Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Small Window of Opportunity

With not getting out at the weekend on my weekly fishing trip due to house improvements and high river levels I was hoping to grab a few hours after work between storms.

A new storm front was coming in over the Dales today so the water levels would be back up for the remainder of the week so last night was my only chance to grab an hour or two and although a bit high I took the chance.

Getting onto the river just after 7.30pm I set about heading to my most hopeful place for a fish or two.

The river was still up and running with a lot of colour, and as you can see from the picture today's rain have sent it shooting way back up the graph.

Adopting a nymph set up I made my way down the pool and had the first fish on about halfway down but alas it didn't want to see my net and after a few minutes slipped the hook, a few minutes later and I was rewarded for my efforts with a 2nd fish and although a stockie it was a welcome sight as it slipped over the net.

The tail end of the pool seen another fish take my point nymph and another stockie slipped over the net.

Not really bothering with venturing farther downstream I decided to head back to the top of the pool and give it another fish. This time right at the head of the pool in the fast water I hooked a small wild trout which didn't want to pose for the camera as I lifted it from the net to take a picture it slipped my hand and disappeared back into the peaty coloured water.

Almost at the tail of the pool another fish took the nymph but again slipped the barbless hook in the pursuing fight.
I wasnt complaining it had turned out to be a nice relax & unwind and was just good to be back on the river if only for an hour or two.

I was rewarded with another fish before I decided to have a walk downstream on route back to the car.

With no other fish coming to the net and the dark setting in I headed back to the car and as I was walking up the hill to the road a few heads were poking over the horizon and making a noise.

No prizes if you spot their heads just poking over the horizon. an enjoyable couple of hours with a couple of fish which kept the fishing interesting.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Trials & Fish.

Deciding where to go was difficult as all the rivers are low but I decided to head up the Dale in search of deeper water and the guys who know my love of mimulus will know exactly where by one picture....

 I've only found this coloured mimulus on one river in our region, plenty of all yellow on most rivers but never mixed apart from this one river.

I sat & watched Yellow Sally and some Duns hatching but as soon as they were on the surface the wind was blowing them off the water immediately so the fish weren't getting much chance to rise to them so with this in mind I decided to set up on the nymph line.

I bought a new pack this week and this was the first time I had it out on the water. I felt my fishpond vest last week left me soaked in the hot sun and its seen better days now as its quite a few years old now and starting to show wear in a few places.

I looked at replacing it with the fishpond summit sling, most outlets were in the USA but the few I found in the UK were almost £100.

and then I found another from a tenkara supplier based in the UK and although not the summit it would certainly suffice my needs and at a quarter of the price too.

so another couple of outings and I will write a full review on it, but so far all looks good and so far Im quietly impressed.

The first fish to the net was this small Grayling on the fourth cast upstream in the faster water. Relieved it wasnt going to be a dry net day I settled in the fishing and everything now was a bonus.

It didn't take long for the small Grayling to be attracted to the nymphs and they were coming thick & fast, nothing of any size but all great sport.

With over twenty of these little guys coming to the point nymph in just over an hour.

The one that tickled me the most was this small guy. Such a small fish with a big appetite.

The trout weren't showing much which I wasnt too bothered about as the Grayling were keeping me interested and I would sooner catch Grayling all day than trout anyway.

As I walked up the bank a few flowers stood out, but the poppies were the most stunning in the summer sun.

It was inevitable that trout would show up sooner than later and the first one wasnt too bad either, a nice wild fish.

I hooked into another trout in a deeper pool but it took off at a rate of knots and I never got to see it as it kept going and I released it at range, some you win, some you loose.

A couple smaller trout started to make appearances on the dropper nymph.

The Grayling came back on the feed and another few smaller fish before this better one came to the point nymph again.

A quick photograph before being released and it hung around long enough for an underwater picture too.

On the way back downstream towards the car a few wild flowers caught my eye.

I was back almost back at the car when another trout decided to make an appearance and take the dropper, I had seen it rise just off a lot of overhanging branches in about a foot of water and not wanting to re tackle to dry I decided to decided to chuck the nymphs at it and see if it would be interested. It took a fancy to my small dropper nymph on the first pass.

