3 May – Bluebells

The dreary bank holiday rain had petered out overnight and the morning was overcast. The grey sky and high humidity were perfect for fishing. I checked the height of the River Walkham, it had risen less than an inch, Dartmoor had absorbed most of the rain. Land Rover electrickery prevented me from going off road, the battery had drained. Again.

River Plym, Bickleigh

I decided to fish the River Plym, flies would be hatching and no spaniels are allowed in the woods. The flats just above the bridge looked inviting and I spent a while exploring the deep channels and pots with a nymph. No response. There never is but its a good place to warm up. One day I’ll get a fish there.

Olives hatched and midges swirled just above the surface, there was plenty of food for the trout. I walked up to Commando Pool and sat watching the fish rise along the bubble lane. First cast with a GRHE nymph there was a rattle on the rod tip which I missed. I tied on a small dry olive and presented it carefully. The fish ignored it and moved down the pool. I moved down the pool and the fish disappeared.

I found fish rising in most pools and tried small, unweighted spiders, dry olives and GRHE nymphs but nothing took. I think that a lot of the rises were smolts ‘smolting’ on their way downstream.

The bluebells were at their peak and I spent most of my time looking for photo opportunities. The scent of the bluebells mingled with the wild garlic and the musty smell of the river. It will be a few days before I can fish the Dartmoor rivers again, it’s mayfly time in Sussex.