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June 2013 Newsletter

Posted on June 17th, 2013

Every month we will be putting a Newsletter onto our website to update all our friends and guests around the globe.

Photo below of three regular visitors to the fishery, Marc O, Serina and Joe! Well, not really visitors, more like family!


I will be slightly changing the format of our monthly Newsletters to the following:-

  • At the beginning – Interesting News and what’s on!
  • In the middle – The popular ‘my trout fishery owner’s diary’.
  • At the end – Fly predictions for the coming month etc

Interesting News and what’s on!

*Competition Winner – 7 night holiday here on the fishery!

– John Clarke

The winner drawn at random from all the correct entries was John Clarke and I will tell you more about John in my next newsletter, once I know more! I am so sorry to everyone who guessed correctly but didn’t win, however we will be running another competition after Christmas! So keep an eye on our website!

* ’I do hope that most of you will “Like” our new facebook page to receive our regular news, offers, photos and fun! I will be posting special bargain breaks in certain cottages or apartments from time to time, so be quick to catch yourself a bargain! One of the holiday offers that I will be posting sometime in June will be for Pond cottage (photo below) and it will be for 2 people max (no pets or fishing inc but bed linen and electric are inc) and the reduced price will be £149 for 2 nights! Wow that’s a bargain! Please let me know if you enjoy the updates that you will receive over the coming months, as I know I will enjoy posting them to you! Click here to link to our Facebook page now!


*June is now upon us and I am so looking forward to completing all the improvements on the estate and concentrating fully on other aspects of my fishery, like which pond of specimens shall I drag this week and see what monsters I can find for my hungry, keen trout anglers!

*I am so pleased to report that the huge changes that I made to my fishery on the 23rd March have proved to be a great success and anglers are driving from all areas of the country to fish this delightful water! I have only had about 2 anglers moan to me in total and that’s not bad at all considering I have had hundreds and hundreds of lovely comments from fly anglers over the past 10 weeks or so. Yes, the prices went up a bit but considering the size of fish went up too, our facilities are excellent and our grounds are now very well maintained, 99% of my anglers are very happy indeed! So dust off you tackle and give this fishery a go this summer season, because you will see that it’s better than ever!

*Many things will be changing in the coming months including the amount of small fish in the fishery stew ponds. I have decided to concentrate on growing more fish between 5lbs and 30lbs and to do this I will not be buying any trout for the fishery under 2lbs in the future! Wow! The truth of the matter is that once you have had a British Record under your belt you can actually say that you know how you did it and how to do it again, and so from now on no more rainbow trout under 2lbs will be brought onto my fishery! My specimen rainbows and browns will be given exactly what Bertha was given for many years…lots of the special Abigail secret treatment!


*Of course it is excellent for anglers to see photos of lovely specimen trout that have been caught from my fishery recently (photo above) but I am now going one step further by making it a priority for anglers to actually see some of the stunning trout cruising in my stew ponds while they are alive and growing! To achieve this I am installing a new purpose built veranda that reaches out over the corners of two of my stew ponds, including the very pond that ‘Bertha’ our once holder of the British record was grown! This veranda is not made of solid wood but of a substance that will not deteriorate and it will be hand built and installed by my partner Mark and it will laid out with chairs and tables for those of you who just need to take a seat after witnessing so many real live, large specimens only feet away! Wow…it goes without saying that I will be celebrating the completion of this £10,000 investment with a bottle of Moet or two! Photo below shows work well underway and photos of this veranda completed will be in my July Newsletter! Of course my thanks go to Mark, for taking on this huge project!


*In an effort to bring my fishery closer to all of you, especially those retired fly anglers who maybe can’t get down to my fishery anymore, I am installing a live webcam underneath this veranda too! This will enable your screen to show you what I really have in my stew ponds, and wow, it’s really worth having a peek! I hope to have this installed by August and I will keep you informed on the progress of this project. One of the brown trout which was reared in one of these ponds was captured by the angler below in May!


So June this year will be a Special Celebratory month for the fishery as it will see the end of 24 years of improvements and here is the timetable of events:-

June Prize! A new prize on offer for the month of June – The largest trout caught from any one of my Osprey lakes will receive a new tackle bag, Lureflash net, Lureflash reel with spools and a TTF bass bag! Wow! So come fishing this June and see if you can tempt one of my large browns or rainbows out of the lake and land yourself a bag of goodies at the same time!

