03/05/2014 - Braunton Brownies
Bank Holiday weekend saw me down in Saunton with the lads for our bi-annual surf trip. As well as catching a few waves and continuing the search for an elusive Devon bass, I also had my mind on the trout I spotted in the River Caen in neighbouring Braunton the last time we were down, so had thrown in my 7ft #4 brook outfit in the car along with the wetsuit and the lure rod.
Welcome to Braunton!
The river in question runs right through the middle of the town before dropping, literally, into the estuary via a fish ladder (apparently the river also has a run of sea trout).
River Caen fish ladder
Immediately upstream of this point the river meanders through an overgrown bit of a no-man's land between industrial units and a superstore. It was this section I decided to try, so set the alarm clock to get there nice and early before the general population of Braunton were up and about. Ignored the boring, uniform bit near the fish ladder and waded upstream. Bare patches on the banks of the first decent pool I came to indicated some local fishing pressure. However, carrying on up the less accessible tree-lined channel revealed more pools and loads of hidden runs, riffles and pockets.
Woody (and plastic!) debris
Even though it was early in the morning and still quite cold, there was even a couple of small trout rising to some small midgy things in the first run I came to. Catapulted a gold head GRHE up to the head of the run and let it trundle back towards me. Second cast I had my first wild Devon Brownie in the net.
Carried on upstream, flicking and catapulting the nymph into any likely spots, picking off a fish here and there, but bumping many more that were just too quick for me. Had a better fish from a run just upstream of a graffiti-covered bridge proclaiming, amongst other things, that "Goths are c***s"!
Hooked and lost a couple in the occasional bits of urban debris littering the bed of the river before tempting one out from right under the footbridge over to the superstore.
A few early morning shoppers had started to appear by now, but none expressed anything other than mild curiosity at me as I sneaked around in the undergrowth underneath their feet. However, had one more from a run in front of a block of apartments before I started getting self-conscious and decided to call it a day.
Headed back to the bungalow to find the others just starting to emerge from their pits and feeling pretty smug about my trip into the "Dalek Zone".
Roll on October when we'll hopefully be back again.......