Monday, 31 August 2015

Good Flows in August (Plenty of Salmon About)

Eden Herling
Following several downpours this month, August has seen plenty of water in the river, and along with it there has been a steady influx of salmon entering the system too, (unlike last year) and although the last few spring seasons have been gradually improving, last year saw the back end run all but collapse, however this has definitely not been the case this year and following yet another good spring season the salmon continue to enter the river in good numbers. We have also seen a rise in sea trout numbers this year, (especially on the lower river) including good numbers of herling too, (young sea trout) many of which we have been catching on the dry fly late into the evening.

Ian with his Magnificent fish
We got August off to a great start with a session on the lower river for Ian Bibby and his friend Dave. Following a Spey casting session in the morning, whilst fishing a coloured water, through which you could see your boots from your knees, a very good indicator, ("I always say") that there is a distinct possibility of tempting a salmon to take your fly, Dave did exactly that, and caught his first ever salmon on a variation of a fly known as the General Practitioner, or GP as it is often referred to. Not only did he catch his first ever salmon, it turned out to be a solid, fresh sea liced fish of around 12lb. Well Done Ian!

T&S Facebook Page
Between tuition and fishing sessions I took part in another rod test for the Trout & Salmon magazine, this time putting a variety of multi-section salmon rods through their paces, rods that may appeal more to the travelling angler. I always enjoy these sessions as we get the chance to cast with several fly rods that are often new to the market, giving us a good insight into the capabilities of these rods and how they cope with a variety of fly lines, but more importantly, affording us the ability to offer good advice to people thinking of buying a new piece of kit. "Very Enjoyable". The results of this test are now in the shops inside the September addition of the magazine.

One for the pot (first salmon)
Several casting lessons this month have also included fishing sessions, this allows people to put their new found skills into practise. One of these sessions was very eventful indeed, as David Bateman (one of my regular visitors) found out during an exciting experience of his own. We started with some salmon casting tuition in the morning and because the fishing was slow I decided to put David on the trout rod fishing two bead head flies (point fly and dropper). David initially lost a couple of trout, caught one, then hooked into something substantial on his 5 weight rod and 5 weight line. Yes you guessed it, a salmon. After an interesting half hour he landed a beautiful fresh 5lb salmon (Grilse) on a silver head Caddis pattern, using a 5lb leader. How about that for all the fives! This was also David's first salmon, what a way to do it. "Excellent".

Lowther Casting Demonstration
I attended the Lowther Show again this August, along with good friends and fellow instructors on the 15th and 16th of the month. We provided a wide range of demonstrations on the fishing island, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and would hasten to add that I thought it was the best Lowther Show to date, with much more going on this year and plenty more planned for next year too. A big thank you to those of you who came along to see me for a chat at the show, it was good to see you all there. The only concern was that there were several fish caught on the river whilst I was away from it, but at least it reminds us that they are still there.

Borderlines & AAPGAI teach the kids
The following weekend (22nd & 23rd Aug) saw a group of us at the Galloway Country Fair, held at Drumlanrig Castle in South West Scotland. Yet another weekend where we received news of more fish being caught on the Eden, that was until a local storm brought heavy rain again and the rivers rose. This made us feel a little better as we were not missing out on any good fishing. At the show we were representing both AAPGAI and Borderlines, whilst continuing to focus on introducing youngsters to angling, as you can see from the picture above showing one of our instructors teaching a youngster how to roll cast during a demonstration.

Christian's Sea Trout
Upon returning to the Eden again, with the water falling following the recent rain, I was out with two regulars, John and Christian, and as usual they didn't let me down, as Christian, first of all landed a nice sea trout, (pictured left) and then proceeded to hook into a salmon (Grilse) of around 5lb, (pictured below) which he also landed. Had it not been for the heavy downpour through the previous night, which saw the river rising very slowly throughout the day whilst they were fishing, (not ideal) I think we would have seen further success. However I am certainly not complaining as they still caught fish.

Christian's Grilse
John and Christian are returning for two days in October for another shot at these hard fighting fish, and it has to be said, that given their catch rate percentage (on the Eden) over the past few years, they will hopefully be in for another successful trip. I look forward to seeing them both again in October as we always have a good laugh on the river. "Tight Lines Boys".

CAA Session.
We delivered our final evening session for Carlisle Angling Association members (CAA) on the town water this week. A very enjoyable round up session (so to speak) to end what has been a comprehensive series of five monthly sessions. There were plenty of questions from the attendees too, which was great, as we recapped all of the casts we had covered throughout the previous sessions, with both the double and single handed rods. We also discussed and demonstrated a variety of slack line casts, curves and mends, as well as the hauling techniques that can be adopted when using the single handed trout rods. Another good evening!

Finishing on a high!
Finally this month after spending a couple of hours yesterday looking at, and discussing, the mechanics of Spey casting with Jonathan (pictured here) in preparation for his assessment to become an instructor, we spent the next couple of hours fishing the fly through a beat on the lower river, and after popping out a few nice casts, Jonathan managed to land a lovely little fresh salmon of around three and a half pounds. A great way to end the month!