31 July 2009

My normally rock solid wireless internet connection died on Wednesday evening and has just been restored.  It would seem that sheep were the culprits.  Seeking shelter from this glorious liquid summer weather they managed to dislodge the antenna cable in the barn that houses the local link and trod on it causing a short.  All is humming along nicely again now.

I went up to the Tarn first thing yesterday morning with the intention of doing the invertebrate check at Turn Dub.  The natural bowl that hold the water looked spectacular lit by shafts of sunlight breaking through the heavy cloud.  As I watched these searchlight beams sweeping the Tarn I was mesmerised by the sight of a rainbow brought to being by a sudden squall crossing the valley.  From my vantage point the near foot of this intense spectrum of colours seemed to come to earth right on the hut.  Search as I might I could find no crock of gold either in or under the hut.

On getting down to the river it was immediately clear that the check would be impossible in the high water conditions.  Despite having a staff and life jacket with me the current was far too strong to make wading a less that life threatening exercise.  So discretion being the better part of valour I beat a retreat.  Levels are still high today so the Turn Dub check will have to wait until conditions are more favourable.

On a brighter note, I have mentioned before the fact that there seem to be a lot of young trout throughout the fishery this year which bodes well for future fishing.  Further confirmation of these observations comes from Gavin P who fished up from the Tay bridge on Tuesday evening.  Gavin tells me that –

Last night I took the
opportunity to fish up from the Tay Bridge into Parkers Wood from around 6.15
to 8.30 pm mainly because of the shelter from the trees. The river was coloured
and looking as though it was rising slowly.

 The fishing was good with
9 fish in all from around 8

31 July 2009

My normally rock solid wireless internet connection died on Wednesday evening and has just been restored.  It would seem that sheep were the culprits.  Seeking shelter from this glorious liquid summer weather they managed to dislodge the antenna cable in the barn that houses the local link and trod on it causing a short.  All is humming along nicely again now.

I went up to the Tarn first thing yesterday morning with the intention of doing the invertebrate check at Turn Dub.  The natural bowl that hold the water looked spectacular lit by shafts of sunlight breaking through the heavy cloud.  As I watched these searchlight beams sweeping the Tarn I was mesmerised by the sight of a rainbow brought to being by a sudden squall crossing the valley.  From my vantage point the near foot of this intense spectrum of colours seemed to come to earth right on the hut.  Search as I might I could find no crock of gold either in or under the hut.

On getting down to the river it was immediately clear that the check would be impossible in the high water conditions.  Despite having a staff and life jacket with me the current was far too strong to make wading a less that life threatening exercise.  So discretion being the better part of valour I beat a retreat.  Levels are still high today so the Turn Dub check will have to wait until conditions are more favourable.

On a brighter note, I have mentioned before the fact that there seem to be a lot of young trout throughout the fishery this year which bodes well for future fishing.  Further confirmation of these observations comes from Gavin P who fished up from the Tay bridge on Tuesday evening.  Gavin tells me that –

Last night I took the
opportunity to fish up from the Tay Bridge into Parkers Wood from around 6.15
to 8.30 pm mainly because of the shelter from the trees. The river was coloured
and looking as though it was rising slowly.

 The fishing was good with
9 fish in all from around 8

31 July 2009

My normally rock solid wireless internet connection died on Wednesday evening and has just been restored.  It would seem that sheep were the culprits.  Seeking shelter from this glorious liquid summer weather they managed to dislodge the antenna cable in the barn that houses the local link and trod on it causing a short.  All is humming along nicely again now.

I went up to the Tarn first thing yesterday morning with the intention of doing the invertebrate check at Turn Dub.  The natural bowl that hold the water looked spectacular lit by shafts of sunlight breaking through the heavy cloud.  As I watched these searchlight beams sweeping the Tarn I was mesmerised by the sight of a rainbow brought to being by a sudden squall crossing the valley.  From my vantage point the near foot of this intense spectrum of colours seemed to come to earth right on the hut.  Search as I might I could find no crock of gold either in or under the hut.

