7 August – River Plym

The soft summer rain had washed the dust away and brightened the greenery. It was enough to feed a small spate but the vast sponge of Dartmoor had soaked up most of the rainwater. I’d visited the River Plym on many occasions but never with a rod. It’s a magical river abused by people in wetsuits endangering themselves in the plunge pools and rapids.

The rain had put off the dog walkers and children from visiting the river but it would only be a temporary respite before the weekend’s forecast hot weather. The Walkham was the familiar honey colour but the Plym was crystal clear. I’d walked my chosen Beat the day before and earmarked several pools, I’d even seen a couple of Trout rise.


When I arrived the last of the morning mist was rising from the river and the freshly washed leaves glowed luminous green in the sunlight. The air was heavy and thunder rolled around the valley. I sat on a rock beside a big pool, the water felt warm in the shallows.


My first cast with a cut-down dry fly, I’d forgotten the nymph box, was greeted with a rattle on the rod tip which was confidence building. I gradually covered the pool and soon hooked a fish on the surface but it dropped off. A few casts later I missed another take. I was eventually rewarded with a draw on the leader and a small Trout came to hand.


Further up the river I worked the fly under a tree on the far bank and a solid take produced a fish which was slightly too big to swing in. It was a very dark fish and it darted back to it’s lie near the tree roots. I stopped beside another pool further upstream and watched a Kingfisher, a Dipper and a Wren going about their business.


The air was humid and a thunderstorm threatened so I turned around and walked slowly back to the bridge. It had been an exhausting few hours in temperatures around the mid-twenties but I had enjoyed the solitude and the wildlife.