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Bowood Lake Calne.

Dave Quinn

Senior Member
Hi Graham

I fished there for a few seasons until 5 years ago or so.

it’s a beautiful place, i hardly ever saw anyone else fishing when I was there. A long walk from the car park to the good swims, on one bank it’s a hilly trek with lots of gear

Fishing is only allowed on about half the lake and it’s the south western part of the lake which doesn’t necessarily help with the bream fishing

It had a reputation of being a place you could bag up on the big stocks of tench to 5 or 6lb, but when I fished it they were harder to find. I did have a few good days there.

There were big stocks of bream to 5lb there, you could put together a big bag on a good day if that was your thing

I’m not a pike angler but I was told there were some big ones in there. I never saw any on the bank but pike anglers always seemed to do well. A thirty was caught on a fly a while ago, they do guided fly fishing for pike on the lake.

A few big carp in there but hardly anybody fished for them, there’s no night fishing and as you’ll know it’s a huge lake

Since I last fished there I heard the fishing went downhill a bit, but last time I asked in the local tackle shop the owner told me it was fishing well as long as you get past the weed.
 
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Graham Elliott

Senior Member
Hi Graham

I fished there for a few seasons until 5 years ago or so.

it’s a beautiful place, i hardly ever saw anyone else fishing when I was there. A long walk from the car park to the good swims, on one bank it’s a hilly trek with lots of gear

Fishing is only allowed on about half the lake and it’s the south western part of the lake which doesn’t necessarily help with the bream fishing

It had a reputation of being a place you could bag up on the big stocks of tench to 5 or 6lb, but when I fished it they were harder to find. I did have a few good days there.

There were big stocks of bream to 5lb there, you could put together a big bag on a good day if that was your thing

I’m not a pike angler but I was told there were some big ones in there. I never saw any on the bank but pike anglers always seemed to do well. A thirty was caught on a fly a while ago, they do guided fly fishing for pike on the lake.

A few big carp in there but hardly anybody fished for them, there’s no night fishing and as you’ll know it’s a huge lake

Since I last fished there I heard the fishing went downhill a bit, but last time I asked in the local tackle shop the owner told me it was fishing well as long as you get past the weed.
Thanks Dave.

Very useful. Given your comments I think I will give it a miss esp at the price.
Looks very pretty. It does say you cannot take a non fishing guest for picnics etc which is a disappointment and a long walk not so good news.
 

Dave Quinn

Senior Member
Thanks Dave.

Very useful. Given your comments I think I will give it a miss esp at the price.
Looks very pretty. It does say you cannot take a non fishing guest for picnics etc which is a disappointment and a long walk not so good news.
Hi Graham

Andy Frances might be able to tell you more about what it’s like now, I remember chatting to him a while ago on BFW about it, but when I let my membership lapse all those things were factors for me.

The one time I met the owner, the Marquess of Lansdowne he was friendly and seemed interested in the fishing but it’s much less important commercially than the House and its grounds and the hotel and golf course. I think he’s keen to keep numbers low and keep us away from the paying visitors.
 

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
Thanks Dave.

Very useful. Given your comments I think I will give it a miss esp at the price.
Looks very pretty. It does say you cannot take a non fishing guest for picnics etc which is a disappointment and a long walk not so good news.
Always a shame when you can't take non-angling guests, particularly for tench fishing in May and June.

My other half frequently would come with me to one particularly stunning mere I've got a ticket for and would enjoy reading, sunbathing and a nice picnic. Sadly thanks to the actions last summer of two foolish (now) ex-syndicate member non-angling guests have been banned. They decided to bring their other halves and in addition to 2 x 2-man bivvies, put up two tents in a double swim. One to act as a cook house, another to house a portaloo. Understandably His Lordship took an exception to anglers 'camping'. Some anglers...
 

Andy Frances

Administrator
Staff member
I've been a member here on and off for 25 years or so.

I've only ever really been interested in the tench and have had some fairly good catches.

It's a stunning place even though in the last decade they've removed a load of the trees from one bank which I thought was a mistake.

I used to fish there as a boy as my neighbour somehow had a workers membership (he didn't work there!) which mean you could fish in front of the house and round by the boat house. Very happy memories of early Sunday morning bream fishing...The place will always hold a special place in my heart. And I love the sound of the bell that chimes on the main house every 15 minutes.

I've joined again this year after having a few years off since my last membership. I've not caught much so far (a couple of small tench on my last visit) but that's down to me fishing like a numpty!!! I'm certainly going to try and up my game and consider the bream, rudd and even the carp...

I've also found the rules there re non fishing guests a pain. I've paid through the nose for a junior membership for my boy again even though we always share a platform. I've always found the estate office to be 'take it or leave it'...

Can't wait to get back over there once I've stop self isolating!!!

@Dave Quinn which swims did you used to favour? I generally prefer the right hand bank

Cheers, Andy
 

Dave Quinn

Senior Member
Hi Andy

Right hand bank for the tench, fishing by the Lilly pads and in the middle in the last few swims before it opens out, left hand bank towards the end of the permitted area for the bream.

I caught a few tench further down with a long cast into the middle when I was fishing for the bream, but not many.

They made it easy for me not to renew, I didnt hear anything from them at the end of the season one year, but I was spending less time in the area so probably wouldn't have gone back anyway. I bought an Amalgamated ticket and joined Calne AA to fish the Marden last year, I'll be using them next month when I'm on holiday in the area again.
 

Andy Frances

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Andy

Right hand bank for the tench, fishing by the Lilly pads and in the middle in the last few swims before it opens out, left hand bank towards the end of the permitted area for the bream.

I caught a few tench further down with a long cast into the middle when I was fishing for the bream, but not many.

They made it easy for me not to renew, I didnt hear anything from them at the end of the season one year, but I was spending less time in the area so probably wouldn't have gone back anyway. I bought an Amalgamated ticket and joined Calne AA to fish the Marden last year, I'll be using them next month when I'm on holiday in the area again.

Those right hand bank swims are exactly where I go Dave. My dad fished there as child (he's over 70 now) and always used to fish the bit where it's much narrower and looks more like a river. I've seen a few people head straight for these spots so maybe I'm missing something...There's a load of weed that end at the moment.

Exactly the same happened to me a few years ago (5?). I wasn't contacted to renew so assumed something had changed. Forgot to chase and away my membership went...! They were full last season so I had to wait til this season for a spot.

Cheers, Andy
 

Clive Shipman

Senior Member
Bordered by the Avon one side of the hill and the Marden on the other I'd imagine the otter has free reign up there.
 
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