Thursday, 30 April 2015

Bitter Winds in April

John into a Trout on the Dry Fly
Apart from a few days around the 21st to the 23rd of April, when we were almost lulled into a false sense of security, as we experienced a rather pleasant warm period, most of April has actually been extremely cold, despite the numerous sunny spells we have had. This has been down to the biting wind that has plagued us continuously throughout this month, regardless of wind direction, which didn't seem to make any difference whatsoever to the overall temperature. Definitely thermal clothing weather. However, that didn't stop John (pictured above) from taking advantage of a few interested trout on a particularly windy day, mostly on the nymph, but he also managed a couple on the dry fly too, whilst exploring ways of eliminating drag, which was the main reason for his session in the first place, so good job John!

SGAIC Assessments
The annual (SGAIC) assessments, for those candidates taking the Scottish Game Angling Instructor Certificate, took place again in mid April (11th &12th to be precise) up on the river Tay near Perth, for which I am one of the representatives for AAPGAI as part of a joint assessment team, along with the current SGAIC assessors. Despite the strong winds in attendance over the weekend, we managed to deliver several workshops, and it was great to be able to welcome on board the successful candidates for 2015, as well as taking the opportunity to catch up with some old and new faces over the duration of the weekend. Well done to all involved! Whilst up there, with good friends Glyn Freeman and Paul Little, we also managed to escape a bought of sleet and snow back home in Cumbria, therefore I don't think we missed any action on the river at all that weekend.

Borderlines Day (Greystoke School)
More Borderlines days ensued, in the form of both family days and school days, the latter of which was held at Greystoke Castle (near Penrith, in Cumbria) where we introduced youngsters to the second stage of their sessions, a casting and fishing day. The weather was actually good to us, as it was held on the 21st of the month, which, as mentioned above, was one of the few nice days we had in April, and a good time was had by all. The initial safety talk was delivered by one of the youngsters, who proceeded to address the class with some excellent information he had gleaned from previous sessions with Borderlines. "Very Enjoyable".

Rob with a good bend in the rod
As mentioned previously, the persistent cold weather certainly didn't stop us going out on the river, as plenty of people still seemed keen to improve their casting techniques, whilst also indulging in a bit of trout fishing, and despite the bitter winds, that persisted throughout April, we still managed to dupe a few fish (as you can see from just a few of the the pictures we took).
Plenty of Grannom on the water
We have had the Grannom hatch in attendance on the Eden for the last two weeks, and just recently hatches are seemingly peeking, with rafts of both adults and shucks floating on the water surface, but I have to say, with very little interest from the fish at any stage in the Grannom's life cycle, which I personally think is down to the cold conditions we are currently experiencing.

David with a nice brown to the Nymph
However, we are seeing the odd spells of rising fish from time to time too, with very sparse hatches of olives, (and I mean sparse) but during these periods we have taken fish on the dry, although the nymph has taken the majority of fish we have caught, but it has to be said, for this time of year the activity to the nymph is also slower than usual. Even when fishing weighted caddis patterns, and emergers there has not been the number of chances we have become accustomed to in April, despite the large natural hatches of Grannom (caddis) however we did examine the stomach contents of one of the Brown trout caught and it had plenty of caddis larvae / pupae in there, so searching with these subsurface tactics is still the order of the day, and as you can see, although slow at times, it is paying off.

Daniel, another to the Nymph
It was good to see our old friends the Martins back on the river this month too, they can be a great indicator of any kind of insect activity above the surface, but at the moment they are totally fixated on the adult Grannom as these little sedges fill the air en masse.

Finally this month, along with fellow AAPGAI instructor Geoff Johnston, I was involved in a demonstration and have a go session on the CAA waters (Carlisle Angling Association) of the river Eden (yesterday evening) where we delivered the first of a series of casting sessions scheduled over the next 5 months for members of the association. We managed to avoid the bad weather as we addressed the first stage of the programme and hopefully the weather will only improve as the sessions progress. 

These sessions are free of charge to members of the association, so if you are a member please do come along, it would be great to see you there at the next session on May 22nd. Details are on the CAA website on the following link: CAA Casting sessions.