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The Culm with Phil - October 2008

It was the 12th October, and I hadn't managed to get out for the last couple of weeks so was desperate for a few hours fishing. The trout season is over so decided to try for chub on the River Culm just below Cullompton in East Devon.

I found the stretch through the Angling 2000 scheme. Through this you can buy tickets to fish stretches of small rivers that are generally run across farmland. The Westcountry Rivers Trust manage the scheme and some of the waters, and it benefits the anglers who wouldn't gain access by any other method, the farmers who get extra revenue, and the trust who get some revenue from it to aid their river management scheme. (You can see details on

I had fished it before with Lee, my son (in the photo) so adopted the roving method using small weights just heavy enough to drift spam under the trees and down glides. The river is so small that once you caught a fish, it was necessary to move on to the next swim whilst trying to remain unseen, often creeping on your kness. I caught three pristine chub early on, the best about 3.5lb, but Phil was having to remember how to use fixed spools. Once he got used to it, he ha a pretty chub too using my loan rod. This was a "Fred J Taylor touch leger rod", one of the prototypes of the rod he developed for Hardy's. The rod is only 9' but is the perfect rod for this type of small river fishing, and Fred's magic was obviously still working. I'm also sure that he would appreciate the rod still being used to encourage angling rather than being confined to walls, and Phil really enjoyed the afternnoon out fishing.