Thursday, July 10, 2014

River's low but it's certainly not slow....

The long dry spell continues and the local rivers are down to their bones, but - although it has got tougher - the fishing has still been good on occasions. As I mentioned in my last blog: the secret sometimes can be just a case of employing the right tactics in the right water.
Glen and Harry managed this on their visit to Eden. Although it was not necessarily the best conditions for fishing. They were treat to a beautiful day on the river and did well, managing a number of fish - Glen on his favourite North Country spiders and Harry on the nymphs.
The Nice weather in early June put paid to my lake fishing. Bright sunshine and light winds are the lake fishers anathema, but the evening fishing started, so there was some consolation. The evening rises at this time can be very short but occassionally, very sweet affairs.
You could - and I used to - go out early evening and fish the nymph until the evening rise begins. But I think I must be getting lazy as I get older, I live close to the river and nowadays, more often than not, I head out an hour or so before I expect things to 'kick off'. Quite often at this time of year, the fish don't 'come on' until the sedge start coming off just as the light begins to fade. You'll get about 20 -30 mins and then the river starts to shut down for the night, or at least it will for the dry fly man.
There was a time when I'd change to an old Eden traditional 'The Bustard' or I'd move onto the flats and swing something like a heavily hackled parachute Grey Duster, then Oliver Edwards came up with his POPA (Post Ovipositing Adult) Caddis so I changed to fishing this and/or a Caddis pupa. When I was younger and felt more inclined, I'd often stay out until the early hours on many nights in June, through July and into August. They weren't always productive but they were often exciting, when the 'big boys' were sometimes out and you'd get a massive boil at your fly as it swung across the flats or the shock of your life as the rod was nearly wrenched out of your hand on a pitch-black night. I might have to have a night or two this summer, but it'll have to be when there's no guiding or tuition the following day. I don't think I could survive the zombified, bog-eyed summers I used to endure in my younger days !

Matt and Mel had their first taste of fly fishing recently. After morning introductions to the gear and casting etc, they had a short fishing session. Mel told me before they started that she'd catch, and she did - only the one but with a bit more luck, it could have been four.


Blue Winged Olives were starting to trickle off towards the end of June and I was fortunate to come across a trickle hatch while I was supposed to be walking the dog. He loves coming fishing with me so I thought I'd combine a walk with a bit of fishing - as you do.
There was only a handful of BWO's on the water but I was fortunate to come across three intermittent risers and all three responded well to a size 16 Olive Paradun. So it just shows that there's always a chance in these tough conditions.
Heidi was having her first go at fly fishing in the UK. She'd been introduced to our great sport whilst on holiday in New Zealand and had done well with eight fish on her first attempt. So, the pressure was on - for me anyway - but I had to tell her that fishing on Eden is not like New Zealand and we don't get the size of fish that they do out there. She did well though and did manage to get into one or two Eden trout.

As I said in the title of this blog 'The river's low but it's certainly not slow' and that was definitely the case on two very productive outings at the end of June. Even though daytime hatches have slowed to a trickle and the fish aren't getting a chance of anything that is hatching as it's out of the nymphal shuck and on the wing in a split second in these warm conditions, they are still feeding.
They say that fish spend the greatest majority of their time feeding sub-surface and judging by the state of the snout on the fish above, he'd certainly been doing plenty of that.
So, these conditions are producing challenging times for us fishermen but that's all part of the fun, and the learning process, and whatever nature throws at us, we just have to learn how to 'play the hand we're dealt'

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