Salmon Seasons of The South West

River Avon Apr 15 to Nov 30
River Axe Mar 15 to Oct 31
River Camel Apr 1 to Dec 15
River Dart Feb 1 to Sep 30
River Erme Mar 15 to Oct 31
River Exe Feb 14 to Sep 30
River Fal Apr 1 to Dec 15
River Fowey Apr 1 to Dec 15
River Frome Mar 1 to Aug 31
River Lim Mar 1 to Sep 30
River Looe Apr 1 to Dec 15
River Lyn Feb 1 to Oct 31
River Lynher Mar 1 to Oct 14
River Otter Mar 15 to Oct 31
River Piddle Mar 1 to Aug 31
River Plym Apr 1 to Dec 15
River Seaton Apr 1 to Dec 15
River Sid Mar 15 to Oct 31
River Tamar Mar 1 to Oct 14
River Tavy Mar 1 to Oct 14
River Taw Mar 1 to Sep 30
River Teign Feb 1 to Sep 30
River Torridge Mar 1 to Sep 30
River Yealm Apr 1 to Dec 15

A Recent Rise = Fish


A 7.5lb sea trout from the Torridge.


The various bodies that look after the main reservoir fisheries have announced their pricing and season dates for 2014.

There are no big shocks on either score, except some rather radical changes to the Wessex Water seasons, with Sutton Bingham starting and finishing early and Hawkridge starting a fortnight before previous years: –

Sutton Bingham Reservoir:                            12 February 2014 – 7 September 2014

Hawkridge Reservoir:                                     28 February 2014 – 19 October 2014

Clatworthy Reservoir:                                     12 March 2014 – 5 October 2014

For full details click on the corresponding link in the left hand margin.

South West Lakes Reservoir Levels

An excellent resource for ascertaining the hight of the water in any of The SWLT reservoirs can be found at Have a look if you a planning a fishing trip to Devon.

It is clear that at the moment the levels are very low indeed, which is why, as of early September, the boats are out fishing the bank on a lot of waters.


Ok so the rains didn’t come in August; but be not down-hearted. September is THE month for salmon fishing in the West Country. Given rain then all rivers will fish, with the Taw, Torridge, Tamar and Exe leading the way. The Dart can produce good numbers of fish too as can the tributaries of all the above.

Experimental extensions excluded, September is the final month to try for a salmon on most Devon rivers and is normally the best time too, along with the first two weeks of October on the Tamar system.

There is no need to change tactics too drastically. The intermediate line is a useful tool and bigger flies can be brought back into service. The sink-tip is still the favourite choice and if used with sinking poly leaders of varying densities or flies of varying weights, most depths and lies can be searched for that autumn fish.

The border and Cornish rivers carry on into October and beyond, but for September salmon stick to the big four.

See links on the left and also the individual river pages for availability of rods.

Workshop Pool

This is Workshop on The Rising Sun Water, River Taw


September is also the last month for trout fishing in all West Country rivers and anglers should concentrate on fishing the Daddy Long-Legs during the day and sedges late afternoon and evenings. The former will often take school peal too that have been in the system for a while but have an underlying silver tinge that distinguishes them from their permanently resident brethren.

On stillwaters the Daddy is also a key fly this month and general nymphs will continue to fish well. There should be good sport on sedges in the afternoons too in calmer conditions. Rain will liven things up and floating/intermediate lines will do the business. The water temperature is very warm and sinking lines should not normally be required – although always have a range of them to hand just in case.

Tight Lines everyone.

A Lovely Day At Clatworthy 2012

A Lovely Day At Clatworthy 2012



The sea-trout fishing is still ok and if we get a little rain the salmon will be encouraged to move up river. The brown trout fishing is limited to early and late in this hot weather, but catch a day with cloud cover and a slight breeze and the dry fly action is great.

There is still plenty of time to plan a break here in the West Country so have a look around and get in touch.

Tight lines all.

It’s All Coming Together At Last

Well the rain has stopped, the weather is warming up and the flies are starting to hatch. The hawthorne eventually arrived and the first mayflies have come off in sufficient numbers to bring up the odd fish, but only in a few isolated areas. The medium olive hatches are quite good in some areas and are a reliable taker of fish when matched with a decent imitation.

One good legacy of the recent rains is that the sea-trout are making it through to the upper reaches of some of the rivers and also salmon have been able to push through to water that low water prevents them from reaching. Essentially this means that the hotel waters of The Fox & Hounds on the Taw, The Half Moon on the Torridge and the Arundell Arms on the Tamar should all start fishing well very soon.

Plan a fishing break in the West Country for June and you should be A/OK.

FTW’s Mark Catching A Fish

This is mark catching a fish last summer. Bellbrook is a small Stillwater consisting of several big fish lakes and several “normal” fish lakes. Have a look at their web-site via the link here.

It’s Raining and Cold……….Surprise Surprise

The Spring was a long time coming, it lasted long enough to kick start the growing process…………….and now it’s gone again!

The cold weather and east winds that preceded the three days of sunshine we had in early May held back the normal springtime growth and so for the first time for many years we have daffodils, snowdrops and bluebells all out together.

The water temperature is at last rising but very slowly and the current rains, which are needed as the rivers were approaching summer level, are accompanied by a cold wind from the SE and fishing on a lot of the reservoirs is still very slow. The rise in water that will hopefully occur tonight and tomorrow will bring salmon up into the rivers from the estuaries but the water temperature needs to continue to rise to encourage them upstream.

There is a decided lack of fly life still to encourage the trout up to the top of the water and the mayfly will undoubtedly be late as we haven’t even seen any Hawthorne fly as I write this in the second week of May!!

All the above makes deciding tactics for any kind of fly fishing rather tricky plus of course one has to take spare layers as the weather can go from warm to cold and back again at the drop of a hat.

Assuming things now take a turn for the better and more normal service is resumed then the end of May will see the mayfly finally appearing on our rivers and the olive hatches strengthening. The large sea-trout that come in before the peal should arrive before month’s end too. In June we should start to see the evenings liven up with sedge hatches and sea-trout numbers increasing, with the school peal starting to feature in catches more readily.

Bank fishers on the reservoirs will start to score and floating line tactics will become the norm.

Tight lines to all that venture west and any queries drop us a line.

River Taw – Opening day

Well the new season dawned cold and damp with the river at 0.5m on the gauge. Not really enough to encourage fish to run and as the air temp was 6 degs and the water 5, connecting with any of the few fish already in was always going to be a tall order.

Rods were out on most beats below the junction, but as yet there have been no fish reported.

Woolhanger Farm beats have suffered a little bit of damage during the floods of 2012 but others further down seem to have escaped. There is an awful lot of detritus high on most banks – a scary reminder of how high the water came up.

For details of fishing on the river Taw, see our links on the left.

Tight lines for 2013.

Numb Fingers on The Exe

It’s February. The water and air temperatures are still very low and spring salmon on the Exe will be few and far between for another month yet.

We did have a couple of hours on the river the other day – after escapee rainbows washed into the river during the floods. If you are fishing the Exe, either now (as the EA has granted dispensation for the rainbows to be taken out) or later in the season and you catch any of these rainbow trout, please dispatch them as they are not wanted or welcome in the river.


If I were you I’d wait a while before you fish. It was so cold the day we fished, your correspondent failed to realise he had embedded a fly in his hand – even when it got ripped out again, on the forward delivery, taking half a hand with it!

If you are fishing in the West Country during the spring then we wish you tight lines; but – PLEASE BE CAREFUL ON THE WATER!!