While taking a weeks holiday around Bude I took the opportunity to cash in some tokens I received on my birthday. The first beat I tried was called Ham Mill, The Ottery - Tamar, which is number 20 in the fishery guide should you have one. True to form after doing a few extra miles (lost again) I arrived in the correct lay-by where I sneaked a peak over the small stone bridge to find fish rising. Aside from a little colour things were looking good, especially considering the recent rains.
One funny thing I should mention about this passport scheme is you feel the day has been a huge success by simply finding the location and then spotting the token box hidden up an oak tree in the middle of a field somewhere - Yippeeeeeeeeee! Treasure hunt springs to mind.
The Ottery felt very familiar, similar to our Manifold but on a slightly larger scale, it felt very remote offering complete solitude with many lovely little pools, LWD and gravels bars criss crossing upstream, offering welcome targets to aim for while wading. There are so many features along this wild little gem, the most obvious being the fabulous little otter runs joining the river everywhere while passing through the woodland sections, a truly magic experience but tread carefully as some runs are 4ft deep and could prove dangerous.
Mayfly, sedge and olives were around but it was the Larry's Pride that proved effective and a couple were taken on Glen Pointon's LTD sedge he'll be pleased to hear. If you fancy an intense wild session then the Ottery won't dissapoint you, in fact the only downside is this amazing little river isn't running through Derbyshire.
In hindsight considering the £10 worth of tokens it costs, the Ottery is among the finest wild trout fishing I've experienced to date, and next time you holiday in Cornwall/Devon you should give it a whirl.
Below was the typical size brown caught, fast, fit and very pretty indeed, offering complete satisfaction to any brownie basher and I managed a couple of small grayling for a bonus.
UPPER TORRIDGE - Lane Barton - Number 10 in Fishery Guide
On arrival the Torridge was very coloured but just about worth a crack on the clear edges of the lovely riffles to be found while sweeping through the meadows. I walked to the downstream limit and began fishing my way up and to be honest with the steep dense woodland on the opposite bank for the 1st time ever things felt a little scary. Maybe the solitude and feeling of wilderness sent my imagination running wild, I swear I was being watched by something hopefully a deer, otter or a local hill billy and not something supernatural, Fishing out into the meadows the tension lifted and I bega\n hearing other noises besides my own breathing and I managed a few browns for my efforts all taking my mayfly pattern in the only places i expected a fish or two.
Not for the first time I suggest you can learn as much about a river when nothing's rising than when they're bubbling the surface and today payed dividends to such practice, considering many anglers might not have even got started today. (AIO) Adapt - Improvise - Overcome.
This lovely stretch of river is another amazing bargain for £7.50 worth of tokens and after a huge sigh of relief, i'm happy to report Trugg hasn't been been done in by a werewolf, vampire or bigfoot.