Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mild and damp continues....

I've been holding back on this - my latest blog update - in the hope that we'd get a settled spell of weather and I'd have had a few productive outings to report. Unfortunately, the weather gods have continued to play havoc with my winter Grayling fishing. The local rivers have been more up than down and decent fishing conditions have been few and far between.
On Monday, 16 December, the river Eden was getting it's second lift of the weekend, at lunchtime it was 2.16m and rising at Temple Sowerby - that's about 1.5m (5 feet) up on normal. The lower river was at 2.39m and rising - approximately 2m (6 feet 6 inches) up. If the weather forecasters are correct, we're due another spell of rain on Wednesday, then another batch Friday into Saturday, so the chances of a pre-Christmas outing are looking slim.

As I mentioned in my last blog; the fish seem to have acclimatized to the fluctuating conditions and as soon as the water clears, they're on the feed, irrespective of the height. Albeit, not in great numbers at the moment.
Some Eden stalwarts are beginning to think that there's not as many fish about this winter, but I think it's still too early to say. We do see peaks and troughs in our Grayling population and - in my opinion - we did experience a steady decline in numbers on many Eden beats between about 2005/06 and 2011. But, in 2012, they were back. With decent numbers taken on most outings by both myself and my clients, it was looking like they were starting to peak again. I hope that I'm not being over-optimistic, but I'd be surprised if this peak was as short-lived as one winter. We've had a lot of wet weather since the end of the Trout and Salmon season, it certainly hasn't been that conducive to good Grayling fishing, so I'm reserving judgement on population levels until we get a spell of more favourable conditions. 

I did manage one session on the Eden last week - the river had been up over the weekend but by late Monday morning it had dropped to approximately 1m (3 feet) above normal winter levels.
It was clear enough to fish and still dropping. Many areas were still inaccessible but I found plenty to keep me occupied until dark. By working what I could as well as I could with a team of bugs and adding or taking away weight depending on depth and current velocity, I managed six Grayling and five out of season Trout. Considering the conditions, I was more than happy with my lot, but I would have been anyway, regardless of whether I'd had fish or not, it was just nice to get on the river. 

I don't normally bother with New Years wishes or resolutions, but I think I'll make an exception this year and wish for settled weather to start 2014. Something similar to this year would be nice, but without the 'Big Freeze' in March. In January and February this year I had some good sessions on the bugs. Late February and early March brought some good hatches of Large Dark Olives on occasions. The bug box was forgotten about, Grayling were looking to the surface and a team of Spiders and/or light nymphs produced decent bags on most outings - it was a nice way to bring the Grayling season to a close.

I'll certainly be trying to wet a line, or two before Christmas and the years end, and reporting on it, but just in case....

Friday, November 22, 2013

Good waters at a premium

It seems a while since we've had a prolonged spell of decent weather. We certainly haven't had any since the trout season finished and I'd hoped to be putting in some time hunting for our 'fourth game fish'.
Good conditions for Grayling fishing have been hard to come by. Luckily, it stayed dry enough for a few clients to get their first taste of the Eden. But, for me, it's just been a few short sessions on largish waters.

Ian with his first Eden Grayling
The weather gods smiled on Ian for his first flyfishing outing on a river. He even got a hatch of Large Dark Olives and a few intermittent risers. He coped well with his introduction to river fishing and was soon swinging a team of North Country Spiders through the few fish that had a taste for an olive.
There was no sign of any Olives for Chris's first visit to the Eden. The river was carrying a touch of extra water and with a drop in temperature there was little sign of life. So the method for the day was 'Czech Nymphing' which was new to Chris, but as an experienced fisherman, he soon picked it and a few fish up. Unfortunately, the Grayling weren't playing ball but Chris did manage a good number of hungry out of season trout.

Chris about to shake off another trout
As I've mentioned, whenever I've had time for my own fishing, conditions have been far from ideal and most sessions have been short. On a positive note, all sessions have been productive.

Grayling can be fickle and frustrating creatures at times, they don't seem to like changeable conditions. They're not always that fussy about the conditions, within reason, as long as they're settled. So with all the wet weather and consistently high waters they've had plenty of time to get used to it and when the river has been accessible, they've responded well to the artificial. 
The extra water has brought a drop in temperature and lack in invertebrate activity - at least at the surface - so the fish seem to lying deep and any success has come to the heavily weighted nymph bouncing bottom. 