On getting down to the river it was immediately clear that the check would be impossible in the high water conditions.  Despite having a staff and life jacket with me the current was far too strong to make wading a less that life threatening exercise.  So discretion being the better part of valour I beat a retreat.  Levels are still high today so the Turn Dub check will have to wait until conditions are more favourable.

On a brighter note, I have mentioned before the fact that there seem to be a lot of young trout throughout the fishery this year which bodes well for future fishing.  Further confirmation of these observations comes from Gavin P who fished up from the Tay bridge on Tuesday evening.  Gavin tells me that –

Last night I took the
opportunity to fish up from the Tay Bridge into Parkers Wood from around 6.15
to 8.30 pm mainly because of the shelter from the trees. The river was coloured
and looking as though it was rising slowly.

 The fishing was good with
9 fish in all from around 8

28 July 2009

A dry start to the day enabled me to get out first thing and do the invertebrate check at New Inn.  Results are good with plenty of heptagenia and baetis nymphs and a lot of small stonefly nymphs.  Water conditions were excellent, a full, fast flow the colour of weak tea.  Anyone planning to fish the river over the next few days should ensure that they have a good supply of very small iron blues as these were hatching from the sample tray as I counted them.

As I have said before, the numbers of individuals in each family included in the check do seem to vary by quite a bit month to month, but looking back over the two plus years that we have been monitoring it's good to see that the results show a good correlation between the same months in different years.  Fly life does not seem to be increasing, but then again it's not decreasing either.

The surprise catch this morning was a 5 inch stone loach, the first of this species that I have caught on the river.  It looked quite shocked to be in the net and up close looked rather primeval.

My plan is to check the Turn dub site tomorrow weather permitting and as the forecast is for some sun with a scattering of showers the plan should come to fruition.

You know, living here and seeing all manner of humanity passing through; most of it off duty, on holiday and therefore often on its worst behaviour you think you have seen most of the peculiarities that people can present to the world.  A sight this morning really took the biscuit though.  A party arrived at the bunkhouse next door and from one car emerged a a bottle blonde female with a very small and peculiarly hairy dog on a lead. Nothing unusual in that I hear you cry.  Wait a mo.  She was wearing a natty pair of ankle boots that were so much like the dog that the could have been related.  I hate to think what might happen if the dog happened to be asleep near these boots when she came to put them on.  I doubt if Dalehead veterinary surgery have ever had a dog presented with a foot stuck up its bum.

Ian

27 July 2009

Yet another wet start here in the valley with cloud masking the fells all round and a thin, soaking rain that the Scots very appropriately describe as dreich if that's how you spell it.

Talking of things Scots I watched the BBC programme on rivers with Griff Rhys Jones last evening out of curiosity and have to say that overall it was quite good.  There was a rather informative sequence on salmon conservation showing the netting and stripping process and some good shots of a very impressive hatchery setup.  Mind you, it beats me how anyone can make a film about the Tay and not include a single fisherman.  There was a sequence about salmon caught including a couple of fine examples caught on the same day many years ago.  It would seem that two members of the same family (father and son) set out to fish and father caught the fish of a lifetime.  Whilst this 44lb monster was laid out on the front step being admired son appeared with a 50lb specimen.  Father's fish was acknowledged as being quite a good “tiddler”.  You can't win them all!

Let's see how this programme develops as we venture onto the rivers of England.

Ian

25 July 2009

For all my adult life I have been fascinated by old stuff, old buildings, old machinery, old tales told by older people (even my wife is seven years older than me!) – you get the picture?  My extensive toolkit mostly dates from the first part of the 20th Century when tool steel was made to take and keep an edge and handles were of ash or beech, made to be used all day long without discomfort. So an article in today's paper caught my eye.  It seems that there is a strong revival in the art of bamboo rod making with demand increasing despite the current financial down turn. 

