News Archive 2007 (newest at top of page)

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20/12/07 - Rob Dart and the Dart Angling Association would like to thank all those who most kindly and generously donated prizes to the DDA  raffle, held at the annual dinner, which again was a great success. I list below donators and prizes.

Nigel Thomas
Carbotec Fly Rod.
Robin Armstrong Charcoal Sketch and Book
Snowbee Landing Net and Fly Line
Exeter Angling Centre 2 Fly Lines.
Swift Tackle 3 Fishing Bags and 3 Fly Boxes
Torbay Angling Centre £20 Gift Voucher
Dartmouth Smoke House Side of Smoked Salmon
Chris Mc Cabe £10 Meat Voucher
Hatchlands Trout Farm £20 Voucher
Dr Peter Edwards Watercolour Picture
Brian Leaman Picture
Simon Mc Lucus Hair Care Products
John Hutchinson Bottle of Whisky
John Sanderson 4 Tickets to the Albert Hall and a Riverford Veg Box
Sea Trout Inn Dinner for Two   £40
Paul Bright Fly Rod
David Long 10 Pictures of Flies
Dereck Lockett Fishing Book
Tim Hassel Dinner for two, Cream Tea, both at Ilsington Country Club and a Bottle of Wine
Keith Sykes Photographic Picture

The raffle made a grand total of £1070  on the night plus pre sales tickets towards much needed funds.

I would also like to offer my sincere apologies to anyone I have forgotten..

Please support the businesses represented above with your custom.

18/12/07 - Just a reminder that bank maintenance proper starts on Sunday 6th January. It appears that there is more work than ever to be done, with quite a few trees down so we need plenty of volunteers again.

Usually we meet on each Sunday morning for the first few weeks of the year. The work can be more or less physical, depending on the individual. In any case it is a good way of working off some of that Christmas pudding, good fun and, particularly for newer members, a good way of getting to know the river and an perhaps an opportunity to discuss tactics with other members.

All those wishing to help please rendezvous at Kilbury at 9am.

17/12/07 -


The staff here at web site central would like to offer all members and friends the season's greetings and wish them tight lines for 2008!


The fishing return statistics for the 2007 season are as follows:


13 members report catching salmon.

Total catch - 43. Of these, 22 were caught on the Church Commissioners Water, 8 in Totnes Weir Pool. 35 or 81.4% of these fish were reported released.

(Salmon totals history: 2006 - 39, 2005 - 41, 2004 - 83, 2003 - 29, 2002 - 21, 2001 - 40, 2000 - 53)

Best fish- N.Gipson est 20lbs.

First fish- K.Holloway 20/5/07 est 8lbs.

Average weight- 8.1lbs.

Highest total- N.Gipson 8.

Number caught (average weight) per month- May=4 (12lb), June=2 (8lb), July=13 (10.5lb), Aug=9 (7.5lb), Sept=12 (4.7lb), Oct=3 (6lb).

It should be noted that the catch and return percentage has fallen short of the 90% target agreed with the EA. The October season extension returned a disappointing figure due to low water conditions.


39 members report catching Sea Trout

Total catch - 229. Of these, 149 were caught at Totnes Weir Pool and 36 on the Church Commissioners Water. 68 fish or 30% reported released. 14 fish were over 6lb, 6 of which were over 10lb

(Sea trout totals history: 2006 - 260, 2005 - 302, 2004 - 440, 2003 - 399 2002 - 616, 2000 - 451)

Best fish- E Richards est 17lbs+, R Thorn est 13lbs+.

First fish- A Myall 28/3/07, 2lb

Average weight- 2lb 7oz

Highest total- D Pakes 34

Number caught (average weight) per month- March=1 (2lb), April=44 (2.5lb), May=116 (3.5lb), June=28 (2.5lb), July=10 (1.75lb), Aug=23 (2lb), Sept=7 (1lb)

Congratulations to Ed Richards whose fish of 38" (at least 17lbs) was, for a short while, a record for the river. Subsequently a monster fish was caught by member J Richmond on a neighbouring beat. Measuring 42", it must have rivaled the British record. Ed's fish however remains a record for Association waters.


Total catch- 71.

Several members have commented on the relative scarcity of Brown Trout this season



30/11/07 - Robin Thorn who, for those of you who do not already know, organises our bank maintenance work parties sends the following:

We shall be carrying out some maintenance works tomorrow morning (1st Dec) starting at around 9.30 am until say 12.30' ish starting off at Kilbury. The plan is to reinstate the steps which have rotten away at Admiral's Walk , and also some bank clearing. The same exercise will need to be carried out at Dart Bridge. It would be great to see as many of you as possible. Please bring along appropriate tools+ clothing.