The Eden is still a touch on the big side at the moment, it's still settling back after heavy rain last Monday and a top-up on Wednesday. Though, with a fine spell forecast, it should fish over the coming weekend and into next week. So I'm sure I'll be trying to wet a line, or two somewhere.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Last week blues

We're into the last week of the 2013 Trout season and I hope that it's not going to go out with the same wimper that it came in on. It certainly seemed that way yesterday. There wasn't a breath of wind, hardly a sound in the air, no fly and no rising fish - the river felt dead.
After trying a few different methods and only picking up small fish, I decided to have a play with the 'French nymph', I've been playing around with a few different leader formulas lately, so it was time for a trial run. It paid dividends, the leaders turned over beautifully and I finished the day with three nice Trout, lost one and had a good Grayling.

I'd like to think that the remainder of this week will be like last week, the fish were feeding well on two out of the three outings I had (two with clients and one for myself). The rivers were up early in the week, but fishable by Wednesday and I had a very good afternoon session. I had to run a few errands so didn't hit the water until 1400. The fish were already rising to a trickle of olives, I wasn't sure what they were at the time, but I managed to capture one and my FBA (Freshwater Biological Association) Key to the adults of British Ephemeroptera confirmed that they were Medium Olives. Not that it matters that much, I don't think you have to be into entomology to have success, it helps, but it's not essential. What does matter is that you take the time to watch and work out what the fish are taking, then get yourself into the right position and present them with a suitable imitation. On this outing, it was a size 16 Olive Paradun.

The first fish that fell for the paradun was the best of the session at 2lbs 9ozs, but other good ones followed - they were 16" (40.5cm), 16 1/2" (42cm), two at 15 " (38cm) plus five between 12" and 13" and quite a few smaller ones - it turned out a very productive four and a half hour session.

The river wasn't as co-operative for Derek's day on the Eden, but his was more about casting than fishing and hopefully he has taken away a few skills that will benefit him in his future endeavours.
George and Hugh were out with me on Saturday. Neither had fished the Eden before, so we fished the 'Black Swan' stretch, this excellent hostelry has it's own piece of Eden that is reserved for residents only and I guide/teach on it. We spent the morning honing their skills and getting a feel for the river. The morning work paid dividends for them both - George managed three trout and his first Grayling, he also missed and lost a few. Hugh managed three Trout and - I think he may have lost a good fish, he thought a snag may have taken his top dropper but I have a feeling that it was a fish. Either way, I hope that they both enjoyed there first go at our great river and I managed to send them away with a few new skills.

George is into a fish
Hugh swings his flies perfectly
The season ends next Monday and although I am a touch sad about that, I have to admit that I'm also starting to get excited about what the winter may have to offer. Last year we saw a marked improvement in our Grayling fishing, so hopefully, it will be as good again this year.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

We've had a great fall !

I haven't seen a single Black Gnat on four outings since last Saturday (7th Sept). For about ten days previous to that, we'd had some tremendous falls of Bibio johannis on the Eden system. On some occasions the water was covered in thousands of these tiny morsels, but even though the Trout were hard on them, it was far from easy.
Fish were often found sipping away at the gnats on the flats, with many in quite shallow water in the edges and catching them was frustratingly hard at times. With so many naturals on the water, the fish were quite picky when it came to the artificial and some successful patterns of the past were flatly refused and the fish often displayed zero tolerance for the wrong fly, poor presentation or delivering the artificial from the wrong angle. Get it wrong and your target was put down, often taking other fish in the vicinity with it.
That was the pattern on most outings, up until last Saturday. Heavy rain on Friday had brought the Eden up and it was unfishable, but other rivers in the area were fine, a touch coloured, but well fishable.

The Black Para
The colour must have helped - which it often does - and the fish were a touch more tolerant. The wrong pattern didn't put them down, it just produced boils and refusals, but I got second - and third - chances. A Black Para produced the right results and there were no refusals for the rest of the session, with a good number of fish to 16 1/2" (42cm)

The Black Gnat also worked during recent falls
Last Monday saw me back on the Eden, the river was still up and carrying some colour but it was back to a fishable level.
With no sign of flies or fish, I set up with my 'old faithful' - the spider rig. I'd sort of drifted away from the spiders in favour of dries and nymphs but I've found myself fishing them more and more over the last couple of seasons. A team of spiders can be a great way of searching a big river like the Eden when there's not much surface activity and you expect the fish to be looking up. The often difficult to target and tempt 'oncers' can often be easier to cover with a team of spiders swung through the vicinity of their rise.
So, I decided, that based on the fact that we'd had large falls of Black Gnat and the fish have been hard on them, that anything will do - as long as it's black, and opted for black spiders on the droppers and a small black nymph on the point. This team produced the goods, with a steady trickle of Trout and Grayling caught, missed and dropped throughout the session.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dog days are over....

