29 November 2009

I arose this morning with the intention of playing in the river (doing the November invertebrate check).  A dry and almost bright day yesterday had reduced the flow to non life threatening levels so a quick check before the snow arrived that we were promised this afternoon seemed a good plan.  No it wasn't.  A look out of the window showed, even at 7 am this morning that the weather Gods weren't playing ball.  It's now been raining hard for hours driven on by an unusual north east wind and the meadows below the house are several inches deep in water.  The river is in full flood and well across the lane down by the Crown Inn.  So no invertebrate check today.

Friday saw me up at Malham Tarn Field Centre for a meeting to review progress in the various crayfish/trout in the classroom projects that have been under way this summer.  These seem to have been very successful with a very encouraging survival rate seen in the captive breeding tanks at both Horton and Wortly schools.  It was concluded that the projects should run for a further year with more sites being investigated especially  places with a high public throughput to maximise the publicity and educational value.

It was further resolved to keep this years crop of young crayfish captive for a further year so that their rate of growth can be monitored and their maturation observed by the schools involved thus giving a bit of continuity whilst next years crop are gathered and hatched.  Whilst these projects are very small scale they do contribute significantly to raising public awareness of the plight of native crayfish and help to ensure that extinction is still some way off yet.

Ian

25 November 2009

A bit late with this post this week, but refurbishing my utility room has rather taken up most of my time.  The job is mostly done now and a flagged floor with Belfast sink should make washing waders and other assorted gear a good deal easier.

It's rained pretty well every day since last Sunday so the November invertebrate check will have to wait until the river is a tad safer.  Even in moderate water there is a pretty fierce tug over the rocky substrate that makes wading less than easy and it's well nigh impossible to use a staff and grapple with the sampling net at the same time.  Swimming in the Ribble at this time of year is not my idea of fun.

We now have confirmation from the Woodland Trust that they will supply and plant a thousand native hardwood trees on our fishery.  Some of these are destined for the far end of the Tarn with the majority to be planted in pockets between Turn Dub and the Pennine Bridleway site.  There is some good spawning gravel on this beat and the tree cover as it matures will provide habitat to encourage salmon and trout parr to remain resident here.  In the longer term these trees should also offer some good refuge for mature fish and encourage an increase in fly life.

The aim is to get the contractors on site in the New Year and have the job completed well before the commencement of the new fishing season.  Thanks are due to the Trust for their generosity, Gavin for all his support with the Tarn fence and Geoff D for agreeing so readily to planting on his land.

Ian

15 November 2009

Wonderful news for all those of you who invested your fortune with Bernie Madoff.  I understand that an auction of all Bernies worldly goods includes a fair amount of fishing tackle.  This is likely to be top notch stuff so if you fancy bagging a bargain (even though you probably paid for it in the first place) watch out for further news of the auction.

Even better news is that Mrs swan and her three cygnets are back from their autumn break and reunited with the cob on the Tarn.  The cob has been looking lonely this past few weeks and I was beginning to wonder if something untoward had happened to the pen and her family, but an early morning foray to the Tarn this morning to check around and batten everything down  for the approaching winter revealed all five birds happily feeding down by the duck wall.

There's a new on line presence in the local angling fraternity.  Settle Anglers have just put up a website that's already full of useful and interesting stuff.  Check it out at www.settleanglers.co.uk or MAA members can find a direct link from Angli Vespers under the Resources/weblinks menu.

One idea I plan to pinch from this new site is a page of favourite flies along with photos and tying recipes.  Over the next few weeks I will pull together details of all the artificials recorded in the river return on the MAA website and their standard dressings, but please do email me with your own favourites, when they are most effective (time of year, time of day, conditions etc) and where on the river they work best and I will include those too.  Even better if you can include a small jpg showing the beast in all its glory.

Ian

9 November 2009

After almost persistent wet weather since the close of the season it's been a gloriously sunny day here in the valley.  We had the first sharp frost of the autumn this morning and this abrupt change to cold weather will trigger thoughts of spawning in or wild brown trout.

A glance at the metcheck forecast for tomorrow reveals a chance of snow flurries so here comes winter.

I mentioned a while ago that one of our esteemed members had just published a book on north country fly patterns.  In my mailbox this morning arrived the first review of said tome.  Gavin tells us that;

I have just finished reading Mike Harding

9 November 2009

After almost persistent wet weather since the close of the season it's been a gloriously sunny day here in the valley.  We had the first sharp frost of the autumn this morning and this abrupt change to cold weather will trigger thoughts of spawning in or wild brown trout.

A glance at the metcheck forecast for tomorrow reveals a chance of snow flurries so here comes winter.

I mentioned a while ago that one of our esteemed members had just published a book on north country fly patterns.  In my mailbox this morning arrived the first review of said tome.  Gavin tells us that;

I have just finished reading Mike Harding

3 November 2009

Isn't it always the way?  Just as the season comes to an end down comes the rain and the river is in super salmon fishing condition. Since Sunday we have had a series of spates and the fish have been coming up the Foss in droves.  I have had a number of calls from locals in raptures about the sight of leaping salmon down at Stainforth.  A guest staying in my holiday flat went home as pleased as punch with his first ever photo of a salmon in full flight.  Less welcome were the visitors captured in the photo below whose fishing methods were unorthodox in the extreme.

Seriously though,  we haven't yet to contend with this problem at Stainforth.  (Picture acknowledgements to Roman Gollubenko/Solent and the Daily Telegraph).

I'm switching now to a weekly Blog probably posted on Sundays.  The daily dose of rant will return in March.

Ian