In the words of T.S. Eliot, April is the cruellest month, stirring dull roots with spring rain. Well, true enough, except for the rain, which has been totally absent for the month so far. Some nights have been cruelly cold, frost early, to be swept away by a hard bright sun, not exactly what the fisherman would order, but then, it is April. A symptom of the cold conditions has been the number of grayling still being taken by trout fishers - as the water warms the grayling become preoccupied with spawning and are seldom caught, but are still featuring regularly in catches on our rivers.

The staring eye of a grayling, taken on the River Ottery yesterday on a nymph. Note the overshot top jaw, indicating the primarily bottom- feeding habit of the grayling.
David Pilkington about to land a cracking two-and-a-half pound rainbow on Tinhay lake for young Hugh Shilson, fishing on a four-day beginner's courses. Note that we are huddled in winter coats.


Total focus and concentration on the lad's face as the fish veers away from the net.


Marilyn Whitmell with a five-pounder from Tinhay.


The moment a trout fell for the nymph on the Ottery, necessitating a rapid strike.


Grannom ( Brachycentrus Subnubilis) are still the main hatching fly, although the first of the Black Gnats are already on the water in small numbers - when they really get going, so will the trout,

Superb footage of a dog otter feeding in the shallows at the tail of Willow Pool on the Tamar. Otters regularly work the shallow stickles for loach and bullheads, if you watch this one carefully you can see his jaws chomping. Darren Saunders, fishing wet fly on our beginner's course, was concentrating so hard on his fishing that he failed to see the competition in his pool for several seconds.