North Devon River Update

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The salmon season got off to a slow start on both the Taw and Torridge as a result of low water temperatures and successive spates that kept the rivers brimful. As the waters have dropped and temperatures have climbed sevral anglers have enjoyed success on both rivers with fish from Lower and Middle beats of both rivers.

 Sugh Smith banked a 6lb salmon from the Weir Marsh and Brightly beats of the Taw. Barry Sutton caught a fine 10lb 8oz salmon on a silver stoats tail and Michael Martin a 9lb salmon on an orange fly of his own design.There have also been salmon caught from the Barnstaple Club water below Newbridge. Reports from Upper Taw beats are scarce but with the prolonged high water levels salmon and sea trout will undoubtedly be present.

On the Torridge Chris Warcup caught a fine brace of salmon estimated at 12lb and 14lb. David Lincoln landed a 10lb salmon from a mid river beat. As the river levels drop on both rivers salmon sport will ease off though lower beats of both rivers will be worth a try.

The lower river levels and higher temperatures will prove more conducive to sea trout fishing with after dark fishing worthwhile. Several sea trout between 2lb and 4lb have been caught by anglers at Little Warham Fishery on the RIver Torridge where day tickets are available. It is surprising how many sea trout can be present in the rivers and a concerted after dark sortie can often unlock the rivers secrets.

The Upper reaches of North Devon rivers and many miles of smaller rivers throughout the area can offer splendid sport with wild brown trout that rise freely to a well presented dry fly. The East Lyn offers stunning fishing in beautiful surrounding for less than a fiver a day. Many streams offer excellent fishing with nothing more required than a polite inquiry seeking permission to fish.

 

WESTCOUNTRY FLY FISHING COURSE 2018

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                  The 2018 Westcountry Fly Fishing Course has been running for thirteen or fourteen years at the Fox and Hounds Country Hotel at Eggesford and has become an eagerly anticipated event amongst those in the know. The event is organized by Crediton based Fly Fishing Tackle.co.uk and the Devon School of Fly Fishing. The format is to gather some of the countries top Fly Fishing Guides together with an assembly of top Fly Fishing Tackle from Vision Fly Fishing UK. Anglers who want to learn are invited and for the cost of lunch enjoy free casting tuition and advice. The event takes place in a riverside meadow that is reached via a pleasing stroll through the hotels grounds.

Fortunately the event was once again blessed with good April weather with just a light shower during the afternoon.

Peter Tyjas from the Devon School of Fly Fishing launched the event giving a passionate talk about the River Taw. Peter opened by talking of his love for the river and concerns about the effects of modern developments on the rivers future. He explained how intensive work by local organizations including the River Taw Fisheries Association has helped the river environment by improving upstream migration routes for migratory fish.

Peter then talked of fishing the Taw from its source high on Dartmoor near Belstone, down through the wooded valleys near Crediton and from there to the Fox and Hounds beats and then on to the bigger river below its junction with the Mole where the waters of Exmoor and Dartmoor converge.

Each section of river has its own characteristics and challenges requiring a slightly modified approach and ideally tackle suited to the quarry and surroundings. For the higher open moorland a 10ft 3 weight rod was recommended, whilst in woody confines an 8ft 4 weight was considered best. As the angler moves lower down the river a 9 ft four weight rod is better for the trout. The salmon and sea trout obviously require heavier tackle and this was described in detail with switch rods and double handed rods explained in depth.

Peter described the tactics likely to succeed and the correct approach. Some key points being the need for stealth and careful consideration as to where the fish will be lying. Being a Fly Fishing Course there was of course emphasis on how to put the fly in front of the trout using different techniques.

Entomology was explained in some detail and which flies to select for different occasions. The need for good presentation was given a great deal of importance for Peter is a great exponent of putting the fly in the right place without scaring the fish. Far better to present the wrong fly right than the right fly wrong. Fish have only a few seconds to decide whether to take or eject the chance of food.

Peter repeatedly expressed his views on taking care of the precious resource of the fish within the river system. A fish should be held only briefly close to the water for a quick photo. The traditional pose with the angler holding the fish out of water is frowned upon.

