THE RIVER CULM at Willand
The weed beds and undercut banks of the Culm provide excellent habitats for brown trout. One of the attractions of this stretch is that the average size of trout is greater than our other waters, and can fetch 19 inches. If the river appears devoid of fish, wait for a hatch and they will soon appear from under the weed or out from the undercut banks. The fish spook easily due to the clarity of the water - the fishing is easy, its the catching that's difficult. As it is partially spring-fed, the Culm tends to suffer less with low flows in summer.
The river also contains chub, dace and the occasional escaped rainbow trout. Fly life is good and includes LDOs, various olives, mayflies, black gnats, stoneflies, sedges (including grannom), aphids and other terrestrials. You may occasionally catch a stocked brown trout from the estate upstream, identified by their deformed fins.
The river can be split into four sections, starting at the downstream boundary adjacent to the pylons near the M5 and continuing up to the tractor bridge. About 1000 yards long, it's a nice winding section with pools and riffles and some good weed beds. Most of it is wadeable.
The next section is from the tractor bridge up to the Skinners Farm boundary fence, about 750 yards. This is a more open stretch with fewer trees. The pools and riffles are mostly wadeable and some fishable from the bank. Again this stretch has some good weed growth.
Section three is up to the road bridge. At just over 1000 yards this is a very winding stretch with a lot of tree cover and again some good weed beds. It is probably the most stable stretch and includes a weir pool, though of no great depth. The last section starts at the road bridge to the fence line above the leat on the left. This a mix of wooded and open sections, again mostly wadeable.
The Culm Fishing is situated at Willand about 12 miles north of Exeter, between Junctions 27 and 28 of the M5.
Make for Willand from either Junction on the B3181, and in the village turn off for the church. The road heads east out of the village. Cross the Culm, bear right and park on the right, just before Skinnerís Farm and a sharp left bend.
For For access points to the fishing, see the Maps page.
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