Dart Fisheries Association AGM

The Dart Fisheries Association AGM will be held on March 2nd 2018 at the Dartmoor Lodge Hotel. All members of the DAA are welcome.

As well as the routine business of the meeting there will then be a talk by David Smith, head of SWW’s Upstream Thinking project [ which is spending over £800,000 in the Dart Catchment in the 3 years from 2017].

After the meeting a carvery will be available – cost £11 per head to be paid at the meeting. It would be helpful, however, if you could let Nick Holding know [ tel 01364 642516] if you can stay for the carvery.

Click below for PDF files:

DFA 2018 AGM Sec report

DFA 2018 AGM agenda


New Year Bank Maintenance 2

The main job set for our intrepid band of bank clearers is a large one with lots of work to get through. After a fairly low turnout on Sunday it looks like Robin, who directs our work parties, could do with a few more helpers to come along and make the task much easier. (Many hands…)

The work can be more or less physical, depending on the individual. For newer members this is a good way of getting to know the river and and perhaps an opportunity to discuss tactics with other members so, whatever your level of ability, if you have a couple of hours to spare on Sunday, why not come along?

Just as a reminder work starts at 0930 each sunday and the dates and venues are as follows:

Sun 14th Jan- Old Mans Run – Abbots Mead (CC)
Sun 21st Jan- Abbots Mead- Rodways (CC)
Sun 28th Jan – Rodways – Quarry Pool (CC)
Sun 4th Feb- Austins Bridge above & below (CC)
Sun 11th Feb- Hembury ( run below Grilse Pool )
Sun 18th & 26th Feb- to be confirmed

Please keep an eye on the website in case of any changes made necessary by weather etc.


New Year Bank Maintenance

Over the past few years the path from Caddaford to Abbots Mead close to the river alongside Old Mans Run has become overgrown. We are therefore looking to reinstate this path and extensively clear the bank side vegetation that has grown up between Caddaford and Quarry Pool.
Depending on numbers of volunteers we anticipate this taking at least four Sunday mornings.

All bank clearing starting at 9.30am, subject to weather:

Sun 7th Jan- Caddaford- Old Mans run (CC)
Sun 14th Jan- Old Mans Run – Abbots Mead (CC)
Sun 21st Jan- Abbots Mead- Rodways (CC)
Sun 28th Jan – Rodways – Quarry Pool (CC)
Sun 4th Feb- Austins Bridge above & below (CC)
Sun 11th Feb- Hembury ( run below Grilse Pool )
Sun 18th & 26th Feb- to be confirmed

Please keep an eye on the website in case of any changes made necessary by weather etc.

Here’s wishing all our members a successful season in 2018!

Video – Big salmon passing fish counter

Here are a couple of 20lb+ salmon negotiating the fish counter in May this year. As you may know, the electrodes are 45cm apart, so both fish are around one metre in length. These are the largest we have seen so far but there have been several approaching this size.

The videos have a full speed run followed by one at 25% speed



As the beaver reintroduction is happening on a neighbouring river (The Otter) Dart anglers may be interested in the following.

Firstly, here is a recent report on the reintroduction from the BBC:


There is no mention of how beavers might affect fish migration so here is a policy statement from the Angling Trust regarding beaver reintroduction that covers that aspect among others.


Newsletter spring 2017 (Web version)


The season should soon be getting well underway, and one or two keen individuals have ventured out both to Totnes Weir and up river. A good run of sea trout would certainly be much appreciated by members and we will be monitoring the run carefully to check numbers both through the counter and visually. About 30 fish went up the fish ladder in early March and the average size of 400-500 millimetres would indicate these were probably sea trout. The counter is continually being fine tuned with enhanced overhead camera footage and replaced side cameras this spring. Some recent overhead photos are here

New Water

This season the Association will be renting one rod (probably for this season only) on Andrew Newman’s fishing above New Bridge (named Hannaford Fishery). The beat is about half a mile and true left bank. Details with maps, access etc are here. It will be best to park at Newbridge car park, walk upstream and just before the pond take the track past the meadow on your left and at the start of the wood take the small gate with the padlock (combination [applying to this water only] available from Hon Sec) The fishing is of course ‘Fly Only’, being above Holne Bridge.

I would advise members that the fishing is not available June 19th – 22nd and 19th – 21st July. I would also advise members that the fishing can become very busy with holiday makers and picnickers during the high summer months. Sea trout fishing would probably be best done before June, however the beat does have salmon fly fishing potential, particularly in a wet spell and would probably be best fished early and late in the day. Grilse fishing during July, August and September could be productive but please be aware of the public access which will be much in evidence particularly during fine weather.

Fishing Regulations 2017

The committee have decided these will be basically the same with some slight adjustment and recommendations as follows:


On salmon the emphasis is to remain with the continued policy of as much catch and release as possible. Last year all salmon were returned. 100% Well done!

The first salmon caught by members after June 15th to be returned (This immediately boosts our C&R rate significantly).

A limit of no more than one salmon kept per member during the season.

The committee also agreed that spinning for salmon should be allowed at Totnes Weir throughout the season. We may at some stage place a new spinning height marker on the weir. Would members please use their discretion if spinning after April 1st, particularly if the river is becoming low(say 40 at Austins Bridge). This recommendation will of course be subject to annual review.

Sea Trout

A limit of no more than two per night to be kept.

Please also again consider a voluntary catch limit of no more that 25 sea trout kept during the season.

The return of sea trout caught over 6lb and a continued minimum size of 12ins.

Some concern has been expressed to the committee about sea trout being foul hooked when night fishing in Totnes Weir and how the use of a dropper may possibly increase the risk. The committee do not wish at this stage to introduce further restriction on method but if fish are being foul hooked regularly on the dropper particularly in low water conditions when there are a lot of fish in the pool, please consider either reverting to a single hook or possibly even moving position in the pool away from where fish might be shoaling.

This year’s membership cards will arrive in the post soon and new updated handbook inserts should be available in the next couple of weeks.

Tight lines

P.I.Prowse Hon Sec

Cormorant & Goosander sightings

The Association will be liaising with the Angling Trust to monitor Cormorant and Goosander numbers on the river. Members cooperation would be appreciated in making a note of sightings of the birds. Please report details of location, date and numbers seen and send the information to DAA member Chris Tozer [christophertozer(at)yahoo.co.uk]

Wild Trout Trust online auction 2017

The Wild Trout Trust annual online auction is now live.

There are 304 fabulous lots, catering for pretty much every purse and every taste in trout fishing, other fishing opportunities, tackle, tuition, art, literature and shooting.

The money raised will be spent to benefit our rivers and their trout and sea trout.

Details of the lots on offer are available on the Wild Trout Trust’s website, with a link to the auction hosted by eBay or go straight to the auction listing here.