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The River Dart

Sea Trout Fishing on the River Dart

The East Dart and West Dart begin on Dartmoor, becoming the Dart (or Double Dart) at the Dartmeet confluence.  The river flows on through a wooded and often steep-sided valley with fast runs and rapids, giving way to farmland near Buckfast Abbey, although the river itself remains tree-lined for most of its journey to the sea at Dartmouth. The weir at Totnes marks the highest reach of the tide.


The River Dart at Buckfastleigh



Sea Trout Fishing on the River Dart

When heavy rain falls on Dartmoor, the river can come into spate very quickly, with the water level rising by several feet within an hour or so. Obviously, these conditions can be very dangerous and indeed the Dart does sometimes claim lives. Anglers are advised to keep a good eye on the water level when heavy rain is likely.  It is usually possible to fish again within a few hours of the peak of the spate. The River Dart recorded a sea trout catch of 242 in 2008. The Dart Angling Association has Salmon, Sea Trout and Brown Trout fishing on some nine miles of the river Dart, with a mixture of single and double bank fishing and offers a limited number of day permits to visiting anglers. The association's ten year average catch (to 2011) was 271 sea trout and 45 salmon. The biggest sea trout, some into double figures, arrive in April and May. The best chance of intercepting these bigger fish is at Totnes Weir, at the limit of the tide.


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