Big trout and hefty limits
Situated on the edge of Exmoor National Park, Clatworthy reservoir lies in the Brendon Hills, west Somerset. Undulating hills surround the water, offering a scenic setting for fishing and walking.
The steeply sloping landscape guides the headwaters of the infant River Tone into the 1,180-million gallon capacity reservoir where there are plenty of secret bays, bank fisher friendly points, as well as a main body of water with depths down to 96ft.
A standout feature is the average size of the stock fish. They are stocked at 2lb with some 7lb-15lb fish too, but they soon put on weight as average five fish bags can weigh between 10lb and 18lb. Rainbows and browns reared at the fishery’s own fish farm. The dam area is popular with boat anglers, especially in the summer as the d-stratification line provides plenty of oxygen in that area.
The numerous bays and coves lend themselves to exploration by boat and you can get a really good drift in and plenty of surface action when there’s a hatch on.
Hook, line and sinker
The fishing is traditional fly techniques and in in summer months the best methods are floating lines and HD.
Being an upland reservoir it can take a while for the water to warm up so more often than not intermediates are the most effective lines. During March wet patterns are effective but moving into the summer the dries, small buzzers, hare’s ears, damsels, daddies and coch-y-bonddu beetles take over.
When water levels are up we recommend booking a boat to seek out areas of the reservoir that would not be accessible from the bank. There are six boats available, plus a wheelchair friendly boat for anglers with disabilities and their helper(s).
A competition for the largest fish of the season takes place each year with a £150 tackle prize for the winner and runner-up prize of a book of six tickets to fish any Wessex Water reservoir during the 2014 season.
There is a variety of walking on offer at Clatworthy with the choice of a short nature trail or a walk of the entire five mile perimeter, lasting two and a half to three hours. Ample parking and public toilets are located at the viewing area where visitors begin the perimeter walk.
The car park, which remains open throughout the year, closes at sunset. Because of safety concerns regarding incidents of dog fouling and lack of supervision by some owners, no dogs are allowed around this reservoir.
Clatworthy reservoir has a range of habitats including acid grassland, broadleaf woodlands and scrub leading to marshy areas around the inlet streams. Clatworthy wood is mainly beech with sessile oaks, silver birch and rowan. The site is home to a range of passage and woodland birds as well as geese, grebes and swans. Red deer, roe deer and badgers are often seen in the woods. Walkers are reminded to avoid disturbing anglers and to remember that fishermen may not see walkers when backcasting.
Clatworthy reservoir - TA4 2EJ
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