Trout Fishing

We extend a warm welcome to all trout anglers. The range of fishing we offer ensures excellent sport for all abilities. Our still water fisheries are among the best in the west and vary in size from around 50 to over 900 acres!

Our fisheries are picturesque and atmospheric lakes, including countless secluded bays, weedy shores and tree line margins to explore. We boast rainbows, browns and a large number of blues of the highest quality. Traditional fly fishing is the rule at our stocked fisheries, although other methods can be used at our free wilderness trout waters. 

Young People and Newcomers

We are working hard to encourage young people and newcomers to take up the sport. Under 12s may fish for free when sharing their parents’ bag limit. For under 18s, there is a two fish child permit available. Throughout the season, we host open days and events where we offer free fly fishing tuition for all.

Boat Fishing

Boats are available at most of our waters which provide an alternative to bank angling. These must be pre-booked, either by calling 01566 771930 (8.30am - 5.00pm 7 days a week) or online by scrolling to the bottom of your chosen lake page.

Access for All

Most of the waters benefit from facilities designed for disabled or wheelchair anglers, either by platforms or Wheelyboats. These boats must be booked at least 48 hours in advance.


A number of the fisheries have associated local clubs. These are a great way to meet fellow anglers, as well as participating in competitions and social events. We run several competitions during the season - more details of each of these are available on our competitions page.

Environment Agency Rod Licence

Anglers on all our waters must have a valid Environment Agency rod licence which are available from post offices or via the Environment Agency. The only exception may be when attending a bona fide course or a coaching session with a qualified coach – please check beforehand.

South West Lakes

South West Lakes is the managing charity of SW Lakes Fishing. The charity is a member of The Angling Trust. In 2014, the South West Lakes fisheries hosted the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships; Scotland took gold and England won silver. 

Reporting an Incident:

South West Lakes manages a portfolio of nearly 50 lakes and other natural resources so it is not always possible for our wardens to be on the scene when issues occur. The very remote and rural nature of our estate, the thing that makes them so special, also means that modern mobile communications don’t always cover the areas we would like them to. This makes getting an immediate response to ongoing incidents very challenging.

Please use this form to report any incidents of poaching, illegal fishing or any other form of antisocial behaviour to the management team so that we are able to take appropriate action.

Complete Form

The new season is now firmly under way at the South West Lakes Trust trout fisheries, with the Rainbow waters opening on 12 March, and Brown Trout on 15 March. Where available, boats are now on the water, and should be pre-booked online. Generally the weather for the opening weeks has been kind to anglers, with light winds, little rain, and the occasional sunny day, although the fish are still mainly feeding in the deeper waters.



Mainly sinking or intermediate lines, or floating lines with long leaders, with a selection of nymph (Damsels, Diawl Bachs, and Buzzers) and lure (Tadpoles, Blobs, and Boobies) patterns, have worked well, with fish well spread out around the lake, and both boat and bank anglers enjoying excellent sport (with a rod average of 4.6 fish per angler). The best fish of the month was a 7lb rainbow, caught by Eddy Carter (from Starcross), one of twelve fish caught using a Damsel Boobie; other notable fish caught included rainbows of 6lb 8oz and 5lb 4oz in a bag of six fish caught by Mark Brimblecombe (from Exeter), a bag of four fish to 5lb 8oz caught by Tim Pugh, and a 5lb 4oz rainbow caught by Paul Wicks (from Ashburton), while boat angler Leslie Lewis caught twentyfour rainbows to 3lb on a catch-and-release ticket using a slow retrieve just off the bottom.

Eddy Carter's 7lb rainbow.


The fish have favoured the deeper water, with sinking lines fished with lures (Blobs, Tadpoles, and Cats Whiskers) or nymphs (Damsels, Montanas, and Buzzers) producing the best results, with most fish being caught at Two Meadows, Stocky Bay, Crylla Bay, North Bank, and the deeper water by the dam. Weekly rod averages were up to 3.4 fish per angler. Robert Young (from Bishop Auckland) caught the best fish – a rainbow of just over 4lb, using a Green and Black Sparkler on a floating line with a slow retrieve; Ian Pooley (from Plymouth) caught a rainbow of 3lb 2oz using an Orange Blob on a sinking line.

Photo: Daniel Smith


The warmer weather as the month progressed encouraged plenty of insect hatches and a lot of surface feeding activity, but although some anglers caught fish on Buzzers near the surface, most anglers found that the fish were still favouring the deeper water, often coming to Damsel and Buzzer patterns on the drop, or deeper fished lure patterns (Tadpoles, Minkies, Cats Whiskers, and Boobies). Longstone Point, Pig Trough Bay, East Bank, and Back Bay proved to be the most productive locations, with anglers averaging 6 fish per rod, improving as the month progressed. The best fish of the month included a 4lb rainbow (as part of a bag of ten fish) caught by Paul Tyson (from Launceston), mainly on a sinking line, a 4lb rainbow (also as part of a bag of ten) caught by Alan Lawson (from Plymouth), and a bag of four rainbows up to 4lb  caught by George Humble-Smith (from Torpoint).

Photo: Allan Lawson


Again, generally fish are still fairly deep, with sinking or intermediate lines producing the best results – otherwise a floating line with a long (18’) leader has worked well. After a slow start to the season, weekly rod averages picked up to 4.6 fish per angler, with fish well spread out (Pub Bay, Hollis Bank, Pipe Bay, Yellowort Bay, and the deeper water by the dam all fished well). A wide selection of nymphs and lures all caught fish, and the fish seem eager to feed without being too fussy, although anglers reported the best sport in the mornings before the sun rose too high. Simon Peters (from Frogpool) caught nine rainbows to 3lb, and John Henderson (from Falmouth) caught five fish to 3lb (‘a lovely looking grown-on fish that had been feeding on sticklebacks and snails’) using a floating line, long slow sinking leader and a slow retrieve).

Photo: Simon Peters


There were sporadic hatches of small flies and buzzers, with some surface feeding activity, and anglers reported a fast retrieve just under the surface produced good results, with Bibios, GH Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Soldier Palmers, and Damsel Nymphs all catching well, with South Bank, Permit Hut Bank, and Potters Bank the most productive locations. Paul Ackland (from Plymouth) had an excellent session on a bright sunny day with a fresh Easterly breeze, catching six browns to 2lb 8oz; Eric Kuchenbecker (from Plymouth) caught three browns to 2lb (missing many more) using a Diawl Bach, slowly retrieved on a floating line; Rodney Wevill caught four browns to 2lb fishing in the early evening using a team of three flies (Green Tag, Soldier Blue, and Soldier Palmer) on a floating line.

Photo: Rodney Wevill


This fishery’s exposed location has meant that it is still too early for much surface insect activity, and there has been little evidence of surface-feeding fish, although floating lines with varied selection of fast and slow retrieved flies (nymphs and lures) fished just under the surface have produced results, and fish are well spread out around the lake. Rodney Wevill (from Lifton) caught six browns to 42cm in one session.

Photo: Rodney Wevill


A relatively quiet start to the season in spite of plenty of insect activity. Nick Forrester caught three browns to 22cm using Sedge and Black Buzzers on a floating line during an evening session at South Wortha.

Photo: Robert Webb


Chris Hall (April 2022)