Clatworthy reservoir

Clatworthy reservoir

Brendon Hills, West Somerset, TA4 2EJ

Rangers: Les Carter and Danny Ford

Contact: 01984 624658

Season: Wednesday 13 March to Thursday
31 October 2019

Clatworthy reservoir
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.

“I simply know of no better place than Clatworthy: the jewel of the Quantocks and a place of outstanding fly fishing, convivial company and countryside to match. Amazing.”

Charles Jardine


The steeply sloping landscape guides the headwaters of the infant River Tone into the 5,364-million litre 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 29 metres.

The fish are stocked at 2lb with some 7lb to 15lb but they soon put on weight as an average five fish bag can weight between 10lb and 18lb.

Rainbows and browns are 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.

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 it is worth 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).


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.

Walkers are reminded to avoid disturbing anglers and to remember that fishermen may not see walkers when backcasting.


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.


Location: Clatworthy reservoir, near Clatworthy, Somerset

Postcode: TA4 2EJ

OS grid reference: ST043310

By public transport: No

By cycle: No

By foot: Footpaths from Raleigh's Corner, Stolford and Clatworthy - enter the site at its north-western corner.

Mobile phone/data signal: Extremely limited.

Activities: Viewing and picnic area, walking, natural trail, bird/nature watching, game fishing.

Facilities: Public car park, public toilets with facilities for disabled visitors, picnic area with benches including those for wheelchair users, visitor information panels, waymarked routes including the Clatworthy Round.

Anglers' car park, fishing lodge with access for disabled visitors, club toilet with facilities for disabled visitors, boats for hire including wheelchair accessible 'wheelyboat'