Saturday, October 24, 2020

September in Eden...another season draws to a close.

September in Eden saw another season draw to a close. Due to the unprecedented events of 2020 and the early season lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak, it's been a much shorter season than normal - and it seems to have flown over! But, compared to August, we finished with a relatively good month and, despite a mix of fluctuating river levels and days of bright sunshine, most who visited Eden managed to get some action.

Leo is into his first trout on the fly

Young Leo and his dad stopped off for their first taste of fly fishing at the start of the month, and they both managed to get a bit of action...which was great, especially for Leo, and hopefully it will have given him the incentive to carry on with our great sport.

A trout from a coloured Eden

Early September saw fluctuating water levels but, luckily, not enough to stop us fishing and all was good for Mike's rescheduled visit. He'd planned an earlier visit to concentrate on the dries, but Covid put paid to that. Surface activity was in short supply, our Autumn flies were refusing to play, so Mike concentrated his efforts sub-surface and his offerings produced action for him, including an Eden PB!

Mike into a fish on his day in Eden

Mike shows off his Eden PB

Mark into his first fish of the day

Mid-September was relatively dry. The rivers were dropping and clearing. But our trout fed well with most of our sport coming to nymphs on the French leader and North Country spiders, although one or two that were introduced to 'The duo' and 'New Zealand dropper' did pull fish to the nymph with the occasional one coming from nowhere for the dry. Steve had his first go at Eden and managed his first grayling and an Eden trout to 'The duo'.

Steve with his first grayling on the fly

Alan brings a fish to the net

Alan was my last client of the trout season. And the best was definitely saved until last, when his first fish of the day was a PB at 3lbs 6ozs and the biggest fish caught by any of my clients this year. We mixed things up on a bright autumn day in Eden and Alan went on to score on the spiders and rise fish to dries. So it was a really positive end to my 2020 trout guiding! Let's hope that the positive vein continues into our winter grayling fishing.

A beautiful 3lbs 6oz Eden trout for Alan

Saturday, October 3, 2020

August - another unsettled month in Eden!

August was another unsettled month in Eden! Heavy rain on the evening of the 4th brought our rivers up and we lost a few days whilst they were settling back to a more fishable level. Once they did, we managed ten days of settled weather before rain on the 18th heralded a very unsettled final two weeks!

Mitch is into a fish as Oli watches on

Days were lost but, luckily, not too many and most visitors to Eden managed to get some action. August has never been a month for much in the way of surface action, so most of our efforts were concentrated around sub-surface offerings. Mitch and Oli stopped off for their first taste of fly fishing in our area and, for young Oli, it was his first go with a fly rod. It's great to see youngsters trying our sport and Oli got some action, so hopefully his positive debut will inspire him to try again!

Oli has a trout in the net

It wasn't all positive. We've always associated August with 'dog days' and so it proved at times, with the fish playing hard to get. But, most of the time, hard work prevailed and we got some reward for our efforts. Colin had a tough day when his visit coincided with a more seasonal spell of August weather, but we rang the changes and moved around and managed to get fish to cooperate!

A fish for Colin on a tough day in Eden

Wet weather on the 18th brought a spell of unsettled weather and fluctuating water levels, but it was very welcome. We needed something to perk the fish up and the cooler water temperatures did the trick. Pete was out with me at the beginning of the unsettled spell and he hit it just right, when a few nice fish responded positively to his offerings!

Pete shows off a nice fish!

Beth into her first fish on the fly

The cooler, unsettled weather and water temperatures continued for the remainder of the month and it helped a few newcomers to Eden, and fly fishing, to get their first Eden trout. Harry had an awful day, weather-wise, for his visit. It poured down all day and he ended up fishing a rising river, but the conditions suited the fish, they turned onto the feed and he had a good deal of action before the river peaked and the fish turned off....

Harry with  a nice fish on his river debut

A lift in levels perked the fish up

We have a good selection of rivers in Eden and we can normally find somewhere to fish, but the severe weather blew all the rivers out in the final week of the season. A few days had to be rearranged but, hopefully, not completely lost, just delayed until better times. 

Another nice fish from a high river

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Eden in July - great sport amid fluctuating river levels

Eden in July was a month of unsettled weather and some great sport amid fluctuating river levels.
The month began with a falling, coloured river and the first two weeks consisted of a series of rising and falling waters. But it didn't hamper our efforts too much and a mix of nymphs, either on their own or in conjunction with a team of our North Country spiders, produced some good sport for some of our visitors to Eden.