Well, that's August out of the way. The warm, dry spell is over, we've had rain, a few lifts in river levels and the weather is feeling more autumnal. The subsequent drop in water temperatures seems to be getting our cold-blooded friends feeding a bit harder than of late, so all bodes well for a good final month of the season and a good start to the back-end Grayling fishing.
Ray leans into a good Eden Grayling

Although August has always been renowned for it's dog days, it wasn't all bad news and a good number of 'The Eden Angler' clients did well on their Eden outings.
Ray was visiting our shores from Perth, Australia, he was keen to try the Eden and it didn't disappoint. Daytime hatches are normally quite sparse at this time of the year, but there were a few Pale Wateries hatching and the odd Blue Winged Olive. There weren't many fish feeding, and what were, were mainly 'oncers' but there was enough activity to get Ray a few small Trout and and some good Grayling.

Ray with one of his Eden Grayling
It was a different story on the Eamont. This was a different proposition for Ray, the more open spaces of the Eden had given him plenty of space for the overhead cast but the more intimate tree lined and balsam covered banks of the Eamont meant he needed a different approach. So we spent some time looking at 'The double spey' I can never understand why more 'single-handed' fishers don't use the variety of spey casts that are at their disposal, these casts have the potential to open up the whole river to them, allowing them to fish areas often denied to the overhead caster. Anyway, Ray picked up the double spey really well, it just required a bit of fine tuning, which we could do while he was fishing.  
Temperatures had lifted and the fly was off the water in a flash, so with no surface activity, the fish were keeping their heads down and only the nymph produced any interest, but, hard work and persistence, and a new cast learned, brought their rewards and Ray did get his Eamont fish.
Ray into an Eamont Trout
August did bring some long overdue rain, but not always when we wanted it. That was the case for Charlie and Richard, they had a wet introduction to fly fishing and the Eden. They stuck at it though and their casting skills improved throughout the day and I hope they left Cumbria bitten by the fishing bug.
Charlie draws in his first Eden Brown Trout
The main thing that has really stood out for me this season is the unpredictability, the fish haven't always done what they should be doing and been where they should be, given certain conditions, and that seems to be continuing. We've had some good falls of Black Gnats recently and I've seen fish gorging on them in the past, but on three consecutive days on the river with clients, the fish never went mad for the thousands of gnats that were floating downstream. They were on them, but not gorging, it was mainly small fish and the odd larger beast, rising very intermittently.
I was with Harry on the first good fall of gnats and they wouldn't look at the dry, Harry is a very good and experienced angler though and a change to a team of our 'North country' spiders produced a few fish for him.
Harry with a good Grayling to a Black spider
It's great to see young anglers coming into our sport. Theo (16) and Fintan (13) came out with me recently, they'd had a go at coarse/bait fishing but this was their first try at the fly. As usual with newcomers to the sport, our morning was spent looking at the gear and working on casting, but I knew these young lads were keen to get in the water, so after a quick break for lunch and a look at safety, in and around the water, we got a fly on and got fishing. 
Being young and keen, they both took to it really well and were soon casting and presenting the fly to a good standard. It wasn't long before I showed them how to add droppers to their leader and fish additional flies. Unfortunately, the fish didn't oblige too much, although Fintan did catch and lose a small trout and Theo lost what seemed -judging by the bend in his rod - a sizeable fish. I think this was enough to give them the fishing bug though and they left making plans for purchasing rods and waders. I hope they continue with their fly fishing and get as many years of enjoyment from this great sport as I have.

