30 June 2013

A rather autumnal day with showers, a strong breeze and feeling a bit chilly.

I was up at the Tarn first thing for a check around and to get the fishing returns for last week.  I’m beginning to wonder whether these returns are entirely true so consistent are they becoming.  Yet another week with eight visits and 32 fish caught.  Mind you, the visitors are not all the same week on week so it must be due to reasonable conditions and co-operative fish.

Yet again I only saw one swan so a check to see if they are a pair or two of the same sex must wait.

Thanks to members for keeping the lodge clean and tidy.  There has been a noticeable improvement since my blitz on the filth a few weeks ago.  I am planning to replace/repair the water pump at the sink so this should help to keep the place looking decent and enable members to wash up after dining.


29 June 2013

Over half way through the year now so I thought that I should give the blog a bit of a facelift to celebrate.

I forgot to mention yesterday that the Tarn would be stocked this morning.  We have just put 150 fish in, all in cracking form.

Just one more stocking to go for this season.  Mid August will see 50 brown trout go in hopefully to over winter and give some good sport early next season.  So that’s your lot for rainbows although by my reconing the Tarn is very well stocked and will remain so until the end of the season.

There are two swans this morning down by the duck wall.  They are not in close proximity, but don’t seem irritated by each others presence.  They were too far off to tell the sex of each, but if they are still around tomorrow morning I’ll try to get a closer look.


28 June 2013

The new club website is now live on the new server, but at the same address as the old site – www.manchester-anglers.org.uk.  Much of the content remains the same, but I have changed the layout and built some new pages on conservation and history of the club.

Thanks to Neil for all his work in getting the site shifted.

Do please take a look and let me know what you think.  Updating is easy now so any tweaks can be done without delay.

Its been a horrible day. light rain falling since first light that’s just beginning to lift the river, but it’s a slow process.  Ther may be some decent river fishing for a short while tomorrow morning if the mizzle keeps up overnight.  The forecast is for a spell of drier weather.  We shall see.


27 June 2013

Its been a rather miserable day with mist cloaking the fells and a fine mizzle drifting in from the west thats been a pest rather than a benefit to river levels.  The only good thing about is that its kept the midge plague at tolerable levels.

Those members fishing the Tarn in the comming days will wish to be aware that the existing boathouse door may go missing for a while.  This is to prepare the opening to receive the new roller shutter and its not because someone has pinched it.  Just secure the boat as normal.  The deep water at the boathouse entrance will deter the light fingered.

I’m beginning to believe that the second swan is shy.  I have seen it on the webcam, but frequent forays to the Tarn have failed to coincide with its presence.  Perhaps it hears me comming and hides.

I have been struck by the number of ducklings that are now on the river.  I came across a few families up stream of Cragghill the other day.  A good sign that mink are not active below Horton at present.

Some long standing members may wish to know that Katherine Davidson is getting married tomorrow at Horton.  Her grandmother was a regular port of call for many members for a post fishing brew before she passed away ten years ago.  Mary used to keep ducks and geese on the Tarn and was a great friend of the club for well over sixty years.



26 June 2013

There are quite a few changes coming over the next couple of months.

First up I have just about finished re-building the main club website.  Since we first put this up in 2006 it has attracted quite a bit of interest and a good few new members, but it had begun to look rather dated and was a bit of a pig to keep up to date.  I have redesigned the site using the same platform as I use for the members’ only site so in future updating the content will be easy and we can refresh the look of the site from time to time without losing all the content.

The site will be moved to a new hosting platform over the next few weeks, but the address will remain the same.

Secondly, the blog will also move to be co-hosted with the main website.  This should make it much easier to keep the underpinning software up to date and remove the access problems that I have had over the past couple of weeks.

Lastly, I now have an estimate of when the lodge will be repainted.  This is being timed to happen after the new boathouse door is in place and is presently scheduled for the first week in September.  We should go into the winter with the lodge in a fit state to withstand the weather.

I did the New Inn invert check yesterday morning and just about got eaten alive.  I have never experienced so many midges when doing a check.  By the time I finished I looked like I had a chronic dose of measles and as I’m alergic to midge bites itched like blazes. I really do wonder what purpose midges serve other than to drive those of us who spend time outdoors stark staring mad.

The results were pretty good though with plenty of cased and caseless caddis, stonefly and gammarus. The river is now once again too low for decent fishing and no rain is forecast before Friday.


