Fishing firsts

PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:06 17 June 2010

MARTIN WRIGHT'S ANGLING: I have looked back in my fishing diary for the last year to relate a few memorable moments.

I have looked back in my fishing diary for the last year to relate a few memorable moments.About 30 years ago I was lucky enough to be allowed to fish for trout and salmon on the Upper Taw near Lapford by a farmer customer of mine (my job was in agricultural seed sales).I once caught two salmon (seven and 12 pounds) on a spinner one morning. Back in those days not many people, including myself, had thoughts about the conservation of the Atlantic salmon. In June, I managed to obtain kind permission again to fish that same stretch of the Taw. I have never caught a salmon on a fly so I decided to give it a try. I used a nine foot AFTM eight Reservoir rod, a floating line and a 10 pound leader. The fly was a size eight teal blue and silver. The river here is small and I covered the bigger holding pools easily with a nine foot rod.I knew there were several salmon in one pool and I fished hard for an hour with no result. I was just lifting the fly off the water to recast when a nine pound salmon took it. What a commotion! The fish must have been lying just yards from me. I landed it after about 20 minutes. What a fight it gave and, hopefully, it may again as I returned it.Another 'first' came my way in August. I had never caught a small-eyed ray (skate in the fishmonger's) but had been told they could be caught in the summer to the west of Jacob's Ladder in the area known as the 'tank traps'. Night is the best time for rays but I fished in the daylight when the water was coloured and disturbed by a moderate south west wind. The coloured water gives a similar effect to darkness. I used my usual frozen sandeel as bait on a running 3oz ledger and 2-4oz bass rod. I caught a seven pound small-eyed ray - my first ever.I did go several times afterwards at night to fish the same area but caught nothing. Fishing is a lot to do with being in the right place at the right time. In fact a kind of exercise in percentages.Tight lines to all anglers in 2009.

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