Thursday, 21 May 2015

May on a yorkshire stream..

The last couple of days have seen a bit of an increase in temperature so a late afternoon early evening trip to my local river Dove was on the cards and despite The EA doing some heavy tidying up to the stream which seemed on my first visit this year to have really damaged the fishing things seemed a lot better .  I did suffer with fish not sticking and the ratio of fish in the hands to those missed was about six to one.  Which even by my standards is pretty poor. But these two show that those in the stream are a beautiful fish.

This post wont have many words but hopefully the pictures will convey the afternoon.

Wonderful late afternoon light , vibrant colours . Clear water and abundant fly life . 

This trout was taken on a hawthorn fly .  On the day other successful flies were black gnats, IOBO humpy and a size 22 little black job .  Fish didnt seem to be switched on to anything in particular but everything in general .

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

More good....

For some reason this last few weeks has seen a surge in popularity of a post I put on last year entitled the good the bad and the ugly .  Well that prompted me to think about  purchases during the last year and one that stands out as been a top purchase has been a Umpqua midge fly box.  This last year I have been using more and more tiny flies . Size 18 to 24 and the fly boxes I had were wholly unsuitable the divisions were too big and the slots were too deep for the combination of tiny flies and fat fingers.  The box is proving to be brilliant for nymphs and all types of dries in those tiny sizes

Umpqua Midge box
For me a tight fisted Yorkshireman it has been money well spent......

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Season starts now......

I have had a few trips in the last few weeks. All of them had a common denominator in that at this time of year expectations always exceed reality One trip was to foston beck on the easter bank holiday, surprisingly for a bank holiday it did not pee down all weekend ,  In fact weather wise it was pretty good.  Cool but not cold and not to windy. A friend had visited a day or so previously and had bemoaned the low water.  At first things looked poor .  A cold breeze and very low clear water was not promising and it was 15 minutes before I saw a fish.  Well actually what I saw was a rise , the Culprit was the small wildie a couple of pics down.  He fell to a size 16 IOBO humpy.  The humpy has become my go to general olive pattern imitation.  

After getting a few hundred yards upstream I started to spot more rising fish.  There was a few olives trickling of the water.  and for the next 60 minutes it was as if summer had come and fish came to the net regularly .  A mixture of overwintered and new stock fish and a few wild fish .   It was nice to see enough rising fish to be able to concentrate on dries.

The river is very low , probably at a level not unlike where it was at the end of last summer .  This corner of the country has had one of the mildest and driest winters I have ever known and so ground water levels are very low .  For a stream that is totally spring fed thats not a good position to be in.

Whilst bringing one fish to the net I spotted a truly huge fish following it ,  That is a fish I will be looking out for as the season progresses .  ( Postscript) I returned for a very short session a few days later and went looking for the large fish .  I deceived it almost straight away with a small weighted nymph .  We remained in contact for some minutes until the fish got bored with the scrap and buried itself in some weed and we parted company.  The nymph was barbless and am sure will have been spat out by now. I will return to try again later in the season It is a very substantial trout and would certainly be a river PB for me if I get it into the net.This overwintered stockie was about the best of the day .

Another trip was to the river Dove ( the Yorkshire one ) it should have been a perfect day the weather and water levels looked right but to my bitter disappointment I discovered that the Environment Agency  have been in over the winter and whilst they have removed some almost complete river blockages they have removed swathes of superb bankside cover.  Although not permanent damage I fear that very many fish will have moved of downstream, certainly it will be next year before the fishing improves to its normal level.  It was interesting in that I managed a couple of fish from this untouched area. 

But this area which now has a few hawthorn stumps last season had a canopy extending halfway across the stream and always held many fish .  On the day I didnt even see a fish.

 A highlight of the day and a real sign of spring was sitting and watching this ewe give birth to a pair of twins.  Not something I have seen before and was amazed by how quickly they were up and about on their brand new rubber legs. 

Saturday, 28 March 2015

First fish of the season and small signs of spring

Setting out on the first trout fishing trip of the season my local scalby beck looked bright , clear and very low. In these parts we have had virtually no rain for the last few months and the season is starting with water levels below normal summer levels.

 The cold instantly striking through my waders as I entered the beck reminded me its still only March.  This is the view that started my season .  I paused and just enjoyed watching the stream in front of me . Rod in hand a quick check behind and the first cast was formed .  This  moment  had been in my mind for a good few months now .   Evenings at my desk tying flies and more recently checking lines and cleaning reels all with a common purpose of preparation for the seasons start.  

The first signs of spring are everywhere now.  Tiny pockets of colour hidden along the banks give hints to warmer times .

Somehow the wild snowdrops are so much more graceful than the cultivated ones.

Further downstream the big weir pools showed no signs of life ,  Soon the fish that are there will take to the fin and  give themselves away taking surface flies .  The fish pass boxes are empty now the sea trout that ascended them just a few months previously have all either fed the otters or dropped back to the sea. The only evidence of their passing are the big redds still visible in the gravel beds. 

So here it is my opening day trophy that most important of captures, the first fish of the season.  Not big in fact not even average but a small fish that was ever so welcome .

A few more fish followed it all bigger but none had any significance no more would be the first fish . Below was the last view of the stream today the banks starting to flush with green with the thick beds of ramson or wild garlic .  In another month a shower of rain will fill the valley with the heavy perfume of garlic.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Scarborough Scalby beck an opportunity not to be missed....

I was out on the beck this weekend, not fishing but working towards putting some of the recommendations in place from last years WTT advisory visit.  A friend and I spent a few hours trying to ensure that the amount of cover that is available to both the wild brownies and particularly the sea trout smolts which end up shoaling up in a couple of big pools at the bottom end of the fishery waiting for a lift of water before taking to the sea.  It was a rewarding morning and even though no fishing was done it was nice to have a purpose to get in the river again.

I have known the beck all my life it is a fishery of about 3 or 4 miles.  In its length it drops a considerable height and contains several large weir pools, some interesting pocket water ( great fun for tenkara fishing ) and runs through both fields and wooded sections with a fair few natural small falls for good luck.  It contains a healthy population of WBT and grayling with a few chub and perch showing up. It also has a run of sea trout that can run to a good size although on average 2 to 4 lb the club record stands at 10 and a half pounds.

scalby beck wild brownie 
The beck is a haven for wildlife last year I shared a pool with an otter, there is also abundant bird life and the banks in places have adders and slow worms.  Deer and badgers of course exist in good number.

The club has a small membership of approximately 30 and the subscription costs are very modest .
If you interested in membership then please contact me and I shall be pleased to offer any further information you may require.  There are ltd vacancies this year ,  if you search back through my blog there are a number of posts on it. It is a lovely water .