Friday, 10 May 2013

Improving Conditions

A great day on the river with David.
Since my last post, almost a month ago, conditions have still been quite changeable, however, apart from a few relatively cold and windy days, temperatures in general (although a long time coming) continue to improve, along with the results of our trout fishing sessions, which have certainly had a much warmer feel to them, adding further enjoyment to the experience for all involved. These changes have also been highlighted by the increase in insect life we are now seeing on the river, and along side the remaining few Large Dark Olives there has been enormous hatches of Grannom sedges, which although a little late, are still appearing in these large numbers as I write, probably encouraged by the slower than normal temperature rises for this time of year which has held everything back a little. There has also been an increase in large stoneflies recently, but the scattering of March Browns we have seen on the river this year have now petered out.

A cracking brownie with Jeff on the lower Eden
The Salmon fishing has been much slower than last year over this period with fewer fish being spotted on most beats, but one or two fish are still getting caught all the same, and whilst I have been out with people on the river, we have certainly seen one or two nice double figure fish running through the lower beats. Despite the fresh water we received in mid April, water levels have still been a little on the low side for good Salmon fishing, but this may be set to change as we now have much wetter conditions arriving with more rain forecast over the next few days.

Tony Strikes Again
For now though, although slightly more intermittent at times, spider patterns continue to produce the goods, with some very nice Brown Trout coming to the net, however, it is also worth trying a couple of small nymphs, or gold headed nymphs, during the slower periods when fish tend to hug the bottom a bit more, especially in the colder snaps. This can also prove to be an exceptional method during those large Grannom hatches, as you will often find it is not the adult they are interested in, but the aquatic stage of this insect, e.g. the Pupae, (at all levels in the water) as they make their way to the surface. The trout often become locked on to this pupal stage and this can be deadly. An emerger type pattern can also be the order of the day in this situation, such as a Klinkhammer or shuttlecock pattern. "Try it" !!!!!

Trout are coming to the dry fly too, although the strong winds we have been experiencing have been making this method less appealing and in my opinion a little less effective than other methods at the moment, but this will inevitably change as conditions improve, encouraging more Upwings to appear. 

Geoff with a nice Lake Trout
Amongst the usual Spey casting lessons and recent tuition and fishing days, I had the good fortune to be invited by my good friend and colleague Geoff Johnston, to join him on his boat in the lake district, targeting wild lake trout (brown trout). We fished a team of wet flies in a steady wave throughout the day with fantastic results, mainly down to Geoff's intimate knowledge of the individual areas around the shoreline, and although conditions were a bit cool at times, I couldn't have wished for a more enjoyable day and good company to boot!