THE 2017 SEASON
The UTFA AGM was held on February 3rd. At the end of the meeting, our newly elected president – Mike Weaver presented trophies for some of the notable catches made during the season. The results are as follows:
|John Dechoisy Trophy – Most Sea Trout caught and returned during the season||Brian Parry|
|Fingle Fly Fishers Cup – Best Brown Trout of the season||Toby Leighton-Trew|
|Ken Day Plate 1985 – Best Salmon of the season||Bill Crumby|
|Best Salmon on a fly||Matt Cooper|
|John Getliff Memorial Trophy – Best Sea Trout of the season||Brian Parry|
|Junior Cup – Best Salmon or Sea Trout||Ben Waymouth|
Ben Waymouth receiving the Junior Cup (above)
Brian Parry receiving the John Dechoisy and John Getliff Memorial Trophies (above)
Matt Cooper receiving the Best Salmon on a Fly Trophy (above)
Toby Leighton Trew receiving the Fingle Fly Fishers Cup (above)
I was delighted to hear from Brian Parry last week that he had enjoyed some truly great sport on the River including the capture of his best ever Sea Trout weighing in at a fine 6lb. After blanking on the evening of 23rd Sept, Brian returned to the River on Monday 25th and caught a beautiful 5lb fish (see bottom photo), followed by 2 fish of 1lb apiece and finished the night with a fish of 4lb! Things only got better the following evening as returning on the 26th, Brian landed a fine 6lb fish – followed by a 3lb fish and another 5lb beauty, then a further fish of 2.5lb and 1lb. I am not surprised to hear that this was his best ever night session on the Upper Teign! and delighted that all fish were returned unharmed.
The 6 pounder above.
The 3lb fish goes back
Stunning 5lb fish
On Tuesday 19th September, Peter Reid celebrated after a 3 year ‘Salmon drought’ by catching a fish of around 4lbs from above Mill End and also turned another fish in Boar’s Reach.
Visiting trout angler, James Wishart, fishing on the 10 and 11th of the month caught a total of 12 Brown Trout to 14” which saved his holiday having been washed off the Torridge by a highly coloured spate.
Finally can I once again remind members to send in your completed season catch returns and to take part in the EA consultation on Managing Salmon Fisheries. DW
MID SEPTEMBER UPDATE
Great to see reports of fresh Salmon coming in following the recent downpours. Two weeks ago Russell Scott Lawson caught this 8lb fish from above Boars Reach.
On 12th Sept Brian Parry caught 2 Salmon. 1 coloured fish of around 4.5lbs and a second of 8.5lbs (measured at 29 inches). Both fish were quickly returned to the River. The fish were caught between Fingle Bridge and Clifford Bridge. Photo of the second fish below:
As I write this the rain is lashing down outside, our second major downfall and corresponding spate for the River this month. I was hoping to hear about lots of fresh run fish but, to date, few returns have been submitted over the last fortnight. Matt Cooper had a Sea Trout of about 3lb from Fingle Weir Pool on the 5th September. Regular angler and instructor, Richard Jackson reports improved fishing having taken 2 Sea Trout the week before – both on a wake lure. For trout members who received a complimentary Sea Trout day ticket this year, it would seem like a good time to use it!
As the close of the 2017 season looms can I please remind all members to complete and return their catch returns form. Complete and accurate catch returns for salmon/sea trout and for brown trout must be submitted by all UTFA members at the end of each season and not later than 31 October. Apart from providing Association records, these catch returns are essential for managing the fishery, especially in the case of brown trout stocking. In addition, we are required to provide catch records for riparian owners. Feel free to add any additional comments about the fishing this year at the bottom of the form – I am hoping to produce some historic catch return comparison data for the AGM next year.
Catch return forms can be downloaded from this website. Catch returns should be sent to - David West, Meade House Flat, Moorhaven Village, Ivybridge, PL21 0HB or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EARLY AUGUST UPDATE
Heavy rainfall around the beginning of August has brought migratory fish up from the Lower Teign waters and into the UTFA stretch. On 31st July Richard Penrose caught a sea trout estimated at 4 – 5lb spinning in the Drogo weir pool and saw a couple of Salmon turn in the pool. Earlier on 6th July Toby Leighton-Trew caught his first Sea Trout of the year, a fresh school peal of around 1 3/4lb and lost a much better fish which soaked him having taken a palmered fly on the dropper! Richard Jackson had 2 Sea Trout in the first week of August both around 1 1/2lb and lost a much larger Sea Trout at Drogo which jumped over the weir to freedom – exciting stuff! Richard Jackson also reports losing a Salmon on the fly (Size 8 Double Cascade) and catching a small grilse of 5lb on the worm a few days later.
