Tuesday, 27 March 2012

First trout of the season

Sunday was a strange opening day.  Usually an opening day on a Yorkshire river means donning Neoprene chest waders a waterproof wading jacket lots of warm clothing and wondering if the rivers are low enough to fish. On the day the weather was warm more like  mid summer and the water levels were lower than at any time during the whole of last summer.


 The water is usually at least a foot and a half higher..As you can see from the exposed bank here :



Also added to the low levels the water was as clear as I have ever seen it .  I was even able to watch the minnows shoal round my feet as I kicked up food for them.



The warm temperatures did not seem to encourage either flies or fish to be active. There was little evidence of hatching flies the lightest dusting of Olives around lunchtime aroused little interest .  There was a couple of larger flies seen at a distance  march browns perhaps  but surface activity was zero.

I started with spiders in what was left of the the faster water but this raised no interest the usual runs seemed empty of fish.  I searched the deeper margin areas that were sheltered from the sun with nymphs but apart from a couple of small tweaks and plucks.  It was as if the river was empty.  I dont think the swimming dogs and all the walkers on the banks helped.

Eventually I located a feeding fish, a few yards downstream of the road bridge there is a very deep scour pool with a big back eddy.  A good fish was feeding steadily but without any great enthusiasm , it was lazily taking something trapped in the surface film.  Despite scouring the surface I could not see any sign of fly life so was to fish blind. Also  the only place I could get to near enough to make a cast meant I was effectively casting downstream into the back eddy.  So it was a long cast then I had to feed line to allow it to drift in.   Not very correct I grant you but I wanted that fish.  I guess I must have spent 30 minutes maybe 45 just swapping flies and casting and allowing the drift. Its amazing how you lose track of time when faced with such a puzzle.  Until I eventually had success.  A little size 18 emerger did the trick. I think I just got lucky and the fish and my fly ended up meeting at the right time.  But my it was good to see those red spots on brown and cream coming towards me in the clear water.


  The low water is a real worry lets hope we get some serious quantities of rain soon.  The ground is dry now and if we have a dry summer then some serious damage could be done to some rivers and streams.  So please God send rain...Tight lines to you all .