Sunday, 3 September 2017

Favourite Time of the Year

Today I was determined to get a couple of hours up the river but first I had some electrical jobs to finish off in the nearly completed rooms upstairs, all that really remains to be done is for the carpet fitter to come in and move everything back into place....It cant come soon enough if I were to be truthful.

Anyway just before 11am I decided to head up the Dale and split my time between two places seeing as the river was so low, so headed high up into the Dales on the search for some wild trout.
Arriving I found a cold downstream wind blowing and no movement on the river at all, the flow was a mere trickle so I had to put a bit of walking in to find water with some movement in it.

I always love this view of the river as I emerge from the thick fir wood and just glimpse the river.

A few fungi dotted around the wood as I passed through.

I found a couple of deeper runs with some flowing water but nothing was moving at all on the surface so decided to set up a couple of spider patters and fish them upstream with the hope a fish would take an interest.

Nothing looked at the flies for almost an hour so decided to take a break and have a wander to one of my favourite places at this time of year, a few hawthorn bushes which should be starting to bear fruit at this time of year & sure enough the bushes are loaded with unripened sloe berries.

Another couple of weeks and I will be back with my bucket picking them ready for this years batch of sloe whisky making.

Back at the river I had some competition in the streams I was fishing.

 more distinctive when it turned around

A kingfisher sat on its perch looking for a meal.

I made my way fishing upstream back towards the car without a single sighting or touch of a fish, not that I was complaining as it was great to be out especially at this time of year when things are starting to change and the countryside is so colourful right now.

With no fish caught on this particular stretch I jumped in the car and drove the short distance downstream in the search for a fish or two., and on arrival at my next part of the river, the very first upstream cast of the spiders accounted for this small Grayling.

I continued in the stream which ran into deeper water but was hounded by Salmon Parr on nearly every run through with the spiders, I lost count after 10 and decided to move on in the search for fish at another point on the river.

The river was really down on the levels as this is normally a good fast paced stream to fish and here it was hardly moving.

Heading to one last spot before calling it a trip I hooked into a stockie and lost another one at range, nothing big but it was a trout nevertheless, and with that I headed home, not many fish but that didn't matter I still enjoyed my couple of hours away from it all gathering my thoughts and enjoying the surroundings that mother nature has to offer.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Reap the Rewards

How slowly a month passes when your not fishing!

Over the last 4 weeks & more we have been having major going on's in our home, all the windows & frames have been removed and replaced with new, the whole of the upstairs had to be packed away in preparation for new ceilings to get fitted and the walls plastered and all the radiators hung back on the walls & connected, then finally everything painted, which was no mean feat, all that remains in the next week or so is the carpet fitters to come in & fit new carpets and then we can start moving things back in, I will be so glad when its all done and I can sleep back in my own bed instead of a mattress on the floor.
Im definitely getting too old for this sort of stuff & I swore today that this would be my very last time I picked up my paint brush & roller for decorating!!

Anyway after finally sweeping up the last of my mess this morning I decided to take a few hours off and get myself some peace & tranquillity and head up the Dale, something I've only been dreaming of.

I arrived just after lunch and as you can see the field will be easy walking with the grass been cut ready to dry.

I really was hoping on the walk down that I would come across some rising fish  as I really fancied a day of dry fly fishing.

As I sat on the grass and tackled up I noticed some dew still sitting on some of the blades of grass along the riverbank, which surprised me as there has been no rain and strong sunshine,  and early afternoon I though this would all be dry.

As I glanced over the river it was down on normal levels and the bottom was quite dirty with weed covering everything but it looked in good condition and most of all the occasional fish was rising which really made me happy.

With nothing specific hatching I put on a small cdc olive and hoped it would entice some interest from a fish or two and I didn't have to wait long to find out. On the first cast at a rising fish up it came and took my artificial and I was on. Summer Grayling on the Dry Fly it really doesn't get much better than that!!

As I moved down the run a few smaller Grayling rose to my fly before the trout pushed them out the way and took interest.

a lovely wild fish which nailed the fly and sped off without me even having to set the hook.

It wasnt long until the next trout moved on my fly, another wild fish and spirited in its fight.

As I moved downstream the rising fish dies away so I decided to sit & have a break and just chill as its been a busy 4 weeks with long hours after my normal work so I just needed to recharge the batteries. As I placed my rod down I noticed lovely small orange flowers sitting in the undergrowth.

a chill half hour just lying in the grass watching the clouds pass overhead.

I sat and watched as a few fish started to make an appearance in the pool below me, nothing of any great size but they were rising nevertheless. 

Starting off small they started to increase in size as I got to the head of the pool.

I was chuffed to bits, all the Grayling coming to the dry fly which makes it all the more sweeter as I think too many anglers are heading to rivers with one thing in their mind which is to trundle nymphs along the bottom looking for anything they can find and not bothering with any other method.

Up under the cover of some overhanging trees I could see a fish rising so approached as best I could along a deep grassy bank until I was within casting range and I stood and watched as the fish rose a couple more times in what looked like slow motion as it broke the surface and slurped down a small terrestrial fly. 

A few casts over it and the net went under the fish soon afterwards.

a few feet away another small fish broke the surface so a quick flick of the rod and the fly landed almost on the trout's nose as it rose at the exact moment the fly hit the water, small but beautiful in every detail.

Time was getting on and I told Karen I would be back home before 5pm, so I set off back towards the car unknowing that the best was still to come!

As I made my way back towards the car I wasnt really fishing much, but just taking in the surroundings more than anything else with a flash of blue as the kingfisher flew past heading upstream and the occasional dipper hopping from rock to rock.. I was almost level with the car and decided to have a last cast across a deep slow glide, I hadn't seen anything rise it was just a spur of the moment decision I took and proved to be the best decision of the day, on the second cast a fish slurped down my dry and the rod bent over hard, a nice trout I though, Oh how wrong I was, it was a lovely big Grayling and it was putting a good bend in the 3#.

A few moments later I slipped the net under what I would describe for this river as a clonking Grayling, hooked squarely in the lips with a small size 16 cdc dry fly.

This really was the icing on the cake and made all my days of not getting out with the rod worth while, I was one happy angler thats for sure. I couldn't top that so it was head for home time on a definite high, as Grayling like that dont come from the river very often and to come to a dry fly made it even more special, one I will remember for a while that Im sure of. Just over 4 hours of absolutely brilliant dry fly fishing on the river, what an antidote to weeks of time away from the river. 

In the downtime away from fishing I took delivery of another rod after trying out Martin's rod when we headed off together at the start of July for a session.

a small fibreglass 3# for the small stream fishing we plan to do together in the future, not as in your face as his light sabre coloured one but Im happy with it, just need to get a trip organised to test it out.

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.
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