This 65-acre reservoir is the furthest point southwest in England that you can take both Brown and Rainbow trout from. Located almost at the end of the A30, and a few scant miles from Land’s End, the worst part about its location is ploughing through the summer holiday traffic. Yet once you set foot on the grassland of the reservoir you are transported to another world. At the end of the Cornish peninsula the fishery lies only partly sheltered from the prevailing southwesterly winds. A ripple is nearly always pushing enticing wavelets into one of the shorelines, and it is not a hard job to visualise where any terrestrials are pushed to. The water is clear, and a pleasure to fish. Yet don’t expect blinding crash strikes from large fish. Trickle stocking is undertaken, and although you may be “lucky” enough to drop onto some new stockies, you are asked to refrain from fishing for them. After just a couple of days these fish have broken up from the security of the shoal and the first pangs of hunger will push them into investigating new food sources.

               In early summer there will be plenty of Hawthorns about and while matching the hatch will get you fish in the evenings you will find constant searching with fry patterns more successful during the day. The reservoir suffers an explosion of Rudd fry and any small patterns with red and white, or red and silver will stand a chance of catching. Remember June and July will be peak months for fry hunting, so work your way along the bankside using a medium sink line, and the countdown technique to find the taking depth. With any breeze you will find a floating, or slow-sink line swung round in the breeze to fish too close to the bank and you end up covering water too shallow. A medium sink line can be started back earlier allowing covering of more depths straight out .In the evening the breeze should subside, and you can then fish the floating line to your advantage, fishing either dry or nymph into the margins where the trout will be used to finding food particles.

               Use at least a 7-weight rod with weight-forward lines to punch into, or across, the wind. Leaders should be ten or fifteen feet due to the water clarity, terminating in a 3lb point. Both Rainbows and Browns are stocked, the latter being particularly fond of any Rudd fry patterns. You may even find you have the entire water to yourself, and can move along the bank comfortably fishing a selection of Buzzers. Black and Red, or Black and Green buzzers being favourite. While fish of 1lb or so would be the norm, there is always the chance of a 4/5 pounder, so play any fish steadily until you can gauge the size .You can fish the majority of the bank but not the dam, or the bird sanctuary defined on the day you fish by the local bailiff.  He would be a good contact to start with as to where he has seen the most fish moving. Steps are provided on the far bank to the car park to assist anglers to reach the water, but this is done at the angler’s risk. Trouser waders can also be worn but again the risk is entirely with the angler. The reservoir is an important staging post for many rare birds migrating through. Observations have revealed Little Ringed Plover, Jack Snipe, Hobby, Bonaparte’s Gull, Sandpiper, Osprey, Muscovy Duck and Grey Phalarope to name but a few.


ADDRESS– Drift Reservoir. Penzance. Cornwall.

DESCRIPTION– 65-acre Reservoir.

CONTACT– Bailiff.”Driftways” Drift Dam. Penzance. Cornwall. Tel- 01736-363869

SEASON– Browns-1st April/ 12th October. Rainbows-1st April/31st October.

TICKETS– Day tickets are available, with options of evening tickets after 4pm.

Note-NRA licences are NOT available on site. Try tackle shop at Newtown, about ten miles away. Fishing times 8am/sunset.

SPECIES– Browns. Rainbows.


RECOMMENDED FLIES– Black/Red or Black/green buzzers. Hawthorns, fry patterns with red/silver/white as primary base colours. Caddis. Shrimp.

LOCATION– Drift reservoir is on the Land’s End side of Penzance, and is reached by following the A394 and A30 into Penzance. Take the ring road around town. Follow the signs to Land’s End and about two miles out of Penzance, immediately after passing through the village of Lower drift, turn right. The entrance to the reservoir is approximately ¼ mile up this road on your right hand side. Follow the track to the car park and obtain your permit on site from the bailiff. Always phone first.