Sunday, 22 May 2011

The lake district part 2

I decided to ask my old mate Phil to come along and fish some of the spots in the Lake District I explored with my wife several weeks ago but did not have the time to cover fully because of more important things like shopping!

The weather did not bless the trip but we made the most of what we got and fished hard on the first day covering the Eden in two spots and Ulswater in the evening. Fish were slow to rise and when they eventually did it was hard to guess what fish were taking at times with everything coming off at once including, sedges, mayflies olive spinners as well as black midge. Phil managed to get into a few fish but by the end of the first day I had a big fat zero to show for my efforts. On reflection I was not concerned the fishing had not been easy and I had enjoyed the day and Phil's company. On the plus side we had both learned a thing or two about wet fly fishing with some flies that Phil brought to the party that worked a treat for him on Ullswater just on last light.

On the second day we decided to take a trip up to Small Water Tarn despite an increasing wind that only got stronger the higher we climbed. When we got to the tarn before I had even had a chance to set up Phil was into fish including two double headers! I fished the windward side whilst Phil fished the lea shore. After an hour I was cold and fed up with no fish to show for it. The lea shore was far more sheltered and after lunch I changed my flies and started to fish. I got a few takes and then a fish on, not a bad size brownie came to the net and put the smile back on my face, mission accomplished.

By mid afternoon the wind was so strong that it blew me over, not good if you are wading right on the edge of the drop off that plunges away into the deep blue depths. I watched in ore as the gusting winds whisked the surface on the other side of the tarn into water funnels up to fifty feet high, time to go home!

Not so small,  Small Tarn  Brownie. Took a Blu Zulu.
Phil makes it over the top to the tarn. What a view!

Another shot of the same fish because I only caught one!
Oh, and beetles were being blown onto the Eden as well just to make  it harder to try and match the hatch.

The first big Mayfly hatch I've seen this year, the fish did not seem to be interested though, I wondered if they have been gorging on them over the last few days already?

Monday, 9 May 2011

Fishing in the Northern Lake District

I took a break to do some fishing in the Lakes, (in between entertaining the wife!) Success was mixed and I'm not going to make excuses for my shortfalls in catch numbers but they were small and the few fish that did take I lost mostly. It was however very refreshing to fish some different spots and I enjoyed exploring new ideas and places with some pleasant surprises. I managed to cover Ullswater, the river Eamont, the Eden and Small water tarn.

Stoneflies, feeding fish in the early dawn light.
The lake can change in seconds from a eerily serene calm to white horses in the time it take to change your fly. 

Olive spinners coming of Ullswater in the evening.

 First stop was Ullswater. I got up at dawn on several mornings to fish the lake to be greeted with some rising fish in the shallows of the bay. After some looking round I could see Stoneflies falling from the trees and landing on the water only to be gorged on by waiting trout. I managed to get a few takes on F-flys which seemed to be the closest imitation I had.

Small Water Tarn, (Hawswater down below).
Crystal clear water showed the deep drop offs very well where the depths plummet from a few feet to nearly 100ft!

The second day we took a trip up to Small Water tarn which lies above the Hawswater Reservoir. The scenery was absolutely stunning and the weather was very kind. Fish were rising all over the tarn just as we decided to push on up the pass I discovered that the fish were feeding on the thousands of Iron Blue Duns/Spinners coming of the water in droves. I have never seen so much fly activity and at such an altitude made a fantastic site.

Beautiful Iron Blue spinner.

   Absolutely K******d. It was quite a steep trek but still only an hour or so from the carpark.

Olive Duns also hatching off the tran.
Was that a rise? The rising fish were just outside my casting range on the drop off.  (note to self  , learn how to cast further or take a pair of waders next time).

A windy river Eden.
The Eden near Eden Lacy was hard to fish with the gusty downstream wind and eventually I gave up on Dry fly changing to Czech  nymphing which produced far more takes and a nice Grayling.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

A day on the river Ure with Stuart Crofts

As a member of Bolton Fly Tyers I attended a trip arranged for club members. We started out very early with a long drive to the wrong side of the country to fish the Ure near Masham. Stuart Crofts was to be our guide and Mentor and he met us as we contemplated the day ahead over a hearty breakfast.
A cool easterly wind greeted us as we approached the river, swirling around in the Ure valley. The fish were rising confidently in the the bright sunlight but they weren't going to take just any old fly and to be fair we all struggled that morning. After lunch Stuart provided us with a fantastic bug identification session looking at the different nymphs to be found and what they turn into.

 "Don't be too hasty- let the river invite you in first!", wise words.

Hawthorn flys - not hanging about!

Rhyacophilidae larva

A large Olive just hatched from it's shuck.

Brook Dun nymphs

Lots of beetles being blown onto the water by the keen easterly breeze.

A nice river Ure Brownie, fin perfect with a buttery belly!

Between us we caught eighteen fish up to a pound or so.

The boys, kicking back and taking five from their tough fishing regimen! 

What more can be said, apart from a big thanks to Stuart for a great day that will remain in our memories for a long time. We just hope that the tips and knowledge we gained will not only improve our fishing but will also enhance the richness of a day by the river looking through Stuart's eyes.