BDDA Newbridge end of season report 2023
Another difficult year but it has had its moments , the Kelt run in March was spectacular ,all well repaired fish in the 6lb to 8lb range we had 14 reported in the first 2 days of the season before we asked for restraint and hope at least some make it back!! Also, Several good fish were caught during the year . I saw an old ghillie from the Tweed on TV recently explaining that salmon are called the fish of 10,000 casts .However we do actually have a new member who caught a salmon after just a couple of visits. This goes to show that Anything can happen at Newbridge but as ever “you have to be there”
A member sent an article from very first issue of Trout and Salmon in 1955 saying 100 fish were caught in the Taw Torridge tidal pools that year .They say it was a record and the result of restocking with Scottish fish a few years before. Food for thought.
We’ve had another year of low warm water ,leading to more angling restraint requested, the short spate in august brought a few fish up but the September spate was once again too late for us . Just as the fish started showing we had to stop.
Apart from Salmon ,Where are the sea trout? So, few have been reported even from traditionally prolific beats up river. It does seem that as the fish decline so does the fishing effort which doesn’t help with reported numbers.
We have good news ,as most are aware We have now finished the new club hut. This has been a huge effort by dedicated volunteers and the club are very grateful for it. It’s a lovely peaceful place to rest a while with a companion and watch the river pass by. We intend to have a formal opening on the first day of the season next year and Members will be notified nearer the time. Also, John and Hayden Kenyon led a working party for the installation of steps and a ladder to improve access to the railway swirl pit, now called the Chairman’s steps .They have our thanks for that.
You may not be aware but Earlier in the season our local wildlife trained police officer Lucy Robinson and our local EA bailiff Sam Fenner had a person excluded from our water due to antisocial behaviour connected to Elver poaching. This isn’t an easy process that included a difficult “home visit “and We are very grateful to them for this action. It’s good we have this level of support from our local enforcement officers. They always do as much as they can for us but they are under so many constraints and can only do what they are resourced for. The EA bailiff Sam Fenner also got involved with the cattle encroachment from just above the bridge .After a meeting The estate has now replaced the fencing and that is ongoing. The West Country rivers trust has installed water quality monitors just upriver from us and we’re all interested in any reports from that. Another item of interest is that Adi’s wife ,Caroline Podesta ,is in the citizen scientist project and takes monthly water samples at the bridge ,it all helps to keep the pressure up on abuse of the rivers and the genie is firmly out of the bottle in regard to that. Who does what about it is another matter though! We can but support any campaign we come across . We generally have a negative attitude to these agencies but mostly the people on the ground are on the same page as us and as frustrated as us when it comes to any deployment of resources. Please be patient with them if you have any personal contact, we have to support them too as they are doing their individual best under a lot of pressure .We are encouraged to call in incidents/events at least it will get logged.
As a club We always doing our best to protect and improve The Newbridge beat we’re but always happy for any suggestions. Very exciting news is the club is finalising the purchase of another beat further up river. All details regarding fees and access will be forwarded to all members ,hopefully in time for the coming season.
Club cups were awarded at the recent AGM and this year the committee cup went to Dave Winter for his efforts at Newbridge, Paul Meredith gets the most salmon cup for his 3 good fish, Chay Boggis gets the Bass on the fly cup for his lovely 7lb fish from Clovelly, and I was lucky enough to get the best Salmon 34inches estimated at 13.5lb.
Newbridge river keeper