I found Peters section on salmon and sea trout very thought provoking realizing that I can at times become a little mechanical in my own approach. Whilst the standard across and down searching of the river is often effective it is not the only way to fish. The use of streamer type flies cast across or upstream and pulled briskly to stimulate an aggressive approach from salmon and sea trout is a technique I will try more often. I have caught using sun-ray shadows and had aggressive follows and takes whilst retrieving the fly briskly but have tended to resort to these tactics on rare occasions late in the season. I have been guilty on many occasions of going through the motions. Pleasant as this can be there are times when thinking a little more out of the box may bring a bonus fish.

Jim Williams

Following on from Peter fascinating talk we were treated to a talks and demonstrations from Jim Williams AAPGAI Master level fly fishing & fly casting instructor, sales manager for Vision Fly Fishing UK and Ian May AAPGAI Master Instructor based in Hampshire, teaching both single and double handed disciplines for salmon, trout and grayling. These talks focused on casting techniques to combat the weather, improving presentation, accuracy and distance. Loop speed, lines, rods, tension, balance, rods actions, materials and personal preference were all given careful deliberation and explanation in an entertaining way.

Ian May

An hour’s break for dinner took us all to the bar and dining room of the Fox and Hounds. The walls here are decorated with an array of fascinating photos. Many of which show ladies and gentlemen from a long gone generation posing with splendid catches of salmon and sea trout. Whilst in this more enlightened age we return the fish we catch we should not judge these anglers who took fish for the table in times of plenty. It would be wonderful to see the return of those runs of fish. There are some pictures that show a day’s catch of salmon that would today constitute a season’s haul not just for one angler but for whole beat.

With our hunger sated we once again sauntered back to the water meadow for practical demonstrations on how to tackle the river. Peter Tyjas and Sam Baycroft displayed the art of fishing New Zealand style with a nymph and dry fly combination whilst Jim Williams gave a fascinating insight into the art of French nymphing.

Peter Tyjas explaining the intricacy’s of trout fishing
Jim Williams talks French nymphing tactics
Sam Baycock searches the far slack

A short session of further casting instruction and rod waggling followed in the field before proceedings were brought to a close with a draw for a quality landing net donated by Vision. I am sure all who attended left eager to get out fishing trying out their new found skills. Thanks must go to all involved in the delivery of the day. Such events are invaluable in promoting the sport. It would be good to see a few more ladies and young anglers at the events as there is much to enjoy within this wonderful sport that engages with the environment and fosters a deep appreciation of the countryside. There are also I feel many benefits to participants for both mental well being social interaction and good health.

The final rod waggling session

RIVER TAW FISHERIES ASSOCIATION AGM

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The River Taw Fisheries Association held their Annual General Meeting at High Bullen Hotel on Friday March 23rd. Chairman Alex Gibson reported on the 2017 season when approximately 286 salmon were landed and 214 sea trout. The statistic that immediately raised concern was the dramatic drop in sea trout numbers. It is to be hoped that this is one of nature’s cyclical fluctuations and not something more sinister. The good news was a healthy number of brown trout reported by anglers from the Taw catchment.

RTFA – Chairman Alex Gibson

High Impact Enforcement Officer Paul Carter gave an update on the latest news regarding netting bye laws and proposed regulations to safeguard future salmon stocks. He emphasized the importance of anglers reporting any potential pollution’s or illegal fishing via the Environment Agency’s hotline: – 0800 807060.

Anglers are encouraged to respond to the latest consultation regarding the proposals. Via the following link:-

https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/fisheries/proposed-national-salmon-byelaws/

There was some encouraging news in that redd counts on the Upper Taw had been encouraging compared to recent seasons. South Molton & District Angling Club gave valuable help to carry out observation on the River Bray under guidance from Paul Carter and plan to carry out an annual redd count from now on.

Bill Beaumont, Senior Fisheries Scientist, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, gave an enlightening talk entitled;
“Salmon and Silt-A Recipe for Disaster”. Whilst much of the data presented was from the River Frome in Dorset it had a great deal of relevance to our own local rivers. There is an acknowledgement that marine survival is a major factor that we have little control over. For this reason the focus needs to be on ensuring the salmon and sea trout have a healthy habitat in which to breed. Farming practices are a key concern with silt run off, insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers all ingredients that can cause significant damage to  the river environment. Education is a major factor in this area with retaining what is put on the land beneficial economically. What is the point in spending thousands of pounds on treatments to see it all wash off into the river?

There are numerous ways that farming practice can be modified to protect the waterways. Including catch crops to bind the soil and keep it in place, ploughing across slopes and fencing to reduce cattle access to the river.

