From the river bank – April 17th

Back on the River Torridge and the River seems to be at the same level as last week after spells of heavy rain the river has been up and down. The colour is good but it’s still just a little higher than ideal.

I follow the normal ritual drifting the fly across the river hoping a springer will be resting up and ready to take my fly. After several weeks of good water there are undoubtedly salmon throughout the river but they are likely to be well spread out and I feel they will be more likely to intercept our flies when the river drops a little more and they begin to settle into those longstanding resting places.

After fishing most of the beat I take a short break. Setting the rod down I enjoy a packet of crisps and a satsuma. A high pitched familiar piercing cry caught my attention followed by a streak of electric blue as kingfisher streaked past. A movement caught my eye on the muddy bank and a leech was looping towards me in what could almost be a sinister lust for blood.

I had been watching these amazing creatures on Countryfile a few days ago. They are bred in leech farms for use in the NHS.

I fished back down through the beat casting into familiar lies. As I approached the last pool my confidence grew and as I drifted the fly across the hotspot I expected a take. Strangely it didn’t materialise as in the past that feeling has brought success. Next time?

Shortly after writing the above I recieved a report of 9lb salmon caught at Okement Foot by Alistair Blundell.