Saturday, 3 May 2014

lessons written in chalk...

The last few days have seen a change in the weather the cold northerly winds have eased and swung around more from the south.  The weekend offered me the chance to pay another visit to Foston beck , just about the most northerly chalk stream in the country and somewhere completely new to me this season . Both as a location and as a type of stream to fish.  The river looked pristine today although quite low.  Our north east corner of England has had a very dry winter and the ground water levels are low.  The constant SW weather stream which brought chaos and flooding to much of the UK meant this little corner has ended up with the opposite problem of  little rain.

On arrival  I was pleased to see large numbers of hawthorn flies and good numbers of Olives . Hopefully the fish would be looking up at them, as it was the first rising fish I saw ended up first cast in the net ,  This whilst starting the day on a high probably reduced my overall catch by a good number as the next hour saw a lot of fish swirling at the fly or even just showing no interest at all.  After a while this ageing brain creaked into life  and helped by the extraordinary clarity of the river I could study the trouts reaction and clearly the fish were being spooked by my usual leader setup .  A drop down in size on the tippet and at the same time an extra couple of foot combined with careful degreasing brought better results. Although been able to see a trout lift from the stream bed a metre down and head towards the fly resulted in too many flies been snatched away from the fish.  

Foston Beck

All the fish taken today were taken on a hawthorn pattern as although there was Olives and gnats and even the odd sedge the hawthorns were the fly that was moving the fish. I like to tie my hawthorns on a size 16 emerger hook with a built up body of thread behind the legs and hackles . I think this encourages the fly to sit in the surface film rather than to float on it.  perhaps only a small difference to many patterns you see but I have a lot of faith in tying the fly like this .  Also the size I often see patterns quoted as using sizes 14 and even 12 . The hawthorns must be a hell of a lot bigger in other parts of the country but around here I find a size 16 is about right. It certainly worked today.  Apologies for my scruffy tying . 

Exact counting isnt really something i do but I ended the day with between 12 and 15 fish. The best fish would have been just over 2 lb.  have to confess I put down one that was much bigger and lost a good fish in the weed beds .  But otherwise a brilliant day and a real lesson too. Being able to watch the trouts reaction with such clarity is a real change and so different to the spate streams I have fished for the last 40 years .


Android said...

Nice one mate

Pat Regan said...

All good stuff... great area .. and well loved ..