Theo and Fintan after their day on the river
Another young angler out with me recently was Laurence. He told me that he'd been fishing since he was 6 and his grandfather had taught him - he's done a good job - for a 13 year old, he was a very good young angler. We did a little bit of fine-tuning with his casting throughout the day, but that was all.
Laurence was a Chalkstream man and had never fished our Northern streams before, so we decided to start with a good old Northern method the 'North country' spiders. He picked it up without any problem and was soon fishing a team of three, presenting them well and was soon into his first fish of the day, a Brown Trout.
Laurence brings a fish to hand
The morning session was spent on the spiders and a few fish, mainly Grayling, were caught. After Lunch, we had a fall of Gnats, which again, only produced intermittent risers, but a change to the dry did produce a few fish and others were missed. As Laurence wanted to try different methods, we changed to 'The Duo' for a while and four Trout came to the nymph plus a missed rise to the dry. Again there were signs of the unpredictability, all fish taken high in the water were Grayling and the Trout were lying deeper - even though there were plenty of Gnats on the water. 
We finished the day with a session on the upstream nymph, sorry Mr Halford, and even though Laurence coped very well with another new technique, this was the only method that didn't produce, perhaps the old boy was telling me that was just a step too far for this young Chalkstream angler. 

Laurence with one of his Eden Grayling
So, we didn't have too many dog days in August, the rain came just in time and we had some good days towards the end of the month, here's hoping it carries on into September. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Nymph by day, Dry by night

It's been an interesting time over the last month  (July) on the Eden system, the river gods have definitely not helped us fishermen and the going has been tough at times - especially during the day. Low, warm rivers with depleted oxygen levels have definitely made the fish a touch lethargic at times, but, hard work, perseverance and concentrating on sub-surface offerings has brought it's rewards.
Mike took a nice trout on the nymph 
Daytime hatches have been very sparse in the hot, bright conditions. A few Yellow May Dun, one or two Yellow Sallies, the odd Pale Watery and lots of Midge. None on the water, all on the wing, so very little surface activity, only the odd small trout rising.
The better fish have been keeping their heads down, but, with fly about, hopefully there would be a bit more activity sub-surface, and, after all, they do say that up to 90% of the trouts feeding time is spent below the surface. So, that's where we've been concentrating our efforts on most outings. Depending on conditions, we've either fished the nymphs, or, hedged our bets - just in case there was the odd fish looking to the surface - and fished a team consisting of a pair of spiders and a nymph on the point.
This paid dividends on most days, with a few decent fish caught in very difficult conditions.  

The nymph scored for Harry

A Grayling came to the Spider for David

Success for Seth after searching with 'The Duo'

Late evening sport has been good on most outings. The fish have been rising late in the evening - kicking off at about 9.30 to 10.00 and lasting until about 11.00 - occasionally to falls of Blue Winged Olive spinners but mainly to the Sedge. Which is a change from last year, when the spinners and late evening sedge were in short supply on most of my outings, and fish were coming to late hatches of Small Dark Olive duns and BWO duns, neither of which I've seen in the evening this year - up to now at least.

And now - the rainy season has started. They say that the jetstream has dropped South of us and we're forecast for an unsettled August, I hope they're wrong.
The rivers needed a good flush and they've had it. All in the Eden system have risen three times over the last 10 days, the Eden has been over the 2 metre mark on two occasions, and that will do them good.
Salmon are coming into the system and the drop in water temperature should perk the trout up a bit.
It certainly helped on an outing with Paul towards the end of last week. The Eden was carrying an extra 250mm and a touch of colour but it was dropping, and well fishable. Concentrating on suitable areas and swinging a team of wets produced quite a few offers, but unfortunately, Paul was more akin to swinging wets for Steelhead and his first few strikes failed to connect with our Northern Browns - he was a good fisherman though and it didn't take him long to adjust...

The rivers have been down to their bones and the water warm after the long dry spell, but now, with a touch of fresh water, they'll be at a good level and that should perk things up, and keep away those 'dog days' that were looming if the dry weather had continued into August.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A visit to the BFFI

It's been a busy last couple of weeks in my world of guiding and tuition, the rivers were still on their bones and the fishing has been tough on occasions.

