Friday 30 July 2010

Afternoon on the Dove

The river Dove

Today (30th July) Had a short afternoon session on the Dove ( the proper Yorkshire one not the Derbyshire pretender). Its a lovely little river with a good population of Grayling and brownies the trout are supplemented by stocking by various syndicates that control different sections of the river also sadly by occasional escapes of rainbows from the trout farms that use the water catchment.

Today it was a breezy overcast day that was cooler than of late. The river is running very low as there has been very little rain for months.. But the view from the bridge offers the usual promise...At the top of the pic the overhanging trees shield a long deep glide that usually is the haunt of taking fish. In summer the brownies and in winter grayling take up residence under the trees


Today there was a pod of rising fish at the head of the glide . Was hard to see what they were taking although they were pretty tightly grouped under a the trees and after studying the water surface decided that the greenflies that dotted the surface were the most likely candidate . Things worked out well and a fish took on the third cast , the first cast was on target and the second cast caught the himaylan balsam on the back cast,However the little size 18 greenfly worked its magic and a brownie came to the net .


The greenfly are around in the millions at the moment in another month the ladybirds will be massing to eat them
Generally its a one fish per pool river , So after that fish its move upstream , The river is showing signs of high summer now the balsam is taking over and the grass is dying back.


River Dove brown trout
This fish is a stocked fish . All be a very nice one as in the net it proved to have very full fins and was scale perfect

After holding it in the current to recover it s swam away strongly

The ethics of stocking rivers is argued about but it is hard to see how the rivers can support the angling pressure these days with some sympathetic stocking . The river banks are less busy now the sandmartins have left there little colony and this years young have fledged and left , Only the kingfishers and the resident pair of Barn owls were busy today .


I fished on for a couple of hours taking the odd fish , but seemed to spend a lot of time watching and pondering, the early season urgency has gone now, very many fish have come to hand and the pleasure now is picking of individual fish and enjoying whats left of the long summer days .

The Yorkshire Dove


There was one fish rising in a small pool between overhanging trees see pic left . I spent far to long at. I had two or three casts at it then rested it and smoked and then tried again eventually he was deceived by a sedge that I pretty much dropped on his nose I think I shocked him into taking it...There were some sedges hatching , but there was also olives and various others including yet another late mayfly



The afternoon ended then a rare but welcome heavy shower took the sparkle out of the day. But I will be back many times this year . The river is a cracking river for Grayling and in another month or two the ladies will really start to play...

Monday 19 July 2010

Last of the magic....



All anglers must have one, that perfect pool that draws you back time after time, Mine is on one of my local rivers, I will not name it here and would hope that if you recognise it you to will have fallen under its spell and just keep the secret….

As I drove down the track towards the river driving as usual with one wheel in the middle of the track and the other on grass beyond the edge. In order to straddle the deep ruts that the tractors and 4 x 4 s had left. The way marked in front by a pair of jays flying in front flashing the route with the white rumps and looping flight.

As the avenue of trees opens slightly I was pleased to see that no other cars were there the place was mine alone…I walked over to the box on the tree and opened the door to look in the fishing reports book… It was three weeks since my last visit to the river, a sublime evening of mayfly madness with fish after fish coming to hand. My last entry was there of “ 3 hours stopped counting at 12, all on mayfly “ I smiled as I read it and wondered what the anglers since had thought…doubters all I would imagine… Great no one had visited for 3 days, the last three days had been high winds and some rain. But before that it was a tale of regular but not spectacular catches. I shut the door on the box and walked onto the old bridge the evening sunshine lit up the pool below me. I love this pool, it has never yielded great catches for me but it has such promise. I have seen huge Grayling and Trout larger than any I have caught in the river rising below me. Fishing the pool is like dating a gorgeous woman one that you will never get to give herself fully to you but beguiles you and yields just enough pleasure to keep you under her spell…




Tonight the mayfly madness had left the river; Odd fish were rising but without a clear pattern. There were Olives in the air and the odd sedge. At the tale of the pool the fingerling trout were splashing at the midges all across the pool there were occasional rises, swirls and splashes, topping and tailing. After standing on the bridge a while I went and tackled up and donned my fishing gear. Chesties, waistcoat hat far too much but everything essential or as my teenage boys describes the kit, “Dad you look like a right twat in that”…

Walking to the poolside I sat on the bench seat and surveyed the pool strange how it always seems so much bigger when you look at it from a different perspective. I am sure I read that on a problem page once anyway that’s a different story. As I smoked and watched it was apparent that main group of rising fish were sat in an eddy in deep water they looked like they were taking spent olives judging from the lazy way they mopped them up, The hatch seemed much heavier down here as the low evening sun shone through the clouds of spinners revealing their dance.