24 June 2013

A combination of wet and windy weather and high water put the kybosh on the invert check over the weekend, but better conditions today with a falling river saw me up at Turn Dub first thing kicking around in the boulders.  I got a very good sample with high numbers of all seven families including a very good haul of cased caddis.  I guess that the latter were present due to the high water enabling me to have a really good root around in some of the larger cobbles.  Anyway, plenty of food present for growing trout.

The returns from the Tarn are amazingly consistent with between 7 and 9 members fishing each week since 18 May. the number of fish caught is also remarkably consistent with an average of just shy of three fish per member visit over the six weeks and weekly catches ranging from 22 to 36 fish.

I saw only one swan this morning and that looked like the cygnet from a couple of years ago (it’s a rather scruffy individual with dark markings).

I’m aiming to do the invert check at New Inn tomorrow morning before he river falls off too much.  At present it’s in very good nick.


21 June 2013

Well, that’s the summer solstice and it’s all downhill from now on.

I spent an enjoyable morning yesterday giving a new member a Cook’s tour of the fishery.  Despite the low water we saw a couple of fish and he seemed happy with the general condition of the fishery.  When you take a walk with someone new to our waters it does encourage you to look a things with a fresh eye and you begin to realise just how many jobs there are to do on 12 miles of river.

One vital task for this year is a bit of judicious pruning especially in the vicinity of Selside above Coppy Ghyll bridge.  The trees are making a take over bid here again and the good fishing up to Nanny Carr is almost inaccessible.  I shall have to spend a day with the loppers again.  It seems only recently that Alan M and I last tackled this beat, but on reflection it has to be six or seven years.  Ye Gods, where does the time go?

I had an email this morning drawing my attention to the Tarn webcam which showed two swans down by the duck wall.  I’ll take a run up to the Tarn this evening and take a closer look.  It would be nice to have a pair back on the water even though it’s too late for nesting this year.

I’m planning to do the invert check at New Inn tomorrow first thing before the water completely vanishes.


19 June 2013

Its been a stunning day with wall to wall sunshine, a light westerly breeze and probably warmer than at any time since this time last year. Cloud is building now from the north west, but the forecast for tomorrow does not give rain so no chance that the river will pick up just yet.

The months do seem to rattle by.  Friday is the longest day and after that it’s all downhill to December.  The monthly invert check is due from tomorrow and it seems just a couple of days since I was doing the May check.  I’ll aim to get out at the weekend and do the checks at New Inn and Turn Dub.

A couple of years ago I began profiling the results of the checks in a spreadsheet and identifying trends on graphs for each family.  I have rather neglected this analysis and really ought to bring the work up to date. It’s all very well trying to capture data regularly, but the real value of the work lies in what it can tell us about the health of the river over time.  I’m pretty confident that there are no real problems with river fly recruitment as I have observed no unexplained population crashes.  However, the month by month check does not really reveal whether populations are trending upwards, downwards or remaining static over time.  Monthly variations are evident and to be expected what’s not evident without the trend graphs is how populations change year on year and having gathered data now since September 2007 I have enough data to show some trends.


18 June 2013

A clear, bright and warm day has now deteriorated to a cloudy evening and it feels stormy.

A ring at the door early this afternoon revealed a pair of members who had just finished with the rainbows at the Tarn. Indeed, so successful had they been that I now have a very large fish baking away in the Rayburn and an eagerly anticipated supper.

The river is now not worth making the journey to Horton to fish.  The past few days of dry weather have seen the level drop by a good four inches and only the pools will merit much attention.

I am taking a new member on a Cook’s tour of the fishery on Thursday and it would have been nice to show him a river in sparkling condition.  He will have to make do with what we find which is probably bare bones.  Such is life.


17 June 2013

A few days ago I reported that evidence we had obtained suggested that crayfish plague had finally been eliminated from the Ribble catchment.  It now looks as though these hopes are unfounded.  Several of the creatures removed from Ling Ghyll and kept in a facility at the lab in Settle are showing leisions consistent with plague and one or two have died.  Early conclusions are that plague is still present amongst a low density population of native crayfish at the foot of the falls and this will require further investigation.

This is a real shame as our hopes were high that actions to restor the population of natives lost to the Ribble over 12 years ago could begin very soon.  This will not now be possible until there is absolute evidence that plague has been eliminated.

So far the weather has been as per forecast with very light winds, no rain and some bright spells.  Looks like the week up to Friday will be similar so expect the river to be back to bare bones by mid week.