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 !