Monday, 18 July 2016

Running sea trout

A sight to gladden the heart. Sea trout running the river. Enjoy!

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Monday, 4 July 2016

Summer Silver

Wimbledon is not the only place in the country where it has been raining. Lifton has recorded just one dry day in the last 23. Salmon and sea trout are now entering the Tamar system in increasing numbers, encouraged by the good flow of water. Some smaller fresh school peal are also running, and have been caught as far up the Lyd as the Weir Pool on Beat 3.

A selection of night caught sea trout.

A  ten-and-a-half pounder from the Tamar. If salmon could swim backwards, this one might have escaped from Alexander's net.

The Oxford Pictorial Dictionary's choice for the definition of smugness.

The sheer perfection of a fresh Atlantic salmon

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Early Summer

Devon seems to have missed the rains which fell elsewhere in the country. Rivers are now very low, trout well fed and proving challenging in the tranquil flows. Despite the low water, a few good sea trout have made it to the main beats of the river Lyd.

A huge brown trout from Tinhay lake. Having been seen feeding on the newly stocked rainbows, we thought this one was better out of the water. 28 inches,  nine and a half pounds - one big brownie!

A small olive spinner. Trapped and dying in the surface film, these flies are easy meat for the trout. The fish can become preoccupied with them and become very fussy about both pattern and presentation.

In the net at 0200hours.

Four and a half pounds of fighting Devon sea trout, taken by Alexander Jones from the tail of Donkey pool on a Gurgler.
The first of many for the season ahead, and a good fish to beat.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Late May..hatching flies..sunshine...even a salmon!

A small spate last weekend moved a few salmon, our first fish of the season is now on the books. Fly hatches are really improving. Mayflies, Black Gnats, Yellow Sallies and a variety of olives are hatching by day, with the first of the evening Caddis hatches now under way. The very best time to be trout fishing is at last upon us.

David putting a line across the tail of Quarry Pool in search of a salmon. 

A long-winged salmon tube fly.

The tail of Oak Tree Pool.

Success! A very fresh 30-inch ten-pounder. The single-hooked Black Pennell (visible in the fish's jaw) came out very easily. Measured in the net, this fish never left the water.

Olive and Mayfly spinner dancing beside Quarry in the evening light.

A fine example of a nicely strimmed bank.

Monday, 9 May 2016

A dry Grannom Emerger

A selection of deadly nymphs

David casting on the Lyd

The river wearing her springtime cloak of wild flowers

The romantically named Factory Pool, always full of trout 

A brownie falls for the nymph

...and one on the dry fly

A perfect salmon smolt, unnaturally late in leaving the river - a product of the late cold spring?

A 10 inch trout on the Grannom Emerger

Best trout of the morning - hence the smug grin

A few days of warmth and sunshine have lifted spirits, but so far struggled to raise water temperatures to where they should be. Fly hatches are still sparse, although the black gnats are starting to swarm over the stickles. Unbelievably, a mayfly spinner was seen today on the Lyd, and we have great hopes for the next few weeks,which should see the peak trout season. Salmon and sea trout are also expected soon.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Meteorological Spring

The weather men (and ladies) reckon that Spring begins on March the first. I wish someone had told the weather. For the last two or three weeks it has been getting colder and colder, with bitter winds and frost burning the fragile edges of leaves and plants which had had the temerity to start sprouting. For weeks during December, January and early February, hazel catkins and pussy willow have been showing, and the birds have been singing joyfully in the dawn. We are now getting a payback for this early optimism, just at a time when we really should be seeing Spring proper.
At least there has been just slightly less rain, and Storm Jake with his 100mph winds at Portreath in Cornwall did not flood us out like some of his predecessors. At last it has been possible to do some river work, and even have a cast for grayling. 

Alex Jones trimming some long trailing sycamore limbs which had completely prevented a cast in this nice little pool on the Ottery. Once cut, the sap literally poured from the ends of the limbs, showing that the trees are starting to become active again

David Pilkington keeping warm twice, by making a fire and working!

The sappy wood took a while to get going

A healthy blaze, to gladden the heart of the latent pyromaniac lurking within all of us

A stunning Periwinkle on the Lyd, blooming in defiance of the cold winds

The monster flood following Storm Imogen last month has completely reshaped the gravels in Big Round Pool on Beat 3 ( and many other pools on the Lyd). How any salmon ova can survive is definitely a miracle.

Nymph fishing made easy. Note the little flash of orange on the water, top left of picture level with David's ear - an 'indicator' of floating yarn, which dips when a fish takes, prompting a very quick strike.

Success! A grayling in the net

The protruding upper jaw shows how the grayling has adapted as a bottom feeder

The 'lady of the stream', showing her superb dorsal fin.

Eleven inches of pure silver from the Lyd