The October salmon fishing at the Arundell Arms broke all existing records. After a summer dogged by consistent low flows, occasionally broken by small, short lived and very coloured spates, heavy rain in the first few days of October gave a 4 foot flood, followed shortly by a 7 foot flood. As this water fell and cleared, the Tamar system simply filled up with salmon, to give excellent sport here at Lifton, sadly only for the very last few days of the season. Some fish were coloured, and had obviously been holding on the lower beats, but others were still silver. The October catch of 42 salmon is a record for the 14 days in which we can fish, 27 of which came in a week, also a record. The other records which tumbled were the most fish taken in one day, 11 fish, plus another from one of our rods on the lower Tamar, and the record for the most fish to one rod in a day, 6 salmon for the now tediously fish-magnetic Gerald Spiers.
Individual catches are too numerous to mention, but ‘first fish’ were taken by Jacqueline Cork ( 10 lbs, Bottom Beat, River Lyd), David Rail (6 lbs, Beat 8A, River Tamar), 9-year–old Dan Barnard (6 lbs, Beat 7B, River Tamar), Mike Haines (10 lbs, Beat 7A, River Tamar), Dennis Mitchell (10 lbs, Beat 7A, River Tamar), Julia Tweedie (5 lbs, Beat 7B, River Tamar), and J. Crockett (5 lbs, Beat 8B, River Tamar). Spinning was the order of the day in the initially very high and coloured water, but as levels settled many fish also fell to the fly, topped by the best fish of the season, a fine 13 lb hen fish for David Pilkington in Ash Tree Pool on Tamar Beat 7A, which took a small orange bottle tube fished on a floating line. This fish has gone to Endsleigh hatchery for broodstock. Of the 42 October salmon, only 2 were kept, making the season salmon total for the Arundell Arms 54 fish, with only 3 killed for the year. In addition, our rods also caught 6 fish on our Endsleigh beat, and another 6 on the lower Tamar.
The trout and sea trout fishing, which all finished at the end of September, were also pretty good. The sea trout total of 252 is only one fish less than last year, and well above average. Best sea trout was estimated at 6 lbs, by Alexander Jones, and came on fly at night from the weir pool on Beat 3 of the River Lyd. Sea trout catches would have been better still if we had enjoyed some higher water at some time in the peak season, as very heavy runs of sea trout were entering the lower river, but became stuck in dead low flows. Figures from the fish counter at Gunnislake weir for both salmon and sea trout this season are well above average.
Brown trout fishing was good, particularly in May and June, becoming harder work in the very low water of high summer. Some of the June catches were impressive, with almost a thousand fish for the month. Many rods landed up to 30 trout in a day, some of these fish being 12 inches in length. A monster brown trout was caught and released by Graham Bray while night sea trout fishing above Hartley weir on Beat 3 of the Lyd. This fish, a hen in superb condition, was estimated at 3 pounds, our biggest river brownie since 1969. The 2010 trout total of 2,553 is one of our best catches for many years, and an encouraging indication of the healthy state of the wild fish stocks.
60 grayling were also caught during this year, several of the best fish being one and a half pounds in weight, and some much bigger grayling seen during daylight sea trout reconnaissance on the Lyd beats.