Saturday 30 April 2011

Breaks, hitches and dissapointments

This week has had a mix of fortunes.  Easter Sunday was a a long arranged fishing trip when two friends were to join me to fish my home beck.  The day started at the beach at 9.30 and we fished our way upstream. It toook four hours to fish up a mile or so,  There was much barracking and encouragement ,  My two companions at one point acted as fish spotters from a vantage point above a pool as I briefly was in contact with what would have been the largest fish of the day.  We all know that feeling as a the line gos slack. This was made worse by the audience. The day overall however was extremely enjoyable enough fish were caught and the company was excellent.  There is something special about sharing your home stream with guests,  I know the pleasure of fishing a new water .  I guess the only thing better is guiding others whilst they do the same.




I have been on holiday all week and wednesday saw me take a few hours trip to the Rye,  this early the river is still slow rising fish are scarce and decent fish are hard to find.  I tried speculative dries to any likely lie.  After raising and missing a few small fish by using a tiny size 20  I worked upstream and spied another small rising fish it was under an overhanging branch and was sipping in something or other , Third cast the fish rose I tightened and al hell broke loose a very decent brownie charged a few feet leapt once and was gone, With my size 20 in its mouth. So the first two really good fish of the season were released at distance as we say to make ourselves feel better.  I did take one small fish on the CDC, very small.  But it didnt soften the loss.  That made the third dissapointment of the week, as previousley  I had taken my Hardy Featherweight from its case to show a fellow angler and the top two inches remained within the rod bag.  Seemingly tangled on some loose stitching on the inside of the rod bag.  Surely nothing else could go wrong. 

On Friday some young couple from down South got hitched , It certainly kept the cars of the roads and American sitcom repeats of the TV.  They seem a nice couple,  I did wonder if the first time she took him home to meet Mum and Dad if Dad asked him what his prospects were,  I hope he did.  Anyway I drove the 15 miles to a stream I fish hoping to break the Jinx.  First 15mins 2 small Grayling , Then I spent 10 mins stood knee deep in crystal clear water just enjoying the sight of a pod of Grayling of decent size swimming around.  It amazes me how little a wading angler bothers them.  This water was 18inches deep and a dozen fish were all within 10ft of me One even dropped back in the current between my legs and then swam back up the same way.  I thought at the time how such simple pleasures are what makes this wonderful sport such a pleasurable thing.

I finished the day with the Grayling and a few very pretty small native brownies.  Apparantly that beck has been stocked recently well goodness knows where the fish have gone as I didnt see any.  Which I think is good, as long as they havent all been eaten by the ever incrasing otter population. In past years the stockies seem to get hammered by anglers in the first week or two.  Lets hope they wise up a bit whilst they are hiding. 

May starts tomorrow, for me my favourite fishing month of the year.  Already spring is in full flow the trees and animals are all feeling the same way.  I am hoping that thats the end of the breakages for the year and that the next big fish doesnt show me up again. 

Saturday 23 April 2011

Soon be time for these. The Mayfly

I tied some of these up last night I got the size 12s and 14s done. Its good to know that the Mayfly will be hatching soon..and if this settled weather stays then we wont have long to wait.  I hope that the hatch is on a par with last year. This simple pattern has worked really well for me over the years and is pretty unsinkable,,



I tie them in size 14, 12 and 10 the size 14 can at times work very well although they are smaller than the actual insect. I need to tie some size 10s  then some mayfly nymphs. and maybe a few klinkhammer style emergers,

Wednesday 20 April 2011

The Ure

Monday was a day on holiday. I am enjoying the novelty of fishing the Ure and the local becks are suffering from a severe lack of rain.  March around here was the driest for 50 years and the streams are down to mid summer levels.  The drive over to the river was quieter due to avoiding the weekend.  On arrival the river had dropped another foot since the previous week and was clear but cold.  The Grannom were hatching in greater numbers but activity on the surface was ltd. 

At times the river and weather  had a July feel to it , Not what you expect on a mid April day.I started on the dry fly putting a grannom through likely runs and also trying a klinkhammer.  Eventually I had wasted to long and decided that a Nymph in the deeper glides was next tactic,

The result was pretty much instantaneous Several fish coming from the deep glides under the bushes on the little green arsed nymphs I had tied up. However that tactice worked on some of the deep slower glides but I couldnt get it work on the faster water.
The rivers down a long way from the winter normal levels. But the bankside greenary is really building up. It is a lovely river to fish and such a change from normal haunts.

After lunch I had moved to the top section of the river , The water changes its character again here, At last there were some rising fish,  They were obviousley small but rising freely to some olives,  Eventually after changing to a size 16 olive klink. The guilty parties were unveiled as small grayling. I didnt want to catch any more out of season so that fish closed the day...

