Several North Devon sea anglers expressed concern when they spotted large numbers of net floats in the area off North Devon’s headlands. Rumours spread rapidly that this could be illegal fishing activity. A call to the local Environment Agency confirmed that the nets were part of an important research programme to help protect salmon and sea trout stocks. The SAMARCH Project Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust . www.gwct.org.uk For further information on this project visit https://www.samarch.org
SAMARCH is a five-year project with a grant of €5.8m from the EU’s France (Channel) England Interreg Channel programme.
The SAMARCH project will :
- Provide novel information on the survival and migration of young salmon and sea trout in four estuaries of the Channel area
- Provide novel information on the movements and swimming depths of adult sea trout in the Channel
- Create a genetic data base for trout on both sides of the Channel
- Create a map of areas that are important for sea trout in the Channel based on sea scape
- Provide new information to further improve the models used in England and France to manage their salmonid stocks
- Train students in the management of coastal and transitional waters
- Engage with stakeholders throughout the project
- Inform current and develop new policies for the better management of salmonid stocks in our coastal and transitional waters
There is close working between the IFCAs and the EA in coastal waters with the EA focussing on migratory fish within I believe six miles off the coast. Anglers are urged to contact the EA on 0800807060 if they have any concerns regarding illegal fishing or pollution.
I was delighted to receive this wonderful image of Graham Dunn fishing the Middle Torridge during the early dawn. During these hot summer days it’s better to be at the waters edge either at first or last light as the temperature is more comfortable and the fish more likely to take. During this short trip Graham tempted a dace, five brown trout and a sea trout all carefully released with minimal handling.
Hot and getting hotter; mid-July the forecast gives wall to wall sunshine with temperatures into the mid-twenties. It’s not a perfect day to be heading out trout fishing yet there are worse places to be than floating about on Wimbleball. Part of anglings enjoyment is after all working for a result when conditions are difficult.
I had arranged to meet with Snowbee Ambassador Jeff Pearce to try our luck in the height of summer. We were optimistic as we launched the boat despite the bright sunny conditions and headed for Rugg’s Bay for a drift or two. During these hot days of Summer, a boat is a distinct advantage enabling the option to search far and wide for the trout.
Plenty of water, sun cream, sun hats and sunglasses were essentials for today and Jeff had equipped himself with Snowbee’s finest.
A pleasing breeze was blowing down through the bay as we started our first drift. Jeff elected to start on a floater whilst I went down deep with a blue flash damsel on the point and a bright yellow and orange blob on a dropper. This proved to be a promising tactic as after half a dozen casts a fish was on! Then off! After I lost a couple more Jeff also went down deep and had a couple of pulls. Eventually after a run of fish on and off I managed to get a hard fighting rainbow to the net.
As the middle of the day approached we decided to head off to the deep water near the dam where a few fish had been tempted the previous day using sinking lines and boobies. An angler there reported on some success with several follows and a couple of good rainbows.
We tried for an hour without success and decided to move into the wooded Upton Arm where we might tempt a wild brown in addition to the rainbows. After half an hour our spirits dropped as expectation started to ebb in the hot sun. We headed back to the deep water where a good rainbow followed my lure close to the boat before turning away.
It was now late afternoon and we decided to head right back up to Rugg’s and drift in the breeze ensuring we at least covered plenty of water. After ten minutes Jeff’s olive damsel was nailed by one of Wimbleball’s energetic rainbows. A blank was at least saved, reward for dogged persistence.
As we drifted the occasional fish was glimpsed following the flies. On one retrieve I was astounded to see a group of good sized rainbows chasing my team of flies before turning away at the last moment. Thinking we had found a shoal we dropped anchor and fished static for an hour giving a floating line and a team of imitative patterns a try. Whilst it was good to slow down and chill for a while I felt that the fish were not feeding and the best hope was a stripped lure or blob to stimulate an aggressive response.
We upped anchor and drifted until we ran out of water, calling it a day at close to 7.00pm after ten hours with just a fish each it had been a hard day’s fishing.
A Jamaican proverb: ‘Ebry day good fer fishing’ – but not ebry day good for catchin fish’.
A phrase for the day and the reason I will be back again whatever the weather.
After a long hot day afloat perhaps a cool beer at the George Inn at Brompton Regis? https://thegeorgeinnexmoor.co.uk/?fbclid=IwAR3a8bHVB5iHmbvTNTYunb_jCt1nG-rz9Nm-DLtWYL1cpV408SQdS8VD8pQ
Recent rain has brought life into North Devons rivers with salmon and sea trout forging up river. Paul Carter tempted a fine 6lb salmon from a lower Taw beat along with a bright silver peal of around 1lb 8oz. With more rain forecast prospects for Taw, Torridge and Lyn are good.
