Thoughts from the waters edge

The warm late May sunshine is starting to impact upon the rivers with levels now dropping and the water becoming clear. A few salmon have been tempted from the River Taw with Ian Blewett amongst the successful anglers with a silver springer from a Middle Taw beat.

The Torridge has seen very few salmon caught and with the river now below ideal height most will wait for the next spate before casting a salmon fly. The wild brown trout fishing on the Torridge can be superb so as the mayfly start to show there could be some exciting sessions.

I wandered down through the beat I fish on the Torridge swinging a salmon fly and ever hopeful of success. Whilst I delighted upon the beauty of the river I couldn’t help but feel a certain unease at the lack of swifts and swallows. Looking up river I savoured the evening light streaming as it illuminated the water. Yet even here I noticed the bare branches of a tree ravaged by ash dieback. I and others of my generation have witnessed a catastrophic decline in nature. It is likely that salmon will be extinct in West Country Rivers before our granddaughter is old enough to drive. Whilst there is a lot of effort by keen conservationists to stem the decline I cannot help but feel a sense of melancholy as I walk away from the river.

It is perhaps time to get out onto the coast and taste the salty air and relish the savage pull of a bass?