The Upper Yealm Fishery is part of the Westcountry Angling Passport scheme.
Access is available on a day or season ticket basis. Salmon fishing runs
to 15th December
We hope these anglers' catch reports and comments help you enjoy your
trip. They contain useful pointers to successful tactics.
Tight lines, enjoy your fishing. Paul Kenyon & Russell Weston
Two Westcountry Angling Passport visitors caught 17 brown trout on the
Lower Beat and 7 brown trout on the Upper Beat. Flies: CDC emerger
and Parachute Adams.
They emailed this report:
"Just to report Dad and I spent a great day yesterday on the upper Yealm.
Level was low at around 4” below when we fished with you, but we still
managed to tempt the fish.
I notice some pruning has taken place to open up some of the sections
which has helped to reveal some more likely areas.
Wildlife out in force with a kingfisher giving us a great display.
Managed to fish the upper beat too with dad taking a 12” fish out of the
last pool before the upper limit. We also took a few double digit trout
out of the upper bit also.
Best thing was that we saw a sea trout holding under those trees up from
the weir. Didn’t seemed bothered by us at all, but great to see.
I saw some otter footprints in the mud/shale bank on the corner where
I tried my best to hook and miss a number of fish, so they must be around
not too far away.
The upper section is really quite incredible - Like stepping into a different
world. I don’t know how much it has been fished this season, by it felt
quite untouched and the perfect habitat for happy trout!"
Note added by Paul Kenyon: Some years ago a survey of invertebrates in
the River Yealm in September found:
Paul Kenyon: no brown trout to hand. Very few rises. Little insect activity.
River height 0.23m. Filmed shoal of sea trout.
25th August 2018
Rain expected tomorrow. Made video of sea trout lying above weir.
23rd August 2018.
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor. Saw 3 sea trout jump out of river
22nd August 2018.
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor. One 6 inch brown.
18th August 2018.
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor. One 11 inch brown trout. Lots of
sea trout in evidence.
17th August 2018.
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor: 8 brown trout on nymph and dry.
Paul Kenyon fished 8pm-10:15pm. 4 fine brown trout on Pilk's Bumble + several
plucks. 3 sea trout jumped at dimpsey. Water height 0.28m. Few fish rising
around 8:30pm but not much insect activity. Saw group of Fallow deer whilst
Paul Kenyon & Geoff Stephens guided experienced anglers Bill and Richie
Blake winners of Wild Trout Trust 2018 auction. Fished 10:30 to 5pm. Water
height 0,28-0.30. Lots of rising fish.The Blakes rose about 40 fish and
had 20 to hand. Water flowing nicely after several weeks of low flow. Weather
overcast with occasional showers.
Paul Kenyon fished 3:30-5:30. Four trout to hand on Tups Sparkle Dun.
Many splashy rises. Saw ?sea trout? take surface fly. Water height 0.34
after very welcome rain. Water stained from R. Piall.
Paul Kenyon and Geoff Stephens on a 'Guides Day Off'. Three trout missed,
and much leg-pulling ! See
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor. One 8 inch brown trout on Sawyer
Paul Kenyon guided guests John & Joe Furlong. They had five brief
encounters of the heart stopping kind with sea tout between 9:30 pm and
11pm on the Weir pool of the Upper Yealm Fishery. There are several daytime
sea trout lies in the Tunnel section above the weir with shallower water
nearby that are occupied by sea trout as darkness falls. John and Joe fished
with Pilk's Bumble, WMD Gurgler (without the flying treble) and Lloyd Morgan's
Cannon. They cast upstream and varied the retrieval speed of the fly to
cope with the low water conditions and reduced speed of the current.
Paul Kenyon arrived at the Yealm around 8pm and fished through 'til 10:30pm
(sunset was at 9pm). Started at the very top of the Lower beat (Finn’s
pool). Water height 0.27m after rain that had peaked at 0.40m on Sunday
mid-day. River still slightly coloured - v. Weak tea. One brown trout to
hand, many splashy rises / swirls to Tups comparadun / Sparkle dun. Flow
much better than we have had for several weeks. Noticeable that the high
water had scoured the slime from the river bed. Trout activity noticeably
declined as darkness approached. Switched to fishing down-and-across, first
with a Red Medicine when there was some colour in the bankside vegetation
- few tweaky pulls. Changed to larger/bulkier fly (Pilk's / Black Bumble)
as light faded. Caught one brown trout. I only saw 2 small sea trout jump
clear of the water; I hadn't seen sea trout in usual lies earlier. Fished
all the way down to the weir - "dead as a doornail". Prospects: It depends
on how long the river maintains the current flow. The EA graph shows it
has not plunged back to below 0.2m, but it's difficult to say how long
this will last.
