The guiding season takes off in earnest in a couple of weeks but in the meantime it is that time of year when the fishery begins to come to life. After the battering that Mother Nature has given us during the winter you could almost sense the relief when finally the clouds parted, the sun appeared and something resembling a pleasant day next to the water became possible.
Amongst the pleasure anglers are a few getting their eye in for the round of annual competitions we hold here at Exe Valley. A couple of weeks ago it was the Troutmasters fish off won by Alan Jukes with a cracking bag of 5 fish which tipped the scales to 18lb 12oz, plus he managed to catch them with three hours to spare before the final whistle. For that he collected 3 hours of time bonus, adding more pounds to his bag and a convincing win. Alan is a regular at Exe Valley, visiting pretty much every weekend and it is noticeable that the top 3 anglers in that match make frequent visits. Sometimes an angler gets lucky but for the most part it’s all about practice & confidence. Go fishing more and you will get results, no matter whether you are on a regular day out or fishing a match.
I wouldn’t mind betting the well practiced, confident anglers will make their mark here tomorrow when we host a heat of Iain Barrs world bank masters. This match is a lot of fun. 5 morning sessions, an hour’s lunch break and then 5 afternoon sessions. It’s a pegged competition with 30 minutes allowed on each peg and then its move three places. But in a twist we break the usual Exe Valley policy of no catch & release, which means there is no time bonus. Instead the first fish on a peg is worth 2 points and then the next 4 gain one point. 5 fish per peg and 6 points in total. So it’s not just fishing but a bit of maths too! Barbless hooks are mandatory of course.
On form anglers include Andy Ford who picked up this perfect Rainbow of 9lb 8oz during a practice session and we have also stocked a few surprises. More Brown Trout have gone in for example and to add another little bit of interest the “Tagged Trout” remain elusive. Visiting anglers chuck in a pound on top of the permit fee which goes into an ever increasing pot. Currently there is almost £200 swimming around somewhere in Anchor Lake!
The water is crystal clear and the Buzzers are hatching, but of course there is a twist; there is always a twist! It looks like Mother Nature is turning on a bit of spring with a forecast of single figure temperatures, squally winds and even the chance of snow on the hills not so far from here! Oh please Mother Nature couldn’t we have overcast, muggy warm with some nice flat calm and possibly a gentle ripple? I think I know the answer …
Best fishes to all of those who have supported the event, the pegs are out, the score cards printed and no doubt there will be Bacon sarnies. 1st prize is a fab set of Costa sunglasses amongst other goodies and of course the real prize is the chance to head to the Elinor final on Sunday 13th April with a grand prize of £2000! If this is all sounding like too much and you are ready to brave the elements tomorrow, give me a shout because the match can be re pegged to accommodate late entries.