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.