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.