Thursday, 31 December 2020

The End of a Strange Year!

Well, unfortunately the final two months of 2020 didn't give us the opportunity to lighten the mood and improve on the rest of this years many Covid restrictions, as we were literally faced with another one in the form of limited access to the river, but this time due to the usual high water conditions we seem to have become accustomed to at the end of the salmon season, making the Grayling fishing almost impossible.

One to Remember

However, unlike the current Covid situation, the river Eden is once again returning to some kind of normality, especially the upper reaches, and given the general forecast for the Cumbria area over the next couple of weeks, (unless things change again that is) the new year might yet see an opportunity to indulge in a bit of Grayling fishing before the salmon season is upon us once again. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime I have included a couple of pictures of previous catches to give us all some encouragement as to what we
Another nice little fish 
might encounter when we do manage to get out, which now looks like it could be sooner rather than later, although 
a few days ago you would have been forgiven for thinking that this was never a possibility, as all areas of the main river were around 4 metres above summer level and coloured.

Anyway I look forward to seeing some of you again in 2021, if you are allowed to travel that is, as Cumbria has now been designated Tier 4, with many other areas of the UK also now in the higher Tiers! So let's hope that the vaccine allows us to turn a corner for the year ahead  ultimately allowing us all to get back to doing the things we enjoy. 

All the very best for the New Year and stay safe! 

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Last Cast 2020

A nice lower river fish for Andy

As the 2020 season for many rivers in the UK now draws to a close the general consensus for the vast majority of salmon rivers shows a good all round season and the river Eden was no exception, especially in the early months once we were eventually allowed to fish again, however the latter part of the season certainly produced some very big fish throughout the system with all areas reporting some very large coloured cock fish being caught. Not surprising as these fish can be very aggressive when in attendance at this time of year!

One in the Net

As you are all aware, it's been a difficult season for trying to get everyone who had booked in for guiding and tuition sessions out on the river in the time left available to us due to the various lockdowns and restrictions in place in different areas, with many of these sessions having to be rolled over to a later date in the year, not to mention some of you missing out all together because of this, so hopefully this can be rectified next season, fingers crossed!

A proud moment for David

Anyway despite these difficult times we did encounter some good fish again towards the end of the season, especially cock fish in their spawning livery, but good fighters non the less and the steady amount of fish running the system bodes well for the future.

Once again we encountered several large trout at the back end too as they were not shy in taking some formidable looking salmon flies, some of these specimen browns would have been spectacular sport on the trout rod, but they live to fight another day and I look forward to meeting them again on the right gear!

One of several for Jeff

Since the end of the Eden season the river has been mostly in the trees due to the large amount of rainfall we have recently experienced, (nothing new there I'm afraid) so no chance at the moment of any Grayling fishing anytime soon. However once the river falls again, and if we can manage a week or so of settled lower water, this could easily change and I will be keeping a keen eye on this as I do like a bit of Grayling fishing myself whenever possible.

A last minute Specimen for David

Anyway I hope you have all at least managed to get a little bit of fishing in over these difficult times and with the new lockdown rules in England now upon us I am fully aware that this (once again) makes it difficult for some of you to travel to certain rivers to do this, so even if we do get good conditions for Grayling they may not be easy to access because of this, but here's hoping!

Returned Safe and Sound

That said, as long as everyone remains safe and well, that's all we can ask for, and I look forward to seeing some of you again next season when hopefully things return to some kind of normality, whatever that might be. "Tight Lines" to all and stay positive.

Friday, 21 August 2020

Catching up and Catching fish!

A Private Sanctuary
With all that's been going on in the Covid world I thought an update on the fishing throughout July and August is in order to take our minds off all those rules and regulations we now need to follow. The good thing about fishing is that it affords us the opportunity to disappear into the countryside and temporarily forget what's going on in the world around us, (at least in the short term that is) which is exactly what Andrew is doing in the picture on the right!

Playing a nice Trout
Since my last blog we have had a good mix of success stories and a few steady away days with plenty of trout being caught and several salmon too, including a few lost fish along the way, (as always) but at least the opportunities have been there, and the
In the Net!
quality of the trout this season has been exceptional at times too as you can see from the specimen shown laying on the stones below, and with some days producing numbers of trout into double figures, what more could we ask for!

A real Specimen
That said, as we entered July and into August, the numbers of trout caught did diminish slightly (not uncommon) but we still encountered some great sport along the way. 

However, the hotter, brighter days we encountered did make things a little more difficult, especially with the salmon fishing, but not without some success and I remember one particular day with low clear water conditions and the sun shining down the pool (not great conditions, especially for salmon)
Hot sunny day Grilse
providing us with a very fresh Grilse and three further chances of good fish too. I've learned many times over the years, there's nothing set in stone, and therefore "never say never" as the salmon most certainly don't read the so called rule books!