2/11/07 - Volunteers will soon be required for redd counting on Dartmoor to aid the conservation effort. As soon as details are available they will be posted here.

1/11/07 - Catch returns for the season were due on the 31st October. If for some reason you have not sent in yours to the Hon. Sec. yet, then please do so right away. Remember, your membership could be at stake.

'Dartangler' a new 9.98 Cheetah Catamaran, jointly owned by David Pakes, Rob Dart, Paul Bright and Luke Chester-Master, was successfully launched last week.



David writes: " Should any Members of the Association feel like a change from the river and fancy a day out on the high seas then contact either myself or Rob for an invite. Trip will be entirely free of charge as you fish for the boat but may take fish home if you so want. We provide all terminal tackle for the boat, but it is helpful, but not essential if all of the crew have their own rod /reel". Please form an orderly queue!

4/10/07 - The work programme on spawning areas of the upper catchment is now finished for the year. Many thanks to those who lent a hand. The work was done under the auspices of the Westcountry Rivers Trust and involved conservation volunteers as well as anglers. Unfortunately, on the last work party, the anglers were somewhat outnumbered by other volunteers and the question "Where are all the fishermen then? was asked. The work continues next year in August, so please could members keep an eye open for this and try to give a little time and effort to help when the time comes.


Environment Agency bailiff Mike Barber with volunteers raking gravel on the East Webburn

Speaking of work, there is more than usual to do on bank maintenance this winter. There are several trees down in the river and various steps and walkways need repair. For this reason it is planned to start work next month, rather than in the more usual January. Most of the work will be carried on Sunday mornings but there will also be some activity mid-week. The work can be more or less physical, depending on the individual. For newer members and those on the waiting list this is a good way of getting to know the river and an perhaps an opportunity to discuss tactics with other members.

It is hoped that all members will try to find some time to devote to this important work, which of course benefits us all. Times and dates of work parties will be published here. In the meantime, if you are interested in joining in, please could you supply your contact details by email . They will be passed on to Robin Thorn, who is organising the work.

11/9/07 - New photographs from Andy Mayall in the Galleries section

20/8/07 - A walking/wading stick has been found beside the river. Please contact me if you have lost one and believe this could be yours.

18/8/07 - There is a new newsletter from the Hon Sec here. In it you will find details of the Salmon season extension agreed between the DFA and the EA. Please note that anglers wishing to take advantage of this must register with the Hon Sec.

The dates for work on the redds mentioned in the newsletter are as follows:


Time for meeting will be 9.30am each day and work should finish by lunch time. Please try to help ensure the future of our fish stocks by lending a hand when you can.

Sat August 18th Upper Cherrybrook Upper Cherrybrook Bridge Two miles west of Postbridge
Fri August 31st Wallabrook at Pizwell Pizwell Bridge One mile south of Believer Forest
Sat September 8th Wallabrook at Runnage Runnage Bridge Two miles south of Postbridge
Thu September 20th Lower Cherrybrook Lower Cherrybrook Bridge Between Dartmeet and Two Bridges
Sat September 29th Blackabrook Entrance To Prince Hall Hotel One mile from Two Bridges on road to Dartmeet
Thu October 4th East Webburn Old Inn, Widecombe

20/7/07 - LOST. Two made-up rods were left at the Stretchford lay by at around 5 pm yesterday (Thurs 19th). They disappeared between then and about 7 pm. If anyone rescued them or has any information regarding them please could you let me know and I will put you in touch with the owner.

The owner of the landing net below contacted me and has now been reunited with it.

9/7/07 - FOUND in the river today, a landing net. If it's yours, let me know.

19/6/07 - I have received the following from Hoppy, who runs 'The Sea Trout Fishing Forum' , which, for those of you unfamilliar with it, is well worth a look.

"The Carmarthenshire Fishermens Federation is starting a buy-out fund for the Tywi nets.

I whole heartidly support this venture, which will be a great investment for the future of fishing on the Tywi and its tributaries. It can only be of benefit to fish - on what is consistenly the best Sea Trout River in Wales.

At present there are auctions running on my forum, with some brilliant lots to be won!!!!! PLEASE PLEASE consider bidding on these items - it is for a great cause and there is the added bonus of getting a brilliant lot if you win!

Or if you would just like to donate then the address for the fund can be found on the forum.

Gethyn's forum at is also running events to raise money for this great cause.

Please consider contributing to this cause, especially if you fish the Tywi - a success would benefit the area, and in the future would have significant effect on other nets in the country!



