Flyaking for Trout at Wimbleball lake

April 14, 2011 | By | 6 Replies More

‘Flyaking’ is the name given by fishing anoraks, to the pursuit of fly fishing from a kayak. It is great fun… you are very close to the water and to the fish – and the stealth of the kayak allows you to get very close indeed to the fish. Well that’s the theory anyhow.

Now to put it into practice. Camping at the beginning of April in the UK can be a very chilly affair, especially on the edge of Exmoor, and with a teenager in tow. But I was determined that we would go fly fishing with the kayaks come what may.

John Ingham of the Anglers Afloat kayak fishing forum, had arranged a flyaking meet at Wimbleball lake near Dulverton on the edge of Exmoor – and this was the ideal opportunity to meet up with old friends and catch some trout.

I had made up some fly rod holders for some mates, and thought I would make a few more and give them away at the Wimbleball meet.


They are simple but effective (normal rod holders do not work with fly rods and these things allow fly rods to be placed in an existing flush mount or a RAM tube)


Anyhow, we were blessed with amazing weather, and as we approached Wimbleball, the scenery was simply stunning…

IMGP0412   The hawthorn was in bloom and the blue sky provided a dramatic backdrop to the hills surrounding the lake.



Having spotted some fishing kayaks already on the water, we were eager to set up, and get out there. We met up with Michael (Axor) and Steve (Lureman) and paddled out to meet John and Ian and Jan. Later we spotted Marcus (Donk) who was chilling out on the side of the lake. Everything was good.

Axor had his fishfinder switched on, and we were amazed as he was shouting out the depth of water only a few meters from the bank… 20 feet, 30 feet, 50 feet deep ! Wow, that is some depth close in.

The breeze has picked up, and a few buzzers were starting to show – but no signs of fish on the surface. We saw a couple of fish caught from a boat and they were definitely using sinking line tactics. So we paddled ashore and I swapped the floating line for a sinker.


We drifted close into some trees, hoping for a brown trout – but gave it up as a lost cause. The wind was running parallel to the bank, so we decided on a drift which would take us across a point and into a small bay. I was fishing a small black lure on the point and a homemade flexifloss buzzer on a dropper. Within minutes of the drift a rainbow slammed into the fly and took off at a rate of knots. Its airbourne antics were being captured on video by Connor, and it must have jumped out 8 or 9 times trying to shed the hook. Finally we netted the fish. It has taken the small balck buzzer on the dropper.


We paddled to the bank to take some pictures and to spoon the trout to see what it had been feeding on.


Black buzzers and daphnia – matching the hatch spot on !


We then made another drift and Connor hooked another rainbow trout.


Again on the buzzer. But then disaster struck – the tip of my Greys fly rod snapped in two as we tried to take some pictures – oh bother (or something like that !).


So we decided to go back to the camp site and have some food, with the aim of going out in the evening to catch another trout on the spare rod.

Evening came, and the wind died away completely. The water was like a mirror, and the peace was only broken by the occasional trout breaking the surface of the lake and sipping in some unseen insect.


Connor managed another trout, using a floating line and fishing a single shipman’s buzzer ginked up to float on the surface.


We returned to the camp site and had a BBQ in the darkness – a fantastic end to the day.

The next morning was chilly, but the sausages, bacon and eggs soon warmed us up.


We decided that we had caught enough trout and we would have a bit of an explore along the banks of Wimbleball lake. It really is a great place, with loads to do, including a trail (good for bikes) and an adventure playground. There were also some amazing sculptures…


As we were leaving we spotted Ian and Jan sailing into the distance on their kayaks…


A big thankyou to John for organising the weekend, and the South West Lakes Trust for making it all possible; Wimbleball lake is a great venue in stunning surroundings – other water companies could learn alot from their enlightened approach, and the way in which they engage kayak fishermen in particular.

The video sums it all up nicely I think….


More information on Wimbleball lake…

Information on Fly fishing at Wimbleball lake…

Local Guides/Tuition…

John Dawson

Nick Hart

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Category: Kayak Fishing, Kayak Fly Fishing, Stillwater Fishing, Wimbleball

Comments (6)

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  1. Pam says:

    Great story Dizzy and as always, I love the pictures. That sculpture is too cool. I love the idea on the fly rod holders too. Do you sell Dizzyfish stickers?

    • Dizzy says:

      The fly rod holders went down a treat – I made some up a couple of months ago and gave them away to a friend for a kayak fishing event he was holding in the Lake district. I had a few stickers made up to spruce them up a bit. They are really simple to make and work really well. I don’t sell the stickers – but if I have any more made up, I will send you some across the water !

  2. Trevor says:

    Hey Dizzy

    Great story has inspired me to go up to wimbleball lake. I am new to the kayak fishing scene but am rapidly getting into it spending more and more money as the experience goes up. (much to the wifes annoyment) Just a couple of questions if you don’t mind? Do they charge to launch the yak? and how far away is the camp site to the lake could you walk with the yak to the launch site? Also sorry one more question do yolu need a permit to fly fish?

    Many thanks and i hope to see you in the water soon.

    AKA KillerWave Dude

    • Dizzy says:

      As far as the fees go, we paid a fee which covered launch and fishing (and insurance I think) – but it was an event organised by Anglers Afloat – so I think it was a bit speical (cheaper ?). Anglers afloat (free on line forum for kayak fishing) are planning another event this year (2012) at the end of April – why don’t you tag along and join us ? As far as the camp site goes – it is only a short walk – a couple of minutes – but it is down quite a steep hill, so its a bit of a slog trollying the kayaks back up to the camp site – not a problem though, and the camp site is also quite close to the loos and the cafe.

  3. Belinda says:

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.

    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  4. lee says:

    Hi great vid! Am kayaking wimbleball soon can you tell me if you use a drogue ?rgds lee

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