The lower river especially continued to produce some good salmon, but these fish soon headed upstream once we received the first lift of water. That said, fish were beginning to settle in again down there until this recent bought of rain arrived which is now lifting the river once again.
Flatty on a Tube
This is no bad thing for the rest of the river though and hopefully we will now see some further catches upstream, but maybe not like these couple of oddities shown in the pictures on the left and below, both caught on the fly. 

A large rogue Rainbow
August can often see a slow down regarding the trout fishing, but catches can return with a vengeance in September before the season finishes on the 30th
, however, given the fact that many sessions had to be cancelled earlier in the year, due to the current Covid situation, my diary is now almost full until the end of the season (as you will see from my online calendar) as many sessions were rolled over to later in the season, and with the last day of the Salmon season being October 14th, apologies to those of you who were still planning to book in this year and only have a small number of days left to choose from.

Let's hope the rest of the season continues in a positive vein and I will keep you all up to speed as to what happens next as we do our best to make sure it does!

Monday, 8 June 2020

Different Rules for Different Regions!

United Kingdom?
Thankfully since my last blog we can now all go fishing again, however, depending upon where you reside in the UK, there are unfortunately differing travel restrictions, e.g. in England and N. Ireland we can travel anywhere to fish, but in Scotland and Wales the guidelines state that a limit of 5 miles is the current recommendation. In addition to this, accommodation is still not available until at least July 4th, which also restricts multi-day trips for those of you who like to stay over and fish a variety of beats on different days. That said, as long as we do not experience a new spike with regard to Covid-19 we are now definitely moving in the right direction and hopefully we can get back to some semblance of normality very soon!

Typical stamp of fish from lower Eden
Those of us in England were very fortunate to have been given the green light to return to the river on May 13th and despite the bright sunshine and very low water conditions, up to, and during this time, there has still been some very successful salmon catches on the river Eden, (mainly on the lower river) and most of the fish I have seen have been very fresh indeed and in the 12lb - 15lb range.

Slightly smaller, but still a good fish
It is not unusual, following long periods of low water (on the lower beats) for fish to stack up in these areas due to limited access to upstream migration, but these beats do seem to be holding an exceptional amount of fish this time around, and the fishing certainly did improve once that persistent East wind decided to leave us a while back.

In the past few days alone, on the tidal beat I look after on the lower river, we have moved into double figures of fish caught (and several lost) and that's only the ones I am currently aware of. This implies that there is a lot of fish down there and on some days this is very apparent as they are often very active. I hope this remains the case for anglers coming from Scotland and Wales when you eventually get the chance to take advantage of this fantastic bounty. Long may it last!

One of many Brown caught
The trout fishing has also been very good and my first day out on the river produced a very enjoyable catch of 18 brown trout, (all on the dry fly) which I thoroughly enjoyed, especially after such a long period of cabin fever, and I have to admit, I have had a few more since then too. 

I haven't been fishing all of the time though, as I have been taking advantage of the fact we could get out again to do some much needed river improvements on the lower beat ready for some one to one and small group fishing sessions which I am now doing again since June 1st (in line with government guidelines of course). 

Therefore I have at last had time to clear the steps in front of the small shelter down there as well as doing some further repairs to the shelter itself, 
in all honesty I feared would have been washed away by the early season floods we had, but no, my previous repairs have paid off and kept it in place and it still serves us well. 
So hopefully from July the 4th, which is when it has been intimated that accommodation options will become available to us again, it will also be there waiting for those of you coming to enjoy your multi-day trips to the Eden. I am sure Scotland and Wales will have better travel guidelines by then and I look forward to rearranging these sessions for those of you who's trips had to be cancelled.

Anyway I am sure time will tell and I look forward to catching up with many of you again, giving everyone the opportunity to shake off those cobwebs whilst indulging in a some long overdue fishing. Not long Now!

Over the weekend we received our first significant rainfall which did effect the river (although not in a big way) adding a few inches of fresh water and affording some of the salmon on the lower beats a little more access to beats higher up, but the good news is that fish are still being caught on the lower beats and also still being seen on recent tides. This looks very promising for the rest of the season.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Fishing Lock down Continues

Hi everyone, I hope you are all well and coping with the lock down situation as best you can. A big thank you to those key workers amongst you, especially those of you who work within the NHS, or like myself, have a partner who does, as I certainly know how worrying this can be in these difficult times.

"What fish look like"
Although there isn't any fishing going on at the moment I think it is important to stay connected and therefore I just wanted to touch base with you all. First and foremost to wish you all well, and secondly to at least give you all something to read before cabin fever sets in.

As you probably all noticed, as soon as we went into lock down, the rivers came back into good order again following what had already been a very long period of high (and often coloured) water conditions, "Typical". 

However it's not all doom and gloom though, as the weather conditions we have recently been experiencing, i.e. bright sunshine, although very enjoyable, (given our current situation) is not necessarily ideal for fishing, especially when accompanied by a persistent East wind, (albeit slight) as this almost always contributes to what would generally be a period of difficult fishing in terms of catches. 

