Saturday, November 27, 2021

September in Eden - the end to another trout season.

September in Eden saw the end of another trout season on our rivers. The month started dry and sunny. The rivers were low and they stayed that way until the final few days of September, when we finally got some wet weather in Eden and a slight lift in levels. 

Conditions were hardly ideal for those trying our great sport for the first time and challenging for guided days, but we did okay considering...and all coped with the conditions admirably.

Collin with his first grayling on the fly

A few grayling, despite the low water, began to make their customary appearance as we moved into September. Collin managed his first grayling on his first taste of Eden and decent numbers were occasionally found midging the flats.

More grayling in September

A first on her fly fishing debut for Elizabeth

It's great to see newcomers trying our great sport for the first time and there was a quite a few in September. Elizabeth had her first taste and managed to get some action on the nymph on her debut.
Nymph fishing dominated tactics for the remainder of the month. The occasional grayling could be found tempted to the surface by midge or aphids, but the trout were not interested. For them it was sub-surface offerings or nothing.

Trout on the nymph

Some nice fish were still to be found, but they did not come easy, they had to be worked for. Mark and Mike came for guided days and both scored on the French leader and small nymphs. French or European nymphing does not suit all, but there's no doubt that it is a very efficient way of working the water and it can be very effective at times.

Mark is into a fish on the nymph

Action for Mike

After a tough and very busy season, I decided to reserve the final week of the season for myself. The nymph still dominated - I didn't fish anything else, but I was rewarded with some nice finish to see out my season. The best was a beautiful 3lbs 6oz specimen that succumbed to a small nymph on the French leader.

A nice fish at 3lbs 6ozs towards the end of September

Rain during the last few days of the season brought the rivers up slightly and perked the fish up for the final day. With no fly showing at the surface, it was another day on the nymph, but a good number of fish responded positively to my offerings. So, despite 2021 being a very challenging season, it was nice to finish it off on a positive note. Let's hope that the fish winter well and roll on the 2022 trout season! 

A fish from the final day of the 2021 trout season

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Rain returned to Eden in August

Rain returned to Eden in August - to every fisherman's relief! The month began with the rivers low, but rain on the 6th brought a welcome rise. Eden was up approximately 27 cm (11 inch/ish) by the 8th and coloured.

Fresh water perked the fish up!
Fresh water perked the fish up!

The fresh water certainly perked the fish up and, as the river settled, a day on the nymph produced my best fish of the season!
The river was still holding at a good level and carrying a touch of colour when David joined me. David's favoured method involves a traditional across and downstream presentation of a team of our 'North Country Spiders'. And it certainly paid dividends, with a number of fish coming to his well-presented offerings.

A nice fish from a coloured river!
A nice fish from a coloured river!

It wasn't just the nymphs that produced. The drop in water temperature seemed to have fish actively looking for food and I had a couple of enjoyable sessions stalking the bank edges, picking off some nice fish that were actively sipping on aphids.

A nice fish sipping on aphids!
A nice fish sipping on aphids!

An Eden trout comes to the net
An Eden trout comes to the net

The unsettled weather continued for the majority of August. Although the rain wasn't heavy and our rivers were never massive, the levels did fluctuate and water temperatures dropped sufficiently to produce some decent fishing. Alan hit the river at a nice height and his good fishing ensured that his offerings were accepted by a number of nice fish!

Net at the ready!
Net at the ready!

The cooler water temperatures didn't just suit the trout; the end of August saw the grayling starting to come on the feed again. On some days there were decent numbers to be found sipping on midge and aphids. If you were lucky to in the right place when this happened a few could be tempted with suitable offerings. Based on observations, hopefully this bodes well for our late autumn and winter grayling fishing.

Cooler temperatures suited the grayling
Cooler temperatures suited the grayling

Saturday, November 20, 2021

A dry July in Eden

It was a dry July in Eden. The warm and dry spell continued and the rivers were down to their bones. Nymph fishing dominated most days and dry fly enthusiasts had to wait for the failing light of the late evenings.

Tempted by a Blue Winged Olive

The evening sport was good at times. We saw, albeit sparse, hatches of Blue Winged Olives, Sedge and Caenis, plus falls of Blue Winged Olive spinner. Fish turned onto them, with suitable imitations of each species producing action at different times throughout some evenings.

Another to the Blue Winged Olive

The rivers were low and gin clear and surface activity was at a premium during the day. So sub-surface offerings came to the fore, which suited our agenda when Joe came for a day on the river. The remit was nymph fishing techniques and we looked at European nymphing techniques, traditional upstream nymphing and did a bit of work with the 'North Country spiders'. All techniques produced some interest from the fish, so it was a successful introduction for Joe.

Joe took fish on the nymph

When fish were tempted to the surface during the day it was, in the main, by some of the tinier morsels that occasionally present themselves to the fish on our rivers. So when Jon had his first taste of fly fishing in Eden, most of our day was spent targeting fish that were rising to Midge and/or Aphids. 

Jon scored with the Midge and Aphids

Nymphs scored best!

The rivers were getting very low by the third week of the month. Presenting nymphs in various ways, depending on depth and current velocity, proved the most productive in the bright conditions. And size did matter! Invertebrates at this time of year tend to be very small and our nymphs have to reflect this.

A fish on the nymph for David

Wet weather returned towards the end of the month and it rained all day for David and Sam's day in Eden. The trout didn't really appreciate the change in conditions. It was quieter than I'd have like, but both stuck at it and managed to get some action. A mix of North country spiders and nymphs were enough to tempt the occasional fish and save the blanks.

Sam Shows off his catch

Friday, October 29, 2021

June weather and Blue Wing Olives

June 2021 began with a spell of very sunny and very hot weather, but it also brought the season's first hatches of Blue winged Olives!

First fish of the season to a Blue winged Olive

It's great to see young people taking an interest in our sport. Hector joined me for his first taste of fly fishing, and he managed to get his first trout on the fly! So I hope that the day has given him the enthusiasm to try it again and/or take up fly fishing at some point in the future.

Hector had his first go at Fly Fishing

The warm weather continued into June. Blue winged Olives were seen most days/evenings and sport was good. The month was mainly filled with newcomers to our sport, with the majority trying my 'Taster days' . Although a few of the more seasoned anglers came too. With some, like Tony, trying Eden for the first time.

A first taste of Eden for Tony

The Blue Winged Olives, like many other species this season, weren't as prolific as hoped for, but we saw them most days. Some evenings we were seeing sport to a mix of Blue Winged Olive Duns and spinners, Caddis, Midge and Caenis. Daytime sport was a mix of nymphing, spider fishing and, occasionally, dries. With imitations covering BWO, Midge, Aphids and Beetles.

Tempted by a Blue Winged Olive Dun

The good weather continued and by the middle of the month the rivers were starting to run gin clear and low. We had a few challenging days in the conditions. Fish were reluctant to come to the surface in the sunshine, but enough responded positively to sub-surface offerings to get most, that braved the sunshine, some sport.

David with a nice fish to the nymph

Ed is into a fish on his fly fishing debut

A weather front blew through the area towards the end of the month. It brought a brief return to cooler and wetter weather.It didn't last long and the river only came up 2cm, but it was a very welcome lift. David joined me on the day that the rain swept through and he did well on a challenging day. The fish seemed reluctant to feed. All he got was a few tentative tweaks to his offerings, before the day was saved when his best fish of the season so far walloped one of his spiders!

David with his best fish of the season