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

Wistlandpound Reservoir, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 4SJ

Wistlandpound Reservoir is located on the edge of Exmoor National Park, close to Barnstaple. Surrounded by picturesque rolling hills and conifer plantations, the reservoir is a favourite for those seeking a natural and wild environment.

Wistlandpound is low cost fly fishing for brown trout and there is a resident head of wild fish plus lots of fish that have grown on from previous years. Fish range from 4 inch to 4lbs. Rudd are in abundance providing some good fun with light tackle.

At only 41 acres, the whole reservoir can be fished in a day’s session, with plenty of grassy banks and rocky points to explore. Dry fly fishing is hugely successful on this water, which has an impressive evening rise.

Popular patterns include the black gnat, hoppers and daddies, while klinkhammers, emergers, and buzzers will work well all year round.  Popular nymph patterns include the black and peacock spider, pheasant tail nymph and olive damsel. Black and green is an effective colour combination on this water.

Wistlandpound offers 'catch and release' fishing as part of a full day ticket ensuring you can have a full day’s sport. Barbless hooks must be used.


Fishery Information

Address: Wistlandpound, Near South Molton, Devon EX31 4SJ

Season Date: 15 March - 12 October

Day Permits: Available online or on 01566 771930

Season Permits: Online or at South West Lakes 01566 771930.

Fishery Size: 41 acres

Contact: 01398 371460

Click here for the trout fishing rules



Nick Hart 01398 331660
John Dawson 01398 331498




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Whenever you leave the lakes, remember to Check, Clean, Dry

Invasive plants and animals can carry diseases that kill fish. Protect the environment and sport you enjoy by cleaning your kit before and after using the water.

Find out more here


Wistlandpound facilities include: car park and is a wheelchair friendly fishery. 

There are accessible woodland walks on site and the Calvert Trust offers outdoor activity breaks and courses for people with disabilities.