This is due to the fact that in these types of conditions the fish usually switch off, or at the very least are reluctant to take our offerings, and where trout are concerned, hatches tend to be very sparse indeed (which would explain a lot). Yes you can sometimes tempt a fish or two to take a weighted nymph during these periods, (as we have done many times before) but this often then becomes a searching game. 

The salmon also tend to switch off during these periods, for reasons that are up for debate, but they definitely do! So we can at least take some solace from this for the time being, however this wont last forever, so lets hope we can get back out there soon, even if it is just on our local fisheries whilst adhering to the social distancing rules until further notice.

"Relaxing in the Countryside"
In the meantime I have been missing our fishing sessions so much, that along with the many chores recently undertaken during lock down, including a plethora of painting jobs (which I am sure many of you can relate to) I have also indulged in a couple of jigsaws (something I haven't done for many years) in an attempt to remind myself of (a) what fish look like and (b) relaxing in the countryside. I think you will get my drift from the pictures attached.

Anyway, hang on in there and let's hope we are all back at it as soon as it is safe to do so, and I look forward to catching up with many of you on the river bank when the time is right. "Stay Safe".

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Fishing in Lock down

Eden Grayling
Following a poor start to the Eden season (and many other rivers) due to persistent high waters preventing us from indulging in our favourite pastime, and now with the added disruption of the coronavirus outbreak, keeping the majority of us in isolation. Despite trying to remain optimistic, I can't help wondering when our next venture out on the river will actually be!

Eden Brown Trout
Although we all understand the implications of this truly invasive pandemic, and it goes without saying that we will all continue to do our bit if it means saving lives, but it certainly doesn't stop that sinking feeling that we all get when we cannot go fishing. With this in mind, let us keep our fingers crossed that things get back to normal sooner rather than later and that statistics improve soon for everyone's sake.

Cracking Sea Trout
However, in the interim period, "being as we are all in the same boat", (so to speak) I wanted to stay in touch with everyone (by way of my monthly blog) to wish you and your family members all the very best at this difficult time, and I hope you all continue to stay in good health as we move forward. All the signs point to an eventual decline of this situation and given the sterling work being put in by our NHS staff (who are on the front line) we will surely beat this thing and get back to some kind of normality!

Fresh Eden Salmon
That said I think we are currently in this for the long haul, and being as we may not be visiting the river for some time, I thought I would include a few pictures from previous fishing trip here on the Eden in an attempt to hopefully help cheer you all up whilst many of you (except for key workers) are stuck at home. Stay Safe!

Saturday, 29 February 2020

The Deluge Continues

An Eden tributary in full flood
More of the same throughout the month of February I'm afraid, with persistent rain and wind battering the Cumbria region (among other areas). We haven't even been able to get near the river let alone do any fishing, and the high winds have definitely scuppered any possibility of casting lessons.

However as we approach March we should be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully normal service can resume.

A bit high for fly fishing
That said, the weather obviously hasn't dampened any enthusiasm though as plenty of you have already booked in for both casting lessons and fishing sessions on the river, if anything I think this bad start to the year has made us even more determined to get out there and get started.

I do like to have some reports for everyone by now, on the salmon front at least, but as you can see from the surrounding pictures there is no way whatsoever that any fishing could have taken place given the recent conditions, so here's hoping we can make up for that as we move closer to the trout season starting on March 15th.

There was a path here somewhere!
Although there is still plenty of water in the system, the river is now beginning to show signs of dropping back to some kind of normality and as long as we don't get anymore persistent rainfall we should be able to enjoy some good sport again soon, and believe me, I am looking forward to catching up with several of you for some casting sessions which are booked in for March.

Friday, 31 January 2020

Welcome to the New Season 2020

Not great conditions for Grayling
I can't believe we are into February already, a poor winter up to now if you have been targeting Grayling, with water levels continuously fluctuating on the river Eden. 

However we are already three weeks into the 2020 Salmon season, (still early yet, I know) but I was made aware only yesterday of a couple of fish being caught on the lower river, this I have yet to confirm, but it would not be the first time early season salmon have been recorded down there.

Despite the usual cold, wet days of January, there have also been a few kinder days in between which have allowed for the odd tuition sessions, yes you heard it correctly, I am more than happy to take out the Die Hards on these early season days, and in the sunshine especially, (with the right clothes on) these sessions can be very enjoyable and can always be re-arranged if the weather turns against us.

Apart from these early tuition sessions the fishing itself can be quite slow at this time of year, until that is, we get into March, (when the trout season begins) and beyond this, when the Salmon numbers begin to increase.
Tuition & Fishing available any time of the year
as you can see from the link below to the 2020 Border Game Angling website Calendar, bookings are now beginning to arrive fast and furious and I can't wait to catch up with people again and also meet people for the first time in 2020 as things start to get going again.

So I am looking forward to seeing some of you again throughout the year, to either help improve your casting skills, catch a few fish, or both! Here's to a good season in 2020.