28 September 2012

A story in yesterday’s paper caught my eye and it’s one of those that you really could not make up.  It offers an idea to those members who have tried each and every fly dressing in the book and still can’t persuade our wily brown trout to co-operate.

Somewhere in the good old USofA (it really could not be anywhere else) a fly fisher landed a large trout from a lake.  On gutting his fish our angler was somewhat surprised to find in its stomach a human finger.  This was duly placed in the freezer and the local law enforcers informed.  Some time later said angler was told that the rightful owner of the digit had come forward, but had declined to collect his property.  It would seem that the unfortunate had been engaged in some form of lethal water sport when his fingers had become entagled in the rope connecting him to a fast departing boat.  The result was the loss of three fingers one of which provided lunch for the trout.

So next time fishing is slow and your box of flies is not tempting a rise you know what to do.

Its not been a bad day.  A bit Aprilish again with some sharp showers and a fair bit of sunshine.  The river is OK for the last two days trouting.

Ian

27 September 2012

The deluge finally stopped here yesterday and the river is now back between its banks after making a sterling effort to reach places its never been before.  Conditions are looking good for the last few days of this trout season and the flood should have provided a stimulus to any salmon lurking lower down on the river to make their way up to Horton.

On Monday even the Tarn threatened to overflow and the small dub to the left as you face the duck wall was connected to the main body of water so it’s just possible that one or two fish may have “escaped”, but I’ve not seen any evidence of this so far.

I had quite a shock this afternoon coming back up the valley when a buzzard flew straight at the car at zero feet.  I assume that it had spotted something that it was so intent on that it failed to see the car.  It pulled up and swooped over the top of me just in time.  Just as well that it wasn’t armed with wing mounted cannon or I would be writing this from somewhere beyond.

Ian

25 September 2012

Need I say anything about the weather?  Those of you who have checked the Locks Weir river monitor or the Settle webcam will have seen how much water is running down the Ribble at present.  The hopeful news is that it’s due to dry up a bit overnight and should be drier tomorrow.  It will take a while for the river to come off the flood, but when it does we should see a good few fresh run salmon coming up the foss and making their way to Horton.

Time to get the salmon tackle out.

Ian

24 September 2012

Its been a truly poxy dat here with high wind and a veritable monsoon so I’ve not ventured far from the desk all day.

The river is in flood and likely to remain high until tomorrow when the rain is forecast to ease .  This should have shifted a few salmon so they may be worth a punt later tomorrow or on Wednesday.

Ian

23 September 2012

A day that began dry and sunny has gone steadily downhill and will deteriorate further overnight to bring a storm tomorrow so fishing conditions for much of the week will be difficult.

I was up at Turn Dub first thing to do the invert check and my predictions for once turned out to be spot on.  I got a very promising set of samples with a high number of gammarus and very small cased caddis.  The high point though was finding one of our rare true mayflies Ephemera danica or vulgata.  Just a single small specimen, but where there is one there must by the laws of nature be others.

I have uploaded to Angli Vespers the latest chapter of the club history.  Quite a big one this week.

Ian

22 September 2012

We woke this morning to a mild frost and clear skies so I went down to New Inn first thing to do the invert check.  The river was still flowing quite high after all the rain we had on Friday and there was good water under the west arch of the bridge which always prvides better kicking conditions in the cobbles rather than trying to boot the boulders under the east arch.

The results were excellent with near 200 olive nymphs in the 3 minute sample, good numbers of flat bodied mayfly and lots of gammarus.

The real surprise and not just for me was the rather sheepish looking trout that fell out of the net in the first 45 second kick.  This was a mere 2 inch job, but it’s the first trout I have caught in over 5 years of sampling.  It may just be chance although the river does seem to be alive with young trout and salmon parr.

All the evidence suggests that there is an abundance of food available so I am hopeful that these small fish will continue to grow on and increase the overall population over the next few years.  Fingers crossed for a decent winter.

I will do the Turn Dub check tomorrow.  This is often more productive that New Inn so I have high hopes for even better results.

Ian

21 September 2012

We had over an inch of rain last night so the river has been just off the flood for most of the day.  Drier conditions this afternoon have seen the level fall back somewhat, but the near flood will have moved the salmon about a bit and will give very good trout conditions tomorrow.

The new stiles are nearly ready and should be with me by the end of next week so attention will then turn to getting them installed before the onset of winter. These will make traversing both the layby wall at the road and the northern cross wall less of a life threatening undertaking.

All of a sudden I have had a rush of requests for guest ickets.  The number of members bringing guests to fish so far this season has been slightly down despite the excellent river fishing we have had, but these past few days have boosted numbers and with new members joining and fishing late season things have been busier than for some while.

I am getting a stock of lodge keys cut so if any member arrives here without their cherished key I have spares to lend.

Ian

19 September 2012

Another April like day with a mix of heavy showers and sunshine.  The stiff breeze that was such a pest yesterday has lessened, but does increase appreciably during the sqally showers.  The river is still in great nic and I am planning to get the invert check done this week before conditions change.

I’ve had no feedback for some days now on how well our brownies are taking this late in the season, but news from the salmon fishers is that small brown trout are persistently taking large salmon flies.

I was in the office all morning doing admin tasks and was handed an MSc thesis that a volunteer who is currently working with us has just completed.  This concerned the serious loss of carp on a still water fishery near Kiel due to severe winter weather last year.  The findings really support my own observations of the damage that can be caused to a still water by prolonged thick ice cover.  Although we lost no fish over the winter of 2010 – 2011 there was a noticeable change in the environment of the Tarn following weeks of bitter cold.  These changes have persisted into this year with very late weed growth and a negative impact on the crayfish population. My belief is that there was just enough inflow from the springs to keep the water sufficiently oxygenated to prevent fish death.  This too is supported by the findings set out in the thesis.  If we continue to get very cold winters then we may have to change the way the Tarn is managed over winter with more intrusive measures taken to keep oxygen levels sufficient to prevent fish death.

Ian

18 September 2012

Yet another showery day, not so frequent, but with the added spice of a stiff and surprisingly cold breeze.  The river is holding up well and if you can find a sheltered spot away from the north westerly trout fishing should still be rewarding.

The received wisdom suggests that this year has been a poor one for our native birds and certainly some have been rare over the summer.  Curlew and oystercatcher numbers seem to be down here and I have not heard a skylark all summer.  However, birds coming to the garden feeding station are in both good numbers and a wide range of species.  Early today we seemed to have the entire sparrow population of Yorkshire in the garden.  These were followed by a woodpecker, great tits, blue tits, gold fiches, dunnock, blackbirds and chaffinch not to mention the resident collard doves.  The latter are a bit thick and spend ages trying to work out how to get raisins off the covered bird table.  They seem to have to relearn the trick on each and every visit so presumably have a poor memory.  I know the problem only too well.

Ian

17 September 2012

Regular and prolonged heavy showers have kept the river flowing strongly today.  In fact this morning it was rather too high for decent trout fishing.  The forecast is for a short spell of drier weather tomorrow and Wednesday with a return to very wet conditions on Thursday.  So, fishing conditions may not be too bad tomorrow, but be warned that the breeze is fairly stiff and likely to remain so for most of the week.

Remember that the Ribble RiversTrust is likely to be working above Selside this week putting in root plates.  This will certainly put the beat around Gawber out of play this week and the works may affect water quality to a slight degree down to Selside.

Ian