Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Grannom by the thousand

Last week dawned hot and sunny, temperatures in our area were the second highest in the country. It certainly suited the Grannom (Brachycentrus subnubilis), they were coming off the water in their 1000's on my first outing of the week, but, as usual when this species are hatching, there was very little surface activity from the Trout.

A few 'oncers' rose and three were caught as the hatch began, but once it got into full swing the rises ceased completely - the warm weather meant that the adult was out of the pupal sheath as soon as it pierced the meniscus and the fish had very little chance of intercepting it, therefore, I can only guess that any feeding fish will have turned their attention to the emerging pupa. But, as I'd decided that my session would be relatively short and restricted to a recce with the dry fly, I didn't bother searching for any sub-surface feeders.

David was up for a few days fishing and he brought the sun up from down south, our beautiful Eden welcomed him with brilliant sunshine and temperatures of 22 degrees C. Not ideal for daytime fishing at this time of year, but his hard work and perseverance was rewarded with four fish.

David's second day saw a return to our more normal, northerly weather - the temperature had dropped a good 7 degrees C. we had cloud, the usual south-westerly blow and showers. Better fishing conditions, in my opinion, and the fish responded well.

A team of north-country spiders produced the goods. With a few fish caught and dropped in the morning, all was going well - then the wind dropped, we had a slight lift in temperature, a touch of brightness and the Grannom hatch started. They were coming off in their 1000's, in fact, I don't think I'd be exaggerating if I said 10's of 1000's. The air was full of them and there were rafts of discarded shucks floating down the river, it was the biggest hatch of Grannom that I'd ever witnessed.
The odd 'oncer' came up to grab the few adults that were slow to break free of their pupal sheath, but they were few and far between, so I suggested to David that we break for lunch and give the hatch time to die down or even, hopefully, finish. The chances of a fish picking out our offerings were pretty slim when they were having to compete with 1000's of juicy morsels ascending through the water column.
The weather deteriorated slightly after lunch, the Grannom hatch stopped, and an Olive Upright hatch began. A few fish turned onto to the OU's and David had a bit of sport in the afternoon - a couple of trout and quite a few offers.
Tim and friends were in the area at the end of the week and joined me for a day on Haweswater. At approximately 245m above sea level, the reservoir is one of our highest waters. It normally starts to fish later than most of our 'lowland' waters, but still produces long after the others have stratified and sport on them has slowed down.  

Unfortunately, the fishing was very slow. A 10 degree C. drop in air temperature from the start of the week, plus frequent and prolonged squally showers won't have helped. I also suspect that the cold start to the year will have taken it's toll on Haweswater, like it has on everything else, and we may still be a week or two from this years 'kick off'. So, I'd like to think, the best is yet to come.
The score for the day was three fish hooked and lost; fishing isn't always about catching fish though, a first visit to the reservoir and fishing in beautiful surroundings helped to compensate for the lack of fish - I hope.

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