Matt was visiting from Colorado and was keen to sample our River Eden while he was here. We'd had a touch of fresh water over the previous weekend, it brought the river up 75mm, which helped to perk things up. Rises were quite sporadic on the day, and after a few small fish to the nymph and the dries, a change to the good old 'North Country Spiders' produced a few better quality fish. So, I hope that he enjoyed his day and the few Eden brownies that decided to oblige.
Tuition and some less successful guided days filled the rest of the week - no blanks, but, the 75mm lift soon washed through and with the system showing it's bones again, only the smaller trout were 'playing ball'. It's been a funny year so far, hatches have been all over the place. All species have and are still well behind normal, temperatures have been up and down. When it's warm, it's very warm and when it's not, it feels more like autumn. I'm starting to wonder if it's just knocked the fish a bit out of sync, they're in great condition and there's been some very good fish caught - I've heard reports of good numbers of 3-4lb fish taken this year and some of my clients have had hold of some quality fish - but, at times, they're just not doing what they should be doing for the time of year. One day they're in their summer lies - hitting the runs with nymphs and spiders produces the goods - and the next day they're not, and there's oncers cruising the flats picking off bits and pieces. The fish are there though and I guess this is what makes our sport so interesting, and will make us better anglers - if we're prepared to work at it and learn from these challenges.
Last weekend saw me at the British Fly Fair. I haven't been for the last few years and it was great to catch up with some of my fellow AAPGAI members. Illtyd Griffiths, Clive Mitchelhill, Karl Humphries, Paul Procter, Jim Fearn and Paul Arden impressed the crowds with various demonstrations on the casting pond and Dave Wiltshire was doing his stuff on Fly Tiers row.
I met and talked to lots of familiar faces, some I hadn't seen for years and took the chance stop off at the Flytek stand and stock up on a few bits and pieces.
I joined fellow guide and tutor, Clive Mitchelhill, at the beginning of last week, to help with a party of anglers on one of our local stillwaters. Paul was the first to get into a fish - he was really pleased with his first fish on his first attempt at fly fishing

Doug joined me for a tough day on Ullswater in the middle of the week. We had a lovely ripple but frequent sunny intervals didn't help. The mayfly were hatching and the fish were still keen to feed, many were moved during the cloudy periods and some good quality fish (for the time of year) showed an interest in the fly.
The coldest march for fifty years meant that Ullswater was late to start this year, so it will be interesting to see how long our sport on there continues. Daytime sport normally gets very slow during July and August, then it sometimes picks up again in September.
Rain throughout the region on Friday brought the Eden up a few inches and added a touch of colour, so prospects for the next week look promising, especially with a week of cloud and unsettled weather forecast - and the Blue Winged Olives are here at last !

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Getting to the bones

The prolonged spell of fine weather in this neck of the woods has meant that our local rivers are getting down to their bones....anyone know a rain dance ! 
There are many advantages and disadvantages to a low river. It can make fish location easier and you can sometimes take advantage of some areas that are normally out of reach, but, it can also be really tough going for the daytime angler, when he is presented with a low, gin clear river and cloudless, sunny skies.
It hasn't been all doom and gloom though. Hard work and perseverance can still be rewarded. Sam and Marwan proved this by still managing fish in very challenging conditions on the River Eden.

The sunny weather has meant that my lake fishing has been severely restricted of late. It's a shame really, as the long overdue Mayfly (Ephermera danica) have eventually decided to make an appearance.
Sport was slow on the only suitable day I've had, conditions were perfect, but the fish just didn't want to know initially, and then the Mayfly started coming off. The fish were straight onto them and with good numbers of duns and spinners about, sport was hectic for a while. They responded well to the 'Slipper' either pulled through the waves or left static, and in the calmer water, cruisers could be picked off as they sipped away at the dying spinners.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Last week in Eden....

Last week kicked off with a touch of the wet stuff (rain) and I was a bit worried that the Eden would be up for Mark's day on the river. All was good though, the river was up a touch and slightly coloured, but well fishable. Mark was over from Chicago, he regularly fishes small spring creeks for brown and brook trout in Wisconsin, so the Eden was a new experience and his first go at an English river.
The slight lift in water had produced a slight drop in temperature and there was very little surface activity. So as it was Mark's first go at an English 'freestone' river, we went for a good old English method, 'North country spider' fishing, or 'Soft hackles' as our fellow fishers 'across the pond' call them - a method popularised in America by people like Sylvester Nemes.

Mark coped admirably with his introduction to our water and fishing a team of spiders - and a few fish obliged, so I hope he enjoyed his first go on our shores and gives the spiders (soft hackles) a go on his return to home waters. 
Theo was visiting from Holland, as an experienced coarse fisherman, he was trying his hand at fly fishing for the first time. Typical of most coarse fishermen I've had out on our waters, he picked things up pretty quickly and was soon into his first Eden fish - an out of season Grayling. The improvement in our weather has seen a marked increase in insect activity and we had a few fish rising throughout the day to a mixture of Olive Uprights, Black Gnats and Mayfly (my first sighting this year), other species like Yellow May dun and and Yellow Sally were on the wing but not on the water, so were of no interest to the fish.

