The 2022 fishing season is now well underway. The river is in great condition dropping back after several weeks of high water.
A 15lbs salmon was caught below Beaford on Monday 22nd March by John Graham, this may well be the first of the season. Several other salmon have been seen in the weir pool at Beam running n the recent spring tides.
For the first time for several years the river was fishable on 1st March: running at a perfect height and clear. A 9lb fresh salmon was landed in the weir pool at Beam on 2nd March. A day later a very well-conditioned kelt of approx 11lb was caught in the Junction Pool at Okement Foot. Several more kelts have been caught during the month which is very encouraging. I have heard of two sea trout (both approx 2lb) being caught: one on the lower river at Beam and one mid-river on The Little Warham Fishery. A salmon angler fishing the Madeira beat caught a superb brown trout of approx 4lbs. Heavy rain in mid-March put the river out of order for several days before settling down again with a dry spell towards the end of the month. April has started very cold with northerly winds and some snow showers.
Since the start of the Salmon fishing season on 1st March, the river has been in spate with no opportunity to cast a line. The first fish of the season is yet to be caught, but that could change with drier weather now in the forecast.
The trout fishing season started on the 15th March and as soon as water levels drop to a sensible height the season will get underway properly.
Good water levels are approximately 0.6m on the gauge at Rockhay bridge, or 0.3m on the gauge at Dolton bridge – see links to EA river levels on the Links & Websites page of this Site.
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 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.
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.
The season began on the 1st of March, which coincided with a spell of snow delivered by the ‘Beast from the East’. Since then the river has been in spate on most days and unfishable. We are now in the grips of a second spell of snow and it seems that the start of the season remains on hold.
In the first week of August, middle river beats have been fishing particularly well with 14 salmon known to have been caught at Little Wareham, Madeira, Brightlea and Brimblecombe. Several of these fish were between 12/14lb, and also some fresh grilse. An encouraging number of sea trout have also been caught.
With the current water levels fishing prospects look excellent.
After the recent wet weather the river level has been up and down, which has given some good opportunities for excellent fishing.
Last weekend 3 salmon were caught at Madeira, 2 (10lbs and 8lbs) by John Graham and a grilse (4.5lbs) by Val Roberts. Graham Roberts caught a 2.5lb brown trout on a size 20 midge. Several school peal were also encountered in the high water but landing them was tricky.
The previous week saw 6 salmon from the Half Moon fishermen, 2 at Junction, 2 at Brimblecombe, 1 from Brightlea and 1 from Beam.
Sea trout and salmon should now be spread throughout the river.