Thursday, 31 May 2018

Warmer Times and Low Water

Richard into 1 of Several
The month of May did see the weather conditions gradually warming up at last, which included some hot and muggy days at times too, along with very low water conditions. Despite the sunshine we were also plagued by those persistent east winds again that unfortunately tend to hold those better fishing days at bay. That said though, we did eventually manage some good results regardless of the ever returning east wind situation and we did encounter both trout and Salmon along the way.

"If you search hard enough there is always a nice fish to be found hiding somewhere along the way" 

One of two fresh Salmon caught by David
There was a spell over a couple of days when we connected with four salmon, two of which parted company after a touch of "Heave Ho" between angler and fish, and two of which the guys managed to land. Around the same period another couple of very good fish (salmon) unfortunately won the day after a tussle on the lower river, an area where fish tend to hold up when the river becomes low, as was the case by the end of May. However there has been fish constantly showing down there and a touch of fresh water wouldn't go a miss just to liven them up a bit, although being a tidal beat we tend to get new fish arriving all the time and too much water sees them passing through the beat.

Another from the pocket water
The Trout fishing picked up a bit too as we moved further into May, although many of our fish were to be found in pocket water with upstream Nymphing tactics, a method we often keep for those very hot difficult summer days when trout head for those little oxygenated gems. 

That said, we did get some fish on the dry too as the fly life gradually improved throughout the month, with sparse hatches of Iron Blues in attendance along with a few Brook Duns and falls of spinners later in the evening. 

Mayfly
There were a few Hawthorn flies being blown onto the water at times too, but with not much interest from the trout I'm afraid, at least in the areas we were fishing anyway. However, what was very noticeable was the increase in the amount of Mayflies (Ephemera Danica) in attendance with trickle hatches of these large beautiful insects coming off on a regular basis throughout the month, "great to see", but again not a great deal of interest from the trout, although we did see one or two taken with intent.

"Looking forward to what June has in store"!

Monday, 30 April 2018

A Long time coming!

David with a drag free drift on the dry
The anticipated improvements in the weather throughout April have been a long time coming I'm afraid, with bitter winds and low water temperatures really holding things up, we have certainly been up against it from a fishing point of view, and although there has been several salmon caught on the river, some being recorded over twenty pounds, the fishing has still been relatively slow. That said, we only need to look back as far as last season and given the right water conditions some of the best salmon fishing of the season occurred in May and June, so time will tell.

David with a small trout on the Nymph
The insect life has also been slow, thus effecting the numbers of trout being caught, especially on the dry fly, and it has to be said, that up to now at least, there hasn't been the usual early season enthusiasm we often see from the trout given our sub surface offerings either. However it was noticeable that as we approached the end of April we were beginning to pick up one or two more fish off the surface as better numbers of Large Dark Olives begun to appear along with the odd Late March Brown too. It was also noticeable that there were some relatively decent hatches of Grannom Sedge in attendance, although definitely not in the numbers we have encountered in years gone by.

Simon with his first trout on the Dry
So although things are a little behind this year, the usual signs of potential improvement are all there and with the last few days of April being a little warmer in Cumbria, despite those persistent winds, an improvement in the dry fly fishing is definitely on the cards for May. I am sure many of you will agree when I say, that despite the fact we can, and do, target these magnificent fish with a variety of flies, fished at all levels in the water, there is still something very exciting about the visual experience of catching a trout on a dry fly!

Ian's first trout on the nymph
With water levels as they are at the present time, and given the obvious probability of better temperatures ahead, we should be looking forward to some good dry fly action as we move into May, but we will surely need an influx of fresh water for some of the middle and upper beats of the river to see an improvement in the salmon fishing. However it is still early days yet and with many of you having already been for casting tuition in April I am sure you are itching to put it into practice and get at them.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Better Conditions on the Horizon

Snow on the Eden
Given the recent conditions we have been faced with here in Cumbria, and elsewhere, there was nothing to report in February with plenty of snow and high waters, and following on from that was snow melt and more high waters.

We are only now just coming out of the cold snap as I write, but coming out of it we are, which is good news as we are now moving towards the end of March and into April when historically the trout fishing is often beginning to flourish.

High Water following Snow Melt
That said in recent years the salmon fishing has also been improving in the early part of the season, so let's hope we have the same scenario this year, as this will afford us additional options throughout our spring fishing days.

Hatches have been sparse in this bitterly cold weather, although there has been the odd Large Dark Olive in attendance, but having said that, there has also been very little interest shown in them from the trout as temperatures have remained low, which will often delay many trout dropping back into the main system and feeding in any meaningful way.

One of my guys out practicing
However conditions look set to change in the near future and when temperatures improve, as they inevitably will, it will not be long before we are catching a few nice brown trout once again.

In the meantime we have recently had one of our biannual AAPGAI assessment and open day events at Cockermouth in Cumbria and I am happy to say it produced some good results with several instructors being successful in their attempts to pass their individual qualifications. I am also proud to report that I just happened to mentor three of the successful candidates, which gave me great pleasure indeed.

A great picture from the Open Day
The open day also produced a very good turn out, with a mix of people attending, ranging from those who simply wanted to come along and enjoy the variety of demonstrations, to those wishing to gain some insight into the AAPGAI instructor programme, and everyone enjoyed the one to one tuition in the afternoon. A very successful event indeed.

More tuition planned for this weekend as people are now re-appearing following the recent cold weather. Looking forward to these sessions!

Friday, 26 January 2018

A big Welcome to the 2018 Season!

Not a Grayling friendly water 
Not a great deal to report in the early part of 2018 as we have had few opportunities for Grayling fishing given the high coloured waters we've experienced of late. Here is a photo taken on one of the tributaries of the river Eden yesterday.

However, although the early Grayling fishing has been a bit of a wash out we have managed to get some tuition sessions organised on the main river, as water height isn't always a negative in these situations as there is always somewhere we can get into the water, and "believe it or not", we have had a few reasonable breaks in the weather which have presented us with the odd nice day giving us the opportunity to do this. 

Let's hope for a few more of these
On a more positive note, although still a bit early for great results, the salmon season is now open on the river Eden, and given the previous few seasons statistics, it shouldn't be too long before conditions are favourable enough for opportunities to present themselves to us once again. "Here's looking forward to that!

It is also quite surprising how quickly the trout season creeps up on us, and come March 15th, which isn't that far away, we will hopefully be enjoying some good sport there too, and once we enter April and into May we should be getting into some very nice fish.

See you all soon!
Several of you have already booked in for tuition and, or, fishing days for this year, so I am certainly looking forward to those sessions and I hope to see many more of you throughout the year as usual. Let's kick off the season with a bang. "Tight Lines to all".