We had a brief respite from the cold weather at the weekend - the sun came out, the east wind dropped and the temperatures lifted close to double figures. Saturdays sunshine also produced the first March Browns (Rhithrogena germanica) of the season.
Even though there was another fairly good hatch of Large Dark Olives, good numbers of Midge and a few March Browns, the fish were still pretty reluctant to come to the surface to feed - I only saw three risers. I guess, from a fishing point of view, you could argue that it was another wasted hatch....in normal conditions and with more seasonal water temperatures you'd expect fish to be rising in good numbers.
The three risers: the first was put down by a swan! I'd spotted it, tackled up, got into position and before I could get a cast, this damned swan broke away from a group that were grazing just downstream of me, it swam right over the rising fish then stopped and started preening itself ! it gave me a look like it knew exactly what it was doing and needless to say, that fish never rose again, so I moved on.
The second riser was a few hundred yards upstream, it was ignoring the March Browns and sipping away at the more plentiful Olives. There weren't enough olives for it to hold station so it was quartering from left to right then moving slightly upstream to intercept the approaching flies, but it was rising confidently and relatively easy to track, so it was mine third cast.
The third was missed - the Olives and March Browns had disappeared and it was rising intermittently to the odd remaining midge - I got one go at it, rose it and missed - I didn't feel it so hoped it would come on again but it didn't.
I may have had more if I'd tried nymphs or spiders, but I wanted to stick to the dries and was happy with my lot.
As expected, it was pretty cold and sport was slow, a few of my favourite spots produced nothing but I did eventually find a few that showed a liking for the Red Ullswater and Rarl hopper. They were typical, beautifully coloured Ullswater trout. A bit thin but thats only to be expected at this time, their staple early season diet tends to consist of Midge (I didn't see many today) and Hoglouse....