Nothing to lose


Well-known member
Nov 9, 2009
South of England
Many who read this will already be aware of the Angling Trust and what they stand for. For those that don’t, they want to be the voice of angling (all three main branches of the sport), and a strong right arm, here in the UK. Some will have heard of the successful prosecutions of polluters, and/or the lobbying they carry out on behalf of the fishing fraternity. They were also responsible for getting fishermen out of lockdown much earlier than other sports, and deserve our thanks. The AT continues to grow in importance year on year and is worthy of our support, because their focus is entirely upon our interests. Their work is funded by membership subscription, and in return there are other benefits, such as discounts, tackle insurance, competitions and overall promotion of, and education about, our sport. By now we should all be cognisant of the importance of getting the UK’s youth involved. My first year’s subscription provided me with a credit in the same value, to spend at Glasgow Anglers (aka Fishing Megastore), so you could say my first year was at nil cost!
The AT also generate funding from an auction of lots, as do the WTT, and that’s the reason for writing this. All kinds of fishing were available, but I successfully bid for lot 112 ‘Two days flyfishing for one rod on the River Otter, Devon’. I managed to parlay this into ‘One day’s fishing for two rods …’ thanks to the Hon. Sec. of the Ottery Fly Fishing Club. My buddy and I have fished the Otter three times previously, so were well aware of the wonderful wild Brown Trout fishing that can be had.
The prior time we fished the river was, coincidentally, via a WTT auction lot, donated by Colin Nice (son of Jim Nice, well known fly tyer) when he kindly and thoroughly guided us on his syndicate beat as well as the Club water upstream. When Hon. Sec. Pat Coleman had mentioned that we would be fishing, Colin immediately volunteered to guide us again, and provide access to his beat too. Nice by name, nice by nature.
This year’s successful bid was months ago, before the lockdown, and now the banks downstream of Tipton St John have become heavily overgrown, but Colin was able to show us where to enter the jungle to get down to the pools and glides. We walked his beat in the morning, after a coffee, and fish were rising in most of the spots he recommended, but as the morning wore on and sunshine and temperature increased, the fish showed themselves less and less. In the summer months the fishing is always at its best early and late. Both upstream and downstream of the bridge the wading conditions are good, only one or three deep areas and holes to be avoided, and no canopy of trees overhead means casting is easy too. Two days beforehand Colin sent me a phone photo of a cracking one-and-a-half-pounder he’d just landed; just after he sent that he got another over two pounds! He’s had a three-and-a-half Brown earlier this season too, and there are some sea-trout in the river.
I can’t get enough of fishing for these fabulous wild fish, half immersed into their world; the passing flows draw the tensions and stress out of you, replacing them with peace, tranquillity, and contentment. The fishing was hard on the day, due to the conditions and times, particularly after lunch (at the nearby Golden Lion) when we moved onto the Club’s beat upstream of the bridge. Colin pointed out spots to try, and access to the water was more straightforward than earlier. Wading up, in the shallows, both morning and afternoon, there were shoal upon shoal of tiny trout: a great omen for the future. Sometime, fishing is not all about catching fish, but we didn’t disgrace ourselves and it was another memorable trip. We didn’t see a beaver all day, however. Hasta la vista.
Look out for the next Angling Trust auction and make a bid or two, it is a great way to sample fishing you ordinarily could not access. Have a look at their web site, where there is loads of information, blogs, and news updates. The inestimable Colin (all-round fisherman, gentleman, fly tyer and raconteur) can be contacted at You’ve got nothing to lose!