On the brown trout front, results have been mixed. Visiting angler, Mr Irvine fishing on 7th July recorded 8 trout (plus 3 salmon smolts). Toby Leighton-Trew took over a dozen trout on the dry fly on the 1st July including a nice dark 14” fish. Richard Jackson reports trout in reasonable numbers above Clifford Bridge but below Fingle trout numbers appear to have been greatly reduced. I ventured out at the weekend (5th Aug) and had 4 recordable trout in just over an hour well down from the massing holiday crowds at Fingle. One well spotted fish just pushed 14”(below) and all were taken on dry flies.
Anglers should be aware that large scale work is currently underway at Drogo as part of the National Trusts new hydroelectric scheme installation. Riverbank improvement work is also underway at the Fingle weir pool.
With more rain in the forecast for the month and fresh fish in the River, hopefully members and visitors can find time for a venture out – do keep me informed of your catches with photos greatly appreciated.
EARLY JULY UPDATE
So starting with the good news! Brown Trout fishing on UTFA waters has been excellent over the last few weeks with the majority of fish being caught on dry flies. On 13th June visiting angler Paul Cowlishaw caught 12 Brown Trout with 2 being over 7”. On the evening of the same date, Gary Clark had 25 trout to 11” in a couple of hours fishing. On 19th June, Graham Dance recorded 6 trout below Mill End with 2 in the 10-12” category all caught on Pheasant Tail variations. On the 24th June, visiting angler Clive Davies caught 2 Brown Trout of 10” and several others not recordable. He was fishing using the NZ method with a suspended small bead black nymph. Even though Clive lives 230 miles away he can’t wait to return! Richard Jackson has described the last few weeks as excellent for Brown Trout with his clients catching a good number of wild fish to dry fly – often caddis.
The only Salmon recorded since the last update was a fresh run Grilse of around 4lb caught by Matt Cooper. Caught on the fly and safely returned.
Only a couple of Sea Trout to report since the last update. Richard Penrose had two fish in two visits. On the 9th June Richard caught a fish of around 1.5lb followed by a larger fish of 2.5lb a week later.
Let’s hope July might bring more migratory fish into UTFA waters.
Do keep sending in your returns – with photos if possible. Tight lines DW
EARLY JUNE UPDATE
My prayers for rain have been answered and great to see reports of Salmon in the River. Three fish have been reported in the first week of June – Bill Crumby sent the following photo:
This fresh fish (estimated at around 9lbs) was landed today (Friday 9th June) with a similar sized fish caught by Derek Myhill on Weds 7th June and Mark Hill on Monday 5th June (just possibly the same one?). All fish were returned – note it is illegal to kill a salmon before June 16th on the River. Brown trout returns from day ticket anglers are still on the low side for the time of year but hopefully the predicted warm spell will increase the size and longevity of fly hatches from now on. Thanks for your records do keep sending them in. As an aside, for those who enjoy fishing tackle auctions, this coming Tuesday (13th June) is the next sporting effects auction at P.G. & R.J. Pyle in Hatherleigh with 250 lots of fishing tackle for sale. I might see you there! DW
LATE MAY UPDATE
After a promising start to the month, the last 3 weeks have proved challenging on the River. As always, the Upper Teign is beautiful on a sunny day with dippers, wagtails and the odd kingfisher keeping you company but despite some reasonable fly hatches it feels like you can sit for a while and watch a long stretch of promising water and not see a single fish rise. No significant catches have been recorded over the last fortnight in catch returns. There are Brown Trout and also Sea Trout in the River but catching them is another matter! Dartmoor continues to be very dry so let’s hope for a wet June and a return to form for the Teign.
I was chatting with Dave Rickwood of the Woodland Trust last week about the issue of dogs in the river. He was keen to see if more could be done to ‘educate’ the growing number of dog walkers to look first for the presence of anglers before encouraging their pets to dive in for a swim. Perhaps there is a new opportunity for a joint project with the NT/WT and UTFA to place a few interpretation notices on the river? It is easy to blame the dog walking community for carelessly spoiling that classic moment of connecting with a wild trout but if they don’t know to look first……
Finally, my fly of the moment is the good old Tup’s Indispensable which I tie paraloop style on a size 18 see below. It works for me towards the end of the day when the odd mayfly are still about and the fish are being very selective. While it has delivered some nice trout for me on the Teign in the past, it certainly proved its worth over the Bank Holiday weekend on another Devon river beginning with ‘T’! Tight lines and do let me know if you have had a good result on the River!
