Thursday, 1 December 2016

Ladies of the Autumn

River levels at Lifton have been very high following Storm Angus, but the weather has now settled into a very dry spell, allowing the water to clear, and levels to fall back to a point where Grayling fishing has once again become possible. It was necessary to fish in the'Czech nymph' style with heavy tungsten- beaded nymphs. Note the multi-coloured braid section above the leader, which helps to give a visual indication of what is always a very subtle and fast take. Along with some out-of-season brownies, a very lively sea trout also fell to the nymph, as can be seen on this video.  

Monday, 21 November 2016

Storm Angus

Storm Angus, the first named storm of this winter, swept through Devon overnight last Saturday, flooding roads and houses, felling trees, and, quite naturally of course, disrupting trains. The Tamar peaked at around 8 feet on Sunday morning, not quite enough to inundate the flood plain here, but enough to precipitate strange events _ the Loch Ness monster, following the Scottish referendum, then Brexit, and now Trump, has finally had enough of the Highlands, and has gone walkabout. As you can see from the photo, here is Nessie, exploring the Tamar at Polson gauging station.

Nessie in the Tamar

Hartley weir on the river Lyd. The spate had dropped significantly by the time this photo was taken, but was still at a more than adequate height for fish to run. Nothing was seen in around 20 minutes of observation, but the river has held sufficient water for the previous ten days, and many salmon and sea trout will have ascended in that time. ( Watch the video in our last blog to see fish running on much less water than this). We expect to see redds being cut by the end of this week.

Hartley weir the week before, young Dan playing his first grayling. Dan caught two grayling that morning, both on nymph in the pool below the weir.

Dan's father Alex admiring the boy's fish.

A happy lad

Friday, 11 November 2016

Spawning run

The catchment of the river Lyd, the main salmon nursery of the Tamar system, has been woefully short of water for most of this autumn. A spell of heavy ( but short-lived) rain overnight on November 8th put the river up by several inches, and although this hardly qualifies as a significant spate, it was certainly enough to precipitate a small run of salmon. Having been bottled up for many weeks in the deeper pools lower down the system, the fish were very keen to take advantage of any extra and water move up towards the main spawning grounds, as this video shows.

Watch closely in full HD.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Autumn Colour

The dying days of the 2016 salmon season saw a few more fish being landed at the Arundell Arms. All of them were well coloured but otherwise in good condition, and had obviously been lying low for some time in the beats on the lower river. Water levels fell back to no more than a decent trout fishing height, but the careful use of a smallish fly did the trick. Our present conservation measure of fly only and 100% catch and release does not seem to be doing us any undue harm, and the fish will surely repay us by spawning the next generation.

One for the boss - an eight-pounder for Adam Fox-Edwards from Tunnel Pool.

A plump five-pound hen fish for Rob Mason in Quarry Pool.

A delighted Rich Pullin, with his first ever salmon, a nice hen of 27 inches taken in Snipe Pool.

A worried Tom Crockett playing his first-ever salmon, also in Snipe Pool

A triumphant Alexander Jones with Tom's fish safely in the net.

A view of Tom's fish in the net.

The distinctive long-snouted profile of a cock fish in spawning livery.

The fish was a six-pounder - it may look small but bear in mind that Tom stands at 6 foot 8 inches

The killer fly - a bright red shrimp pattern with boar-bristle tails.

Tom now in relaxed mode, with celebratory cigar. Snipe Pool in the background. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

October Salmon

Some decent rain hit the Tamar catchment recently, and salmon fishing has at last become a reality after two months of stagnation. A very Autumnal video, the plops in the water are not rising trout, but falling acorns.

David Pilkington tries a cast at the neck of Snipe Pool on Beat 8A

The fish nears the net

....and is safely netted

Flecks of red and gold on the gill covers show that this grilse had already been in the river for a few weeks

An admiring glance before release

The old bugger can still do it!

Safely on her way to spawn

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Late September - a time of change

Apologies to our regular blog readers for lack of material recently. This has been due in part to a busy period teaching beginners, often in less than favourable water, and to lack of material! The past seven weeks have been rainless and rather devoid of great excitement. The closing days of the trout and sea trout season are now looking very unsettled, and we look forward to some back-end sport with the salmon.

Waiting for the 'green to go out of the grass' before starting sea trout fishing up on Beat 3 of the River Lyd

Full moon and mist in the Lyd valley

How to ruin your night vision ( by not using a red light when changing flies).

A typical September 'harvest peal'.

Would you like to play a little game of skill? How many sea trout can you count in this photo? Bear in mind that they are well known as the 'grey ghosts'.

Did you get all 21? If so, well done!

This video shows a shoal of sea trout on the Lyd, doing what sea trout do best in the day, which is not much at all. Note the fish in the top left corner rubbing its side as it scootles around the pool (new word for the English language) showing its silver flanks. Sometimes this flashing is the first thing one sees when scanning the pools to find a shoal of peal. Watch fullscreen in HD for the best viewing.

Hartley weir, River Lyd, dead low water, Friday 23rd. September

Just over one inch of rain overnight. Sunday 25th. September. Not actually very high, at this level trout fishing would be fine if the water was less coloured. No salmon or sea trout were seen running at the weir, but more rain predicted soon will certainly get them on the move. This first rise of water after almost two months of  no rain is too little and too soon for the fish to respond in any numbers - watch this space!