4/6/07 - At a meeting last month with the Environment Agency, Association chairman David Pakes put forward a proposal on the committee's behalf to extend the salmon season on the Dart by one month. The time of main salmon run has apparently shifted to the extent that it now occurs largely after the end of our fishing season, possibly due to our changing climate. The extension, it is proposed, would be for rod and line anglers using barbless/debarbed hooks only and be strictly catch and release. It would bring the Dart more into line with neighbouring rivers, which have seasons extending to the end of November or even into December. An exception to this is the Teign, where a similar application is under way.

Not only would the extension enable Dart anglers to enjoy fishing for salmon when there should be more fish in the river but it would provide valuable management information as to the extent of the run. To this latter end, under these proposals anglers wishing to fish during the extension would be expected to register with the Association Secretary and provide a full account of their fishing effort. For the full text of the proposal, click here. You will need the free Adobe Reader software to open the file.

29/5/07 - A photograph gallery has just been added. Initially we have some shots of the Dart in spate supplied by Nigel Ash and some of work in progress on the Woolston Stream Project, showing the sunlight streaming in after the felling of some selected bank side trees.

22/5/07 - More on those pesky seals. One member reports that whilst fishing on the bottom end of the Ridge at 1.30 am on a recent night he was nearly knocked over by one of them. The seal was seemingly intent on leaving the weir pool via Duffers' Alley and in a hurry as the tide fell. The angler describes the incident as "rather alarming"

17/5/07 - I'm told that two seals have been active in Totnes weir pool recently. Apparently one of them was seen tucking into fresh salmon!

8/5/07 - Congratulations To Ed Richards on his Dart record sea trout. See Catch Reports for the details.

Don't forget that the Dart Fisheries Association's AGM is this Friday 11th May at 1830. The venue has changed and this year it will be held at Staverton Court House. (Village Hall)

Anyone who might be inspired by Ed's big fish and is not yet a member may like to note that our waiting list is unusually short at the moment, which gives an excellent opportunity to get a foot on the ladder to full membership. Details can be found on the membership page.

26/4/07 - Any goods purchased through the Sportfish web site, when accessed by clicking the banner at the top of this page will earn a small commission for the Association (subject to a monthly threshold). The same is true of other Sportfish (and Amazon) banners to be found on this web site. Please use them if you are ordering from either of those companies.

16/4/07 - New section 'Catch Reports' introduced. See menu on left.

26/3/07 - The Woolston Stream Project took a step forward this morning as our felling contractor arrived on site after delays due to weather and pressure of urgent work due to storm damage. This scheme is being joint funded by the Environment Agency, The Wild Trout Trust and our Association. The stream is potentially an important area for spawning and the aim is to improve this habitat to increase its productivity. The main part of the work is to let some light in as the canopy is very overgrown. There will also be work done to de-silt the gravels in the stream bed.


Woolston Stream Project - The first tree is felled

23/3/07 - It seems that almost as soon as I posted the item about Vosseler reels Carl had closed his website. As far as I can see, all of his stock is now being released gradually on eBay. Just search for Vosseler in the fly-fishing section. It is possible that there are 'sell now' items available by e-mailing him.

Don't forget to renew your EA licence before the old one runs out at the end of the month. You can do this on-line here or you may prefer to support your local Post Office.

20/3/07 - I just visited the Vosseler Reels website and found that these excellent reels are being sold off at a good discount so if you are looking for a reel at the moment, it's worth a look. I have an S2, which I use for bonefish and I love it. Very smooth and very resistant to salt water so far. The DC4 model looks good for sea trout and I shall be ordering a couple. (Anyone want to buy a pair of Battenkill LA III's?) For specs, click the price-list link on the Vosseler web-site. Not sure how accurate the prices are, but you can contact them by email. I'm told they're "going like hot cakes".

16/3/07 - There are reports of a tree in the water at Totnes weir pool. A work party will attempt to clear the obstruction tomorrow, Sat. 17th March, in a departure from our more usual Sunday gatherings. The tree needs to be dragged out of the water before being cut up. This is likely to take some manpower. If any member is available for an hour or so tomorrow, starting at 0900, their help would be greatly appreciated.

As the trout/sea trout season began yesterday, let me wish everyone a successful one.

Sea trout totals history: 2000 - 451, 2002 - 616, 2003 - 399, 2004 - 440, 2005 - 302, 2006 - 260

6/3/07 - Our membership waiting list is at a fairly low level at the moment. If you are thinking of joining or know someone who is, now would be a good time. Bank clearing did not take place again on Sunday, again due to the height of the river and generally atrocious weather. There is still work that needs to be done so please watch this space for news of further work parties and please help if you can.

