28 June 2011

Just for a change the sun is cracking the flags here today and with the river still in moderate water after the wet we had over the weekend fishing conditions are near perfect.

I was up at Turn Dub first thing doing the monthly invert check which produced a good crop of all families that I look for including a large number of very small stone flies (plecoptera).  It's clearly been a good breeding season for bullheads as both New Inn and Turn Dub have offered a lot of bullhead fry to the sample net.

Whilst up at the Dub I had a good look at the tree planting hat was done a couple of years ago.  Most of the saplings have survived, but the stakes and guards now need some attention after floods of two winters.  A job for a decent day when a quiet wander up the river with a lump hammer will be rather relaxing.

Footnote.  I just saved this and noticed that this is the thousand and first posting I have made.  Gosh!

Ian

27 June 2011

I got out early this morning and went down to New Inn to do the monthly invert check at this site.  The river is still high after all the rain we had over the weekend, but just about safe to get 4 samples from the slower flowing margins.  The centre was far too deep and fast so results are a bit skewed.  Still, what came to the net confirms that the invert populations are still thriving and it's interesting that concentrating on the margins produces far more caddis and gammarus.

By later today or tomorrow the river should be in first class form for fishing.  It's carrying a heavy colour at present, but this will drop out quite quickly now that the rain has stopped and we have some very warm, still and sunny weather.

I watched the Tarn webcam for a while last evening and was fascinated to see a spider busy working back and forth across the lens.  It played havoc with the view of the water which was flat calm apart from a number of rises and the occasional coot busy catching supper.  The swans also put in a brief appearance, sailing majestically down towards the duck wall.

Ian

26 June 2011

It's a much better day today after a really unpleasant one yesterday when it rained persistently until well after dark.  We even have some occasional sunshine and just a light breeze.

The river is far too high to do the planned invert check today so that will have to wait until tomorrow morning when it should be possible to get into the river without risk of ending up at Lytham.

I did stock the Tarn yesterday with the usual crop of fine looking fish that shot away to explore their new home.  Give them a couple of days to spread out and the fishing returns will improve dramatically.  I went up to check on our new arrivals early this morning and was rewarded with the sight of a number of rises to sedge and damsel fly in very humid conditions.

Ian

25 June 2011

It's a foul start to the morning.  We seem to have acquired most of the rain that's been plaguing Glastonbury for the past couple of days and the fells are veiled in a fine but very concentrated mizzle that soaks you to the skin in short order.  Still, every cloud has a silver lining and these are helping to keep some good water on the fishery that should last well into next week.

The swans on the tarn are still in residence so I'm hoping that they have had a good look round, checked out the schooling for future offspring, assessed the neighbours and decided to stay.

I know that fishing conditions here have been a challenge for most of the season so far, but one member seems to have gone to extreme lengths to get some decent action with brown and sea trout.  The Falkland Islands is not the first destination that springs to mind when the Ribble is bare bones.  However, Ed M (no, not him) has recently returned from a foray to the ends of the earth bringing tales of monster sea trout and more brownies than you can shake a stick at.

About 25 years ago I almost ended up on the Falklands at the time when we were building the international airport and my biding memory of frequent phone calls to that far flung outpost of Empire is the sound of my own voice bouncing back down several thousand miles of marine cable and the antics of the penguin population that seem to provide the main source of entertainment. It never struck me then that the islands were trout heaven.

Ian

24 June 2011

I read in the paper yesterday that there is some evidence to suggest that Atlantic salmon stocks are recovering to a high not seen for over 30 years.  I remain sceptical about this news as it seems top be based on returns from a single river away down south.  What is needed is much more data from salmon rivers on both sides of this island.  If that data is consistent with the story from this single river then we may well be able to hang out the bunting.

It looks as though the weather is set to warm up and dry out next week so with good water still in the river fishing at Horton should be better that it's been for a long while. It's not a bad day today, a touch too much breeze for relaxed casting, but the sedge are hatching at the Tarn and a few are emerging from the river and encouraging some half-hearted rises.

I plan to do the monthly invert check on Sunday conditions permitting.

