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 18 fish for free with a paying adult and part of their bag limit. 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.

You will need to sign a disclaimer before you can take a boat out. Once a year you will need to complete a boat induction – please watch the induction video here

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 Trust

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

Reporting an Incident:

South West Lakes Trust 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 all of the South West Lakes Trust trout fisheries; where available, boats are now on the water, and should be pre-booked online. Generally the weather for the opening month has been both mixed and challenging to anglers, with strong winds, rain, snow and hail, and cold temperatures. Fish have been feeding throughout the water column, with some already starting to feed near the surface, and many have been caught using floating line tactics. The very wet winter means that the water levels are full.



Rods averaged just over 5 fish per angler over the month, with fish generally well spread out around the lake and eager to feed. Both boat and bank anglers caught fish in most locations (particularly the Top End, Clampitts Bay, the Dam, and Hawthorn Point), using a variety of tactics from floating lines fishing nymphs just under the surface, to Blobs and Boobies fished on fast-sinking lines, all with a variety of retrieves. Andy Western caught a four pound rainbow, the best fish of the month.

Photo: Mike Malpas


The fishery continued to produce some fine fishing, with anglers averaging 3.9 fish per rod. Two Meadows, Stocky Bay, Crylla, and North Bank produced the best sport, with bank anglers getting marginally better results than the boats. Dark fly patterns seemed to be preferred by the fish, with Montanas, Vivas, and Black and Gold Fritz patterns fishing well over a range of depths and with various retrieves; a few fish were even tempted to the surface to take Black Hoppers. Small hatches of buzzers produced rising fish on occasions. Benjamin Lang (from Launceston) caught one brownie and seven rainbows – the best of which was 3lb 8oz, caught on a size 14 buzzer cast to rising fish feeding off hatching buzzers off Meadows Bank. Simon Peters (from Truro) caught a bag of seven rainbows to 2lb 8oz, fishing from the East Bank, using a Black and Green Snake and a Black and Green Bunny Cat on an intermediate line.


Again, the great start to the season continued at Burrator, with anglers averaging 5 fish per rod, with fish well spread out around the lake, particularly at Longstone, Sheepstor, Lowery, Pig Trough, and Bennett’s. Floating and intermediate lines with a variety of retrieval methods (fast, slow figure of eight, washing line) all produced good sport. Hatches of buzzers and black gnats meant that fish were frequently found feeding near the surface (and occasionally caught on a Klinkhammer); however, the majority of fish were taken sub-surface on a variety on nymph (Damsels, Pheasant Tails, Buzzers, and Montanas) and lure (Orange Blobs, Black Fritz, Humungous, and Cats Whisker) patterns. Kevin Sellar (from Plymouth) caught twelve rainbows and a brown from the boat, fishing off Discovery Bank, then Lowery Point, Pines, Bennett’s and Narrator, using a slow intermediate line. Al Lawson (from Plymouth) caught a bag of five rainbows fishing between Lowery Point and the field, and the on to Bennett’s; Dom and Ben Garnett (from Exeter) caught four rainbows and three browns, using a Damsel Nymph at first, and then a Black spider when fish started to rise to hatching buzzers, at Narrator Bank.

Photo: Andy / Al Lawson


The fishing improved as the month progressed, with anglers averaging 3.3 fish per rod. The best sport was to be had at North Bank, Yellowort, Goonlaze, Chapel Bay, and Mossopps, with surface activity during the occasional buzzer hatch. Fish were caught at all depths on a wide selection of nymphs (mainly Damsel variants) and lure patterns (Orange Blobs, Cats Whiskers, Cormorants, and Muddlers), with some fish rising to both Claret and Green Hoppers, as well as small parachute dry patterns and Coch-y-Bondhu. Simon Peters (from Cusgarne) caught a bag of eight rainbows in the space of an hour, pulling an Apache Lure on an intermediate line and slow retrieve, with aggressive takes; on another visit he caught five rainbows to 2lb 8oz from Deep Bank. Phillip Lockley (from Constantine) caught four rainbows using a home-tied Damsel nymph fished near the bottom.


The fishing improved as the month progressed, - the middle week resulted in eight anglers out of thirteen catching full bags, and an overall rod average of 2.23 fish per angler; the average then rose to 2.7 fish per rod in the final week of the month. The most successful method was a medium or slow retrieve on either a floating or intermediate line, with most fish feeding in the top six feet of water, mainly on a variety of sub-surface nymph patterns (including Diawl Bachs, Pheasant Tails, Montanas, Buzzers, and Bibios), while a few fish rose to take a Daddy Longlegs from the surface. Prime locations included Permit Hut, Boat Bay, Lowton Bay, and South Bank. Rodney Wevill (from Lifton) caught five browns to 1lb 4oz using a Soldier Palmer and Blue Zulu on a floating line with a medium retrieve.


Again, the fishing improved toward the end of the month, with rod averages rising to 3.5 fish per visit, with the best fishing to be had by the dam, Lords Waste, and along the West bank. Generally floating lines with a medium or slow-jerked retrieve produced the best results, using Soldier Palmers, Muddler Minnows, Zulus, and Hare’s Ear patterns. When there was a rise to hatching buzzers, small Black Gnats and Bob’s Bits both caught fish, as did Deer Hair Sedges and Daddy Longlegs patterns. Dean Boucher (from Gunnislake) opened his season with four (three overwintered) browns to twelve inches using a Black Tadpole and Zonker. Chris Tilyard (from Fraddon) caught four browns, casting a Black Gnat to fish rising to a Black Buzzer hatch, while Roger Truscott (from Liskeard) caught eighteen browns in one session. Richard Ticehurst (from Kelly Bray) caught six browns to 14” in an afternoon session, noting plenty of insect activity (tiny black terrestrials, longhorn sedges, small brown beetles, and craneflies) – he found short casts and static presentation of dry patterns for the fish to find the most successful method. Colliford is the only reservoir not yet at full capacity, being 95% full at time of writing.


Photos: Richard Ticehurst


Rods averaged 3 fish per rod, with most fish caught either in the deeper water by the dam, or at Grinnacombe. Generally a slowly retrieved floating line, fishing Beetles, Tadpoles, or a mini Scruffy Tiger produced the best results. Jamie Gillman (from Plympton) caught ten browns up to 1lb, all using a Beetle pattern.


Please see website ( for more information on buying tickets, boat availability and booking, and forthcoming events. South West Lakes Trust, in conjunction with Fluff Chuckers, are running a Brown Trout Masters competition this season, to be held over three dates at Colliford, Fernworthy, and Roadford – please see website for more information.


Chris Hall (April 2024)