Sunday, April 29, 2012

Oh to be in England Now that April's there (Robert Browning)

And what a month it's been !...
The weather hasn't been great, at least not for some, but us fishermen shouldn't be complaining, and I'm certainly not, it's been a good month for me on moving water and still. It has been a cold month, but not unseasonably so,  I would probably class it as nearly the norm when compared to the April's of years ago.

I haven't been fortunate enough to hit the river when we've had the much publicised hatches of Large Dark Olives and March Browns but the fish have been feeding hard sub-surface and the nymph has produced good results with good numbers of well conditioned Trout and out of season Grayling coming to my offerings.

The weather has been perfect for  wild trouting on our local lakes where cloud cover and ripple are critical - this year is the first for many years when I've managed a trip on Ullswater every weekend in April.

Good Friday saw me on Ullswater for the first time this year. With only midge to gorge on the fish were feeding hard and came to a variety of patterns, but they are some way behind the well fed river browns and most were still fairly thin for their length.

By the 21st of the month the alder were making an appearance and hopefully the fish will be starting to fatten up - I have had fish in the past that have been absolutely stuffed with alder larvae.

David came up from London for a few days fishing last week and the area didn't disappoint - hopefully he travelled back to the south a happy man after his three days in the north produced over twenty fish.
His last day, on a middle Eden beat was the most productive with fish on the many hatching Grannom whose escape to the bankside vegetation was hampered by a gusty upstream wind, a team of spiders brought a couple of fish and many offers before a break for lunch.

In the afternoon a mixed hatch of Olive Uprights, Large Dark Olives and Iron Blue Duns really got the fish feeding. The wind did a complete U-turn and blew downstream for the afternoon session so a change from the Circle Spey used in the morning to the Double Spey helped David cope admirably with the conditions and his team of spiders produced good numbers of fish and many offers.

You rarely see trout fishermen using the range of spey casts available to them and I don't know why, to have a variety of casts a your disposal can open up the whole river, not only do these casts help you in upstream or downstream winds but they take away the problem of high banks and tree lined or overgrown banks where the overhead caster will struggle and often pass by for easier pickings.

This last weekend of the month saw me back on Ullswater, conditions were tough with spells of the lake fishers anathema, sunshine - but there was a good ripple and enough spells of cloud  to give some sport and I was fortunate to connect with my best fish off the lake for some years, an eighteen inch beauty that was quickly photographed and returned.

Some claim that these Ullswater leviathans are a common occurrence but they are not, I had my last fish of this size six years ago and rarely hear of fish like this.

My next outing will be in May and if it turns out anything like it's predecessor it will be a great month.

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