14/05/2023 - Braunton brownies part two

Was a bit knackered following my efforts (and 30,000+ steps!) on Saturday, so had a lie in. The weather was also a bit cooler - breezy and overcast - so after some breakfast I had a leisurely walk with a couple of the lads around the coast into Croyde and then back over the headland. 

By the time we returned those that had ventured out surfing were back and showered, so we had a discussion about what to do with the rest of the day. Whilst there was talk of fishing up at Ilfracombe, either off the pier on on a charter boat, we decided that it would be a bit windy. Instead we decided to head off to Crow Point again to have a walk along the estuary and to have a mess about with a drone that one of the lads had brought with him. After a couple of hours of mooching about we headed into Braunton to grab some bits for dinner. 

Whilst the others disappeared into Tesco I had quick look at the river and decided to have another couple of hours after the trout. Let the others know to go back to the bungalow without me and got the waders on once more. Dropped in at the point that I had finished the previous day, so as not to go over old ground. Happened to be the relatively straight, riffly section adjacent to the Tarka Trail. However, I was several feet below the level of the footpath and shielded by vegetation, so not really obvious to anybody passing by. 

Made my way slowly up the section, casting the baited jig head into the pockets. Again, there seemed to be lots of fish about, albeit tiddlers, as the worm was harried relentlessly as it drifted back downstream towards me but without me getting a decent hook up. Wasn't until I got to a pool mid-way along the section that I found some better fish. 

They must have all been hiding right under the lip as a worm cast up into the riffle beyond the pool was taken as soon as it dropped into the deeper water and I quickly had over half a dozen in succession - all stunners. All this time the people passing along the trail were completely oblivious both to me and to the pair of dippers that were constantly whizzing up and down the straight, presumably feeding a hungry brood somewhere. Picked off the odd fish here and there before eventually getting to the footbridge over to the supermarket. 

Added a few more from the pool directly under the bridge, the last one as a bloke walked over with his dog, his eyes glued to his mobile phone. Seemed a good point to finish - I'd managed to net 14 brownies, but had again missed loads more. Will be trout closed season the next time we are down, so I bid farewell to the river for another year - a proper little urban jewel. Just wish it was on my doorstep!

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