Fisherman holding a rainbow trout at Tinhay Lake

Fly fishing for rainbow trout at Tinhay Lake, owned and run by The Arundell

Fishing at Roadford Lake

Looking for some fly fishing whilst staying at Roadford Lake? For those who have never fly-fished, or even for novices, tackling Roadford Lake can be a bit daunting. Its sheer size means that finding a fruitful spot for casting from the bank can be a challenge, especially when windy, so it may also involve a lot of walking.

And the other option of hiring a boat from the water sports Activity Centre adds another level of expertise, expense and potential risk, especially on a rough day. But if fishing this huge reservoir still appeals then seeking out Kev, the Roadford Lake Lodges Park Warden, and picking his brains for local knowledge will not be time wasted (he is also the water bailiff !).

Tinhay Lake

However, for a more convenient and very enjoyable alternative, only a 10-15 minute drive away, is Tinhay Lake. This three-acre flooded quarry is owned and run by The Arundell Hotel, Lifton. It is a secluded, sheltered location with a very accessible grassy bank and clear ground behind to enable casting of all standards. The space available caters perfectly for a group of 6-8 anglers.

Book your fishing at The Arundell

Fishing at Tinhay Lake can be arranged only by prior agreement through the head ghillie at The Arundell, David Pilkington. If free, David or one of the other ghillies might also be able to offer some instruction at the beginning of the day and offer suitable tackle for an additional charge with prior booking. It is individual anglers’ responsibility however to purchase the appropriate Environment Agency licence online.

My experience of fishing at Tinhay Lake

On the day that we fished Tinhay, David was unfortunately not available as he was running a fly-tying course at the hotel. And so it was with a little trepidation that I supervised a group of six 20-somethings, most of whom had never fished for trout with a single-handed fly rod. Tackle set up, I duly went through some safety tips and the basic mechanics of fly casting. A few trout had already been spotted on the surface, obviously chasing emergers as the morning sun was warming things up. And this is why this is a great venue for beginners – the trout are in reach and are often visible!

Using barbless Damsel and Montana nymphs, Tadpoles and various coloured epoxy Buzzers, on floating or neutral lines, five out of the six novice anglers caught some lovely rainbow trout over the day in the 1.5-3 lbs range.

Rainbow trout in water at Tinhay Lake

Lunch at the Fox and Grapes

We broke for lunch in the Fox and Grapes pub, conveniently located right opposite the lake. This is a ‘no frills’ tavern that served good homemade pub fayre and an excellent pint of Jail ale. They currently run on restricted hours, so it’s worth giving them a ring a few days ahead to see if they are, or can open for lunch. Suitably refreshed we fished on until about 1630 hrs, hooking and losing several more fish.

Tinhay offers an excellent day’s fishing with a very real chance of early success for a small group of anglers who enjoy sharing the experience. We fished on a ‘catch-and-release’ basis, but fish can also be kept for the table and this should be discussed when any booking is made.

Additionally, the hotel also has 22 miles of river fishing on the Tamar and its tributaries where wild brown trout, sea trout, salmon and grayling can be targeted. Contact The Arundell on 01566-784666 for further details.

Fishing flies and rod for rainbow trout

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