Instruction and guiding
Open all year
Upper Yealm Fishery: An appreciation of fishing in 'Lilliput'
The Upper Yealm Fishery offers fishing for wild brown trout, sea trout and salmon in peaceful surroundings near Ivybridge which is a short distance from Plymouth and popular holiday destinations in the South Hams.
The fishery lies hidden between two bustling transport arteries that serve the West Country. To the north the Penzance to Paddington railway line skirts the southern slopes of Dartmoor. The A38 dual carriageway between Exeter and Plymouth lies to the south of the fishery. When you emerge from the top of the upper beat there are views of a Brunel bridge in the distance and behind it a rampart of white china clay waste dug from pits at Lee Moor on Dartmoor that was used to produce English porcelain in the 18th century.
Yes, that dark shadow is a sea trout lying above the weir – and between May and September there may be more hidden beneath trees tight against the far bank. Walk on downstream past a succession of small but perfectly formed pools. Each hold brown and possibly sea trout, but they must be approached with extreme stealth and one's ability to cast accurately will be tested. Tie on disposable flies, you will get caught up and must be prepared to break off rather than disturbing the pool by crashing across it. You can always mark the spot and retrieve the fly later. You will catch fish. Small yes, but with occasional larger surprises and you have the possibility of a sea trout which in these conditions will be a memorable experience. When you have been lulled into a false sense of security you are ready to tackle the upper beat, or as I call it – the “Examination Room”.
Walk up the road a few hundred yards to skirt the gardens of houses that back onto the Yealm and pick up the river again by the bridge. Steps have been cut into the bank to aid your descent. Echoes of that fine gate. Enjoy the easy entrance – you are about to be severely tested!. I don't need to tell you to crouch – the overhanging limbs force you to become a human heron. The pools are even smaller now but some are deceptively deep. Creep upstream. Forget about overhead casts. Just remember to never allow the fly to travel above your head and you will simply loose a small fortune's worth of flies, rather than face total financial meltdown !
The owners of Upper Yealm fishery - Josh and Julie Dalton - are welcoming and friendly. The Daltons rent out Oaklands Cottage which is 200 yards from the river. The fishery has an autumn run of salmon and the Yealm salmon season ends on 15th December.