DEVON

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - FISHING REPORTS -

Good num­bers of redds are spot­ted on the up­per Teign

grayling fish­ing was out of the ques­tion. On Novem­ber 29, the main Ta­mar peaked at al­most 9ft and the Lyd at over 6ft. Prior to this wa­ter, the salmon and sea-trout were just start­ing to spawn, with sea-trout redds seen on the Ot­tery, Lyd and Wolf, and the be­gin­nings of a salmon redd on the Ta­mar up­stream of Pol­son Bridge. Since the first big flood, rivers have all been too high and dirty for any spawn­ing ob­ser­va­tion, and it was hoped that spawn­ing would be de­layed, as the very high flows can be se­ri­ously detri­men­tal to the process. The Game and Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Trust are con­tin­u­ing with their SAMARCH pro­ject, aim­ing to trap and tag sea-trout kelts from the Ta­mar sys­tem to fol­low their move­ment both in the rivers and out at sea. Ro­tary screw traps have been de­ployed on the up­per Lyd and the Ot­tery, and so far have caught an odd salmon and sea-trout kelt. The very high flows have been dif­fi­cult for trap­ping, but if lev­els set­tle more fish should be caught. The Dart An­gling As­so­ci­a­tion an­nual gen­eral meet­ing was held on De­cem­ber 7, when mem­bers were given the catch fig­ures for 2018, a very dis­ap­point­ing sea­son when con­di­tions were so often far from ideal for fish or fish­er­men. Only nine salmon were caught, the best a fish of 12lb on May 2 from Hem­bury for Paul Hether­ing­ton. The sea­son’s catch of 124 sea-trout was topped by a fish es­ti­mated at 10lb from Totnes Weir Pool, caught on May 21 by Phil Prowse on an Alexan­dra tube. The Dart at Hem­bury pro­duced a large brown trout of 3lb. For the first time, DAA mem­ber­ship in­cluded fish­ing on the Duchy of Corn­wall fish­ery on Dart­moor, where mem­bers caught 250 brown trout in the sea­son. The last of the 2018 fish­ing on the South West Lakes Trust trout fish­eries came to an end when rain­bow trout fish­ing at Ken­nick and Bur­ra­tor closed on Novem­ber 30. The 2018 sea­son proved to be a chal­leng­ing one for both an­glers and the South West Lakes Trust fish­eries man­age­ment team. The sea­son started with snow and icy con­di­tions, fol­lowed by some ex­cel­lent fish­ing in AT THE time of writ­ing (De­cem­ber 7), salmon fish­ing on the Plym and De­cem­ber and spot­ted good num­bers of redds. A fur­ther out­ing was planned for late De­cem­ber. On all rivers, salmon and sea-trout will have en­joyed more that enough high wa­ter to give ac­cess to the top­most reaches. Salmon fish­ing on the Avon closed on Novem­ber 30 af­ter an­other sea­son that pro­duced be­low av­er­age catches. So soon af­ter the close of the sea­son many catch re­turns were still awaited from mem­bers of the Avon Fish­ing As­so­ci­a­tion. Over the last four weeks the rivers on the Arun­dell Arms fish­ery have gone from hold­ing a nice level for grayling fish­ing into full rag­ing flood. Late Novem­ber saw a few rods out for grayling, with a to­tal of 14 fish landed from the Lyd and Thrushel. Best fish was a beauty of 13in for Nigel Bird on Beat 3 of the Lyd taken on a nymph, as were all of the grayling. From Novem­ber 27 on­wards, heavy rain meant Yealm still had a few days to go un­til the end of the sea­son on De­cem­ber 15, but all other rivers were closed. A cou­ple of salmon were caught on the Plym on the first week­end of De­cem­ber by an an­gler fish­ing above Bick­leigh Bridge and the best fish, es­ti­mated at 10lb, was re­ported to have spawned al­ready, well ahead of the usual spawn­ing time on the Plym. There were fre­quent spates on all Devon rivers in Novem­ber and into De­cem­ber, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to ob­serve spawn­ing ac­tiv­ity ex­cept on a few stretches on the up­per reaches of rivers. On the Taw and Mole, for ex­am­ple, the high, coloured wa­ter made redd count­ing im­pos­si­ble but fairly good num­bers of redds were seen on the Bray, a small trib­u­tary that clears quickly, be­fore it went into spate once again. On the Teign, a party from the Teign Fish­eries As­so­ci­a­tion paid a visit to the up­per reaches around Chag­ford in early

was caught by Steve Gil­bert. At Fern­wor­thy the av­er­age was 2.7 per visit and the best brown was 4lb. The Bank Pairs com­pe­ti­tion at Ken­nick in May was won by Mike Bos­ton and Chris Bolt, with a com­bined bag of 23lb 14oz. The Penin­sula Clas­sic, at Ken­nick in June, was won by Andy Good­ing for the sec­ond year run­ning, with a bag of 12lb. The sea­son open­ing dates and prices for 2019 will be re­leased on Jan­uary 15 and will be posted along with other in­for­ma­tion on the Trust’s web­site (www. swlakesfish­ing.co.uk) and on their Face­book page (Trout Fish­ing South West Lakes Trust). – MIKE WEAVER. spring, only to then lead into the hottest, dri­est sum­mer for many years, with low wa­ter lev­els and warm wa­ter tem­per­a­tures, and gen­eral lethargy in the trout. In spite of the con­di­tions, some good fish­ing was en­joyed and some large trout caught. The sea­son was pre­ceded by the suc­cess­ful Fly Fair at Road­ford, with record at­ten­dance for the ex­hibits, trade stands and de­mon­stra­tions. The 2019 South West Fly Fair will again be at Road­ford on Sat­ur­day, March 16. Through­out the sea­son an­glers were able to qual­ify for the Trust’s ‘Best of The Best’ com­pe­ti­tion, the fi­nal of which was held at Ken­nick on Oc­to­ber 7, with over £3,000 worth of prizes. Dave Perks was the win­ner on the day, tak­ing the first prize of £1,000 with a bag of six fish weigh­ing in at 12lb 10oz. At Ken­nick the av­er­age for the sea­son was 2.3 fish per visit and a best rain­bow of 13lb 10oz was taken by M Cheri­ton. Bur­ra­tor pro­duced an av­er­age of 2.4 fish per visit with a best rain­bow of 13lb 6oz for Kevin Keast. The brown trout fish­ing at Road­ford had an av­er­age of 2.7 fish per visit and the big­gest brown of 4lb 6oz

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