I was very fortunate to get permission to fish a private stretch of the Eden last week. The water belongs to the Black Swan at Culgaith and is reserved for residents only, but I was given the opportunity to fish it, as I can now offer a guiding and tuition service for residents through my business 'The Eden Angler'
The Black Swan's website is well worth checking out for anyone looking for a fishing and accommodation package. They offer great fishing in a beautiful setting and their stretch of river is just a short walk or drive from the hotel.
The Eden had been up 100mm the day before my visit, but an early check on the Environment Agency river level page for that area showed that the river had dropped 50mm overnight and was still falling, I decided to go for it.
My heart sank when I got to the waters edge, the level was okay, but it was still coloured - a bit too coloured and I was beginning to think I'd chosen the wrong day. But, I needn't have worried. I'd hardly got the thought out of my head, when the first Olive Uprights started to appear and it wasn't long before they were popping up all over the place, with one or two slightly larger flies - Large Brook duns - mixed in.
The fish were soon on to the OU's and a number of fish to 38cm (15") came to an Olive CDC Dun before the hatch started to slow.
As the OU's petered out they were replaced by a decent hatch of Iron Blue Duns and the fish turned onto them for the rest of the afternoon. A size 16 IBD imitation accounted for a few more fish before a prolonged spell of heavy rain brought my session to an end.
There's been some tremendous hatches of Grannom this month, along with very good hatches of Olive Uprights and Iron Blue Duns - all later than normal. Which, for me, begs the question: Are the numbers of each species on the increase or is nature playing catch up and has the delayed emergence period, due to the very cold start to the season, meant that we are now experiencing a series of more concentrated hatches spread over a shorter period. I suspect the latter, but, I guess only time will tell.
I still haven't seen any Black Gnats, Hawthorn fly, Yellow May Dun or Mayfly, so it will be interesting to see what we get when they decide to make an appearance.
'Angling in Lilliput' These small, intimate waters can be quite a challenge, calling for a small rod (no more than 6 feet for me) and short casts. Just like my day on the Eden, it was the Olive Upright that got the fish going and a number of fish came to an appropriate imitation.
The majority of the fish are on the small side - especially over recent years - but the small streams in our area are known to have produced the odd leviathan on occasions.