Good hatches continued throughout the week and so did the warm weather, which meant that the fly were off the water as soon as they left their nymphal shuck, giving the fish little chance of a feed on the hatched dun. This was the case on Alan's day, but a change to the upstream nymph produced  a good few offers.
Vladimir was another visitor to our shores this week. It was his first outing on our local waters and he managed to get a fish, lose a larger one and get a few offers on a very low and clear River Eamont - a great effort in tough conditions.
I did manage a couple of sessions for myself last week. According to some reports, Ullswater has been  a bit up and down, but I have found that given favourable conditions, it is still fishing well. Still no sign of the Mayfly (Ephemera danica) yet, they're at least two weeks late at the moment.
A session on the Eden produced good numbers of fish - mainly to the upstream nymph. There was still plenty of fly about for my visit, but, as mentioned earlier, the increase in temperatures has meant that the fly are off the water so quickly, that the fish aren't getting a chance at the adults. They seem to be concentrating more on sub-surface invertebrate activity - or at least that seems to have been the case where I've fished.
I did get on the dries for part of my session, when I came across a pod of fish that had turned onto the Black Gnat for a short period. They were sipping away in a scum/foam lane and every fished covered produced a positive response to the artificial, with approximately 75% coming to hand.
Evening sport has been good lately with fish rising up to and into darkness on some evenings. So all is good on the Eden system at the moment.... long may it last.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

They don't always follow the script

Guiding can be a frustrating game sometimes, you know the water, know where the fish should be, know what they should be on and then, for whatever reason - and there always is one - it just doesn't happen.
Last week was a tough week in my world of guiding. We had two inches of rain on the 18th May, the river shot up and was running at about 6 feet by that evening. Our rivers seem to funnel the water through the system at a rapid rate nowadays, they can be up and then back to a fishable level in the space of about 24 - 48 hours. That was the case last week, with the middle to upper reaches fishable by Monday (on the flats) and by Tuesday it was still carrying about 23cm (9") of extra water, but most areas were accessible.
By the middle of the week it was spot on, or should have been, when Steve and Charlie joined me for their first taste of fishing our northern streams. The Eden was still carrying a touch of colour, which was okay. As long as there's not too much, colour can often work in the anglers favour....
But, the fish decided that they weren't going to 'play ball' and so did the flies. A cool upstream wind killed any chance of a hatch and I could probably count on about ten fingers how many upwings I saw on the water - so there wasn't really a lot to get the fish going. 
When in my guide/tutor role, it's very important to plan a session around my clients wants and expectations but I also think that it's important for them to take advantage of their time with me and learn a few skills that will benefit them in their future endeavours as a fisherman/woman - and that's not an excuse for a fishless day ! - if they learn the skills, 'the fish will come'
We rang the changes today and looked at a few techniques: fishing North Country Spiders, the 'Duo' or New Zealand dropper and Czech nymphing. The spiders produced a couple of dropped fish and the rest produced a few tentative offers - so, no fish, but hopefully, plenty of positives with some new skills gained.

When it came to Ian's day on the river, conditions still weren't that great. He got the lot - a strong northerly blow, hail, rain and sunny intervals -  and his perseverance, in adverse conditions, received scant reward, just a few tentative tugs and boils at his flies.

We had to wait until late afternoon before we got any activity. The weather settled, the sun came out and so did the Olive Uprights. A few fish were soon onto them and Ian managed to finish on a high, with a cracking Eden brownie.
This last weekend brought our best spell of weather for some time - hope that wasn't our summer !
Two days of sunshine and higher temperatures provided some good evening sport. I saw my first Black Gnats of the year on Sunday morning and my first Yellow May Dun in the evening. Not enough of each species to get the fish going, but they were rising to a mixed hatch of duns until 22.30 on Saturday and Sunday.  These weren't only mixed hatches but were also mixed feeds, some fish were taking the larger duns (Olive Uprights), some were on a smaller one (I didn't get hold of any for a positive identification) and some fish were on the emergers of each species. My first four fish on Saturday came to four different flies, ranging from a size 16 emerger to a size 12 dun. Sunday followed a similar pattern.