June Prize! Another new prize for June – The angler who catches the heaviest bag of three fish from my Kingfisher/Heron Lakes in June will receive a new tackle bag, Lureflash net, Lureflash reel with spools and a TTF bass bag. So why not come fishing this fun month of June and see if you can catch yourself some fly fishing tackle?

June 22nd (Sat) and June 23rd (Sun) – will be another special fly fishing weekend with the heaviest 4 fish bags over the two days winning prizes. This will again apply to both sets of lakes and anglers may start and finish at anytime on the day. No peg plans will be used! Of course it goes without saying that I will be stocking extra double figure rainbow trout for this weekend! Prizes will be engraved glass tankards for 1st,2nd & 3rd. Free refreshments on both days to all anglers at 1pm and booking is advisable but not essential. We still have places available, so come and join in the fun!

June 23rd (Sun) – will also be a extra Special Day with a Fly Casting Demonstration from Gary Champion at 11am. All anglers, non anglers, spectators and children are welcome to come and watch Gary cast a fly line. Free refreshments will be provided to all spectators including cake, tea and coffee etc. There will be no charge for this as it is part of our June celebrations! All Tavistock Trout Fishery anglers will be offered a free beer! Free ice lolly to all our younger spectators this weekend too! So come and join in the fun!

June 30th – This is another special day when those who have worked hard on my cottages and fishery grounds over 24 years will be rewarded with a lovely lunch prepared and cooked by Hungry Hog South West! Beef, pork, sausages and roast potatoes, and I have been assured that all the meats will be from Palmers of Tavistock. Yummy homemade bread rolls and homemade sauces are also being prepared by Hungry Hog SW, it will be amazing! I might make a pudding or two and cook a trout but that will be it for me! Tim James will be demonstrating after lunch how to cast a fly to those of my guests who have never seen an expert on the water!

June 30th – A new little twist to my Adult and Children’s Float Fishing Visits that actually open properly on 30th June will be the introduction of our Children’s Art Competition, whereby all children between 2 and 12 will be able to paint or draw a picture while they are here in our Art and Craft Room. The subject for the paintings and drawings will be ‘fish/fishing’. Once they have finished they will put their name and address on the masterpiece and pin it onto one of our notice boards and this will then be entered into our competition to win one of three weekend prizes for a family of 4 people to stay here on the fishery for 2 nights! This competition will close on the 30th September. No cash alternative will be offered and the break must be taken before 15th December 2013. Our new Float Fishing leaflet will be available from 30th June and this leaflet will have full details of what these Float Fishing Visits include. The fishery will be able to hold Children’s Birthday Parties including Float or Fly fishing and refreshments from July. Our float fishing lake will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and school holidays from Easter to 30th September, 10am until 3.30pm weekdays and 4.30pm weekends.

Abigail – Fishery Owner’s Monthly Diary

May 1st – Jack asked me in the morning if any of his grandparents would be going to the grandparent’s afternoon being held at Kelly Prep; with much sadness I said no I don’t think so. With a glimmer of hope in my head I set about trying to see if his favourite Gran would go and enjoy a tour around his school and much to my relief, she said yes! Madeline is a very special lady and Granny and I know that Jack thoroughly enjoys her company and the effort that she makes for him! There is never a birthday or Christmas that goes by without cards and presents for my son. Thanks Madeline for making the time for Jack, I know that you must have been a very proud Granny to be shown around Kelly Prep by Jack but I can assure you that Jack was a very proud grandson to show you around his wonderful school! X


May 2nd – Colwin Way and his friends visited the fishery for a days fly fishing and they don’t do things by half that’s for sure! They booked Tim James our fly fishing instructor for 2 hours and even managed to find time to eat at The Peter Tavy for a first class lunch! Lucky chaps!

May 4th – We fight back! Mark and Pete started setting up an electric fence around the stew ponds to prevent the Otters from scaring our fish to death. We do like seeing Otters in our lakes but unfortunately we cannot allow the Otters to carry on destroying our stock of smaller fish in our stock ponds and so this Saturday saw the start of the electric fencing go up and it was only a few days before it was complete!


