A Day on The Dart
Following the work and time involved in setting up this website, I decided to reward myself with a days fishing on the River Dart. Having just secured myself full membership of the Dart Angling Association and being in possession of my new membership card, I was looking forward to the challenge of fishing some of the 9 miles of single and double bank we can fish, on this exciting and historically demanding river.
The day started with the drive from my home in West Hill Exeter, to Prince Hall Hotel on Dartmoor, where along with a long standing fishing friend, we parked the car and tackled up. Waders were the order of the day as the ground changes dramatically along the banks and regular crossing between banks were required. The river was pristine and as clear as gin, the weather cloudless and hot, not the best day to be dressed in neoprene!.
Selecting a nice spot on a bend that increased the river velocity as it churned its way over shallow rocks, I waded into 3 feet of water and settled down and made my very first cast into this most famous of rivers. Within a few casts and seeing a couple of risings to my left I re-cast and let the current take the fly downstream. Nothing, re-cast nothing, repeat ad infinitum, nothing. A fish makes a jump behind me, I change position and re-cast repeatedly. No luck. Having been in the area for nearly an hour, I decided to try my luck upstream and change fly, as the mosquito I was using was obviously not appealing to my brown trout quarry. As an old friend once said, 'when in doubt, use something small and black' - sadly on this day even his wise words failed.
Over the next 5 hours I changed location and fly a number of times meeting with the same result. Regretfully at 4pm, we decided to call it a day with my colleague also drawing a blank and withdrew to the hospitality of the Dartmoor Lodge, to discuss those that we gave a 'long range release'.
The end of a long and occasionally frustrating day, but an extremely happy one that I will remember for a very long time. Over my life time I have been lucky enough to fish around the globe and have cast my lines into waters ranging from desert streams in Yemen, the Aberdare Mountains of Kenya, to the mountain lakes of Brunei, witnessing the varied flora and fauna and the wildlife that is available to those who take time to look for it. Dartmoor and its wonderful River Dart equals, and in many cases surpasses these more exotic locations, the isolation and ruggedness of the moor, the changing terrain and varied weather patterns are unequaled anywhere else in the world, it is, and always will be unique. I look forward to my next trip with enhanced excitement …….and the possibility of actually landing a Dart Brownie.