Tuesday, 6 October 2015

A Change of Season.

Two-thirds of an inch of rain overnight has put some extra water and a lot of colour into our rivers this morning. Both salmon and sea trout were leaping at Hartley weir on the Lyd, one sea trout clearing the weir with one single five-foot jump, another running up over the side of the weir from the third box of the fish-pass with a rooster-tail of water pluming behind. 
Before the weather broke we had over a week of Indian Summer. With grayling in mind David fished the Tamar and had a fine out-of-season brownie, six ladies of the stream up to 12 inches, and a shining dace. If we were counting salmon parr it would have been four species in a half-hour.

A ten-inch brown trout in full breeding livery 
The lady could not resist a flashback pheasant tail nymph
Dace like the same fly

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Some Water, and Some Fish.

The month of September has seen progressively greater amounts of rain falling on Devon's green and pleasant land. Salmon have been taking advantage of this to run our rivers, with eight fish landed this month and another four lost by our rods. The ground is now well soaked and water levels are remaining consistently high,being topped up by more heavy showers as I write. The scene is set for a good run of fish for the final three weeks of the season.
Trout fishing has been tough at times in the high water, and night fishing for sea trout has effectively been put to bed for the last few days of this season. All eyes are on the weirs as fish head for the spawning grounds, and with all our salmon (total to date 16) now being released we look forward to an exciting back-end to the salmon fishing, which closes on October 14th. 

David Pilkington enjoying exercising his 13-footer in big water on the Tamar

Alex Jones playing a salmon on the Lyd

The 27 inch hen fish is safely released

A slightly stale cock fish in the net

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!

Add caption
 A female Large Dark Olive dun.

Add caption
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.