The natural spate rivers of the South West offer every discerning angler a superb variety, some breathtaking scenery and, of course, excellent sport. All the rivers hold wild brownies, most hold good grayling, but what the Westcountry fishing is really renowned for is some of the best salmon and sea trout fishing in the UK.
With more than a dozen rivers and tributaries and scores of beats to choose from, many almost “on our door step”, West Venn Sporting is a natural choice to organise your fishing day, days or breaks. We have access to many local beats, some exclusive to our guests, as well as excellent local knowledge.
The salmon can start running as early as March on the rivers Tamar, Taw and Torridge, (dependant on water levels), with the best chance of success coming in the months of May and June and late August through to October; with grilse from July onwards. The salmon average 6–12lb and grilse around 5lb.
In May and June, expect the larger sea trout (average 2-6lb) and from July onwards enjoy the prolific school peal runs (average 1-2lb). The sea trout can be caught by day on most river’s, however, night fishing for them is more productive; and more exciting!
These are true wild brownies, averaging 6”-10” (a 1lb fish is a memorable catch and should be well celebrated!) They can be caught throughout the season, but from late April expect to see them spring into life, providing some excellent sport on the dry fly.
August through to the end of October is the best time to fish for the grayling. Most rivers hold a good head of grayling, however, the River Tamar offers the best fishing for the ”lady of the stream”.
We can organise days for rods on more than 50 beats ranging from *£5.00 – *£90.00 per rod per day. We highly recommend you explore the West Country Rivers Trust waters (see link opposite left). They have some excellent stretches and are great value. And the chance of a salmon from £10.00 per day!!
If it’s the stillwaters you prefer, we have a well stocked trout lake on the farm, for the exclusive use of our guests, and there are dozens of lakes within a short drive of West Venn; all well stocked with brownies and rainbows, plus some with the more exotic species, such as blue, tiger and leopard trout, offering a real chance of a “Grand Slam”.
We know you will not be disappointed with the fishing in the South West and it is our aim is to make sure your visit is as organised and as stress free as possible. For your convenience, we can:
- Organise your full itinerary
- Book exclusive use of beats for rods
- Arrange all permits and licences (if required) in advance
- Organise ghillies
- Arrange for tuition / courses
- Tackle Hire
- In addition, we will gladly organise:
In addition, we will gladly organise:
- Early breakfasts
- Packed Lunches
- Reservations at restaurants / local village pubs for evening meals
- Transport to and from the venue
- Transfers from train stations and airports
We also have vacuum packing and hot & cold smoking facilities, so you can enjoy your catch when you get home.
You are reminded that an Environment Agency rod licence is required to fish any waters in Devon and Cornwall. For further information and to purchase your licence on-line click
*prices are subject to change at short notice.
For salmon: a 9-10ft, 7-8wt rod is ideal for most situations; floating lines with a selection of sink tips and a range of standard fly patterns, such as the Ally Shrimp, General Practitioner, Willie Gunn, Yellow Torrish and Stoats Tail, (singles and doubles; sizes 4-8 or 10-12 for the summer months) add a few 1.5” to 3” and you are ready to go.
Salmon season starts on most rivers on March 1st and closes on October 14th, however, some do fish through until December 15th. All salmon must be returned before June 16th.
For sea trout: a 8-9ft, 6wt rod gives flexibility for both day and night fishing; floating lines with a 6-10lb tapered leader, (sink tips worthwhile if fishing during the day), and a range of flies; Teal Blue and Silver, Stoats Tail, Dunkeld, Coachman, Silver Invicta, Silver Stoat, Peter Ross, (sizes 4-12), and a selection of muddlers, will see most situations covered. If fishing during the day for the sea trout, wet flies and nymphing is generally the most productive.
Trout season is March 15th to 30th September
For brown trout and grayling: a 7-8.5ft, 3-5wt rod, floating lines with a 10ft leader and tippet of 2-3lb. We would recommend such flies as: Black Klinkhammer, Tups Indispensable, Blue Winged Olive, Black Gnat & Hawthorn, Grannom Sparkle Caddis, Pheasant Tail Nymphs and the Gold Head Hares Ear. Hook sizes should not be any bigger than a 14, with 16’s and 18’s producing more fish. If the fish are not rising, try fishing the nymphs New Zealand style.
Grayling season is June 16th to October 31st
The south west rivers are true spate rivers and are catches are dependant on rainfall.
Spinning is allowed on some waters for both salmon and sea trout, with small Rapalas probably your best bet.