I had learnt through experience that to go down the stone steps and enter the pool from the steps provided is not the best plan the disturbance resulting sends fish speeding of into the pool to send word of your arrival. So back up the bank and head downstream 30m to wade carefully up through the fast water which hides your approach…

I waded into the pool. This time of year the cold striking through the waders is welcome cooling. Come November that wont be the sentiment… Moving slowly into the pool you have to get to waist height at least to give you a chance of reaching the top of the pool. My size 16 kites imp touched down at least 2 metres short there`s that perspective again. Stripping some more line of the reel next cast right on the money. Cast after cast followed the fish rose to each side of mine but showed no interest. Flies were changed. Red tag followed the kites then a greenwells then a klink changes in size nothing worked . Then as if to send me a message a single late mayfly fluttered down the pool, I reached to the fly patch where the bedraggled veterans from the weeks before were arranged a quick dust up and dab of gink and out it flew it sailed along like a yacht under sail amongst the little flotilla of olives then it was gone in a swirl… The mayfly magic cast its final spell. The fight was hard and dogged on the 3 wt rod the trout was one and half pounds of spotted perfection. I think we both felt embarrassed, the trout for falling for it and me for trying it. The fish was released and melted away into the depths. I waded from the pool, I fished the rest of the river for an hour or two but the magic for the evening had already happened. Back at the car I opened the catch book and left my report it read. “Three fish, kites imp beautiful evening “ There was no need for the others to know I had cheated with magic…

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Tiny Streams and Brown Trout

One of my Favourite places...




A north yorkshire beck...

On the edge of a forest there is a delightful beck It is largely spring fed and has wonderful water clarity. It is home to some of the prettiest wild brownies that live. However they try hard to hide themselves away under the undercut banks and fallen trees.
The beck rises from the edge of the Yorkshire moors and is very lightly fished due mainly to the wild overgrown habitat.Fishing here is angling in miniature a 6ft Rod and short leaders on a 3wt line tiny flies and quick reactions . No backcast ever so catapult casts dapping and some casts not even named . Flies are in the water seconds, tiny pools and runs and horrendous snags make for challenging fishing.


A pretty little brownie

Thornton dale beck
There are some bends and glides that are almost
normal pools that you can have a cast at but the water so clear and the fish are so spooky that Just getting into position is a trial. Then you get one chance only with maybe one back cast The routine seems to be a roll a haul and the cast .

Occasionly when I get lucky and everything works as it should I get a result, If I fish here for another year or two I reckon I wont have to tie any more flies as just about every bush has a stock of mine . Every visit I learn a little more, where the fish hide, how do I get into position to make a cast at the pool by the fallen beech tree.


Thursday 8 July 2010

Mayfly Time

River Rye mayfly


The mayfly have once again blessed us, The hatch this year has been exceptional huge dancing clouds of spinners have resulted in wonderful fishing,

The Spinners with their Long tails were everywhere massed in dancing columns rising and falling . They covered the vegetation and my car the spent bodies formed sad rafts of lifeless bodies in the eddies and washed up on the sand and gravel bars like the flotsuma and jetsom on the beach at the high tide mark.






Bankside vegetation was alive with the Hatching duns and emerging spinners all the stages of their life was there to see....

The trout were feasting on the bounty ..,. Ahh duffers fortnight who can beat it...

Close to home Fishing Scalby Beck

I am fortunate that I have a delightful small beck within walking distance of the house its not the best trout stream in the world, hell its not even the best trout stream around here, but it is neglected as a trout stream and early morning and late evening I can enjoy an hour or so of good fishing, small wildies that test your reactions....

When the rains come and the water levels lift enough the Sea Trout can run the stream. I have always been fascinated by Sea Trout reading Falkus increased the mystique even more. For several seasons I was a member of clubs on the Weir and the Tyne, but whenever the river levels were right for the fish my work and family meant it wasnt right for me....

The beck may only be right for sea trout on a few days a year but I if its right I can be there in minutes.

Its a home for Otters and Wild Orchids. The river valley is a playground for local kids as its just on the edge of town but early morning and
late evenings it is full of wildlife,


A trout stream in spring time

In the spring the valley is full of the smell of the wild garlic which thrives in the damp surroundings.

In the summer when the rain doesnt come the stream shrinks to its bones , The Otters and Kingfishers ambush the fish when they are confined to the remaining pools



The Fish are small but perfect with the full perfect fins and deep orange spots that sets the true wild fish apart.


A perfect river brown trout
The stream also supports shoals of minnows and Grayling , Chub and Perch although these are in tiny isolated pockets .

The fishing here is challenging at times demanding but always fun .

Trout bum or mildly eccentric ?

 This year I am starting the process of getting into retirement.  I think initially it will be a day a week less work and then over the next...