The basic message is that we need to clean up our act. Find the problems, identify the causes and discover the solutions. To do this we need political will power to provide finance. Education combined with financial reward for good practice. This has to be backed up by enforcement ensuring that there is a significant cost to breaking the rules.

Bill Beaumont’s in depth presentation highlighted many issues that can impact upon salmon and sea trout. Mapping the migration of adult salmon and sea trout and parr and smolts is vital in understanding where losses are highest. With this knowledge targeted effort can bring success stemming the decline in these iconic migratory fish.

A few issues highlighted included; Marine – By catches of smolts, Over-fishing of food fish, Competition for food from herrings etc, Marine temperature change. Freshwater – Variable spawning success, Predation from birds, fish, mink and otters, Water abstraction, less flushing of gravels, Land-use (as previously mentioned),

http://www.gwct.org.uk /fishing/research/

Chairman Alex Gibson highlighted widespread concern amongst members regarding the potential breaches of compliance at many of the areas sewage treatment works. With increasing housing development within the region there is undoubtedly a need for significant investment to ensure that wastewater is adequately treated. Once again if any potential pollution’s are observed then the E-A hotline 0800 807060 should be used.

Anglers are at the forefront of conservation on rivers and are in a position to spot indications of issues unlikely to be detected by general members of the public. Guests at the meeting included members of the River Torridge Fishery Association who work hand in hand with the Taw fishers on many issues common to both rivers that share the same estuary mouth. An area of grave concern is the Northam Landfill site where coastal erosion is threatening to release many tons of potentially toxic material into the lower estuary

The AGM was closely followed by the associations annual auction that is a significant fund raising event in the calendar. All monies received help fund vital work on the river system including surveys and improvement work by the West Country Rivers Trust.

The evenings events and coming season are always debated in great depth during the delicious meal that follows.

Big Sea Trout and several salmon on the Torridge

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On the river Torridge sea trout specialist Martin Weeks landed a fine sea trout of 10lb and lost a far bigger fish when the hook pulled free after the fish tried to empty his reel of line. Dr Jonathon Compson landed five sea trout averaging 1lb 8oz from an upper river beat and Paul Carter landed a 4lb grilse from a middle river beat. Graham Roberts also landed a grilse of 4lb and Adam Baron caught a 10lb salmon and a 3lb sea trout.

I fished a Middle Torridge beat and whilst I failed to tempt a salmon or sea trout I did manage to catch a beautiful brown trout of around 1lb. Unfortunately the picture suffered from some incompetence from me!

RAIN BRINGS WELCOME SUMMER SPATE

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The recent rain has brought a welcome rise in North Devon’s Rivers giving excellent prospects of salmon during the coming week.

I took a walk up the Lower reaches of the Lyn earlier today (June 30th) It looked absolutely perfect for spinning and I received confirmation that a salmon was caught from the river the previous day. This 7lb salmon was tempted on a worm presented on a de-barbed circle hook as supplied with the anglers permit purchased from the E.A. Permits are now available from Barbrook Petrol station from 7.00am.   The Lyn is now 100% catch and release and as a result it is not fished by as many anglers as in past seasons. Whilst the reduction in angling pressure is undoubtedly good for the salmon stocks I cannot help but feel slightly sad as I remember my own days on the river a couple of decades ago when after a spate like this anglers would hurry to the river in large numbers from miles around. There was quite a community back then and many of those characters have passed away. As I jumped up onto familiar rocks to study the water and search for the sight of a salmon I remembered those anglers and almost expected to glimpse them searching the water with worm or spinner.

On a wet summers day I can think of no better place to be. The river holds many happy memories and whilst I only saw this magnificent river as its salmon and sea trout run started to decline I had a glimpse of what it once produced and in my forthcoming book I can reveal some of its former glories.

The Torridge has also risen and should be fish-able within a couple of days as the turbidity drops out of the water. Day tickets are available at Little Warham Fishery and at the Half Moon at Sheepwash.

Day Tickets are also available on the Taw from the Rising Sun at Umberleigh who can also provide tickets for the Weir Marsh and Brightly Beats controlled by Ivan Huxtable.

The Rising Sun at Umberleigh

Little Warham salmon

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Recent rainfall  brought a welcome rise in the River Torridge and Anthony and Amanda Milner of Little Warham Fishery took the opportunity to cast a line. Amanda was delighted to tempt a hard fighting silver sea trout on Monday June 12th. Anthony fished the following morning and tempted a fine 12lb fresh run salmon.

