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Fly fishing on the Torridge - 20/05/12

We have been so busy in the shop that I haven’t been able to spend any time fishing for nearly a month but when the weather changed, and I had just cut the grass, I had a couple of hours free at the end of the day so decided to go to the Torridge for a little dry fly fishing.

I started at the Town Mills stretch just above Torrington where there is normally a plethora of small fish, normally dace, to test your striking speed.  I normally fail miserably as this is a spate river which flows quickly and the take is light lightening. It is so different to chalk stream fishing; the likeness doesn’t matter as much as the fish barely gets chance to see the fly, but they take it and drop it in an instant if it isn’t genuine.

I sat and watched the river for half an hour but nothing showed. I tried a few casts adjacent to my favourite tree without success. The river was a foot up and still tinged with colour, and although the day had been glorious, there was a nip in the air as the light fell.  I decided to move below the town to Taddiport, the site of an old leper colony, where the water is wider and shallower.

The story was the same here with nothing showing other than dace fry in the fringes, but I did see a dog otter playing under the road bridge so sat and watched that for a while until it disappeared.

I then walked downstream with little expectancy of seeing a fish.  I should have tried a wet fly but I don’t enjoy wet fly fishing. I’m not dogmatic like Halford saying all other methods should be banned as nymphing undoubtedly requires more skill than I have.

I clambered down the bank to a site where a few tree sections lay in the edge with a medium sized rock behind. I noticed a fish taking a fly as it slid passed the rock and after a few casts was lucky enough to catch it. Nothing else showed, so after a few minutes river watching, went home.

I had probably only had 20-30 casts in total, but just being next to a river is enough to restore my karma which gets totally messed up if I don’t get out fishing.