Friday, 13 November 2015


Guests who only see us during the summer sometimes ask 'what do you do in the winter?'
The answer is dictated to us by weather and water conditions. When the rivers are low and clear enough we often steal an hour to fish for grayling. Otherwise, there just happens to be 20 miles of river-bank which needs to be maintained and kept fishable, so this is the mainstay of our winter work. Overhanging branches always seem to be growing just where one wants to cast, and when these hang down from a main trunk at a great height, the job is significant.
Soon enough now, the sea trout and salmon will be spawning, and we hope to capture some photos of this in the next two or three weeks. The woodcock will be flighting in on the next full moon, so there may also be the need to accept an odd shooting invitation! 

David fishing the Lyd in water which was clear enough, but really too high for much hope with the grayling. 

A cast below Hartley weir on beat 3. The height and force of the flow clearly shows on the weir. A few small trout came to the nymph, the lady of the stream kept her nose down and her mouth closed. These consistent high flows have encouraged salmon and sea trout to push upstream to their spawning grounds.

The otter leaves his mark on a  riverside stone, note his urine has killed off the moss. His spraint is there for other passing otters to take note. Adult male otters are fiercely territorial and will kill young males trying to move into their stretch of river.

Serious tree surgery on Silver Doctor pool on the Lyd. The limbs being addressed were hanging down to within a few feet of the water surface, but grew out from the trunk some 30 feet higher. Our tree surgeon used his ropes and climbing kit to go another 15 feet up to reach them. Please note that we are still using the imperial system of measurement!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

October Salmon Fishing

October has often been our best month for salmon, 2015 being no exception. A series of spates has combined to give excellent water for the last few days of this season and several salmon have been caught, and all released in line with our current policy. A beginners' salmon fly fishing course over the weekend of 10th and 11th October produced two fish for the pupils, with another hooked and lost and fish seen showing in most pools on the Tamar.

David fishing the Lyd in stunning autumn sunshine

Adam Fozard with his first salmon, a coloured hen of between 5 and 6 pounds, from Snipe pool on Beat 8A

The distinctive blunt head of Adam's hen fish

John Bramall with his first salmon, a well coloured cock fish from Lyd Foot pool on beat 7A, taken on a conehead Cascade tube. David reaching for his tape measure.

The fish measured 26 inches.

Observe the much longer jaw and kype of the cock fish. 

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.