This is the couples first full season on this delightful fishery on the River Torridge where they provide both accommodation and day ticket fishing for salmon, sea trout and brown trout. I hope to bring a full report on this fishery in the very near future.

The Fisherman’s Hut

Several years ago I wrote an article that appeared in the Get Hooked Angling Guide it revolved around an old fishing hut that belongs to B&DAA. In the article I reminisced about days gone by and the anglers that fished the Lower Taw and rested a while at the old hut. Rods would be propped against the railings as the anglers paused to enjoy a smoke a drink and a chat. I wrote that piece back in 2006.

I returned to the club water a few days ago and fished down through the old haunts. It was apparent that old trees are no longer removed from the river and their skeletal remains now lie rotting in what were once prime pools. The river was very low following the dry spring and algae coated the stones. There have been a few salmon caught so far this season and I had caught a glimpse of a couple myself a few days before when I fished the water for the first occasion in over a decade.

It was as always good to be by the river as the sand martins swooped to and fro across the water. At my feet I was pleased to see minnows swirling in the clear water undoubtedly feeding upon food I dislodged as I fished methodically downriver.

As the light faded I wondered up river and followed a path through the trees to the water. I worked my fly down through the old buttress pool and tempted a small brown trout with vivid crimson spots upon its flanks. As I turned to wonder back out of the river I remembered the  old fisherman’s hut and made my way up through the lush green growth to find the hut that was now fully embraced by nature. I realize that ten years on there are even less of us who remember those spring and summer days when the hut had several visitors every day.

There is a certain feeling of timelessness beside a river the ever-flowing stream yet sadly there is also a profound sense of time evaporating as life passes by. I paused once again below the bridge and looked up through the arches. The banks are now overgrown for this is not an easy place to cast a fly. I remember casting a Mepps across the deep slow moving pool and feeling that delightful throb as the lure worked deep in search of silver salmon.

We have lost so much in the past forty years as fish stocks have dwindled and with it to some extent the richness of an angling life. The decline of salmon and sea trout stocks has resulted in the essential introduction of many restrictions that has reduced the angling effort. With that has come the demise of a whole social scene that once thrived beside the river.

Below is my original article on the Fisherman’s Hut written in 2006:-

The Fishermen’s Hut

I stopped on the bridge as always to peer into the river below. The sun shone and the river took on that blue green translucence typical of springtime. A few martins and swallows swooped above the river seeking nourishment following their long flight from far off lands. After a brief survey of the pool I moved on and came to the old gate that leads to the riverbank.

The gate hung partly unhinged, it’s fastening asp broken, a few bits of litter caught my eye discarded by some ignorant motorist. A problem that blights our countries hedgerows tarnishing our land with an urban feel, continuing down the steps I glanced at the old fishing sign, rusting and grimy, the clubs name still present above the words, “Private Fishing Club Members only”. The pathway beside the river had always been well trodden at this time of year (Early April) yet now it was partly grown over. Celandine flowers brightened the waterside meadow with their bright yellow hues. It felt good to be walking the riverbank again after a long break but strange melancholy feelings drifted into my mind. I glanced at the old corrugated fishing hut its door was open, someone was about I thought, tidying up or fishing somewhere down stream.

My club membership had long since lapsed and I was heading to fish the free water a hundred yards or more downstream. I had fished this section of river heavily twenty-five years ago hoping for a Silver Spring salmon but had visited rarely over recent seasons. However a river is like a long lost friend familiarity returns quickly and certain things retain a core character. The constant flow of a river towards the sea has always given me an almost spiritual and reassuring sense of stability. A feeling I had always treasured each spring as I trod the banks rod in hand hopeful of one of anglings greatest prizes, a fresh run silver salmon. The grass flourishing, buds bursting into life on riverside trees and spring birds filling the air with song, migrants returned from a long cold winter, a sign of the coming warmth of summer.

I had very little time today just a grabbed moment from life’s busy schedule no time to fish methodically, just a few random casts into favourite lies. I remember long ago seeking a salmon a prize that seemed unattainable. Eventually after many days by the river I had tempted a salmon, what had seemed so difficult I realised was really quite easy. You just had to be in the right place at the right time with a little good fortune. Salmon are a perplexing fish, totally ignoring all offerings one minute then suddenly erupting from the water to seize your bait, lure or fly with an unbelievable determination. After catching that first salmon an angler will forever be able to cast in hope for he believes in the impossible. This faith remains forever fuelling the desire for cast after cast.

