The good news for those members keen to have one final crack at Ribble salmon is that the rain has been falling steadily since first light and the river is on the rise. The forecast suggests that it will stay wet into tonight with somewhat drier conditions tomorrow. Chances are that for a brief period there may be sufficient water to make the trip up to Horton worthwhile, but this may not be long enough before the season closes on Wednesday to shift many fish.
A very constructive discussion with another local club yesterday has prompted much thought about how we manage the river and promote the heath of our wild brown trout. I am going to explore the possibility of how we can provide good sound science to inform our ideas before we go into too much detailed plannng. More on this over the closed season.
Those members planning a final foray to the Tarn will wish to know that our rainbows still have a voracious appetite for tiny black flies with a dash of orange so don’t be tempted to tie on anything too big or colourful.
More next Sunday when I’ll put up the latest chapter of the club history on AV.
The season seems to be fizzling out rather than ending with a satisfying flourish. The river is far too low for salmon and will remain so until well after the close on Wednesday if the forecast is to be believed. The Tarn is fishing in fits and starts with no obvious reason. For an hour or two fish are rising and feeding freely then all goes quiet and nothing moves for hours on end. All very unsatisfying.
For those of you with deep pockets (very) and a wish to see a venerable institution continue there is the investment opportunity of a lifetime in the business pages of the paper today. I see that Hardy and Grey’s is for sale as the Canadian owner is retiring. The company made a thumping loss last year so the owner may be open to offers although I doubt if the promise of honorary membership of the MAA would be sufficient.
From this weekend I shall switch to a regular (promise) weekly blog posted on Sunday until the start of the new season.
Its been a carbon copy of last Sunday. A frosty and rather misty start has given way to a cloudless day and is now mellowing towards a golden sunset. I was up at the Tarn early to check the returns for last week and wander down to Turn Dub to do the monthly invert check. A nice comment in the register from one member offering thanks for quality fish and fishing throughout the season cheered me no end.
The inverts are thriving at the Dub, as indeed they were at New Inn yesterday morning. Lots of caddis and gammarus to see our wild trout through the winter and the privations and stress of spawning.
The river looked magical at the Dub with a light mist rising to mingle with the first rays of sun creeping over the hill by the Tarn. It looked for all the world as if the river was steaming and this diffusion softened the sharp outlines of walls and trees giving an almost pastel feel to the scene. I would have lingered over the invert check, but frozen fingers and the thoughts of tea and crumpets won out after an hour so I made my way back past a still and deserted Tarn, the mirror surface broken only by a few hungry rainbowsrising to I know not what.
We have had a spring like day today with much sunshine, liitle or no breeze and surprisingly warm temperature. The Tarn fish have responded accordingly and given some very good late season sport.
Looking at the returns over the past few weeks I was beginning to wonder whether all our rainbows had packed up and left for the winter along with the swans, but a conversation with a long standing member this afternoon reassures me that there are still plenty of fish to be got over the remaining weeks of the season. And these fish are still in stunning condition, feeding freely on small black flies that seem to be carrying orange egg sacks. It would seem that anything small (about size 10), black and with a touch of orange around the abdomen is doing the business. So it’s time to dig out the vice, and experiment.
The forecast is for dry, cold weather here well into next week so not much hope for good salmon conditions.
A fairly high river yesterday gave at least one member a satisfactory result with salar. I had occasion to email him about a web matter and got a fairly swift reply that he was on the river. An email fired back to enquire about success elicited the response that he had just got one. Isn’t modern technology wonderful?! You can have a correspondence with someone standing on a river bank minding his (or her) own business and broadcast it to the world.
A dry day in defiance of the forecast which was for prolonged wet has seen the river fall back to less than favourable salmon conditions and with light showers seeming to be the order for tonight I doubt if conditions will be any better tomorrow.
Those of you with access to Angli Vespers can look forward to the next chapter of the history which should appear on the site on Sunday (gremlins permitting).
We woke this morning to a sharp frost and landscape dusted white. An early visit to the Tarn in dead silence revealed a scene of real beauty as the sun came up behind Penyghent and began to light the valley with golden hues.
I sat around for some time and saw only a solitary heron that rose slowly from the reed bed and silently headed towards the river.
On arriving back home I walked round to the back door and caught a movement in the verge on the opposite side of the lane. I stopped and out of the rank grasses trotted a partridge that hung around just long enough to have its photo taken.
The river is now far too low for salmon and likely to remain so for several days until we get a decent amount of rain. Still two weeks to go though so time yet.
This has absolutely nothing to do with fishing, but maybe it does have a link to apre fishing or those quiet moments by the riverbank when you think that no one is looking and you take a craft nip from the flask ‘just to keep out the cold’.
A person of my acquaintance rang me yesterday and during the conversation asked if I drank whiskey. Well, does a duck swim. I replied in the afirmative and asked why. The response was that said acquaintance during a long career had been gifted many bottles of scotch mostly malts. Now it would seem that he can’t stand the stuff – not even the smell so he proceeded to tell me that he had discovered this hoard in the loft and needing the space had poured most of it down the sink. He still had a few bottles left and asked if I wanted them.
After recovering from the swooning fit I had at the thought of the water of life glugging down the sink I just about managed to summon the energy to say yes. It just goes to show that we are all different.
The river came up a touch today after a good deal of rain last night, but not enough to make the trip to Horton for the salmon worthwhile. The forecast is a bit mixed so we will see how things develop over the weekend.
The recent and much welcome dry spell has now come to an end with rain sweeping across the valley this evening driven on by a fresh easterly. The river is responding slowly and if the rain persists into tomorrow as it’s forecast to do then we may just get enough to make salmon fishing an option at the weekend.
Those of you with access to the member’s website and who regularly log on to the Tarn webcam will have seen that its been taken off line for the winter so that a major rebuild to all the equipment can be carried out. This should make the system much more reliable and improve the quality of the pictures broadcast so please be patient.
Other maintenance work is also planned for the closed season. As I mentioned some weeks ago this will include a full survey of the fishery walking the full length from Helwith Bridge to Far Gearstones logging all the stiles and other installations and identifying work to be carried out on repairs and replacements in the spring. We will also try to produce a map showing where all the stiles, crossing points, parking places etc are that can be uploaded to Angli Vespers.
If any member fancies helping with this then all you have to do is let me know.
Another fine day brought members to the Tarn in higher numbers than for many weeks and the fish responded with a few offers.
I went up mid morning to check that all was well with the new stiles and am impressed with the quality of the work that has been done. Already there are favourable comments about how much easier it now is to get over the high cross wall especially for those who suffer from ducks disease.
Here are a couple more photos of the big stile over the cross wall.
The new stiles went up today and what a remarkable piece of engineering they are. No more tottering around on lethal slate or balancing on the old wooden platform. These are state of the art and should last for years.
Grateful thanks are due to Gavin who provided them and the lads who slaved away all day to erect them. Here’s a photo of the road stile.