Friday, 30 August 2013

Trout & Grayling Strong, Salmon Won't be Long!

Our stall at the Galloway Show
As indicated in my last post I attended the Galloway Country Fair over the weekend of the 17th & 18th August representing both Borderlines and AAPGAI, along with my good friend and colleague Glyn Freeman as one of the demonstrators at the show. The weather was a bit kinder to us on the Sunday than it was on the Saturday, which helped to draw in the crowds on day two, and in addition to delivering eight demonstrations between us over the duration of the weekend, we also offered a casting clinic for those wishing to indulge in tuition sessions throughout each day. We shared the marquee with the Nith District Salmon Fishery Board and the Nith Catchment Fishery Trust. (See the Website: Here) as Jim Henderson of the NDSFB is one of the directors for Borderlines.

Fly Tying on the Stall
As expected, the Eden rose again throughout that weekend, which ensured that we did not miss out too much on the fishing front, however, reports of good runs of Grilse entering the system continued to reach me via my mobile, which I witnessed first hand upon my return. There has also been one or two Grilse caught over the last couple of weeks, along with some better fish too, but for the amount of fish we have seen passing through the lower beats, the numbers caught still remain quite low in comparison. 

Ralph & Uschi
Up to now most of the salmon anglers I have taken out on the river have been more interested in the casting tuition side of things in preparation for the latter part of the season, although during a tuition and fishing session with John Dunn on the lower river, whilst putting his much improved skills into practise, he did have two chances throughout the day, one of them offering him a really good draw to his fly, but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be. That said, it is good to have further confirmation that they are definitely in attendance, especially as we are now rapidly approaching the most productive time of the year on the Eden for the salmon angler. "Watch this space".

Ralph with a small Brown Trout
Just over a week ago now, I had the good fortune to spend some time with a really nice couple from Germany, Ralph and Uschi, on their first trip to the lake district. Following a fly casting session, with the single handed rods, we spent the day on a local Stillwater fishing for Rainbow and blue trout, whilst the river was still a little too high for brown trout fishing, and in a joint effort, Ralph played and landed a nice Blue Trout (Rainbow Trout variant) for their tea. We did however manage to spend the last day on the river, and although conditions were still not ideal, Ralph managed to catch a couple of small trout on a weighted nymph.

Sam's First Fish
I was also out with Sam Rickett, who came along with his wife to be, to learn how to cast a fly for the first time, and at the end of the session I put on one of my favourite dry flies, the Klinkhammer, and following two near misses his new found skills came to fruition as he managed to hook and land his first ever fish which turned out to be a cracking grayling of around one and a half pounds. "Nice one Sam"!!!

As water levels recede, the trout and grayling fishing is also improving, but due to a distinct lack of any prolonged surface activity, despite the heavy fall of black gnats on the water we have seen over the past few days, the majority of the fish are still coming to sub surface offerings, and only yesterday we had some great results whilst adopting this approach.

Another to the nymph
Although we continue to fish for trout throughout September and grayling throughout the winter months, over the next few weeks I have some serious salmon anglers coming out with me for some prime time fishing, so water permitting, we should hopefully have an interesting tale or two to tell over this period, and if it is anything like last year when we had salmon up to 25lb (22lb and 25lb to the same rod) it could be very interesting. "Here's hoping".

Friday, 16 August 2013

From Warm & Low to all Systems Go!

Harry making a Circle Spey cast
Since my last post conditions continued to take a downward spiral with the low warm water trends persisting, often making it very difficult to produce good results, in fact with very little insect life in attendance during the day, and following a couple of youth days with Borderlines, including the annual Carlisle youth Angling event for the C.A.A. I actually took a few days away from the river to take advantage of the warm weather. If you can't beat it join it!

One of a few to the dry fly
Upon my return though, at the beginning of August, we had a rise in water, making the fishing difficult once again, but for very different reasons this time, (i.e. water colour) as the river was then carrying a lot of sediment, which unfortunately did not suit the needs of the guys I had out for Salmon at that time, as Tim, Gaetan and Harry, only really had one days good water from the three days they were with me, however this did give them plenty of time to take a look at the mechanics of their casting and therefore get a good rhythm going for when conditions do improve, but despite the difficult conditions they all agreed that they enjoyed their trip to the river Eden.

Miloud with a very good Grayling
Following this rise in water and therefore subsequently cooler temperatures leading up to the pending Lowther Show, where AAPGAI were asked once again to run the demonstrations and the fly casting clinics on 10th & 11th August, the trout fishing exploded again for a spell, with fish mainly coming to the nymph as water conditions settled, but more importantly cooled down somewhat, although a few did come to the dry fly like the nice specimen shown above right. The guys that were out with me during this period, and just after, had some great sport as you can see from the pictures, and whilst out with Sean Henney on the middle river, following a slow start in the morning, he hooked into five very good hard fighting browns and several smaller fish too. The Grayling fishing also improved with several good fish coming to the net like the one caught by Miloud above left. Well done guys!

Sean playing a good Brownie
I have also been keeping an eye on the salmon fishing, given the fresh water we had recently, and whilst out on the lower river with John Dunn, (who has been for a few sessions with me in the past, which included some very successful spider and nymph fishing sessions for trout and Grayling) the water began to fall away nicely and John's improving skills almost bagged him a fish when his line drew away, as one of the many fish we saw that day decided to take his fly, but almost immediately parted company with it again. John then managed to get a second take later in the day, but the fish won yet again. It's just a matter of time John!

Another Brown for Sean
It's now good to see plenty of Grilse beginning to show (almost every day) on the lower river, (all fresh too) and it is just a matter of time now before these new fish join the others throughout the system, increasing the numbers in all the beats along the river and offering anglers the opportunity of some exceptional sport as we are now rapidly approaching the prime salmon fishing period on the Eden. However, whilst the order of the day, when salmon fishing, (especially on larger waters with cooler temperatures) often warrants the use of sink tips and medium to large flies, (e.g. large doubles and large tubes at times) it is definitely worth considering down sizeing to 10's and 12's (or even smaller) whilst these Grilse are in attendance, and it is also worth considering a floating line too, as these running fish are more often than not in the upper columns of the water. Give it a try!

Some good Grayling appearing
I am off to the Galloway Country Fair tomorrow for the duration of the weekend where I will be delivering some of the fly casting demonstrations in the main arena. The timing of this show could not have been better as the river Eden has just risen yet again following the latest downpour, so fingers crossed, as the river should hopefully be coming back into good order again for Monday, which is when I return. "Tight Lines".