Monday, September 29, 2014

The end is nigh...

I read somewhere recently that we're heading for the driest September since 1959. But despite this prolonged spell of dry weather and the rivers down to their bones, the fishing has been good in the final month of the 2014 trout season.
The month started well with two very productive afternoon sessions on the 1st and 2nd in middle Eden. I had a few nice fish in each session - like the ones above and below -  and an awful lot of smaller fish, which bodes very well for next year, if a decent amount survive the winter and the inevitable predation from the ever increasing numbers of Cormorants and Goosanders etc.

A few of 'The Eden Angler' clients did well too. Jason (above) had his personal best plus a few more during a good session on what should have been a tough day in very bright conditions.
Doug had a good session on the spiders
Rising fish have been short supply this month, the warm weather meant that the fly were on the wing as soon as they left the nymphal shuck and the fish weren't getting a chance at them. A few clients commented on the amount of fly in the air - which was good to see - but that's not where us fishermen want them....
So apart from trying tiny imitations on the occasional fish that were on midge, most of our efforts were concentrated on sub-surface feeders.

Mike did well to tempt a nice fish on his first visit to Eden

David had success on his first go with North Country spiders

Harry had a good session on the nymph
So, The End is Nigh.... as I write this there's two more days left of the trout season. My plan at the moment is to fish one of them - or maybe both.
It's sad that this season is nearly over but 'all good things must come to an end' and I'm already starting to look forward to hunting Grayling....

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Into the final Month

It's quite depressing really; it doesn't seem that long since we were just kicking off, and now we're into the final month of the 2014 trout season.
I've no complaints though, every season that we can fish is a good season and I've really enjoyed this one. I'm a bit miserable about the fact that it's nearly over, but, by the middle of the month I'll probably be starting get excited about chasing Grayling in the months leading up to the end of the year and beyond.
I might also find time to do more regular blog updates too !

A good number of fish were on the feed after heavy rain

August has been a good month on our rivers. After a long spell of dry weather and low levels we were heading towards a month of potential 'dog days'. Then the rains came and saved the day.
As mentioned in my last update, we didn't have to wait long for the first rains  of August. The thundery showers on the 2nd were followed by heavy rain on the evening of the 3rd and the Eden was up and dirty on the 4th. This pattern seemed to continue throughout the month, but we were lucky and we didn't lose too many days on the river. I only had one day's guiding cancelled and that was Grant's day as the river was unfishable after very heavy rain on the 9th.
We managed to re-arrange though and he still got his first go at our Eden Trout.... 
Grant is into his first Eden Trout
August seemed to be a month of firsts. I had quite a few tuition days for those trying our great sport for the first time and, luckily, the extra water helped our rivers to perform well for those more experienced visitors that were having there first go at Eden.
Stephen got a mention in a previous update when he visited in April and had a good day on Ullswater (See The Garden is looking rosy) He came back again in August for a go at our rivers. The fish weren't rising like they'd been the day before - a friend reported that he'd seen up to fifty fish rising to midge - so Stephen started with the nymph and it didn't take him long to get into his first fish.
We spotted a few Black Gnats in one pool but nowhere else and what we did see were ignored by the fish, which surprised me, the trout would normally be up for them. I'd hoped that this would be the start of another Black Gnat bonanza like we'd had back in May and around this time last year, when we had two weeks of fantastic dry fly sport as trout gorged on Gnats most days. But we must of had our lot for this year in May. Although I've heard of falls elsewhere, I haven't seen any on my outings since.
Stephen fished his first river in Eden and is into a fish

My last outing of the month was similar to my first. We'd had showers throughout the night and the first forty five minutes at my chosen destination was spent in the car, sitting out some very heavy showers. I guessed that the river would be rising but I had to have a look....

A Nice fish taken in a rising river

The river didn't look like it had risen much but it was definitely colouring up. Although it didn't last long before it got too dirty, I did manage a few hours in conditions very similar to that first outing of August and like that day: sport was hectic, there was nothing rising but fish reacted well to a pair of nymphs presented on a French leader.
Robert with a nice fish
My last two days of August were spent guiding two experienced anglers that were sampling our waters for the first time. Robert was visiting from Florida and he couldn't have hit it better. The river was up slightly and carrying a touch of colour after the previous day's rain, but it was what I'd call 'good colour'. The fish were feeding and responded well to his offerings throughout the session.

David poses with a decent trout
The final day of the month was a bit tougher for David, a visitor from Tasmania. The river had cleared and the sun was shining. There wasn't a lot of surface activity, just the odd occasional riser taking midge. David worked hard, and fished well, and managed a few fish to a mixture of dries and nymphs.

So - like last year - the rains saved the day in August and it was a good month. If September is anything like last year, it should be a good one and we'll finish the season on a high.