The news from the hatchery is that this winter has been very successful so far. 39,000 eggs were provided by the brood stock, which are now at the eye up stage, with very minimal losses of around 1%.
This is fantastic news and our thanks go to the very dedicated hatchery team who spend a lot of their time nurturing the eggs.
A new year brings with it a new fishing season with the salmon fishing beginning on 1st March and trout fishing on the 15th March. Time now to start preparing tackle and tying flies for the season ahead.
The Annual AGM will be held as usual at the Half Moon Inn on Friday 3rd April at 7pm, with an excellent buffet provided by the Association. This is always a well attended event, and it is great to hear news and stories from the river. Please gather your friends and joins us for an enjoyable social evening, everyone with an interest in the river is welcome, including those who don’t fish.
Reports have come in of some poachers, seen fishing with spinning rods on the river above Beaford bridge. 3 middle aged men were spotted possibly of Eastern European origin.
Although they moved on without incident, please be cautious if you do come across them, and report any sighting to our EA officer Paul Carter (mobile 07768007363).
During May the river has been low with very little rain, and not much activity with Salmon. However the trout fishing has at times been excellent with lots of fly life and plenty of surface activity and some very good catches made with many fish over 1lb. Martin Weekes caught a superb trout at Potheridge on the lower river of 3.5lbs.
A number of sea trout were also caught during May, with fish caught from Beam, Madeira and on dry fly at Sheepwash. The highlight, Martin Weeks fishing one night at Beam caught 4 to 4lbs, with 3 other lost.
During the start of June the river remained low, but in the last week the rains have arrived with the river up and down with several small spates. On Tuesday 11th a salmon was caught at Beam, and on Thursday 13th Simon Hillcox caught 3 from a middle river beat near Beaford. Charles Innis also caught two excellent sea trout of 3 and 4lbs in the evening at Beam.
Prospects look good for the coming weeks.
The AGM of the Association will be held at The Half Moon Inn on Friday 5th April: 7.00pm for 7.30pm. This is always a most enjoyable evening, so pleas bring some friends and potential new members along. The Half Moon will be providing a buffet paid for by the Association.
Adrian Dowding, of the West Country Rivers Trust will be discussing the results of the juvenile survey completed last autumn.
The 1st of March saw the start to the 2019 salmon fishing season on the Torridge. Conditions were excellent for the opening day, with the river low and clear for the time of year.
2 Salmon have been reported, one at Little Warham and one immediately above the tide at Weare Giffard.
Looking upstream towards Beam weir 01/03/19
The river is now in full spate after several days of heavy rain, a dry spell is now needed before fishing can resume.
Friday 8th March: we are now in a very unsettled spell of weather. However it has been dry for 36hrs and tomorrow beats on the Upper River should become fishable. River height 2ft 6inches at Sheepwash.
It has been one of those years. The cold wet spring with the river in spate throughout March and April has been followed by the hottest driest summer since 1976.
Apart from a short period in May salmon and sea trout fishing has been at a standstill. The few anglers that have ventured out have on occasion been rewarded with some good brown trout fishing.
Salmon Bye-law: a reminder that all salmon over 70cms (approx 7lb) must, after 1st August, be released. This season in particular, the committee is requesting that all salmon and sea trout are released.
As you are probably aware the Environment Agency has decided not to continue with the experimental salmon season extension during the first fortnight of October. This is not surprising as the Agency is introducing byelaws to further reduce culling of salmon by rods and nets. With the present pressure on salmon stocks your committee reluctantly feels it is the correct decision.
The 2018 season will end on Sunday 30th September.
This year’s event will take place at The Half Moon Inn Sheepwash on Saturday 29th September. There will be a wonderful 3 course meal and many prizes for the raffle including days fishing on various rivers, all raising valuable funds for projects to help improve the river habitat.
In previous years the event has taken place in October during the fishing season extension. As the Environment Agency has now ended the trial extension this event has been moved forward to coincide with the end of the fishing season.
If you would like to book a place for the dinner or buy raffle tickets, please contact The Half Moon.
During a very brief window of opportunity the first salmon (9lbs) of the 2018 season was caught at Beam on Sunday 25th March by Alastair Blundell. The river dropped just enough between spates, however the river was still very full so this was a very good effort.
Since then the river has continued to be practically unfishable with spate after spate, and the whole month of March a complete wash out. The graph below shows the river level over the last 5 days at Rockhay Bridge Sheepwash, where the water level has barely been below 1m. A good fishing height here is around 0.6m.
Some settled weather is desperately needed to allow the river to settle to a good fishing height.