With that I decided to call it another day over and slowly made my way back to the car in the hot sunshine.

Sunday, 9 July 2017


It was my turn to host my good mate Martin after our last outing where he hosted me with some urban fly fishing so after a discussion online I learned he had never fished a small river in the Dales that I have frequented a few times in the past so that was it the venue was set, all we needed now was the levels to be good to us. In preparation I had tied a few spiders to search the pocket water with if required.

We arrived just before 0830hrs and peered into the water, it was a bit on the low side but still very much fishable so that was decided we were going for it, so after setting up I duly played the host and allowed Martin to fish upstream first and I would follow on a few moments later.

Almost immediately Martin was into small Trout & Par in the fast pocket water, something this small river is renowned for so he was off the mark.

It didn't take me long following him upstream to get the first fish to hand a small salmon par.

Used for the first time this year my memorial cane rod which was commissioned  to commemorate my parents, a day after what would have been my mothers 83rd Birthday.
Gone but never forgotten.

Martin was occupied in a long pool with rising fish all around him, so leapfrogging him I moved upstream to a deep run I knew where there often lay a decent fish or two.  Making my way down through the thick undergrowth I came out level with the spot I wanted to get to so I sat & observed for a few moments and saw a fish rising at the tail of the run.

With a quick sharp flick I had my dry sitting exactly where I wanted it and almost immediately a nice Grayling came to the fly, I struck and missed! I could have kicked myself as I seen the fish come out the depths to intercept the fly. Casting back under the overhanging branches I tried again, hoping the Grayling might come back for another go but this time my fly was intercepted by a decent Trout.

By the looks of things not a wild fish as I had been expecting and I know this particular river isn't stocked so it must have made its way upstream at some point in the past.

Soon afterwards Martin followed me up through the run and connected with a fish but alas he released it at range.

The small fish were plentiful and we were both taking them from nearly every bit of moving water there was. Nothing of any size but great sport & stunning wild fish.

The kingfisher was darting up and down the river and the oyster catchers were creating a racket over our heads, it was lovely to be back on the small river and catching.

After a bite to eat we continued upstream and I managed to pull a couple of slightly larger residents from their hiding holes.

Martin & Myself taking it in turn to fish the deeper pools we came across.

We had got about halfway up the river and Martin had a bit of a set too with a rock and his boot sole became detached at the front, so he was flopping upstream, a bit of a heath robinson repair with a few elastic bands until we hoped we would find some bailing twine or something hanging on a fence, but it kept him on the move, all be it a bit slower.

Looking upstream and the wild flowers on the banks was quite beautiful and finding more mimulus again but still not as unique as the multicoloured ones I found on one particular dales river.

with the Bees taking full advantage of the sun and wild thistles.

Another pool and more small trout for us both followed by a slightly better one hard against a rock face on the opposite bank.

we didn't get much further before Martin's botch it & scarper  boot fix finally gave out , so not seeing any string I graciously surrendered my camera lanyard made from para-cord I have my camera attached to my waistcoat with.

May as well keep cool whilst carrying out the repair work.

Plenty more small fish ensued before a glance at out watches & it was almost 4pm, time to head back downstream and if we were lucky a few more fish on route.

Walking back down through the darkened wood I came across a couple of different fungus's attaching themselves to rotting trees in the dimple light.

A few more fish came to our hands before we ended back at the car and decided to visit the local ale establishment for a well earned light refreshment and recalling our day on the small river before heading home both very contented and another excellent day came to an end.

Good friends great fishing and lovely scenery, what else could a man want! Until the next time mate be safe ......and get your boots fixed....lol

On another note, its been 7 months since I last though of float-making but with a friends birthday coming up soon in Montana I decided a couple of pressies were deserved after the few things he has done for me in the past, so tomorrow these three trotting floats and  three handmade furled leaders I have made in matching colours will be posted across the pond to him.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Owls, Curlews & Brown Trout

A spur of the moment decision last night to go fishing at 7.30pm, off I set to a stretch of water not too far from the house, having set up and sat on the bank looking for rising fish just after 8pm.

