Tuesday, 31 March 2015

In Like a Lion & out Like a Lion too

Derek working a Salmon pool
A soon as I posted my last blog, (in Feb) acknowledging the appearance of some sunshine and slightly warmer air, we almost immediately had a total turnaround in conditions, and although March has had it's spells of decent weather, these spells have been very few and far between. In general it has been extremely cold and certainly a good advert for thermal undergarments. However there is always something to do on the river and March was no exception. In the first instance I have been kept busy with casting tuition, for both trout and salmon anglers, and whilst the trout fishing, (which started on March 15th) has been relatively slow in comparison to other years, there were still a few fish willing to take our offerings. However, the trout fishing will no doubt pick up again once the weather improves as April is historically good for trout on the Eden (and many other rivers too).

Youngsters dipping for invertebrates
There has also been a reasonable number of spring salmon entering the estuary and running the border rivers. This influx of spring fish has remained consistent over the past few years, with several fish already being caught on the Eden, and whilst out with my good friend and fellow instructor Derek Kelley, I managed to hook one of these magnificent fish myself, but unfortunately, not long after, I also managed to part company with it. At least it's good to know they are there and willing to take our flies.

Identifying their catch
As you can see from the pictures above and to the right, apart from casting tuition, we've had several other things going on too, such as more Borderlines sessions with schools, once again introducing youngsters to the abundance of invertebrate life in our local rivers and streams, and making them aware of the indicators that tell us about water quality, flow, what the fish feed on, and how to recognise and imitate these tiny creatures when choosing an artificial fly to tempt a fish, which is exactly what we will be doing on our next session when we go fishing with this particular school.

T&S Facebook Page
I also conducted a further test for the Trout & Salmon magazine in mid March, with another good friend and colleague of mine, Glyn Freeman, this time on 5 weight fly lines. This was a really interesting test, which gave us a good insight into some of the lines now available on the market, the results of which you will be able to read in the May edition of the Trout & Salmon magazine.

An AAPGAI Demonstration
The cold weather didn't stop the AAPGAI biannual assessments from going ahead again, in fact a couple of the days we had were two of the better days in March I mentioned earlier, one of which just happened to be our open day. The assessments and open were held near Cockermouth on the river Derwent and I am happy to report, following some excellent demonstrations and one to one tuition throughout the day, that the feedback from those attending was fantastic. Two new instructors passed their assessments and three more current instructors attained the next step on the ladder, the AAPGAI advanced level. Well done to them!

AAPGAI Workshop Weekend
Glyn and I have also just finished a workshop weekend course on the Eden for those wishing to know more about the AAPGAI instructor process, i.e. what its all about, and whether or not they wish to pursue it. Being an instructor is not for everyone, but these weekends are designed to give people an insight into what would be required. They are also designed to improve the individuals casting skills and discuss how to pass on information to others. The recent spring course was attended by three great guys, Nick, Malcolm and Calum, and although it was pretty cold, a good time was had by all, the bonus being that the weather was actually better than the forecast. Thanks for your company guys!

April is now upon us, and hopefully this time, temperatures will soon begin to rise, setting the scene for the usual excellent trout fishing that the Eden has to offer, so amongst other things, we will soon be out on the river targeting these beautiful fish in earnest. I already have several people booked in to do just that, so let's see if we can make them happy, I am sure we can.