Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Just a couple of hours



Sometimes perfection comes without warning,  The day had been chilly the wind a little too strong , The river level was a little low,  the mayfly hatch has been woeful. But a couple of hours was available after work.




Sometimes just been in the river can be enough .  But as I worked upstream searching the riffles and pockets,  The chill went the wind dropped and the mayfly not hatching didnt matter anymore.




Two hours passed in an instant .  Half a dozen fish were taken from the pots and riffles . All perfect fish on what turned into a perfect two hours.




Friday, 29 May 2015

May a mixture of blessings.



Well the season has started properly but so far its been a strange year. Seasons start saw rivers running exceptionally low due to one of the driest winters on record.  The local spate streams I normally fish have been so low they have been full of algae and pretty much unfishable so my early efforts were concentrated on Foston beck, which being a spring fed chalk stream whilst being very low has been very fishable although the cold winds that have marked this year so far meant the visits were not always the balmy warm days that May usually heralds.  



and here its been a story of mixed blessings one visit here and I hooked into a trout of biblical proportions , not quite as long as my leg but certainly a fish that had it not shot under a weed bed and threw the hook it would have been something to remember when staring at the log fire in the winter to come.  I got enough of a view of it to estimate the size to be well into the category of a lost fish  that I need a few minutes of solitude to mourn when it left me with no fly on the tippet...



These crystal clear waters which are stuffed with food certainly hold some substantial fish that have grown fat on the well stocked larder.  They seem to fight above their weight too.  Aided by the abundant weed they certainly dont give themselves up. 





Even fish of these size can be a real handful .  The clear water demands long slender leaders and fine tippets.  A combination not designed for bullying a stubborn trout away from a dense weed bed.



The Yorkshire Derwent now we have had some rain has had most of the accumulated debris and detritus washed away and is fishing nicely. Although curiously the recent fall of Hawthorn flies whilst been plentiful has not seemed to have caused the same enthusiasm amongst the resident fish whom this year seem so far to concentrate on the small stuff , midges etc. 





One of the few fish that fell for the charms of a hawthorn.  Certainly this year there will be plenty of unused hawthorn flies staying in the fly box till next year.



Although its been a cold May on a couple of days the temperatures have been sufficiently balmy to encourage me to look for the evening rise.  I love the colours this time of year .  Fresh greens and soft evening light.  Sadly the clouds of dancing spinners that makes an evening complete seem to have stayed indoors in the warm. 





I love the colours of the fish from these Northern spate streams butter yellow bellies with bright red spots , little jewels one and all.




There is something wonderful about fishing these streams . Slowly working upstream and like a pickpocket working the seams and pots stealing the jewels from it , admiring them briefly and then slipping them back. 









Thursday, 21 May 2015

May on a yorkshire stream..


The last couple of days have seen a bit of an increase in temperature so a late afternoon early evening trip to my local river Dove was on the cards and despite The EA doing some heavy tidying up to the stream which seemed on my first visit this year to have really damaged the fishing things seemed a lot better .  I did suffer with fish not sticking and the ratio of fish in the hands to those missed was about six to one.  Which even by my standards is pretty poor. But these two show that those in the stream are a beautiful fish.




This post wont have many words but hopefully the pictures will convey the afternoon.



Wonderful late afternoon light , vibrant colours . Clear water and abundant fly life . 




This trout was taken on a hawthorn fly .  On the day other successful flies were black gnats, IOBO humpy and a size 22 little black job .  Fish didnt seem to be switched on to anything in particular but everything in general .











Tuesday, 19 May 2015

More good....



For some reason this last few weeks has seen a surge in popularity of a post I put on last year entitled the good the bad and the ugly .  Well that prompted me to think about  purchases during the last year and one that stands out as been a top purchase has been a Umpqua midge fly box.  This last year I have been using more and more tiny flies . Size 18 to 24 and the fly boxes I had were wholly unsuitable the divisions were too big and the slots were too deep for the combination of tiny flies and fat fingers.  The box is proving to be brilliant for nymphs and all types of dries in those tiny sizes

Umpqua Midge box
For me a tight fisted Yorkshireman it has been money well spent......

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Season starts now......




I have had a few trips in the last few weeks. All of them had a common denominator in that at this time of year expectations always exceed reality One trip was to foston beck on the easter bank holiday, surprisingly for a bank holiday it did not pee down all weekend ,  In fact weather wise it was pretty good.  Cool but not cold and not to windy. A friend had visited a day or so previously and had bemoaned the low water.  At first things looked poor .  A cold breeze and very low clear water was not promising and it was 15 minutes before I saw a fish.  Well actually what I saw was a rise , the Culprit was the small wildie a couple of pics down.  He fell to a size 16 IOBO humpy.  The humpy has become my go to general olive pattern imitation.  




After getting a few hundred yards upstream I started to spot more rising fish.  There was a few olives trickling of the water.  and for the next 60 minutes it was as if summer had come and fish came to the net regularly .  A mixture of overwintered and new stock fish and a few wild fish .   It was nice to see enough rising fish to be able to concentrate on dries.


The river is very low , probably at a level not unlike where it was at the end of last summer .  This corner of the country has had one of the mildest and driest winters I have ever known and so ground water levels are very low .  For a stream that is totally spring fed thats not a good position to be in.


Whilst bringing one fish to the net I spotted a truly huge fish following it ,  That is a fish I will be looking out for as the season progresses .  ( Postscript) I returned for a very short session a few days later and went looking for the large fish .  I deceived it almost straight away with a small weighted nymph .  We remained in contact for some minutes until the fish got bored with the scrap and buried itself in some weed and we parted company.  The nymph was barbless and am sure will have been spat out by now. I will return to try again later in the season It is a very substantial trout and would certainly be a river PB for me if I get it into the net.This overwintered stockie was about the best of the day .


Another trip was to the river Dove ( the Yorkshire one ) it should have been a perfect day the weather and water levels looked right but to my bitter disappointment I discovered that the Environment Agency  have been in over the winter and whilst they have removed some almost complete river blockages they have removed swathes of superb bankside cover.  Although not permanent damage I fear that very many fish will have moved of downstream, certainly it will be next year before the fishing improves to its normal level.  It was interesting in that I managed a couple of fish from this untouched area. 


But this area which now has a few hawthorn stumps last season had a canopy extending halfway across the stream and always held many fish .  On the day I didnt even see a fish.



 A highlight of the day and a real sign of spring was sitting and watching this ewe give birth to a pair of twins.  Not something I have seen before and was amazed by how quickly they were up and about on their brand new rubber legs.