I climbed down the riverbank entering the water above a sweeping bend in the river. An old tree stood, its roots exposed from constant attack by annual winter floods. Beneath the tree was a favourite lie that had held many salmon and sea trout over the years. I waded out into the river, relishing the feel as the cool water pushed against my legs. I extended my fly line above the water and dropped a bright orange Ally’s Shrimp fly near the far bank. I allowed the fly to swing tantalizingly across the flow, took a step downstream and repeated the process. Many times in the past I had seen salmon and sea trout leap from the water at this spot. I hoped to see one now, I really didn’t need to catch, to glimpse the prize would suffice.

Strange really, since the introduction of catch and release in the early season I have lost much of my determination to seek salmon. I always used to relish taking that first fresh Springer home to enjoy with new potatoes and lashings of butter. I regularly fish for a wide range of species returning 90% of the fish I catch. I have no problem returning a coloured salmon in the autumn but I somehow struggle with returning a bar of silver sea liced salmon. I often think of Hugh Falkus’s comments on catch and release and his views that it was somehow wrong. Somehow I feel he had a point there is something undignified in toying with a fish so magnificent as the Atlantic salmon. Perhaps I just don’t like being told I have to return the fish, I remember catching a well-mended Kelt several years ago. It had inhaled the Mepps spinner to the back of its throat and was bleeding profusely. I gently returned it to the river, to my horror it keeled over and drifted away to die. How would I feel if this happened to a prime fresh run fish?

This leads me on to another restriction that has been imposed to preserve stocks. In the early season I and most other anglers used the spinner to fish for salmon. A Mepp’s spinner or Devon Minnow was cast into the cold waters and retrieved slowly its throbbing reverberated through the line to the rod giving a physical transmission between angler and river. At any moment there was the anticipation of the electrifying take as a bar of silver attacked the lure. I fully support the need to preserve salmon stocks and if that impinges on my pleasure then so be it I guess, I just wonder about the long-term effect of these restrictions on our freedom?

I continued to fish on down stream, ice cold water started to seep into my chest waders. I realised that my repairs to the holes had failed and a new pair of waders would be needed before my next trip.

It was soon time to leave I had to collect my young son from his cricket coaching. I climbed from the river my boots squelching as I retraced my way along the riverside path. I came again to the old fishermen’s hut, the door was still open, and inquisitive I strolled over and peered inside. The door had been broken from its hinges, the old leather seat was torn, old mugs stood in an old wooden cabinet where mice had made their home the old hut was damp and derelict. A feeling of sadness came upon me. I immediately understood the melancholy feeling I earlier sensed. Twenty odd years ago I had spent many hours beside this river and talked with the club anglers of the day. They were anglers in their fifties or sixties who had fished the river for many of life’s allotted span. They generally had a tale to tell of the good old days, of encounters with huge spring salmon, some won some lost. They had intimate knowledge of the river and a deep respect and love for the salmon. Each year working parties would trim troublesome branches and carry out repairs to gates and stiles. The fisherman’s hut was a meeting place where tales were swapped over cups of hot tea. Fishing magazines sat on the table to provide inspiration during a break in fishing or tending to the riverbank. There was always a rod leaning against the old rails that segregated the front of the hut from the bank side. A bench dedicated to an angler invited one to, “rest here and find pleasure”.

It dawned upon me that a generation of anglers had passed away. Few anglers now trod these banks in search of spring salmon. Upriver on prime beats people still pay large sums to fish but here on the club and free water few bother to cast a line. Perhaps restrictions have taken away the motivation for these anglers to fish or perhaps people no longer have the patience to chase dreams. I realise that back then we seemed to have time to talk, time to fish and time to dream.

The faces of a host of anglers fill my minds eye as I walk away from the river and the derelict old fisherman’s’ hut. I realise that whilst the river flows relentlessly on we anglers are just passing spirits. The comfort of the rivers immortality is temporarily shadowed by the realisation of our own fleeting visit to its banks.

As I walk across the bridge I again pause as always for one last look at the river. A car races past, a train thunders along the nearby track I re-enter the modern world and walk back to the car. On getting home I think back to the old fishing hut and vow to jot down my thoughts before they get lost and drift away like the old anglers who once fished the river.

