Illawarra Flyfishers Club

Listen to Nature

Dartmoor National Park is situated in the English west country, in the county of Devon their lies the river Dart well known for the run of salmon and sea trout, while fly fishing for sea trout one summer evening sat by a large pool with a fly fisherman who was a prison supervisor in the famous Dartmoor prison, he told me this following story :-  One warm summer evening in July he and a mate who was disabled went down to the west Dart to fish for sea trout they heard the rumble of a thunderstorm in the distance not giving it much thought they made their way down to the pool at dusk where they intended to fish that evening, they scrambled down the bank and across the shallows the fisherman helping his mate who had disabled legs onto an island in the middle of the river, they made themselves comfortable lying flat  out of sight behind a clump of reeds to wait for darkness to fall, the sea trout are only active after dark and start to run up river and move from the deep water into the shallows as darkness falls. After half an hour or so they set up their tackle and were just about to start fishing, the last birds of the day were calling, the crickets were noisy, flies were buzzing in the warm evening air, they sat back and relaxed waiting for the last rays of daylight to disappear when suddenly everything went quiet, the birds stopped calling, the crickets were quiet, “dead silence “ they both were aware something was wrong, then they heard something like a low roar, “quick “ they scrambled  into the river across the shallows threw their rods and bags and the landing net onto the bank, the fisherman jumped over grabbing his disabled mate by the seat of his pants dragging him up onto the bank just in time as an eight foot wall of water swept past spilling over the bank wetting them both as it swept by covering  the island in the middle of the river where they had been set up for an evening’s fishing, they realized now the thunderstorm they heard way up the valley less than an hour ago was responsible for the flood that would have washed them both down the river for sure, they both thanked their lucky stars to have survived, was it not for natures warning they may not have survived. The Moral of the Story is to be aware of your surroundings heed this warning ”LISTEN TO NATURE “ on your next fishing trip  IT MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE.


Mike Mansell