Sunday, 31 May 2015

Crazy Weather Continues, but Plenty of Fish.

A male (Eden) Large Brook Spinner
What's going on! we don't seem to be able to shake off this wind at all, it has followed us out of April and right through May. Just when you think it's about to get warmer, the wind kicks in again and really cools things down. It's a trait that's persisted throughout the whole year so far. However, those prolific Grannom hatches also continued into early May and did give us some welcome sport on pupa patterns, and the usual subsurface nymphs continued to do the job too.

John's Jingler Tying
We've also had the customary Brook Duns in attendance, a formidable fly, but not one that is readily taken by the trout on the Eden, although now and then the spinners of these flies are most definitely blown onto the water and when this happens, a good dry fly representation can prove deadly. A client and good friend of mine (John Dunn) tied me his version of the popular Jingler pattern, and although the colour is not an exact match to the adult Brook Spinner, I have found that it is an excellent representation of these Large upwinged spinners when they are on the water, and  they work very well too. I am also looking forward to giving them a cast when we start seeing some good hatches of Blue Winged Olives on the river, which hopefully shouldn't be too far off.

A nice Brown for Phil on the Nymph
There were also a few hawthorn flies in attendance in the first couple of weeks of May, but although they too were being blown onto the water, I didn't notice much interest from the trout. No great hatches of olive uprights yet, at least not in the areas we were fishing. This, in my opinion, may be due to the cold intermittent winds we were and still are experiencing, effecting temperatures, especially into the evenings. However I am sure the best hatches of these very welcome insects are still to come once temperatures begin to rise again.

Craig with another Brown
Needless to say, (as usual) this certainly hasn't prevented us from catching some very nice trout, (as you can see from the pictures) and along with the usual nymph patterns, the dry fly (at times) has also been very effective,  mainly during those periods when the wind did decide to give way to calmer spells, even though these spells were more the exception than the rule. It's still very noticeable however, that during these calmer spells there's more surface activity from the trout, and in turn, more interest in the dry fly, especially over the last week or so. "Bring it on".

Underwater shot of a returned Brown
I did manage to have a go myself for an hour following a teaching session on Wednesday evening, and the trout were certainly interested whilst fishing with one of my favourite go to dries, "The parachute Adams". This fly works exceptionally well on the Eden, and many other places too for that matter. The added bonus here being, that even though my choice of fly size is often small, the parachute (post) itself stands out a mile, even I can see it, especially if I am fishing at distance, which can be a necessity on certain areas of the Eden.

A future Angler
The Brown Trout in the picture above hung around for a short spell on the river bed as it recovered from the fight, just long enough for me to get this great underwater shot.

In addition to this, with good flows and water temperatures averaging around 11 degrees Celsius (approx 52 Fahrenheit) throughout most of May, conditions have continued to favour the salmon anglers on the river, and the very good news is that there has been plenty of Springer's reported being caught from a variety of beats along the river, with some anglers catching several fish in a day.

One of several keen Scouts
The majority of these catches have been coming from higher up the system, as fish have been running straight through the lower beats. This is no surprise given the extra water we have had, and the fact that the lower Eden beats historically produce better catches when the water is low. Nevertheless, this has certainly been the best Spring season the river has seen for some years and a positive start to the 2015 salmon season! Let's hope the back end run continues in this vein and also produces good results this year.

A £100 cheque from the Trust
Borderlines days have kept us very busy again this month, whilst introducing even more youngsters to angling and the Environment, and a big thank you goes to the Nith Catchment Fishery Trust for sponsoring these really worthwhile events, and although these days have keept me and my colleagues off the river whilst there is some excellent salmon fishing to be had, it has certainly been worth it to be part of a team involved with a range of youngsters who will hopefully be our anglers of the future. More Borderlines days planned for next week!

First Ever Grayling
Congratulations must go out to Ellie McConnachie (pictured above) from Cargenbridge Primary School, for winning the fishing for the future poster competition. Her prize was a cheque for £100, which will be used to buy science equipment for her school. The winning cheque was awarded by Debbie Parke from the Nith Catchment Fishery Trust. Well Done Ellie!

In the main, the Borderlines days have consisted of a variety of school sessions on both river and Stillwater, however we also delivered a session to a very keen group of Scouts, with some good Rainbow Trout being caught by several of the youngsters attending. The river sessions also produced fish, with one attendee landing a good Grayling, before promptly returning it to the water to fight another day.

Future Lady Anglers
It must be said that there are some very good potential female anglers coming through the ranks during the Borderlines sessions too, both good casters and also very good when it comes to playing a fish. Here are just a few of them.

As the weekend arrived again it was back out on the river with people to do some casting and fishing sessions. Rain arrived again as we did so, but not in excess, and although the river rose a little, which may make the trout fishing slightly more difficult in places, (mainly on the lower river) until levels fall and clear again, it will certainly help to maintain good flows, which in turn should hopefully assist the continuation of the excellent salmon fishing experienced by many since the start of the season, and with warmer weather imminent, it will not be long before we are seeing more insects appearing on the river, water levels falling again, and the trout and Grayling fishing back on track.

Male (Eden) Iron Blue Spinner
In fact, although we have seen showers again today, we did have a relatively pleasant day yesterday, and whilst giving a casting lesson on the upper river, (with the salmon rod) there had been some prolific hatches of iron blue's and the spinners of these lively little upwings were absolutely everywhere, with the trout paying them plenty of attention too. We also saw the odd Mayfly in attendance, (Ephemera Danica) sometimes referred to as the Green Drake, a beautiful insect that we don't often see in abundance on the Eden, but they do hatch in large numbers on Lake Ullswater, which is not far off us on the outskirts of the Lake District. The odd yellow May Dunn passed us in the air too, whilst at the same time two very fresh salmon ran through the beat in front of us, so all the indicators are definitely positive on the river at the moment.