I managed only three short sessions whilst away on Exmoor; two on the Barle, one on the Exe. My first trip was a very short, one hour, spent flicking a balloon caddis between boulders in pocket water. It was such a contrast to the sedate, smooth surfaced rivers I usually fish. The action was instant and constant, actually hooking and landing fish proved problematic. Three trout and a salmon parr came to hand, many more missed, but I had a great time and remained in the good books as I kept to the agreement of one hours fishing.
The next trip was just as short, but for different reasons. It rained everyday at some point, some days it rained most of it. So arriving at a rising river it didn't take long to become un-fishable, although I missed a couple of nibbles on a woolly bugger.
Having such a great misses, she allowed me a chance to fish for a bit longer when we went to Tiverton. I fished the Exe years ago - I knew exactly where I wanted to fish - a long pool with the main current running along the near bank; trees and bushes prevent much fishing from the bank. In the past I had plenty of trout and grayling and this time proved no different.
I intended to fish the pool using long leader techniques, I rarely get the chance on my home waters, they're simple not suited to it. Arriving at the bottom of the pool the fish dictated otherwise. Plenty of rising fish all over the tail of pool, slightly altered my intentions. Most of the rises were small affairs, nothing visible hatching and a gusty wind pointed towards something small and terrestrial being taken. A very small black Klinkhåmer tied onto a 0.10mm tippet proved successful enough and landed me several small trout including a particularly silvery one - a sea trout perhaps?
I worked past the rising fish heading up the pool and changed over to a french leader. A strong flow and reasonable depth saw me chose a size 12 JP pupa with a three millimetre tungsten bead on the point, a hydropsyche larvae in the middle and a baetis nymph on the top dropper.
A size-able trout started things off and I caught a succession ranging from 6-10 inches. I only started to catch grayling as got near the head of pool, again a mixed range of sizes. I caught on all three flies, with the JP pupa taking the majority. Fishing this one pool left me more than happy and it proved to be the last session of the week.