UPDATE - May 6th
Last weekend’s rain kindly delivered sea trout into the UTFA waters. On the 1st May Bill Crumby caught and returned a sea trout of around 2lbs, later on the same day Brian Parry caught and returned a fish of 2.5lbs. Richard Jackson caught a fine sea trout on 5th May see picture below:
Having recently ventured to the furthest northern end of the fishery for the first time , I came away thinking it was a beautiful stretch of water to fish but were there any resident fish? Simon Kidd (Sales and Marketing manager of Snowbee) fishing on a day permit proved that they certainly do exist by catching a stunning 39cm brown trout from water above Mill End – see pictures below:
While it is great to enjoy so much fine weather this year, the down side is lowering river levels and no real opportunity for a decent run of Sea Trout. I was delighted to receive the following report from Toby Leighton-Tew;
22/4/17, first day fishing on the Teign for me this year. I fished from Fingle Bridge up to Drogo weir pool between 11 and 5.30. By about 12 there were some very sporadic (small) hatches of olives, but plenty of caddis fly hatching. Started out on a size 16 tungsten pheasant tail nymph but action was hardly much to shout about at 3 small fish over one long hour. Still hadn't seen many fish rising but I stuck on a larger searching dry fly and tempted over a dozen fish to a size 12 biot bodied jingler pattern, the best of which was a plump 17 incher, a good change of tactics it seemed. Decided to try out a streamer pattern for the first time through a few pools on the way back to the car and picked up several fish including 3 over 12 inches, the best of which was a strong fighting 15" brown. All in all a cracking day to be on the water with the dippers and wagtails dancing around me, minus the intermittent downstream winds conditions were pretty good.
A catch return which includes 5 brown trout over 12” and the largest of 17” is a fantastic day on the Upper Teign by anyone’s standards and certainly sets a high benchmark for the season. Well done Toby! Do keep your reports coming in (even if your catch is of more modest fish!) and fingers crossed for a week of rain ahead!!!
As we look towards the Easter weekend it is time to don the waders and search out those wild brownies. My first trip of the season (2/4/2017) was a rather wet reminder of the value of taking a wading staff when fishing the Teign!! If you want to avoid a similar damp fate I would encourage all anglers to take a stout wading staff with you – the rocks on the river bed seem to be incredibly slippery this year and can defy even the most studded of wader soles. Un-deterred from my earlier dunking, I returned on the evening of 5th April and had 3 beautifully marked small brownies to a Bibio variant fished hard on the bottom above Fingle Bridge with an indicator to help spot takes. No sign of any rising fish but the water is definitely warming up.
Richard Jackson reports a dozen small fish for a guided client on the 10th April in a 2 hour session above Fingle – fish were caught 50/50 on dry flies and nymphs. While none of the fish were of a recordable size, 3 were beautifully marked young smolts. These juvenile salmon are key to the future of our fishery and need to be treated with the utmost care. The Scottish Fisheries Research people have produced a good 1 page guide on best practice for catch and release – see Catch and Release: A Guide to Best Practice, which is well worth a read as a refresher. Please follow best practice using barbless hooks and unhooking in the water wherever possible.
Do share your catch returns for the benefit of others. No sea trout or salmon catches yet recorded. Fingers crossed for a good season ahead. DW
Dear fellow anglers, just a quick note to introduce myself as the new UTFA Catch Returns Officer. With a new season now underway can I also please encourage you to share details of your catches, location and methods by emailing me via the catch returns link above. If you are not able to email then my postal address is UTFA Catch Returns, Meade House Flat, Moorhaven Village, Ivybridge, Devon PL21 0HB. Also welcome any tips from the fly tying bench for those who, like me, enjoy experimenting with variations and new materials! It was good to see the river looking so well at the bank clearing session last weekend – very clear and plenty of water – so why not venture out with your trout nymphing or wet fly kit over the next week or so.
Would be nice to have a few more pictures on this page so do email or send photos of fish (and flies) from the river. One of my better Teign brownies from last year below;
Finally a fly tying tip – if like me you enjoy fishing a small nymph below a well hackled klinkhammer or similar (NZ style), adding a small loop of around 5lb mono tied into the tail of the fly at the start of your dressing makes life so much easier for attaching the additional leader and nymph! With modern barbless hooks tying this link direct to the hook can easily slip off without a barb to hold it on. I see that Fulling Mill have now ‘pinched’ this idea and are offering a new range of commercial flies with the loops in place but it is much more fun tying your own!
I look forward to hearing about your catches. Mike Weaver often uses these pages to help in his monthly update in Trout & Salmon so there is a chance for wider fame!