An indicator of fresh run fish is often the presence of sea lice these can remain on the fish for up to 48hours. The tails of the lice contain the eggs which drop off before the lice. Small numbers of lice have always been an indication of a fish fresh from the sea. Sadly in some areas on the West coast of Scotland sea lice infestations from intense salmon farming have decimated salmon and sea trout populations.
Wild brown trout fishing is also good with some good mayfly hatches reported on the Middle Torridge.
Richard Nickell co owner of Blakewell Fishery tells me that some good brown trout are taking flies intended for sea trout with several fish well over the pound mark. Blakewell is in good form as well with buzzers working well.
Good Practice Guide
Catching the fish
Use appropriate tackle. Rod and line should be strong enough to bring the fish to net swiftly and without playing it to exhaustion. Move the fish out of fast water as soon as possible. The use of barbless single or double hooks is recommended. Barbed hooks can be rendered barbless by pinching with pliers.
Catch and Release
RTFCA strongly recommends that you practise catch and release whenever possible.
Playing the fish
When playing a fish try not to play it to exhaustion but land it as quickly as is possible.
Landing the fish
Use a fine knotless meshed landing net. No gaffs or tailers may be used. Ensure the fish remains in the water at all times.
Do not beach or tail a fish.
Handling the fish
Ensure that hands are wet and avoid squeezing the fish.
Removing the hook
Remove the hook gently, using forceps or a hook disgorger.
Should the fish be deep-hooked cut the line as near to the hook as possible.
Recording the fish
Do not weigh the fish, but calculate its length and subsequently use a length/weight conversion chart (see below) to find the weight. Suitable length marks on rod or wading-stick can be helpful. Photographs of the fish should only be taken while the fish is in the water.
Reviving and releasing the fish
Support the fish with both hands in a gentle current and facing upstream.
Allow time for the fish to regain its strength and be able to swim away on its own.
To guard against disease that can damage our fish stocks fishermen are directed to the Environment Agency’s website for “Guidance on Disinfecting Fishing Tackle”.
The Environment Agency Incident Hotline
For reporting any serious environmental incident such as pollution, poaching or fish in distress is
0800 807 060
- RTFA strongly believes that fishermen are the best guardians of our river and if you fish the Taw why not join the Association to support our efforts.
- Contact us via our website at www.rivertawfisheries.co.uk or phone our Treasurer, Richard Nickell on 10271 344533 / 07884 073932
Recent rain has brought all local rivers up hopefully encouraging a few salmon and sea trout to forge up river. Simon Hillcox tempted a fresh run grilse of around 4lb 8oz from a Middle Torridge beat. The salmon was tempted using a Thunder & Lightning double. At present the water is coloured but as it fines down there is a good chance of taking fish.
( Above) River Taw at Umberleigh
Wistlandpound has been producing some good brown trout with several fish of over 1lb banked. Jason Hayes has had success with both brown trout and good quality Rudd. The Rudd are present in large numbers and can offer great sport on light fly tackle taking small dries and wets. Large wild browns feast on the Rudd fry and have been caught to over 3lb. The water clarity is excellent this season with no sign of the prolific algae blooms that have blighted the venue during recent seasons.
Kennick – The air and water continued to warm up in June, with a mid-month cold snap and heavy rain freshening the water. Weekly rod averages fell from 4.32 to 2.37 fish per angler as the month progressed. While some rising fish were taken on Beetles, Black Hoppers, Claret Snafflers, or Green Klinkhammers in the evening rise, most fish were caught subsurface with a slow figure-of-eight retrieve, using either nymphs (Diawl Bachs, Buzzers, and Montanas) or deeper fished lures (Tadpoles, Boobies, Cats Whiskers, and Kennick Killers). Favoured locations included the north end at Smithacott and the Causeway, Sycamore Wall, with boat anglers catching well in The Narrows and Boat Bay. Notable catches included nine rainbows to 3lb4oz by R.R., three rainbows to 3lb 8oz by Geoff V, and nine rainbows to 3lb caught by Malcome U.
The Snowbee Top Rod Competition was held on 13 June, and won by Alec Hoare of Abbotskerswell, with a bag of five fish weighing in at 8lb 12oz.
Siblyback – Some excellent fishing was enjoyed by Siblyback anglers, with rods averaging 3.16 fish per rod over the month. Plenty of beetle activity meant that fish were looking to the surface to feed, although with such plentiful food available, the fish were often very picky, and would ignore anglers’ offerings. Stocky Bay proved to be the most productive location, with a Damsel Nymph or Orange Gold Head nymph fished on a floating line and long leader proving successful in the deeper water by the dam. An Orange Blob fished as a dropper, with Black and Green Goldhead fished on the point also produced good results. John R had a couple of excellent sessions, catching eight rainbows to 2lb 6oz and eight rainbows to 2lb 8oz.
