31 May 2009

Yet another day when the sun has cracked the flags here, but we had a strange phenomenon earlier this afternoon.  For a couple of hours a near gale force wind blew out of the south east tearing the laundry from the line and raising dust in veritable devils. It's all calm again now and setting in for a super evening.

Last evening was similar except that we had a stiff easterly breeze that turned the Tarn choppy and kept the fish low.  I was up there till quite late watching the Hon Sec wet a fly or two. Just as I was leaving at around 8.45 the wind dropped and the air filled with buzzers and sedge.  Right on cue the fish began to rise and feed eagerly.  My guess is that they were pretty hungry as the two fish caught and spooned showed that they had eaten very little during the day, possibly because of the very bright, but windy conditions.

Coots are often regarded as the secret thugs of the waterways.  They look diminutive and as if butter wouldn't melt etc., but in reality they are more than capable of a spot of GBH.  I managed to get some video yesterday of two Tarn coots having a right old ding dong.  Whilst this battle royal was raging a third coot arrived and joined in just like a lads night out in Leeds.  The fight ended with one or the protagonists scuttling across the Tarn hotly pursued by the victor.  This unseemly behaviour impressed the swans on a jot.  They watched from a distance clearly unimpressed with the way the neighbourhood had gone to pot.  The three cygnets hid behind the cob until things settled down. 

I also got some video of a mayfly that landed on the Hon Sec's rod clearly mistaking the artificial clipped into the keeper ring as a potential mate.  It's all very well fooling a rather thick rainbow trout with a well dressed fly,  but to deceive a more discerning spinner is quite an achievement.

On the subject of well dressed flies, the hut now boasts a good supply of tools and materials for those of you who realise that the killer fly in the box you meant to slip into your pocket is still on the table at home.  You can now while away a few minutes creating the pattern that no 4lb rainbow could possibly resist.  Please leave the boxes of materials, hooks, etc. for others to use after you.

Ian

30 May 2009

Warm sunny weather over the past few days has dropped the river level appreciably, but it's still fishable on the pools and deeper runs although clear water will make creeping up on our wild brownies a game for back woodsmen.

I was talking to our wild top end river specialist yesterday morning when he dropped by for a guest ticket.  Despite less than favourable conditions so far this season he tells me that he has caught 17 fish so far from the runs and pools around Lodge Hall.  This is true “wild west” country with almost no bank side herbage to cover an approaching angler from the ever watchful gaze of the timid brown trout that live here.  It's many years now since we last stocked near Lodge Hall so all fish found this far up the river will be wild fish.

I didn't get up to the Tarn yesterday so was unable to check on the well being of our new cygnets.  On Thursday the whole family was missing from the Tarn which caused some consternation.  However, they were all spotted later plodding up the channel that drains the water below the duck wall.  I assume that mum had taken the chicks down to the swampy area at the foot of this leat to feed in the shallower water.

It's another cracking day with not a cloud in the sky and just a gentle westerly breeze stirring the trees.  Far from ideal fishing conditions, but a late evening at the Tarn should be rewarding.

Ian

27 May 2009

It's a nasty wet and windy day here in the valley, but the forecast for tomorrow is rather good so with a river somewhat replenished by today's rain fishing over the weekend should be rather good.

For some few years now plans have been hatching for the creation of a bridleway link between Clapham and the Cam High Road.  This will be part of the long distance Pennine Bridle Way which will cross the river at Far Moor between the Tarn and Dale Mire Barn.  The club has been consulted about the design of the bridge and the ancillary fencing work that will prevent horse riders ad other users from accessing the river at this remote and vulnerable spot.  I now learn from the project officer that work is planned to start here at the end of July and continue to around December.  There will be scaffolding in the river during the construction of the bridge and this normally tranquil spot will be busy with contractors vehicles and construction teams. You have been warned.  I have marked the crossing on the map on Angli Vespers.

Stunned by the quick sale of the recent bargain that I advertised a few days ago a member has emailed me to ask for an advert to be placed for a rod that he has surplus to needs.  I can do no better than offer his own words:

Brand new and never even
had a reel onto the rod. (but I don

27 May 2009

It's a nasty wet and windy day here in the valley, but the forecast for tomorrow is rather good so with a river somewhat replenished by today's rain fishing over the weekend should be rather good.

