The strategy is to fish wet weekdays on Dartmoor and glorious, sunny weekends on the Rother. Rain in Devon is welcome, the spates encourage the sea trout and salmon to run the rivers along the western edge of Dartmoor. Rain in Sussex runs off the farmland and brings the fishing to an abrupt muddy end.
My season in Sussex opens on 18 March and I am looking forward to exploring the lakes and river. The heavy rain last November filled the floodplains and will have undercut the banks and toppled trees. The new fish holding areas will need to be discovered.
A new fly line has been loaded onto the Hardy Duchess, new leaders have been purchased and a few essential GRHE nymphs have been tied. I am ready.
February Fill Dyke in Devon has been very dry, only 2mm of rain fell. The high moor is drying out quickly. The bright sunny days and the strong north easterly wind have dried the grass and it is quite firm underfoot. The rocks are starting to warm up and we are slowly sliding into a long hot spring and summer. The rivers and brooks are full but the water levels are dropping. We need a lot of rain in March.
I have found some new Beats on the River Tavy and there are still places to explore on the River Meavy. I will spend more time on Burrator in the early season and return to Siblyback when the beetles are hatching. If the weather is too hot for trout, I will turn to carp-on-the-fly.
My 2022 diary has been formatted and printed, it will soon be with the bookbinders.
The Defender has been sorted during the close season and no longer sulks. It is reliable and I don’t have to worry about getting out of the valleys up the steep rocky tracks.