Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Last Six Weeks

Borderlines School Session

Sorry I have not kept you all posted over the last few weeks, but I can assure you that it's not because there's been nothing going on, quite the opposite in fact, I simply haven't had the time to sit down and write about it, So I will attempt to do so now whilst I do have a little free time.

Amongst other things, lot's of people have been coming to get their casting and fishing techniques up to speed ready for the new season (now upon us). In addition to this I have been working with schools for Borderlines introducing youngsters to the final stage of their journey from the classroom into entomology sessions and onward into the joys of angling.

AAPGAI Open Day (Demo)
Lots of work with AAPGAI of late too, first of all an instructor training weekend on the river Eden, aimed at potential new instructors, and then following this, one of our assessment events and open day's which was held at cockermouth on the river Derwent, where members of the public could come along for a small fee and enjoy the many demonstrations, buffet lunch, and one to one tuition that followed.

River Tay Baggot
From there I was off up to the mighty river Tay, a little bit of salmon fishing ensued, although only the capture of kelts and a baggot I'm afraid, but very enjoyable. For those of you just starting out in Salmon fishing, a Kelt is a spent Salmon after laying her eggs or dispensing his milt (to fertilize the females eggs) trying to make it's way back to the sea (only a small percentage succeed) and a baggot is a fish (sometimes caught in the spring) that for whatever reason (stress maybe) has not spawned, or may even spawn very late. As you can see in the picture it looks very much like a back end hen fish in her spawning livery, but notice the flabby belly. Anyway, the main reason for my visit to Scotland was to assist in the assessments of potential new instructors for SANA (Scottish Anglers National Association) which also turned out to be an excellent event and very enjoyable when working with like minded people. So as you can see it's been a bit hectic.

Joe with his first River Eden Trout
Plenty going on back on the Eden though, and a few weeks ago we saw an influx of Spring Salmon entering the system with several fish being caught in the twenties, with the biggest to date weighing in at 27lb, but due to the low water conditions we have experienced since then, the Salmon catches have now slowed down again, but there are definitely fish about and when we get a rise in water again there will no doubt be a few more caught.

However, the low water conditions has not spoiled the trout fishing, as this can often contribute to some good catches at this time of year, especially if the temperatures are reasonable, and this has been the case (at times) I say at times, because we have also had some very cold snaps in between which did make the trout fishing difficult on occasions. That said, although we
Charles Playing a nice Trout
are having to work a little harder on some outings, we are now starting to see an upturn in catches, and we have recently been moving away from the weighted nymphs so that we can now target fish on the surface with north country spiders and a selection of dry flies, which I am sure you will all agree can be much more fun and very visual at times, but don't leave your nymphs at home just yet as we may be in for a drop in temperature once more over the next few days.

Charles with another trout
We are now moving into prime time for our trout fishing on the Eden and the last few days have been producing the right signs too. We are now beginning to make contact with a few more fish as the insect life begins to improve with olive hatches and sedges gaining in numbers and it has been great to see some steady hatches of March Browns returning to the river over the last few weeks too. It is also worth trying those stonefly patterns you are reluctant to remove from their pride of place in your fly box, as we have had some very good large stonefly specimens hatching of late, and the trout will often be tempted by a representation of the egg laying adult on the surface. "Give it a try", I'm off fishing!