For some few years now plans have been hatching for the creation of a bridleway link between Clapham and the Cam High Road.  This will be part of the long distance Pennine Bridle Way which will cross the river at Far Moor between the Tarn and Dale Mire Barn.  The club has been consulted about the design of the bridge and the ancillary fencing work that will prevent horse riders ad other users from accessing the river at this remote and vulnerable spot.  I now learn from the project officer that work is planned to start here at the end of July and continue to around December.  There will be scaffolding in the river during the construction of the bridge and this normally tranquil spot will be busy with contractors vehicles and construction teams. You have been warned.  I have marked the crossing on the map on Angli Vespers.

Stunned by the quick sale of the recent bargain that I advertised a few days ago a member has emailed me to ask for an advert to be placed for a rod that he has surplus to needs.  I can do no better than offer his own words:

Brand new and never even
had a reel onto the rod. (but I don

27 May 2009

It's a nasty wet and windy day here in the valley, but the forecast for tomorrow is rather good so with a river somewhat replenished by today's rain fishing over the weekend should be rather good.

For some few years now plans have been hatching for the creation of a bridleway link between Clapham and the Cam High Road.  This will be part of the long distance Pennine Bridle Way which will cross the river at Far Moor between the Tarn and Dale Mire Barn.  The club has been consulted about the design of the bridge and the ancillary fencing work that will prevent horse riders ad other users from accessing the river at this remote and vulnerable spot.  I now learn from the project officer that work is planned to start here at the end of July and continue to around December.  There will be scaffolding in the river during the construction of the bridge and this normally tranquil spot will be busy with contractors vehicles and construction teams. You have been warned.  I have marked the crossing on the map on Angli Vespers.

Stunned by the quick sale of the recent bargain that I advertised a few days ago a member has emailed me to ask for an advert to be placed for a rod that he has surplus to needs.  I can do no better than offer his own words:

Brand new and never even
had a reel onto the rod. (but I don

26 May 2009

After a fine and sunny weekend we had a few heavy showers last evening and overnight.  Not really enough to lift the river to any appreciable extent, but it's still fishable on the pools and deeper runs.

I did the invertebrate check at New Inn bridge first thing yesterday morning and despite not being able to sample the gravel banks where the best results are got because of low water the results I did get are encouraging.  All families included in the monitoring programme are present including, for only the second time in the two years we have been monitoring, a specimen of the true mayfly Ephemera danica.  You can't easily mistake this fine beastie.  It's large with feathery gills carried high and looks quite elegant.  Still, one E.danica does not a duffers fortnight make so fishing our little river will always be hard graft.

A member dropped by last evening after fishing the Tarn to report something that despite fishing here for over 30 years he had not seen before.  The cows are now out in Tarn pasture and many of these have calves at foot.  It would seem that one calf became separated from the main herd because it was too busy feeding its face to notice that mum and it's mates had moved some distance off.  On realising that it was now home alone panic set in and rather than gallop round to where the herd were now grazing it took a short cut – straight across the Tarn.  So if you do get a bite that seems to fight with extraordinary vigour just make sure that it's a rainbow and not Billy the bullock!

The clouds are lifting now and the sun is emerging.  The forecast is for a fine day up to mid afternoon when we may get further showers.  Tomorrow looks to be a washout with strong winds before a return to warm settled weather on Thursday.  If we do get a lot of rain tomorrow the river should be in good nick for the weekend.

Ian

24 May 2009

Hot on the heels of the tale of the two large Tarn rainbows comes news of a very large Tarn brownie.  Now, it's about 5 years since we put any brown trout into the Tarn so any that do turn up here have spent a good few winters in the Tarn since unless evolution has taken a large leap forward in Ribblesdale they can't have walked from the river.  Malcolm B dropped by last evening to tell me that he had just had a major tussle with a fish that he estimated weighed in at over 4lb.  It was certainly too large for the boat net and had a tail that a salmon would have been proud of.  This monster brownie went back in so it's still there nursing a somewhat injured pride and cursing its greed.