Burrator – Anglers enjoyed another great month’s fishing at Burrator, with anglers averaging 3.2 fish per rod, with the best locations being Longstone, Discovery Bank, and Sheepstor. As the month progressed, more Hawthorns and Beetles were evident, and plenty of surface activity (particularly during the morning and late afternoon), when floating lines and long leaders performed particularly well (especially when there was some cloud cover).Earlier in the month the fish tended to be at various depths – Mark M caught eleven fish on Black Buzzers and Pheasant Tail Nymphs, while Miles P caught twelve fish on a Pearly Spider and Tungsten Hares Ear.
Stithians – The fishing has really picked up at Stithians now – anglers averaged over 3.6 fish per rod, with early morning and evening sessions particularly productive. Numerous beetles blown onto the surface have produced some excellent dry fly fishing (Beetle patterns and Hoppers both caught well). Fish have been well spread out, and generally eager to feed near the surface – Mossops, Carnmenellis, and Yellowort Bay all proved to be excellent locations. Catches of note included bags of ten rainbows to 2lb caught by Tony C., seven fish to 2lb 9oz caught by Warren C., three rainbows to 2lb 8oz caught by Robert G., and ten rainbows and a small brown caught by John H.
Colliford – Weekly rod averages improved over the month, with the best week producing an average of 4.2 fish per angler. As is usual with Colliford, fish were well spread out around the lake, where keeping on the move with a stealthy approach produces good results. Fish have been feeding well throughout the day (with a lot of surface activity at first light and late evening), and if not on the surface, then no deeper than about one metre, so a floating line, often with a slow retrieve (or dry patterns fished statically), produced the best results, with fish often hitting the fly as it touched the water or on lift-off. Hoppers, Beetles, Sedges, Spiders, Hares Ears, Soldier Palmers and Buzzers all produced results, with the best bags including eleven browns caught on a Bibio by Philip H., Barbara L. catching thirteen browns to 1lb, and Daniel T. catching a bag of sixteen browns.
Fernworthy – Plenty of excellent bags were caught at Fernworthy in June, resulting in a rod average of just under four browns per angler. With plenty of insects being blown out of the woods onto the water, fish generally were feeding at or just below the surface, and smallish flies fished on the surface or just under with mixed retrieves produced the results. Fish fed well throughout the day, and would take eagerly even if not showing. Successful patterns included Zulu, Spiders, Black Nymphs, Gold Head Hares Ear, and Hoppers. The North Inlet and Permit Hut Bank both proved productive locations, with fish often fairly far out in the rippled water. Andrew Gooding enjoyed two good sessions catching twenty six fish; Andy W. caught ten browns to 2lb, as did Charles B., while Kevin Primmer caught twelve fish from a float tube, and David G. had fourteen fish.
Roadford – Here the fishing has been relatively quiet, with the fish still lying fairly deep (although some evenings have produced a reasonable rise), and a sinking line with a slow retrieve producing the best results; the fish moved nearer the surface to feed as the month progressed. Davies Bank, Grinnecombe, and the banks close to the centre proved to be the most productive. Duncan Kier caught the best bag – seven browns up to 1lb 8oz.
Quay Sports are looking for experienced anglers to join their friendly team at their new fishing tackle store – See Advert post below –
Quay Sports is a fishing tackle shop catering for all types of angling including carp, coarse, sea and game. We aim to provide a wide and extensive range of fishing tackle to the Devon area and online.
Quay Sports fishing tackle store require an enthusiastic and keen angler with an all-round knowledge of carp, coarse, match, sea & game fishing. Our busy Barnstaple based store needs another team member to help with daily tasks such as serving customers, offering guidance to customers, re-stocking and managing inventory, entering products onto a database, and various other store related jobs.
A good knowledge of angling is essential as we would expect the successful applicant to be able to offer advice to the customers on all aspects of angling.
Previous customer facing experience and I.T experience would also be advantageous.
We are looking for someone that has an approachable and cheerful character to fit in with our established and well harmonised team.
This is a permanent full time position with 28 days paid leave per annum.
In return we can offer an attractive salary working in a sector that you would love, great staff discounts and working within a friendly team.
Applications should include your CV but most importantly you’re angling knowledge and experience.
Reference ID: QS-1
Application deadline: 09/07/2021
Job Types: Full-time, Permanent
Salary: From £16,700.00 per year depending on experience.
Applications should be initially by email to [email protected].