Colin is into an Eden trout

Colin joined me for his first trip of the year to Eden. The river was coloured and falling and the fish weren't too co-operative for him. But some well presented flies did produce some action, and we were fortunate to find a few fish working the flats to give us a short period of dry fly fishing!

Fish came to a mix of dries and nymphs

The coloured water didn't stop fish from feeding and a day off between guiding sessions produce some good sport, and fish, to a mix of dries and nymphs - either on their own or fished together.

Colum into his first river trout

Colum and Finn joined me early in the month. Colum for his first taste of  fishing our rivers and Finn for his first taste of fly fishing. Both did well on a relatively tough day, and a flurry of activity in the afternoon ensured that they both got some action!

Finn plays a decent fish

The weather remained unsettled and river levels were up and down during the first half of the month. I was a touch concerned for the visit of Eben and Otto. We'd had rain the night before and the river was expected to rise. We decided to go for it though and the boys had a great day! We fished a rising river in the morning and both had some sport, including a river PB for Otto! The river switched off as it peaked around lunchtime. But it turned quickly and began to fall. The fish switched on again mid-afternoon to ensure that the boys finished the day with a flurry of activity. So all worked out well, despite my earlier concerns - it's a funny old game sometimes!

Otto with his river PB

Eben is into a fish

The weather and the river settled down during the middle of the month and all was pretty stable for David's visit to Cumbria. The fishing wasn't easy and he had to work hard for what he got, but hard work and persistence often pays off. A few fish and some action on each of his days on the river ensured that David was rewarded for his efforts.

David brings a fish to the net

An Eden trout to a well presented nymph

Settled weather continued into the third week of the month. Rising fish were pretty hard to come by, but the nymphs and spiders produced some action, and fish were caught and lost by most that joined me for a taste of  fly fishing in Eden. 

Then the weather changed for the final week of the month and we were back to changeable weather, rain and fluctuating water levels. Strong westerly winds made life difficult at times, but I did get the occasional reward by sticking at it!

Hard work in strong westerlies brought some reward

The final day of the month saw Robert join me for his first taste of fly fishing. After going through everything needed to take up our great sport, we looked at casting, flies, rivercraft etc. Then Robert fished for his first trout on the fly. After of few unlucky missed chances he eventually got his first fish - it may not have been the biggest, but it was certainly welcome, and it was bigger than the first trout that I got when I first started fly fishing! 

Hopefully this taste of our great sport will have been enough to get Robert hooked....

Robert with his first trout on the fly!

June and a return of the rainy season!

I'm sure that our seasons are changing. The pattern nowadays seem to be that we get summer-like weather in the spring and then by mid-June it begins to turn autumnal and the rains come. 
This June seemed to be following the same pattern. By the time Keith joined me on the 4th the weather was changing, the river was coloured - from overnight rain - on the 5th and on the 6th our rivers were rising after another spell of overnight rain. 

Keith with a river PB

Keith had joined me to look at the various river techniques and all produced some action on the day. The dry fly proved the most productive and a rising fish gave us the opportunity to look at fly choice, correct approach and good presentation. Keith's approach and presentation was spot on and after his first fly was refused we made a change and an Eden PB (for Keith) obliged by taking the fly on the first drift!

A BWO Dun produced some nice fish on occasions

June is the time of year when we see our best hatches of Blue Winged Olives and I experienced my first good daytime hatch on the 7th. The fish aren't normally slow to get on them and the day produced  some great dry fly sport to appropriate dun inmitations.

Another one to the BWO

Good hatches of BWO's continued until the 12th of the month, when we had our second good lift in river levels following a spell of heavy rain. A drop in water temperatures and a coloured river seemed to curtail the hatches. Rising fish were at a premium, but a change to the nymph continues to produe some action for myself and clients.

An Eden leviathan to the midge

On the odd occasion that we did encounter rising fish they didn't seem too interested what had become very sparse hatches of BWO's and were more prone to react to a variety of midge imitations, although Yellow May duns were beginning to be more prevalent and they were also attracting some attention from the fish.

A nice fish to The Yellow May dun

The remainder of June remained unsettled with fluctuating river levels. The dry fly sport slowed but , when we did get out, the fish responded positively to a variety of sub-surface offerings.

One to the nymph in a coloured river