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            After one of the wettest Springs for many years the salmon season has got off to a slow start with the rivers unfishable for several of the early weeks. There have been a few salmon caught during brief windows of opportunity when river conditions have come right.

I have heard of at least two springers from the Taw system one from the Weir Marsh area and another on the Mole. With the rivers so high salmon will potentially have run far up the rivers and could be caught from areas where they have not been tempted for several years so early in the season

            I headed to the middle Torridge and found the river running high but with a perfect tinge of colour. The dying daffodils told of how the early  season had already passed as new spring flowers bloomed and lush green growth started to burst out on the bankside trees.

I glimpsed martins flying across the rural landscapes of spring as I drove to the water, another great marvel of  migration.

            It felt good to swing the fly across familiar lies and I initially felt a tingle of expectation. A momentary connection with a trout raised the pulse rate but as I fished on the reality of the salmon fishing these days descended. After close to three hours covering the water in near perfect conditions I couldn’t help thinking that ten years ago there would have been salmon here.

            Perhaps the recent talks I have attended and television programmes documenting the demise of the salmon are taking their toll? Salmon anglers like salmon are resilient creatures and I know that I will back full of hope next time. Heavy rain is forecast again as I write this and the rivers will be back bank high soon. The longer term prospects for this season are good as the rivers should hold up well with May likely to  be a great month to be at the river. Even if the salmon and sea trout prove elusive the brown trout fishing will be excellent. Brown trout to over 1lb 8oz have already been tempted by salmon anglers swinging large flies.

It’s well worth watching the Channel 5 documentary. A fascinating documentary about efforts to restore salmon rivers in Scotland.