Frustration in perfect conditions

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I have very much enjoyed two recent sessions on the Taw and Torridge with both rivers in perfect trim. On the Taw I was privileged to fish a middle river beat that has a very good track record. I fished the prime lies carefully searching with a high degree of optimism. A couple of large sea trout or grilse leapt tantalizingly from the river but as my fly drifted across the spot there was no delightful tightening of the line. It was as always a delight to be on the river as kingfishers frequently flew past. As we enter the second half of August the evenings are growing noticeably shorter as autumn looms and it easy the feel slightly melancholic as the light fades from the day. It is heartening to remember though that the next six weeks should give every chance of some good fishing.


I arrived on the Torridge to find the river up at a perfect height the water resembling real ale. Surely there would be a silver salmon waiting today!

In my favourite upper pool a salmon erupted from the water thirty yards below. I fished with great concentration down through the run and had sharp tug on the line where the salmon had cleared the water. I had one other gentle tug on the line so I knew I had been tantalizingly close to success. I fished through the run twice more changing the fly on each occasion. Two mink frolicked on the far bank; creatures I viewed with mixed feelings. It was fascinating to observe nature up close but I am well aware of the destruction these vicious predators can inflict on bird life. I was also a little surprised to see them as there is a healthy population of otters on this river and the two do not generally mix.