END OF SEASON UPDATE
There was a late flourish in salmon fisher’s fortunes as the 2023 season ended. Heavy rain during mid- September brought the regions rivers up and as the season faded to its conclusion on the last day of September levels dropped along with the colour to provide near perfect conditions. On the Taw system several salmon were tempted. Paul Carter caught a 12lb salmon from the Middle Taw, Don Hearn and Adi Podesta tempted salmon estimated at 15lb from the Lower Taw and Simon Hillcox tempted a 7lb salmon on the seasons last day.
Members of the River Torridge Fishery Association held their annual egg box dinner at the Half Moon Inn at Sheepwash last Saturday. There was talk over dinner about a fine 15lb salmon caught from the middle Torridge by Brian Lovering a 7lb salmon caught by Bernard Crick and of James Crawford tempting a fresh run silver bar of 7lb.
Little Warham Fishery
Sometimes the grass really is greener at home!
THE ANNUAL TORRIDGE FISHERY ASSOCIATION DINNER
On a hot April day in 1964 fourteen year old Michael Bull went to stay at the Half Moon Inn at Sheepwash. Conditions were not ideal but a young Charles Inniss took young Michael to the river and used his fishing experience and intuition to give Michael the best chance of a fish.
Michael cast his spinner into a deep pool and as the metal lure touched down upon the water a beautiful silver salmon seized it. Later that evening the splendid fish lay upon the cool slate slab to be admired by the fisher folk staying at the hotel.
Close to sixty years on Michael and Charles share vivid memories of that glorious spring day at the Torridge Fisheries Annual Egg Box dinner. The Annual Dinner brings members from far and wide to celebrate the seasons, share stories and raise valuable funds towards the hatchery that members hope will stem the dramatic decline in salmon numbers.
It is to be hoped that the hatchery will be up and running later this Autumn after lengthy consultation with the Environment Agency.
Michael told me it took a further three years to catch his next salmon but he was of course hooked for life and has been revisiting the Torridge and the Half Moon ever since lending support to the Association and staying at this delightful old fishing Inn.
Attending the annual dinner with Pauline each year gives a deep appreciation of the bond formed beside the water and how the quest for those iconic migrants is about so much more than rod and line.
That deep connection with the river its environment and the fish within illustrate all that is good about angling. The well-respected carp angler Jim Gibbinson entitled his book on fishing; “ A Glorious Waste Of Time”. I’m sure those dining at the Half Moon would drink a toast to that!
As we left I commented to Adam behind the bar that it had not been the best of Seasons. He replied cheerily that “next season will hopefully be better”.
The eternal optimism of the angler will ensure that next March as the wild daffodils bloom flies will be cast in hope of silver.
I will leave it there safe in the knowledge that whilst there are those who care deeply for the river and its fish there is hope.