May 7th – Have you seen the film Yogi Bear? Well if you have you will understand when I say that my ginger Kunekune pig Geri Halliwell (photo above is Geri about to eat a crumpet) is just like Yogi Bear! Geri walks around the fishery or rather creeps around the fishery looking for trout or packed lunches! She has even mastered lifting the lid on anglers’ tackle bags and more worryingly she has realised that if she hovers around the car park and sees a carrier bag or bass bag on the floor, it will more than likely have lots of lovely fresh trout in it! This particular day, that’s exactly what she did! She waited for an innocent angler to walk back to his car with his well deserved three trout for tea and when he wasn’t looking she took his lovely green bass bag and ran down the car park with it! Two of the trout fell out as she ran and the angler managed to retrieve these but the third trout ended up in Geri’s tummy! Unfortunately by the time I managed to grab the bag it was left with holes and it was no longer a bass bag but more like an onion bag! I replaced the bass bag for a lovely new TTF bass bag and I caught the angler a trout to replace the one Geri took a shine too! Much to Geri’s disappointment she has now been ordered to stay in her paddock with a smart new electric fence, while the fishery is open! If Geri behaves herself then she will be allowed out of her paddock on Mondays to roam around with our two other lazy pigs, Alice and Perky, who are not cheeky and constantly hungry!


May 10th – The arrival of regular guests is always a very special time and Marc O’ Serina (photo below), Colin, Baz and Joe (photo above) are certainly no exception! The first thing Marc O said to me when he stepped out the car was, ‘It’s good to be home!’ They are such happy guests and I can truly say that they bring a smile to my face everyday when they are here! The only sad day is when they leave again!


May 17th – Saw Marc O, Joe, Colin and Serina all leave the fishery for another time and head home and Joe’s last words to me were ‘Next time I want to stay for 2 weeks!’

Have you ever had one of those weird weeks? Well I did this week, many things went right and many things went wrong! I am a great believer in sorting out a problem as fast as possible when it comes along but sometimes, just sometimes it would be nice to have a few days without too many hiccups! To celebrate the fact that I actually made it to 6pm on this Friday evening I opened a bottle of Moet and Chandon Champagne and before I could blink, a couple of hours had passed and it was empty! Well, it was really yummy! My favourite Champagne by far!

May 18th – My girls being home every Saturday is always a lovely day and this was no exception! They played happily all day in the play area that I built for our guests to enjoy, while I was planting new plants near to them around the stunning Gazebo in the main yard. Jack had another chess tournament in Bristol today and managed to win 5 out of 5 games, and ended up being the top scorer of his school! Well done Jack!


May 21st – Probably the worst start to any angler’s fishing day is to hook something that is alive and not a trout! But to actually hook oneself is even worse and to hook ones tongue, is simply not a laughing matter! An angler this day did just that and hooked his own tongue! He came up to me unable to speak and holding out his tongue and I simply couldn’t believe it! I had no car this day, as mine was in for a service, I advised him go to the local hospital immediately in a taxi. Fortunately within only a minute or so he managed to pull it out and wow, the swearing was obviously a sign of his relief. So my advice to all you anglers out there is simple,

  1. Always wear glasses to help to protect your eyes!
  2. Try to find a peg on the lake that has less wind!
  3. Keep a look out for anglers passing behind you while you are casting!
  4. Do not ever put a fly in your mouth!


May 26th – Mr and Mrs Steve Robins from Herts arrived for their holiday in Cleabrook Barn and what a lovely family they were! Steve was a very keen fly angler and fished most days and he managed to land lots of lovely, fit fighting rainbow trout this week! Well done Steve and I hope to welcome you again next year or sooner!

May 27th – Lovely Brown trout caught by David Royle (photo below) from Leicester with an adult dragon fly and it weighed 10lbs-3oz caught! Well done David!


May 31st – Ray and Linda Warren from had an excellent two weeks at the fishery with lots of lovely sunshine and trout! Ray left with bags and bags of trout but they love eating it and so it’s no problem! Linda celebrated her Birthday while she was here and I would like to wish them both all the best and I hope to see them again soon!

Fly predictions for the coming month etc

I do hope that many of you will join me during this special year for a holiday or a day’s fly fishing to celebrate my 24 years of hard work but of course the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd June will be amazing if you would like to come! As I said Sunday 23rd will be a very special day with Gary Champion casting a line at 11am and free refreshments to all who would like to come and watch Gary. Free ice lolly to all our younger spectators this weekend too!

I would like to wish you all tight lines and wet landing nets for the summer season and that doesn’t mean flies stuck in trees and a wet summer! Flies for the coming month here at Tavistock will be the faithful woolly bugger, hare’s ear nymph and the daddy long legs! Good luck!

Don’t forget to “Like” our facebook page and receive regular updates, with news, holiday offers, photos and fun! Oh and the bargain £149 for a 2 night break for two people which will be posted in June, is on a first come first served basis and of course subject to availability, so watch out for it and catch yourself a bargain!

Abigail Underhill
Holiday Cottage and Trout Fishery Owner.