The rain that fell at the beginning of August proved a welcome tonic for the areas salmon and sea trout anglers who enjoyed a hectic few days on both the Taw and Torridge. The day ticket Weir Marsh and Brightly Beats on the Taw saw eleven salmon caught on Friday and four on Saturday. Steve Meach landed six, Nigel Clist and Richard Jewell two and John Kenyon, Edwin Barclay, Michael Martin. Chris Steer and Bob Lewington one each. There were also ten sea trout caught from the beats. Numerous other salmon have been landed from beats on the Taw including a superb salmon to the rod of Emma Tyjas estimated at 12lb. Emma is married to Peter Tyjas who teaches with the Devon School of Fly Fishing based at the Fox and Hounds, Eggesford. http://devonschoolofflyfishing.com/devon-school-fly-fishing-courses/
Its raining and whilst that’s bad for the visitors it’s good news for salmon and sea trout anglers. There have been a few salmon and sea trout trickling into the Taw with peel now throughout the Mole. Chris Steer landed an 8lb salmon from the Weir Marsh and Brightly beats of the Taw; a day ticket water available by contacting Ivan Huxtable on 01769540835.
Alternatively contact the Rising Sun at Umberleigh where day tickets are also available. The steady rain that is falling now should offer every prospect of sport on all three of our main North Devon Rivers the Taw, Torridge and Lyn.
Stuart Eynon sent me this superb photo of one of five salmon he caught on a middle Torridge beat at the end of June. His fishing partner David Middlemiss also landed two salmon and a sea trout.
The Taw and Torridge are both in perfect condition following recent rainfall and fish are there to be caught. Clinton Marshall fished the Weir Marsh and Brightly Beats of the Taw to land a 5lb grilse and Len Francis fished the same beat to land a 6lb grilse. Both fish were fresh in from the sea with silver flanks and sea lice still attached.
I fished the Middle Torridge with the river in fine trim I expected a fish at anytime but not a pull. The sight of a kingfisher alighting on a branch opposite where I fished was reward for my effort plus the glimpse of two barn owls as I drove home.
At least seven salmon were landed from the Torridge from beats throughout the river all of them grilse up to 4lb. Martin Weeks and his party fish the Torridge every summer specializing in sea trout fishing after dark. Their latest visit to the river saw them land twenty six sea trout to 3lb in three nights fishing.
It is surprising how many sea trout can be in the river with anglers being unaware of their presence. Whilst there are a number of fishers who target the fish after dark there are far fewer than fish the famous sea trout rivers of South Wales. If more anglers adopted nocturnal habits it is likely that far more of these enigmatic fish would be tempted.
The best book on sea trout fishing is undoubtedly Hugh Falkus’s classic work Sea Trout Fishing published in 1962. It is surprising that this classic tome was written so long ago as its is still totally relevant to this day and well worth seeking out. A book that captures the atmosphere of sea trout fishing through the night is BB’s The Pool of the Black Witch.
Wednesday night is steak night at The Rising Sun at Umberleigh and an ideal place to catch up on he latest news from the River Taw. Landlord Julian Zealey is a keen angler and is always worth chatting with for the latest news from the river.
At least two salmon were landed from the Taw on June 29th including a 12lb fish from a middle river beat to the rod of Roland Eustace and 10lb salmon to the rod of Trevor Smith from the Mole. Several school peel have also been caught over recent days from beats throughout the river system.
Richard Johns landed a 9lb salmon from the Weir Marsh and Brightly Beats of the Taw along with a couple of sea trout to 2lb 8oz.
The last Thursday of each month sees a get together of salmon anglers at the monthly soiree with canapés and beers from 5:30.
On the Middle Torridge Stuart Eynon shared a catch of seven salmon from a middle river beat.
After an exceptionally dry April and May local rivers have been at uncomfortably low levels with migratory fish reluctant or unable to progress upriver. As a result both salmon and sea trout fishing had virtually ground to a halt. The recent rainfall though often very localized brought a significant rise to the River Torridge that has brought several salmon into the system with salmon caught from beats throughout the river. Richard Jewell was among those successful landing a fresh run grilse with sea liced flanks. I fished a mid river Beat of the Torridge and whilst I failed to connect with a salmon I did catch a pleasing brown trout of almost around 1lb.
Taw regular Len Francis was one of the first to benefit from a slight rise in the Taw landing a salmon from a mid river beat. Heavy rain is falling as I type this so hopefully the rivers will rise further bringing a good run of fish over coming days.
Whilst many will be grumbling about recent rain in localized areas salmon and sea trout anglers will have a little hope in their hearts. After an exceptionally dry April and May local rivers have been at uncomfortably low levels with migratory fish reluctant or unable to progress upriver. Both salmon and sea trout fishing have virtually ground to a halt. A quick look at the Environment Agency gauging stations indicates a substantial rise in the Upper and middle Torridge that should give encouragement that a few fish will move over Beam Weir. The initial flush of water after a prolonged drought is often very dirty and this can deter fish from moving into the system. As the water clears fish should run giving anglers a chance of sport. Ideally we need a sustained period of rain to maintain the river level for a few weeks.
The Taw does not seem to have benefited to the same extent as the Torridge but even here a small rise could bring a few sea trout and salmon into the Lower reaches.
The Lyn seems to missed out on the rainfall and is still exceptionally low.