Paul Kenyon took an instruction session from 6pm-10pm. Client hooked 2
fish on a 'Lloyd Morgan's Canon' in the late dusk (no colour in vegetation),
'long-range-released', therefore not sure if brown or sea trout, fish dimpling
at that time. Noticed that fish (brown trout?) in the faster moving water
(head of Finn's Pool) stopped rising once the last rays of the setting
sun were off the water. Saw several small sea trout jump clear of the water
during mid-dusk (colour of vegetation remains discernible) in shallow water
above & below normal holding areas. Conclusion: Under low water conditions
the windows of opportunity are very restricted.
Paul Kenyon fished the Upper Beat from 2:30-5:30pm. One brown trout to
hand on Tups comparadun. Many splashy rises. Egg-laying caddis naturals
elicited abortive rises from small fish. Upper stretch low water (0.2m)
but shading from bankside trees gave relief from heat and bright sun. It
was worthwhile fishing the slower moving water towards the middle &
tails of pools
Paul Kenyon fished 8:30pm-10pm. One brown trout to hand. Many splashy
rises especially at dusk. Sea trout less active. A few caddis and upwings
Paul Kenyon fished 8pm-11pm. 5 brown trout to hand, 3 before, 2 after
sunset (c 9:30pm) Flies: Tups comparadun, Lloyd Morgan's Canon (after sunset).
Caddis & occasional upwing, v.few rising trout. Sea trout crashing
about before sunset, chilly after dark, slight mist over water. Water height
Westcounty Angling Passport visitor fished 6:30pm-10:30pm. Nil. Sea trout
seen. Insects: Caddis, upwings, Yellow Sally. Overcast, river at 0.20m
Paul Kenyon fished 3:35-6pm. Very few rising fish or fly life. Offers
from feeding fish in faster water. Overcast, warm, water still low (0.22m).
Difficult to see sea trout in poor light, but 'flashes' observed as they
turned in their usual locations. Kingfisher seen.
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor. "Nil. Seen both salmon and sea trout".
Paul Kenyon fished 8-10:30pm. 3 trout. One sea trout jumped clear of water
in Finn's Pool. Confirmed that there is much more fish and insect activity
in the evening: Yellow Sally stonefly? & sedge?. Water still low at
Paul Kenyon and Geoff Stephens guided Tim Rolston. From 3:30-4:15pm: 2
trout to hand, and several offers. 8:00-10:15pm: 2 trout to hand many offers
as darkness approached. Sea trout clearly visible in afternoon sunlight.
River low (0.21m), much more insect and fish activity in evening.
Paul Kenyon fished 2-5pm. Water low. 2 brown trout to hand.
Paul Kenyon fished 2-4:30pm. Five splashy rises and 1 lost small sea trout
(schoolie). Flies: Tups comparadun and small black midge (size 19 Tiemco
103BL) fished as 'dry duo'. Very few rising trout and little fly life.
Water height 0.24m. Overcast, light rain. Sea trout (ST) took the Tups
comparadun. ST in thin water close to bank.
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor. Nil. Four sea trout seen. Water
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor. Six brown trout to 9 inches caught
on New Zealand dropper.
Paul Kenyon. Fished 2-4pm. One long=range-release to nymph (pheasant tail,
hare thorax, foam thorax cover). Dry fly ignored. Chilly, overcast, water
height 0.26m. V. few rising fish and then only in short bursts. Occasional
dun, spinner & sedge seen.
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor. One 7 inch brown trout.
Paul Kenyon. Fished 2:30-5pm. 2 splashy rises. Few rising fish. Few stonefly,
caddis and upwings seen, several midge and ?black gnats?. Gusty wind, overcast.
water height 0.28m
Westcounty Angling Passport visitor. 2 trout to hand, 7 missed / splashy
rises. Successful fly: Grey Sparkle Dun Weather overcast, water height
0.28m. Many rising fish to unidentified insects.
