Westcountry Angling Passport
Tackle & Tactics

For salmon fishing a 9-10ft, 7-8wt rod with a floating line (a range of sink tips is useful) and an intermediate line should cover most conditions. Focus on the larger pools and runs in normal or high flow conditions, but during low flows fish the pots where fish will hold in the tightest of spaces. Try using either a sink-tip, or apply sinkant to your leader and wash your fly through the pots and calmer areas on the edge of white water.

For sea trout, you can use the same set-up as above, but possibly use a 6wt in summer or low flow conditions. Sea trout fishing on Dartmoor can be extremely exciting but if you are going night fishing, be prepared - survey the river beforehand, take a torch and safety equipment. Sea trout can be very unpredictable; so innovative techniques can often be successful.

Those who frequently fish for brown trout tend to develop their own set-ups to cope with the variety of fishing conditions on offer. In the smaller streams, a brook rod (6-7ft, 2-4wt) works well, although a longer 9-10ft 3-4wt can be useful for ‘reaching’ over riverbanks and boulders. On the main rivers, a 7½-9ft 3-5wt rod will suit most conditions, but in open sections a longer rod can be useful, especially if slightly windy.

Wading & Access
The River Dart and its tributaries really epitomise ‘wild fishing in wild places’, and access to the rivers and the fishing itself can be physically demanding. Anglers should be prepared to walk some distance to get to the rivers and we advise taking a map of Dartmoor with you (OS Explorer OL28). Aim to travel light and plan for fishing over a range of substrates and remember the boulders can be very slippery. Lastly, tell someone where you are going, as the weather on Dartmoor can change very quickly.

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