I haven’t fished the Torridge for a while now but leapt at the chance when I was invited along to fish a piece of it on Sunday.
The Torridge always striked me as a sister the Taw. To me they are similar rivers in many of their characteristics and they even join very briefly at the estuary.
It was 8 deg C when we started and with little going on it was always going to be nymphs to start with. I fished a pool and had some good solid takes from some keen fish.
We kept working the belly and heads of pools that were the most productive areas. We were both keeping an eye out for any signs of flies or, better still, a rise.
Lunchtime and there was just the briefest trickle of grannom that had me tying on a couple of grannom emergers I’d tied a few months ago at the vice. There were no signs of fish anywhere near the surface but I wanted to try the new patterns.
They didn’t work but hidden in the grannom were a few large darks that eventually started to come in greater numbers.
We walked upstream to a section of wide, flat water perhaps a couple of feet deep. I saw one fish rise and then another. The first fish rose again, something I’ve not seen much of in 2013 so far.
There was little doubt they were taking Large Dark Olive duns. I tied on a #14 cdc pheasant tail that works pretty well for a LDO hatch and cast it out to where I’d seen a rise. The fish rose and I missed it. Or did I ?
I did the thing I am sure we all do and did one of those rescasts into the same spot. The fish rose again and was on.
This continued. The fish weren’t huge maybe 6 to 10 inches but I can’t tell you how enjoyable it was. It lasted longer than I had hoped and I only really fished one pool but lost count of the number of fish I either caught or rose. When the hatch eased I hung a flashback pheasant tail off of the dry and caught some more.
The highlight for me though was getting the ultimate drag free drift. The river was wide and flat with a rocky bottom meaning there were many conflicting currents that would cause a dry to skate in just a matter of moments. I would often combine a variety of casts to ensure I could maximise the drift which was great fun.
I could have fished for another 40 mins or so but didn’t need to. It felt right to stop fishing and so I did just that.
Eat, Sleep, Fish #17 should be with you first week of May.