The river was slightly up after a few days of rain and heavily coloured but although there was plenty of insect life, virtually no fish were showing on the surface, so a couple of spider patterns would suffice for the hour or so I had planned on fishing.

As I moved up the river I spotted a barn owl sat on a fence post across the other side of the river, so stood and watched as he took off, hovered then dived on his seen prey, unsuccessful he glided around the area then came in to hover again this time he was on the ground for a few moments then as he took off I saw a small mouse or vole gripped in his talons. 
A lovely sight and if I hadn't decided to get my backside off the chair a sight I wouldn't have had the pleasure of seeing.

A few moments later I was into the first fish of the evening, a lovely small brown trout.

Moving upstream I had the pleasure of sitting on the bank for about 20 minutes watching 4 curlews flying around over my head at a low altitude, calling to each other before finally landing out of sight in the field opposite. I grabbed a few photographs but they didn't come out as expected.

The evening was all a glow as the sun started to dip over the horizon.

Another trout soon followed to the point spider.

The sun dipped away on the horizon but still a very impressive light show as I headed back downstream towards the car. A lovely couple of hours unwinding after a rough day at work. Who says you need to catch fish to enjoy fishing!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Battered but not Beaten

The river has been thinning down nicely after all the rain during the week and when I walked down this morning it was in a very nice state, the sun was shining but the wind was bad and blowing straight down the Dale and I knew casting was going to be a nightmare.

As I sat & tackled up with a team of nymphs I watched a hatch of yellow sally's come off the river and as soon as they had broken through the surface layer they were off in the wind.

Making my way to my starting point there were a few damsel flies flying around then the peace & tranquillity was broken as the farmer made his way into the field behind with a couple of tractors...the grass was ready to cut for haymaking.

A few cast and the first Grayling of the day came to hand, nothing of any size but nevertheless nice to see as always.

A couple more casts and a couple more Grayling of the same proportions were in my hand. The wind was an absolute nightmare & I nearly lost my head wear a few times. I thought I seen a fish rise in some slack water behind an overhanging willow so stood and watched to see if it would rise again and sure enough just as I seen a yellow sally break through the surface and about to spread its wings it was snaffled by a trout.

Not having the set up for dry fly I decided to chance it and have a cast to see if I could entice it with a nymph. Within a few seconds of the nymph landing slightly upstream of the rising trout the line came to a stand still & I lifted into it hoping it was the trout and sure enough  it moved off at a steady pace trying to flee the hook hold.

A nice fight ensued and a few minutes later I slipped the net under a lovely trout.

Making my way downstream casting the best I could in the wind I connected with another couple of small Grayling before I decided to take a  break away from the wind and slipped behind some high willows to grab a drink and a break.

Moving downstream refreshed  the wild flowers were again showing all their beauty in the morning sun.

Thankfully the high bank behind me now gave me a bit of shelter from the annoying wind but I was limited to where I could fish as the shingle back dropped off quickly into a hole so I had to play safe and manoeuvre myself into an area where I could cover most of the water without going for a swim.

A few casts of the nymphs and I felt a solid take on the line and  the reel started to scream, My first thoughts were salmon again, but this was quite different from that after a few moments and then I saw this lovely big trout break the surface of the water trying to get its freedom, This fish was stunning and would easily be my new personal best from this river and I estimated him to be above 5lbs in weight. I backed off onto the shingle to try and land him as the deep drop off was immediately in front of me and as I reached for the net on my back the line went slack....it had thrown the hook!

I sat staring at this spot for almost 10 minutes cursing to myself, I couldn't get below the fish due to the deep water and obviously the tension from the rod and the downstream current had taken its toll on the size 16 hook hold. Ah well some you win some you loose!

Making my way downstream I got a consolation prize of  another small wild trout.

The noise of the tractors, the wind and the lose of the fish had taken its toll, but it was mostly the wind that had done it for me and I decided to cut short the session and head home, battered but not beaten, there is always next time.

At least the walk back to the car was far easier now the grass had been cut!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...