Chris Yates in his article reckons that the finest rods ever made are being produced right now by a craftsman in Newbury.  These rods are reckoned to be more robust than carbon rods, give a better feel when fishing and are lighter in the hand.  Not being much of a fisherman I can't comment, but the look of these little pieces of sheer art certainly appeal to my aesthetic sense.

The craftsman in question is Edward Barder whose CV includes working for Hardy's in Pall Mall.  You can contact Edward via the following address www.barder-rod.co.uk.  Is it time to bring back the bamboo? 

Yet more evidence reaches me that our wild brownies are beginning to recruit well.  A member came up this morning for a guest ticket and departed for the top end to try his luck in near perfect water.  On returning this evening I asked him how he got on.  It would seem that whilst he caught nothing up at Lodge Hall he was knocked by a lot of 6 inch fish which bodes well for future seasons.

The forecast here for tomorrow is pretty miserable which is a shame after today's warm sunshine.  The remainder of the week looks fairly grim too with heavy rain and gales forecast for mid week.  So much for summer!

Ian

24 July 2009

My rant yesterday about Mr Rhys Jones and his lament that he and his ilk are prevented from turning our quiet rivers into a linear theme park for boaters prompted an observation from a member who has suffered the tribulations of trying to fish one of our Dales rivers in the company of the great British public.  Let Gavin describe his frustration in his own words:

I have been reliably
informed that this was a feature on the Jeremy Vine show on Thursday, but as yet
I have not had chance to listen again on the BBC

24 July 2009

My rant yesterday about Mr Rhys Jones and his lament that he and his ilk are prevented from turning our quiet rivers into a linear theme park for boaters prompted an observation from a member who has suffered the tribulations of trying to fish one of our Dales rivers in the company of the great British public.  Let Gavin describe his frustration in his own words:

I have been reliably
informed that this was a feature on the Jeremy Vine show on Thursday, but as yet
I have not had chance to listen again on the BBC

24 July 2009

My rant yesterday about Mr Rhys Jones and his lament that he and his ilk are prevented from turning our quiet rivers into a linear theme park for boaters prompted an observation from a member who has suffered the tribulations of trying to fish one of our Dales rivers in the company of the great British public.  Let Gavin describe his frustration in his own words:

I have been reliably
informed that this was a feature on the Jeremy Vine show on Thursday, but as yet
I have not had chance to listen again on the BBC

23 July 2009

Yet again the weather put paid to molesting invertebrates in the river this morning.  We had a monumental downpour mid morning which rose the river and left me with the urgent task of rodding my drains.  I have lowered the water level somewhat (in the drains that is), but suspect that DynoRod will be needed to restore an uninterrupted flow.

By all accounts the Tarn crayfish are thriving.  The two handling courses this week saw a reduced number of creatures in the traps compared to last year, but all these were healthy showing no sign of porcelain disease or any other affliction.  The population survey in a few weeks time will give us a better feel for the number of natives resident in the Tarn so look out for creatures bearing numbers.

Here's something to raise the blood pressure somewhat so grab a large scotch and read on.  That pseudo Welshman Gryff Rhys Jones has for some reason taken against anglers.  Writing in the BBC “Countryfile” magazine Jonesy laments the fact that our rivers “no longer belong to the people”.  The fault it would seem lies with angling clubs who own the fishing rights on some of our most secluded rivers and prevent the lower orders from enjoying a quiet stroll along the banks or a gentle paddle down the waterway.  He claims to have met many anglers and is of the opinion that the great British public should get out and disturb as many anglers as possible.

Here's a thought for you boyo, without the protection, preservation and relentless campaigning of anglers down the last 200 years or so many of our finest rivers would still be open sewers, a convenient place to dump rubbish, pretty well devoid of life.  There are hundreds of miles of waterways in this crowded island open to boaters and canoeists.  The miles in the preservation of angling clubs are, by and large, havens for wildlife since they are relatively undisturbed by human impact pressures. 

This business of allowing people to go wherever they please has disbenefits that are largely ignored by the “access all areas” brigade  I suggest that we all go and camp in Mr Jones back garden.  His ownership of that land is denying me my right to be there.

Ian