finest bacon butties!

Refreshed and revitalised I went in search of one of Ellerdines many doubles which had been caught the previous few days. I picked up one here, one there and decided to return to where I started my day. Whereas in the morning I had caught nothing substantial, best of about 3lb, in my last throw of the dice I caught a further dozen with just 3 under 4lb! A great fly this time of the year is the Dancer and I fished my white and yellow uv version on the floating fly line. 12 fish came in the last hour and a half including a cracking 6lb fish and several around the 5lb mark. The double had eluded me although one of 9lb and 8lb were caught and safely returned.

Treat yourself to a trip there where you will receive a very warm welcome from this friendly run fishery.

Iain Barr small water Winter Fly Pack recommendations:-

Iain Barr Blobs

Iain Barr UV Dancers

Iain Barr Gold Head Damsels