5/3/07 - The Wild Trout Trust Auction 2007 begins tomorrow. According to the Trust: "Apart from a wide variety of fishing in the UK, Eire, the US and Chile, you will find fishing tackle, flies and fly boxes, shooting, DVDs, trees, roses, Harry Potter, Ferrari and Red Arrows collectibles, literature and art. Guide prices range from £5 to £4,500 so there's something for everyone." Apparently several lots have been received since the printed catalogue, which some of you will have had sent to you, was published. A .pdf catalogue can be found at in the their News Section. Lots will be released in batches starting tomorrow, 6th March at 1930 until 15th March and appear on the charity pages of eBay

23/2/07 - Please note that there will be no bank clearing party out this weekend, mainly due to the height of the river.

8/2/07 - Bank clearing will be carrying on this Sunday at Fogden's, 9am onwards. Waders may be of some use to those participating. Last week we saw several kelts showing in the river. Good news as far as spawning is concerned!

5/2/07 - The platform at Admiral's Walk is now unsafe, due to its supports being fractured. A solution to this problem is being sought but in the meantime members are advised not to venture onto the walkway. Anyone deciding to ignore this advice does so entirely at their own risk.

There have been reports of salmon being caught by at least one member during the first couple of days of the season. Apparently these were not fresh fish but well-mended kelts.

31/1/07 - Tomorrow sees the opening of the salmon season. Last year saw a slight reduction in fish caught, from 43 in '05 to 39 in '06. 35 or 90% of these were released, a good effort and in line with the target agreed with the EA when regaining the right to take salmon in September. Let's hope that we see some improvement in numbers of fish entering the river this year. With the absence of a fish counter, fishing effort is a valuable way of monitoring fish numbers. Every day on the river, even when blank, helps to tell the story so dust off those rods and 'go fish'! Please report any catches so that we have an up to date idea of how the season is progressing. Tight lines.

Salmon totals history: 2006 - 39, 2005 - 41, 2004 - 83, 2003 - 29, 2002 - 21, 2001 - 40, 2000 - 53

26/1/07 - From today you will find banner links to Amazon appearing in various places on this site. Any goods purchased after following these links will earn a small commission for the Association so if you are contemplating buying anything from Amazon (not just books and DVDs) please try to enter their web site via ours, by clicking on one of the aforementioned links. Unsurprisingly, you will find one on the 'links' page for instance.

25/1/07 - This week (Sunday 28th) we will be bank clearing in the vicinity of Higher Style pool (Not on the map but I'm told it's a little way upstream from Lower Style pool). Apparently there are three trees down so as many volunteers as possible please! Meet at Stretchford, 9am as usual.

16/1/07 - The January newsletter from Hon Sec is here, with details of updated Fishing Regulations and other topics.

On Sunday the bank clearing party tackled, amongst other items of rogue vegetation, two large trees that had come down in the gales. One was blocking the path just below the Nursery Pool rail bridge on the right bank and the other , a little further down on the same bank, had its upper branches in the river. The river level prevented us from completely clearing the latter but "We'll be back" - Next Sunday in fact. Same meeting place, Caddaford lay by, same time, 9am or as soon thereafter as you can make it! We will probably be working on the opposite (right) bank again. If so one could access the site from the Colston road/Fogden's side.


Clearing the path ©

Ed chainsaw

Ed gets to grips with fallen tree ©

The Prize Draw at December's annual dinner, again expertly organised by Rob Dart, raised over £1000 for Association funds, with one of our EA bailiffs, Mike Barber winning the star prize of a super sea trout rod, donated by Nigel Thomas of Carbotec. Our grateful thanks go to Nigel and the following (in no particular order) for their generous donations of prizes: Dr. Peter Edwards, Keith Sykes, Brian Leeman, Simon McLucas, John Sanderson, The Seatrout Inn, Dr. Richard Greig, Snowbee UK, Exeter Angling Centre, Dartmouth Smokehouse, Christopher McCabe, Hatchlands Trout Farm.

8/1/07- Thanks to those who were bank clearing on Sunday, despite the inclement weather. The RV point for next week is the same as last time (see below).

3/1/07 - Bank clearing time is here and there is much work to be done, so we need plenty of volunteers. Usually we meet on each Sunday morning for the first few weeks of the year and the work can be more or less physical, depending on the individual. In any case it is a good way of working off some of that Christmas pudding, good fun and, particularly for newer members, a good way of getting to know the river and an perhaps an opportunity to discuss tactics with other members.

The first meeting is at Caddaford lay-by at 9am next Sunday, the 7th of January. If you turn up a little late, we can always be found on the bank nearby. Please come if you can.

3/1/07 - Welcome to the new Dart Angling Association web site! First of all let me apologise for the site being a little rough around the edges at the moment as it only came on line yesterday. Teething problems are inevitable and some only become apparent when the site is up and running on the server. Also you will find one or two empty pages, which will be populated as the copy arrives.

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