Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Another week in Eden

It's great to see youngsters coming into our sport, after all, they are the sports future and without them it will die. It's quite worrying when you hear things like: the average age of a Salmon fisherman is 54 and the average age of a fishing magazine reader is 51 - I might stand corrected, but that's what I've been told....
So it was really good to see two keen youngsters on the river the other Saturday (19/4/14). Samuel (13) and Thomas (8) came with their father, Paul. Samuel is a good young angler already with the potential to be a very good angler in the future. He seemed to enjoy playing with the few presentation casts that I showed him and had to be dragged away from doing 'Curve casts' and 'Aerial mends' around a rock, to go fishing with his dad while I gave his brother Thomas (8) a casting and fishing lesson. Thomas did very well, he coped admirably with his casting, did a bit of fishing and caught a trout. I'm sure it won't be long before he catches up with his brother - I hope they stick at it.

The start of last week saw me on the Eden, it was a welcome day off after a busy week of guiding and I hit the river with my good friend and fellow AAPGAI member, Clive Mitchelhill. The sun was shining, Grannom were hatching and it had the potential to be a tough day. We all have our theories on fishing, and we don't always agree. There's been a lot written about Grannom hatches and how good the sport can be, although in my opinion, and experience, it can sometimes be a hard hatch to fish. The hatches tend to be massive on occasions and our artificials have a lot of competition in the form of thousands of pupae ascending through the water column. Rising fish are often in short supply, as the adults usually get airborne very quickly and most rises that I've witnessed tend to be to the odd adult that is struggling to break free of the pupal shuck. So it can be tough - but not impossible - and I often find the best sport can be either side of the hatch. I decided to fish the 'Duo' or 'New Zealand style' or 'Klink and dink' or whatever else you want to call it. With no reason to change, I spent most of the day with a Klinkhammer style offering as my attractor/indicator and a Grannom pupa pattern hung below it and they both worked, the pupa scored best, but only just, as a decent number were pulled to the dry.

The rest of the week saw me back to guiding. David was over from New Mexico and had his first go at fishing an English river. Based on Monday's success, I introduced him to the 'duo' which produced a few fish and offers for him before we hit a sparse hatch of Olive Uprights. A few fish were on them and David enjoyed some success to the dries.

Another visitor from overseas, Eric, was over from St Louis for his first taste of Eden and he hit a massive Grannom hatch. The water was littered with discarded shucks - there must have been hundreds of thousands. As you can imagine, with all this lot coming up through the water column, Eric's offerings had a lot of competition. A strong downstream wind battered the adults and a few were blown onto the water but most were ignored by the fish. I sometimes wonder if they really like the adult, or maybe they just ignore it in favour of the more vunerable pupa....? I introduced Eric to our North Country spiders, he fished them well, made contact with a few fish and managed to catch his first English Brown Trout.

I managed another day for myself at the end of the week and was lucky to hit a hatch of Olive Uprights. There was a few fish on the duns but not many. I decided to alternate between a dry and a single nymph - the dry if I came across a riser and the nymph if not. Both brought success throughout the session.
The week finished with a weekend in Eden for Harry and Rob.
After a very successful Saturday session on Ullswater we finished the weekend with a day on the river. With a slight lift and consequent drop in water temperature, there was little in the way of a hatch so they both fished the nymph. Harry with the more traditional 'Upstream nymph' while Rob was very skilled with the 'French leader'. Both methods proved successful and the lads finished the weekend with a productive river session.

Rob goes for the net after hooking another fish on the 'French leader'
Harry shows off one of his fish - WE KNOW WHY YOU GOT THAT, DON'T WE HARRY ?......

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