The swans have hatched 4 cygnets overnight.  One unfortunately has deceased, but the remaining three look fit and healthy and are already out on the Tarn watching the parents dive for food.  There are two unhatched eggs in the nest so have a result from half the clutch that was laid. 

I was up at Turn Dub first thing to do the monthly river fly check.  Results look good and sampling in a moderately high river was much easier than the near drought we had last month.  I even found some gammarus this time along with a host of bullhead fry.  Our wild brownies will not go hungry.

Ian

23 May 2009

I thought that the fishing on the river would be good yesterday provided that the rain kept to a minimum. So it proved to be.  Alan M dropped by just before 5pm to say that he had just spent a cracking 4 hours fishing down stream to Helwith Bridge and had caught 11 fish.  These were clearly all wild fish and ranged in size from 6 inch fingerlings to mature fish that would probably tip the scales at around a pound.  Not only is this great news as regards numbers of fish, but it also shows without question that our wild fish are recruiting as the fingerlings are likely to be the result of 2007 ova and 2008 hatchings.  There's no reason to doubt  that fry from this year's hatchings are in the river so it's hoped that the overall population of wild brownies will continue to increase.

When members do fish the river can I make a plea that you record your catch on the member's website (Angli Vespers) under “fishing returns”. This not only provides me with a picture of how the river is fishing and helps to flag up any emerging problems (or otherwise), but it also shows newer members where good sport may be had and which fly may tempt our cautious little brownies into a take.

It's a cloudy start to the holiday weekend with the prospect of showers during the morning.  The forecast remains good for the coming week though so a trip to Horton should be rewarded with ideal fishing conditions.

I have postponed the main riverfly check scheduled for tomorrow to 20 June as so many of the riverfly group are indisposed.  I will do a monthly bankside check to ensure that all is still in order with our invertebrates.  Any member is welcome to come along to the main check to see what goes on and learn more about the main food source for our fish.  It's a fascinating way to spend a morning and the outcome could be knowledge that leads to greater success when fishing the river.

Thanks to Alan M I now have  a copy of the menu for the MAA centenary dinner held back in 1978 which I will copy and put on Angli Vespers to complement and contrast with the 1893 menu that already on there.

Ian

22 May 2009

Large trout seem to proliferating at present. After last week's large wild river brownie comes a report of to monster rainbows caught at the Tarn yesterday.  I was coming up the garden after collecting hens eggs yesterday afternoon when I spied a member and his guest advancing down the path towards me.  The guests ticket was handed back an I asked how much luck they had between the showers.  The answer was a near maximum take by our honoured member and two for his guest with a number of missed catches.  It seems that our member had been fishing well down in the water from the boat and got a strike which felt like a small dog on the end of the line as the fish was obviously rather large and was shaking its head violently to try to dislodge the tackle which it clearly objected to.  On drawing this beast to the side of the boat it became clear that it was well nigh longer than the boat net.  The conservative estimate is that this rainbow weighed in at around 4lb and was in very good condition.  Not content with this our member repeated the experience with another monster shortly after which he is sure was not the same fish.

Those members of slight build or frail constitution have been duly warned.

It's another showery day here, but with less rain overnight the river has now lost much of its colour and is in good fishing condition.  The forecast is for better weather over the bank holiday weekend.

Ian

21 May 2009

A very wet night has left the river in very high water with a fair bit of colour.  It's dry now with a few blue patches between dark, threatening clouds.  It looks like a showery day with a fairly light westerly breeze.

The number of club songs on the website continues to grow apace.  Some of these are real gems, full of wit and reference to what were obviously contentious issues for our Victorian forbears.  Many of the tunes that these songs were set to are familiar, but some are less well known.  It might be fun to add the music notation for these songs and compile an MAA song book?

I saw something most unusual this morning when I went out to attend to livestock.  Sitting on the goat house wall was a grey squirrel.  In the 11 years I have lived here I have only ever once before seen one of these creatures around the house and that was just after we moved here.  It seemed most unconcerned by my presence and sat watching me sweep the goat yard before scurrying off down the garden.  Whilst we do have trees around us including one giant sycamore there are very few seed or nut bearing trees that would provide food for squirrels so I guess that it's this shortage of food that makes their sighting here such a rare occurrence.  Or perhaps they know of my fondness for squirrel casserole.

Ian