Since writing the article my views on catch and release have mellowed and I no longer yearn to keep that spring salmon believing it far better to carefully return it to continue its upstream journey.

Sea Trout – A fine first fish on the fly

A glance over the bridge at Umberleigh revealed the Taw running with a slight color perfect conditions for a fish a two.

We called into the Rising Sun at Umberleigh to enjoy their Wednesday steak night. A glance into the Fishing Log revealed the days catch! Spencer Whitbread fished the Rising Sun’s water at Umberleigh and was delighted  to land his first fish on the fly a handsome sea trout of 5lb 10oz. The fish was tempted on a Wille Gunn a favorite early season fly on the Taw and Torridge. Spencer was expertly tutored by Mark Izzard.

It was a delicious steak! Two for £20!

Torridge Fishery Association – AGM

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The Torridge Fishery Associations Annual General Meeting was held at the Half Moon Inn at Sheepwash on March 31st and was very well supported by its membership. I always look forward to attending this meeting as this and the Annual Dinner is the  time when most members get to meet up and share in their passion for the river and its health.

As always the river Environment was at the top of the agenda and of course the fish stocks. Paul Ashworth gave an update on the hatchery. The clubs project to attempt to stem the decline in salmon and sea trout numbers. The past winter has proved a successful one with brood stock successfully caught stripped and returned to the river. The result has been 30,000 fry stocked out into tributaries of the Torridge. It is impossible to know for sure if previous years stockings have proved fruitful but with a 95% survival to swim up fry stage there has to be a chance that a few eventually make it back as adult fish.

Environment Agency Fisheries Officer Paul Carter gave a report on the latest regarding staffing levels with the agency and highlighted the need for anglers to act as the eyes and ears of the river bank. Any environmental concerns or suspicious activity should be reported immediately either direct to Paul or via the agency’s hotline – 0800 807060. Paul expressed concern at the apparent lack of salmon spawning activity on the upper reaches of most local rivers. My own hope is that this is a temporary situation with a poor return of salmon as a result of the extensive and severe floods of 2012 washing out large areas of the salmon’s redds. In light of the ever decreasing stocks Paul emphasized the importance of catch and release and in particular ensuring large fish of over 70cm are returned to the river even later in the season as these fish are often the ones returned by anglers fishing earlier in the spring. Provisional 2016 returns for the Torridge indicated 58 salmon and 206 sea trout.

Izzy Moser from Devon Wildlife Trust gave an enlightening talk on the successful attempts to breed freshwater pearl mussel with the intent of reseeding areas of the Torridge where the species is threatened with extinction. These mollusks can live for over 100 years and require pollution free waters to survive. The creatures can also contribute to the rivers health by filtering large quantities of water as they feed. For more information on this fascinating project visit http://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/freshwater-pearl-mussel-project

One of the major factors impacting upon the Freshwater mussel is that of sedimentation caused largely by farming practices. Devon Wildlife Trust is working with anglers towards a purer river that will benefit both mussels and salmon.

Adrian Dowding and his colleague Phil Turnball of the West Country Rivers Trust gave a presentation reporting upon  an extensive fry survey undertaken last season. This did not make good reading with fry numbers very disappointing throughout most of the Torridge catchment despite extensive work over recent years to improve habitat. The survey highlights the urgent need for extensive efforts to address habitat issues on our rivers. The loss of salmon and sea trout in any of our West Country Rivers would be a tragedy.

Invasive species are also a major concern with Himalayan Balsam one area that anglers can make a difference. A campaign encourages anglers to pull up ten of these plants every time they visit the river.

Despite all of this concern for the river anglers remained upbeat and optimistic for the season ahead with river levels now dropping after several spates some fish should be caught. John Hellyer caught a fine 10lb salmon from the lower river, the second so far this season showing that a few salmon have already moved in.

The Half Moon Inn has for many years been the hub of fishing on the Torridge and fortunately this is set to continue as the new owners Andrew Orchard and Alan McIntosh have vowed to continue the Inns future as a premier fishing Inn that will undoubtedly be well supported by Charles Inniss whose years of knowledge and enthusiasm has provided inspiration for generations of visiting anglers.

It’s Raining!

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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.

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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.

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River Lyn in spate – A few years ago!