Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It's Grayling time....

The beginning of October heralded the start of grayling time in Eden. The Trout season is over and it was time to concentrate on 'The lady of the stream' properly.

John with his first Grayling on the fly

John and Henry were my first clients of October and with the weather more akin to the height of summer, the fishing was going to be tough. Henry was more interested in Salmon initially and with a dead low river, brilliant sunshine and all salmon reports on the negative side, his prospects weren't good. A sink tip and size 14 Black Francis did the job for him though and he managed  a hen fish of approximately 7lbs which was quickly and safely released - too quick! I had the camera on him but the fish was released before I  had a chance to get the shot. John had never fly fished before but he picked it up quickly and managed a few out of season Trout and his first Grayling.

Henry plays his Salmon

The unseasonably mild spell lasted for the bulk of October and  produced some of the best Large Dark Olive hatches of the year. The Olives brought fish hard on the feed,  with good numbers of Grayling and a few out of season Trout responding well to my offerings. Ringing the changes brought action for most of the sessions - nymphs first thing and then spiders produced as the hatch started and fish were on emergers, then once the hatch was in full swing and fish were hard onto the surface fly they wouldn't look at anything but a dry.

Ken and Wendy were over from South Africa to follow their team in the Rugby World Cup and stopped off - between matches - for their first go at fly fishing in Eden. Our river didn't disappoint - I hope - and they both managed to get into a few fish, even though  the majority were hungry out of season trout.

Ken is into an Eden Grayling

Charles into as fish

The next Eden newbie was 83 year-old Charles - over from San Francisco to do some rambling in the Lake District! I hope that I'm still as fit, and fishing when/if I get to 83. Charles fished a team of North Country spiders to good effect and managed to get plenty of action on his Eden debut.

Mark with an Eden fish on the nymph

Good afternoon hatches of Olives continued into the third quarter of  the month, but the Grayling - at least where I fished - appeared to turn off the surface fly. Plenty of out of season trout fed with gusto, but it was the nymph that tempted our real quarry. It was the nymphs that scored on Mark's first go in Eden - a pair fished upstream did the business for him....

Alexis with her first fish on the fly

The weather was becoming more seasonal by the end of the month and rain greeted Ben and Alexis when they visited Eden for their first taste of fly fishing. They weren't deterred by the miserable weather though. We had a very positive casting session in the morning and fished in the afternoon. The Grayling failed to show for them but a decent number of out of season trout showed an interest in their well presented flies. I'd have preferred them to catch Grayling but it was good they got a bit of action on their fly fishing debuts.
It continued to rain up to and including the final day of October. I'm not complaining though. I don't mind the rivers low for Trout fishing but I like a bit of water for the Grayling and the system needs a good flush - so hopefully, it can only do good - as long as it doesn't forget to stop....

Monday, November 9, 2015

September - The end of another trout season

September 2015 was very much like September 2014. The last month of the trout season was dominated by fine weather and low rivers - but the fishing was good.

David with a nice Eden Brown Trout

David and Sam were in Eden at the beginning of the month and the river performed well for them, despite the weather. Hatches were sparse and there was only the odd intermittent riser; not ideal for dry fly, but good conditions for a team of North Country spiders fished just under - and in - the surface. It was Sam's first visit to Eden, so we had a brief lesson on 'spider' fishing before letting him loose with his team. He fished them to good effect and was soon into his first Grayling and a few nice Trout.

Sam with his first Eden Trout

Allan was another first time visitor to Eden. He couldn't have had tougher conditions: cloudless, sunny skies and a low, gin clear river. They were challenging conditions, but not impossible - concentrating on the faster, more oxygenated water with small nymphs produced chances and some action....

Allan with his first fish on his day in Eden

Trout were on dries in the afternoon

We had some late afternoon hatches of Blue Winged Olives most days in September - as long as it wasn't too bright. The intensity of the hatch varied from day to day, but any duns on the surface usually managed to trigger a rise from a few trout and Grayling. On some days - especially from the middle of the month onwards - as long as you were willing to ring the changes, sport could be had throughout the day on nymphs, spiders and dries.

A first Eden Trout for John

Wisconsonites John and Brian were next to visit Eden. Their two day visit was to be shared between the river and Ullswater. Day one was on the river and our tactics were based on my previous days on the river and the lack of surface activity. We started on the nymph, which helped John to get his first Trout and a few Grayling. The dry fly brought Brian success and his first Grayling in the afternoon....

Brian tempted his first Grayling to take a dry fly

The second day of their visit was on Ullswater. I'd been hoping and praying for suitable conditions for their day and our weatherman had been suggesting all was good. But, as the day drew closer they began to change their minds and the day dawned bright, sunny and calm - the lake fishers anathema. We were committed though, so went for it and hoped for the best. Things looked very positive when Brian tempted a fish to his flies on our first drift, but that was it. We tried a few different areas and chased a light ripple, but only managed a few tentative tugs. They both enjoyed their day though and thought our lake was beautiful....

Father (John) and son (Brian) enjoying their day on Ullswater

Mike was my final client of the 2015 Trout season and he managed to have an eventful two days - especially his last one, which in his words was 'memorable'. Mike has been coming to Eden for a few years now and I've been keen to get him a 'red letter day' and we eventually managed it. He started his last day on 'the duo' (Dry fly and nymph) and had a fish first cast; that seemed to set the pattern for the rest of the day as a steady trickle of Trout and Grayling came throughout the session. We had a late afternoon hatch and the dries produced some action, then a change to spiders as the rise petered out ensured that Mike continued to catch fish and had his most productive day since converting from stillwater to river.

Mike's first fish on his 'memorable' day in Eden

The final two days of the season saw me out on the river. It didn't really feel like the end of September - the weather was unseasonably bright and warm, but it didn't have a negative effect on the fishing.

The last fish of the 2015 season came at 17.10 on closing day