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 the South West Lakes Trust trout fisheries, with the Rainbow waters opening on 3 March (with prior preview days for season ticket holders), and Brown Trout due to open 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 challenging to anglers, and in spite of strong winds, rain, snow and hail, and cold temperatures, the fish have already started to feed near the surface, with many caught using floating line tactics. The very wet winter means that the waters are at full capacity.


Photo: Andy Lawson


Rods averaged over 5.5 fish per angler during the opening sessions, with fish generally located along the western bank and in the Narrows, with bank anglers catching well. A selection of nymphs (Buzzers, Damsels, and Montanas) and lure patterns (Tadpoles, Kennick Killers, Black and Blue Fritz, and Black and Green Woolly Buggers) fished on intermediate and floating lines with various retrieves proved most successful. The best fish, a rainbow of 3lb 13oz, was caught by Mike Malpas.


Photos: Mike Malpas



The season opened on excellent form - anglers averaged 4.8 fish per rod, with fish mainly located along the North Bank, Two Meadows, and Stocky Bay. While some fish were caught on Montana Nymphs, most were caught on a variety of lure patterns (Cormorant, Kennick Killer, Snake, Blob, and Siblyback Sparkler) fished on floating lines with a medium retrieve. Ron Wilday (from Liskeard) caught a bag of six rainbows to 1lb 12oz is Stocky Bay.



The season opened with a flying start, with anglers averaging 8.6 fish per rod, mainly from Longstone, Pig’s Trough, Lowery Point, and Back Bay. Intermediate or floating lines with a fast retrieve proved to be the most successful method, with fish feeding on small flies on or just below the surface. Successful flies included Damsel Nymph variations, Black Fritz, Humungous, and Distressed Marabou patterns. Simon Stokes (from Horrabridge) caught the best fish – a rainbow of 2lb 8oz, using an intermediate line fished down to four feet depth, with a medium to fast retrieve. Jonny Mac (from Plympton) caught ten ‘fighting fit’ rainbows to 2lb, chasing stripped lures down to 6 feet below the surface.


Photos: Andy / Allan Lawson


The cold windy conditions made the opening weekend’s fishing challenging, with anglers managing to average only one fish per rod. Fish were mainly located at Pub Bay, Hollis, Sailing Club Bay, and Carmenellis, with slow-fished lure patterns (Black and Green Cats Whisker, Cormorant, and Blob patterns) fished on a floating line, but letting the fly sink well before retrieving, proving to be the most successful.


Another successful Fly Fair was held at Roadford Lake on 25 February, with fly-tying demonstrations, casting lessons, and trout cookery demonstrations. Charles Jardine opened the event, which also included a variety of tackle and fly-tying suppliers, ‘Coarse fish on the Fly’ by Dom Garnett, a chance to meet local clubs, and some bargains to be had on the Kennick Club used-tackle stand.


Please see website ( for more information on buying tickets, boat availability and booking, and forthcoming events.


Chris Hall (March 2024)