Ian

22 June 2011

A lot of rain fell last night adding to the river volume from the rain on Sunday so the river will be in very good condition up to the weekend.  So far it's a bright, but cloudy morning and feels warm in the absence of any appreciable breeze so there should be a good hatch of fly to encourage some surface feeding especially at the Tarn where sedge continue to hatch in large numbers. 

I learnt yesterday that the major EA bid for project funding for the catchment wide improvement scheme has been knocked back by DEFRA who judged the outcomes to be less than transparent.  All is not lost as the EA are still very keen to see this project progress so it will be worth investing some time in developing the outcomes and outputs.  Paul B and I will work on this over the coming weeks.

Ian

21 June 2011

Damsel flies are now in profusion at the tarn.  Everywhere you look your eye is snagged by little electric blue flashes as these ancient creatures dart over the water and amongst the bankside sedge.  They seem to be using the inside wall of the boathouse as a safe place to emerge from the nymphal stage as the waterside wall is covered in shucks and emerging flies.  Not the safest place to carry out this delicate transformation as the swallows are still feeding young in the roof and must find this convenient larder irresistible.

Sedge are also emerging in large numbers much to the delight of the trout and I sat watching the webcam last evening as rise after rise punctured the still surface of the water and the occasional fish porpoised out to take a sedge above the surface.

The swans seem to have settled for the present.  How long this pair will remain we can only wait and see, but it's wonderful to arrive at the Tarn and be greeted by large waterfowl again.  I'm not convinced that this is the pair we lost last winter.  The cob is much larger than his pen whereas the original pair were much of the same size.  This cob looks bigger and has a larger beak knob.  It's now too late for them to nest this year.  My guess is that the pen is a youngster, maybe hatched last year, possibly one of the females from the Tarn clutch who has led her partner back to where she was raised.  One for you to ponder.

We are stocking again this weekend, although given the number of rises I saw last evening I'm not sure that the Tarn is short of fish, but this will be the penultimate stocking with the final fish going in in late August.

Ian

20 June 2011

Those members who have visited the live webcam this morning will probably already be aware that we have a pair of swans back on the Tarn.  They were not there yesterday as far as I am aware so must have arrived last night or very early this morning.  I don't yet know if these are the resident pair that went missing last winter, but nonetheless I for one am delighted to see these majestic creatures back on our water.

It's a lovely day here at present, almost perfect fishing weather.  Just a gentle breeze to ruffle the water surface, sunshine and some broken cloud.

Ian

19 June 2011

Went up to the Tarn early this morning to check around and get the returns for last week.  Clearly it was not one of the better fishing weeks as the ratio of catch to visit is the lowest of the season by a long way.  This can't be due to a shortage of fish so some other factor (or factors) must be to blame.  The weather has been little different to much of the early summer – cool and damp as it is again this morning so maybe the fish have just got fed up with cooperating and taken a bit of a sulk.

I have cleaned the flies off the camera lens so the live images should be less blotchy than they were yesterday.  I see that a plethora of members are already logged into the members website this morning busy catching up on conditions.  If I had known that I had an audience I would have put on more of a show.

With the persistent damp weather the river is still fishable and I see plenty of young trout cruising the pools and runs even though they still seem reluctant to rise.

The fishery at Helwith Bridge together with the surrounding land has been put up for sale by Hansons.  If any member is feeling flush

19 June 2011

Went up to the Tarn early this morning to check around and get the returns for last week.  Clearly it was not one of the better fishing weeks as the ratio of catch to visit is the lowest of the season by a long way.  This can't be due to a shortage of fish so some other factor (or factors) must be to blame.  The weather has been little different to much of the early summer – cool and damp as it is again this morning so maybe the fish have just got fed up with cooperating and taken a bit of a sulk.

I have cleaned the flies off the camera lens so the live images should be less blotchy than they were yesterday.  I see that a plethora of members are already logged into the members website this morning busy catching up on conditions.  If I had known that I had an audience I would have put on more of a show.

With the persistent damp weather the river is still fishable and I see plenty of young trout cruising the pools and runs even though they still seem reluctant to rise.

The fishery at Helwith Bridge together with the surrounding land has been put up for sale by Hansons.  If any member is feeling flush