Overall Butterwell fished well for night fly Sea Trout fishers with 71 fish caught and 97% carefully returned. The drought which gripped much of the UK as usual did not deter the Sea Trout from running in good numbers and probably helped them to stop in the Butterwell pools. The surprise was the average size of the fish which was well over 2lb. There were a lot of fish in the 4-5lb range and the largest 7lb. The larger fish appeared from mid-June right through to the end of August. I have no doubt with more rods fishing we would have had a lot more as most anglers who fished contacted these bigger fish.
There was a shortage of Peal running but the latest electro fishing juvenile survey undertaken in 2021 showed trout numbers are very healthy with the majority of sites rated good or excellent by the West Country Rivers Trust. This reflects the extensive habitat improvement undertaken over the last few years, removing many migration barriers and opening up more spawning areas.
On the Salmon front the good news is we did catch some good salmon to 12lb on the fly in the Summer and Autumn, and fresh fish were seen into late Autumn. The juvenile survey in 2021 does indicate an improving position with some excellent spawning in the main river but numbers remain quite low elsewhere. It is hoped the conservation measures and habitat improvements will continue the positive trend.
Thoughts now turn to the 2022 season. We can expect a few Salmon in the river shortly after opening in May if there is decent water, and the Sea Trout to start running, irrespective of water conditions, around mid-June and continuing all the way through to the end of August. The focus to Salmon starts from September. Butterwell still has rods available throughout the season. Call Sam on 07766 224258
For more on fishing at Butterwell visit our fishing pages.