Saturday, 13 June 2015

May June Update

 May and June have been a frenzy of activity at the Arundell Arms. As the water has  warmed our rivers have sprung into life. Excellent trout fishing has been had on gnats and Mayfly. 

A small spate at the beginning of June brought up a handful of salmon, and the hotel rods caught three while the water lasted, including hotel instructor David Pilkington's  splendid cock of  32 inches.

With June moving along the thoughts of a few will turn to the night. Those who have already ventured out have landed a handful of fish, but with cold nights set to end the best is still yet to come...

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Black Gnats swarming a patch of summer sunshine.


Black Gnats swarming a patch of summer sunshine.

The cream of the season

Late May has always traditionally been the very finest time for trout fishing. Mayflies, black gnats, many different olives and sedges are all hatching, with mayfly and olive spinners dancing in the lee of the trees in the afternoons. Can there be a better time to be out on the river? The may blossom on the hawthorn says it all.

A marbled sedge fly

 A tricky cast under the overhanging branches.......

.....rewards the angler with a trout.

]An empty mayfly nymph case. Note how the interior remains perfectly dry, and allowed the dun to exit the case and fly away without ever touching water.

A beautifully coloured ten-incher.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Dry Fly time approaches

The recent weather has done all sorts of crazy things. Three weeks of blazing sunshine has brought out the leaves, and some days were close to tropical, but the nights were very cold. A few trout rose at times, and if you hit it right there was a good chance of some decent fishing, but overall the rise has been at best sporadic, and nymph fishing has been far and away the most successful tactic. As May approaches we should see things improve, although a frost this morning and bitterly cold northerly winds are not helping. There are increasing numbers of flies hatching. Along with various olives there are still a few Grannom, and the first of the Yellow May Duns were out on the Tamar last Saturday. Odd Hawthorns were also in the air, but the prime dry fly for the start of May is the Black Gnat. Stones in the river are already encrusted with their pupae, so their emergence is imminent. The trout are tucking their napkins under their chins as I type!

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 A female Large Dark Olive dun.

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A male Large Dark Olive dun, note the much larger eyes (all the better to see you with!) and claspers at the base of the tails.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Spring update

Alex and David found the Spring sunshine irresistible yesterday, and combined a final tidy-up of Beat 15 on the Ottery with a spot of fishing.In spite of the warm sunshine, the water was still quite cold, indeed there had been a slight frost overnight. Only a few flies were seen hatching, and with the river still fining down from the last spate, we started with nymphs.

David working upstream on a likely run at the bottom of Beat 15.

The first fish of the day, a lean but feisty ten-inch brownie.

The stunning colours of the true wild brown trout. Note the cream edge to the anal fin.

Tracks on the stones show where browsing nymphs have disturbed the silt as they fed on algal growth overnight.

A Stonefly nymph

An Olive nymph

Another Olive nymph

An Olive nymph next to Simulium larvae

The tracheal gills are visible on this Olive nymph

A sea trout smolt, which took a dry Grannom pattern, showing the distinctive black edge to the caudal fin. We await his return as a three-quarter-pound school peal in late July.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

....and Out like a Lion!

March came in like the proverbial lion, and went out yesterday like several lions, all of them in a very bad temper. Winds reached 70 m.p.h., trees were felled across the county, with many main roads and countless minor ones impassable, and 9 feet of surf on the north Devon coast. Fortunately we had no particularly heavy rain to discolour the water, and this afternoon Alex's camera captured these images from the river Thrushel. 

There was very little fly, although we saw several grannom on the Lyd in the morning. The trout came well to a small pheasant tail nymph, typically very fast, in the manner of true wild fish. Easter is predicted to be a little warmer, which should bring out a few large dark olives along with the grannom, and may offer some sport to the dry fly.

Fist cast of the season.

First Trout

Second Trout

Purple Toothwort on Willow stump

One can see why it's called 'Toothwort'.