Do you remember when I talked about the rain really livening up the rivers? I talked about the freshwater encouraging the seatrout and salmon to running the rivers and streams and also switching on the resident brown trout? Well its all true - I have the proof!
I have been fishing the rivers and streams of North Devon hard since Friday when we had a day of steady rain and the river rose and coloured up. When the conditions are like this it is time to move away from your traditional trout tactics, I like to fish larger streamers on sink tips and full sinkers. The techniques is a lot like the spinning and lure fishing that I learnt on the small welsh rivers when I was a kid - be daring, get the lure in all of the likely nooks, crannies, pots and runs, under the trees and amongst the snags, as you work down the river. It is a real test of your casting skills and great, great fun and can turn up sea trout as well as the odd salmon.
Fishing the streamer in big water. Casting can be a bit of an adventure.
It is really pleasing to report a good run of sea trout ('Peal' in Devonian) making the most of the conditions. They are really good fun, nipping, swirling and occasionally actually taking your streamer. The fish, fresh run from the sea, are a good looking fish, fight really well and if your that way inclined - eat beautifully. There are also some salmon running our rivers at the moment, I had a very brief encounter with one early (very early) yesterday morning. It really is great to share a river with these fish, they have to overcome so much just to get here and whilst the numbers are nothing compared to fifty even twenty years ago, I can't help but feel optimistic for their future.
A nice peal on the streamer.
Whilst I am on the subject of being right, do you remember I mentioned my theory that the larger resident brown trout are best targeted with large flies fished at night or in a spate? On these rain fed rivers the feeding is relatively sparse in comparison to the chalkstreams of the South or the limestone rivers to the North. Our streams hold a large number of small trout, 6-10inches, to get significantly larger than that a trout has to do something different. They have to eat a more substantial diet, I firmly believe that we have carnivorous brown trout here, we don't see them much as they hunt at night or in spate conditions. As much as I love fishing the dry fly, nymph and wet fly I have vowed to spend more time fishing bigger flies at these times as I am absolutely convinced these sort out the better trout. I have had some success over the last couple of days.
A 14ins brown trout on a 2ins streamer in big water.
Thanks for reading.