Note posted by Paul Kenyon on 23rd May
Historical kick-sample surveys indicate that the following insects are
likely to be available to trout at this time of year. Olive Upright ( Rhithrogena
semicolorata) - present at all sites and recorded at quite high abundances
in certain locations. Blue Winged Olive (Ephemeralla / Serratella ignita)
recorded at high abundances at all sites. Small Yellow Sally ( Siphonoperla
torrentium) - present at all sites and recorded at quite high abundances
in certain locations. For more information there is a link on: http://www.flyfishingdevon.co.uk/
4:30-6:15 pm Paul Kenyon 1 trout to hand, 2 fish lost, about 6 splashy
rises Flies: nymph(pheasant tail body, hares ear thorax, yellow foam thorax
cover), Comparadun (grey body, black fur thorax, mixed deer hair + synthetic
wing). Naturals: midge, Yellow Sally, occasional sedge. Sunny, v.light
breeze. Water height 0.28m
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor No catch return in Token Box
Paul Kenyon fished 2pm -4:30. One trout to hand, 3 hooked, further 6 splashy
rises all to Olive Compradun. Water height 0.32m. Sunny with occ. chilly
breeze from NW. Some rising fish, midge + possible black gnats.
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor. 5 brown trout, all small
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor. 1 brown trout on dry fly.
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor. About 14 brown trout. Mainly on
dry Black Gnat. Biggest about 8 inches.
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor. 1 brown trout
Paul Kenyon fished Lower Beat 12-2pm. 4 fish to hand. 2 x 8+" on olive
Sparkle Dun. Many 'splashy' offers - small fish? . Fish seen taking something
in surface film. V. few naturals seen: midge, and possible olives. Better
fish close to overhanging bankside vegetation - taking terrestrials?. Cold
wind, occasional sunny intervals. Water height 0.35m, water still carrying
slight colour. Pictures on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/YealmFlyFishing/
Paul and Aidin Kenyon. Fished Lower beat 2-4pm. Water height 0.38m, still
coloured with China Clay AK caught 2 trout on wet Greenwell's Glory PK
caught 3 on Sparkle Dun. Fish taking naturals in the surface film. It felt
like the season has started at last
no catch return from Westcountry Angling Passport visitor in box
no catch return from Westcountry Angling Passport visitor in box
Westcountry Angling Passport visitor.2 x brown trout, 6in & 8in
Paul Kenyon:no fish caught. Lower beat stained grey/beige with input from
River Piall. Upper beat running clear. No rising fish, few midge &
sedge seen. Water height 0.4m
Paul Kenyon: 1 small trout on beadhead, v.little aerial fly life on Lower
beat, few midge & sedge on Upper beat. Water level 0.52m
“Fished the lower section of the beat in the morning. Caught 6 or 7 smaller
4-6″ browns and landed a much larger, more silvery brown of 8-10″, perhaps
even 12″. Not sure if this was a Sea Trout? All returned safely, of course.
A very good morning’s fishing. Thanks.
Date Fished: 21-Jul-17
“ Two BT of about 6-8 inches. Many fish rose to fly but missed 90% of
the takes. Also got a pull from a Sea Trout.
Date Fished 18/04/2017
“ 12 x BT on a hares’ ear emerger “
Date Fished 11/4/17
“ 12 brown trout from ca. 3-8 inches “
Date Fished: 12/08/16
“ 20’ish brown trout (lost count in the teens), 6-11 inches. A few 10
inchers and an 11’incher being the highlight. Mostly on PTN. A great day’s
Date Fished: 5/06/15
“ 3 brown trout to 10″ – mayfly “
September: sea trout
Low river levels provided an opportunity to observe sea trout. This video
contains tips on using their behaviour, shape and colour to spot these
very shy fish.
August: brown trout
The 2018 winners of the Wild Trout Trust auction fish the Yealm in August
after a period of low water followed by brief but significant rainfall.
June: brown trout
Tim Rolston (MCI), South African fly-fishing casting instructor, guide
and author, caught brown trout & observed sea trout in late June 2018.
Lessons learned and re-learned fly fishing on the River Yealm in South
Devon under low water conditions in May and June 2018
Roll casting is a useful technique when bankside vegetation restricts
space for an overhead (pick-up-and-lay-down) cast
Double Spey Cast
The Double Spey cast is another useful technique when overhanging vegetation
restricts an overhead cast
May 2014: brown trout
Wild Trout Trust auction winner
June 2015: After rain
Fly fishing for wild brown trout on the river Yealm in South Devon on
13th June 2015
May 2014: brown trout
Swarms of upwinged flies rising and falling close to the river.