18 May – River Tavy

The Dartmoor rivers had risen a few inches and were slightly coloured. The Walkham, flowing through the village, looked distinctly cloudy from road washings and would have to wait a day or two. Just below the bridge a trout rose for a midge among the tree debris in an attempt to distract me but I had planned a morning on the Tavy.

The Tavy was coloured but not cloudy, I could see the rocks on the bottom in midstream. I sat beside the river on a shingle beach at the top of the Beat and watched the flies hatching. Mayfly duns hatched from the shallow water infront of me, olives filled the air and midges buzzed over the surface of the water. There were so many flies that I didn’t know which pattern to start with. A small brown nymph, then a spider and finally a GRHE nymph, no response to anything. A fish rose in midstream under a tree so I tied on a small dry olive and drifted it under the branches. I missed the take.

Further downstream I missed another trout on a dry fly and had a slow draw on a nymph that might have been a submerged leaf. Light rain caused me to pause on the seat under the big oak tree. The lean on the tree was a bit intimidating and I continued my walk down to the end of the Beat.

Heavy rain was forecast for the afternoon and as the weather deteriorated, I made my way back to the Defender. Although I hadn’t caught a trout, the mass of wild flowers, the bewildering numbers of flies hatching and the tranquility had made it a memorable morning.