add or change detailsButterwell Farm
Butterwell, Nanstallon, Bodmin PL30 5LQ Cornwall

Butterwell Farm is the premier destination in the Southwest for sea trout and salmon game fishing. Our ten-year average catch is 82 Salmon and 150 Sea Trout per season. The fishing comprises of approximately half a mile of double bank water plus half a mile of single bank water with 18 holding pools. We have a maximum of 4 rods and the river is divided into equal beats daily depending on number of rods and conditions. THE SEA TROUT SEASON runs from 1st May until 31st August which is typically night fly-fishing only. However, during the months of May and June, if the water levels are high and other conditions permit, we can also allow daytime fly-fishing for Salmon and Sea Trout. Once the water is low and clear, and a reasonable number of sea trout have gathered in the pools, fishing reverts to night fly-fishing ONLY for sea trout. Guests booking this period should understand that conditions on the river will dictate the type of fishing permitted at short notice and at the owner’s discretion. THE SALMON SEASON runs from 1st September until 15th December when we allow spinning and bait fishing by day. At the owner’s discretion, we also encourage night fly-fishing for Sea Trout in September if we continue to experience a late run of fresh fish.

Please see our website for catch records and best caught:

We strongly encourage a catch and return policy as we work hard to conserve our river for the fish and for future generations. We allow a maximum of 1 Salmon or 2 Sea Trout to be taken per day per angler, or maximum 2 Salmon per week. All hen and cock Salmon over 10lb should be returned. It is a legal requirement that all Salmon caught prior to 15th June are returned. All Sea Trout over 3lb, and all those caught after 31st August, must be returned. We like to do a beat walk with our fishermen to show them the river and also divide and rotate the beats equally and fairly depending on numbers, conditions and the dates you are fishing. During Salmon season fishermen may commence fishing at 12noon on day of arrival and finish by 12noon on day of departure. All anglers should hold a current E.A. salmon and sea trout license. Anglers are also requested to inform the owner of their catches so the record book can be updated. More Information The River Camel rises on Bodmin Moor and flows some 25 miles down to the sea at Padstow on the North Coast of Cornwall. The Butterwell Fishery is approximately 1 mile above the tidal reaches. The river tumbles through rugged moorland and then through woodlands and forestry, which has kept it free of pollution and ensured the survival of large runs of sea trout and salmon. We have 18 pools at Butterwell, which are very popular for holding both sea trout and salmon. Butterwell is the premier fishery in the southwest for Sea Trout and Salmon The fishing season starts at the beginning of May and we normally have a small run of largish Sea Trout (between 3-5 lbs) between May and June. However, the main run of Sea Trout does not begin until June. The Sea Trout fishing is usually the best in July and August but we have experienced a good run of fresh fish in September in the last two years. The first good runs of Salmon traditionally begin in September and, from then on, fresh salmon enter the river with every spate or even just on the high spring tides until late season closes on December 15th. In the last few years we have also experienced early runs of multi winter Salmon in May and June. Recommended Tactics Sea Trout The majority of Sea Trout normally drop back towards the shallow water at the tail of each pool as darkness descends, however they still remain very sensitive to noise and movement. A stealthy approach is essential. The larger fish i.e. over 3 lbs are non-conformist and usually stay in deeper water at all times. A short fly rod (between 8-10 ft) is recommended with a white or light coloured line to help you to see the direction in the dark. I use 6-8 foot cast (i.e. shorter than the rod length) with 6-8 lbs breaking strain and only a single fly. The most popular fly on our stretch has to be the Stoats tail. Over recent years our visitors have helped to develop a variant know as the Butterwell Special; which has a flying treble attached with elasticum wire. During very low water conditions smaller flies i.e. long shank singles or doubles are equally effective. Barbless hooks are recommended for those more successful or conservation minded. A sinking line is needed for those anglers fishing for larger Sea Trout in deep pools. Salmon Popular flies for Salmon include the cascade and other orange flies in clearing water, and a stoat’s tail or blue charm in clearer water. Cone head variants are useful to fish the fronts of the pools. Spinners such as copper mepps number 3 and zebra toby as well as small weighted black flying C can be effective in heavy water. Worm and shrimp are popular in low water. Other recommended kit includes a net to be carried on the shoulder (and not left on the bank) plus a small torch. Waders are not essential but can be useful in the woods and at Oak Tree Pool.

May and June: 30 per day or 150 for the week. July to December: 40 per day or 200 for the week

Telephone: Samuel Hamilton - 01208 831 515 or email:

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This water is open all year

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Accuracy of information
Please email if you notice any mistakes. We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of our information, but cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

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