Sunday 17 April 2011

First Hatch of the season



Tomorrow is my birthday, an event in itself that these days isnt celebrated. However it gives one the excuse to indulge yourself.  My indulgence is a day of work and a day by the river.  The river will be the Ure and the hope is the Grannom hatch that was starting a week or more ago is starting to bear fruit.  I have tied some drys as John Roberts excellent book a guide to river trout flies as these have worked for me during previous seasons. I have also tied up some Nymphs based on a couple of flies that were given to me a few years ago. Well based upon my memories of the flies as the originals have long gone.  Basically a gold head PT with a green arse or at least thats how my memory sees it, and the memory worked well enough last year , 



Anyway the weather forecast is good, the river levels are perfect and the hopes are high. So I shall be hoping that the warm weather of the last week has persuaded the fish that the summer is coming and that they need to start to feed...

Sunday 10 April 2011

The River Ure and spring brown trout

Yesterday saw my first trip on the Ure for brown trout.  This year I will be fishing the Ure through all the seasons and not just in the Winter for Grayling.  The river holds many attractions for me, The stocks of grayling were the main thing initially but the size and scale of the river is such a change for me after years of the smaller becks and rivers of the vale of York. I will now enjoy its company throughout the year.  

The Ure is different to the other Yorkshire dales rivers in that it does not share its name with the dale it runs through.   As do the Wharfe and Swale for example.  It is river that flows fairly swiftly throughout its length and for the angler has a lovely combination of deep pools and shallow ripples.  Lovely water for the fly angler.  Wading is "interesting" the bottom is pretty much all round boulders certainly care is required.  One section today seemed to have a river bed almost entirely made of smooth round boulders like bowling balls . 


There was one fish rising to the right of the pic and I reckoned I spent 15mins trying it with various patterns. But it showed no interest in what I offered it.  The river always carries colour most references refer to this as carrying a tea stain. It certainly is the closest I could come to with a colour. 


Today the water was a little higher than summer levels and was still very cold.  There was little surface activity there was a few LDOs hatching but not in sufficient numbers to interest the fish. A couple of the anglers who obviousley had some years experience of the river were warm with their welcome and free with advise.  A team of soft hackled spiders and a selection of wets will be in the armourment for future early season visits.


The Grannon are starting to show in the bankside foliage here is one drying on a leaf.  ( sorry about the quality of the pic) . It was the best I could get as they flew of as soon as I got close. But in a couple of weeks they form the first real hatch of the year on most Northern rivers.


The day was about exploration and of course Brown trout.  A few did come to the net this one was spotted rising under a overhanging bush tight into the bank perhaps the odd grannon was been taken . Who knows but this was one was fooled by a red tag. One of my favourite early season patterns .  It put up a good struggle in the deep water.



Monday 4 April 2011

Lords and ladies and a stream



This Sunday was mothers day, a day to spoil the mums in our life.  My wife and mum of three announced this morning that "wouldnt it be nice to visit Nunnington Hall, we could have a picnic by the river and you can fish for an hour or so on the Rye then we could visit the hall". I have never had any doubt that I married the right woman...

The river Rye flows through the hall gardens and the stretch I fish is not to many miles away.  After parking by the river and enjoying a chilly picnic I set out along the river .  Grey cold and damp best described the weather  The river seemed to flow with that oily texture that comes from the cold.  I made a note of the time.  Like all anglers time loses its meaning when I am on the river and this was not a day to overstay such a generous gesture. 

There was no rising fish and to those unfamilier with the  river you would swear it was empty. I skirted the bridge pool, readers of the blog will already know of my affinity for that stretch of water.  I headed up stream to the longer shallow glides, I felt the open banks and weak sunshine would have had more chance to raise a few insects than in the shelter of the pool.

There was no sign of rising fish even the nesting birds were sitting tight as I passed.  The signs of spring are there but they are still only signs.  A nymph worked along the creases and eddies brought nothing, the leader never wavered.  I thought about the evening last may when the mayfly created madness and  I remembered my note to myself then that the river is stuffed with fish.  Eventually I noticed a single rise in the tail of a riffle.  I worked my way up trying to remember the rise position.  I started casting to a point a few yards below. The klinkhammer had worked well for me the weekend before so I using at again.  Fift or sixth cast a grayling rose to the fly.  I knew instantly by the nice neat rise and distinctive gloop.

The grayling posed for a quick snap then was released, the next couple of casts resulted in two more. Not wishing to catch any more out of season fish I kept on the move. Shortly afterwards  a check of the watch revealed I had been gone about 60mins...As one doesnt ever take liberties with fishing time given on mothers day I headed back to the car.  My timing proved to be impeccable my return to the car was met with a smile and have you had a nice time?, Not are you sure you dont want to stay longer.

After changing we headed of to the Country House.We did the tourist route.  A guided tour followed by a tea in the garden,,, A strutting peacock wandered my way its tail spread,  As it came closer I ran through the patterns its plumage gives as I wondered about perhaps plucking maybe just one eye as it passed I heard a hissed " dont even think about it" Smiling innocently I returned the look. So that was mothers day for me  a house of a Lord and the lady of the stream.  A good day.

Reasons to be cheerful part 3

One of my favourite Artists from the 70s was Ian Drury and the blockheads .And after a long driving session a few days ago when I explored m...