31 October 2013

With the daylight now fading fast that’s about it for the 2013 season.  Not a record breaker by any stretch of the imagination, the dry summer put paid to that.  However, what we lacked in quantity was more than made up in quality and some super brown trout were seen in the river if not actually caught.  The evidence is that there are some stonking fish now resident in the fishery and these large trout will hopefully use the quiet of winter to produce offspring. Fingers crossed that we getaway with few damaging spates this winter.

The extensive LWD that the Trust put in at Gauber will provide good habitat for trout fry so if the redds are productive this year there is much more cover for young fish than hitherto.

A more extensive round-up on Sunday.  Off to the Dales’ River Conference tomorrow.


30 October 2013

A fairly dry 24 hours has seen the river much lower today than of late although there is still enough water to shift salmon and good numbers are continuing to make it up the foss.

The forecast for tomorrow promises showers and a stiffish north-westerly breeze so final day fishing should not find too many distractions apart from the attitude of the salmon which may not be co-operative.

Best of luck


29 October 2013

Frequent heavy showers and more persistent rain over the past couple of days have kept the river in fine salmon condition and I get reports of good numbers of salar coming up the foss.

This wet weather is lkely to continue until the end of the season on Thursday so there is still time to make this one of the best salmon fishing seasons in recent years.

I’m off on Friday to the Yorkshire Dales rivers conference at Skipton and this looks like a good opportunity to catch up with a wide range of folk who are working away on improving the condition of our local rivers.  The agenda is a wide ranging one covering such topics as control of invasive species, habitat improvement and species monitoring.  More on this at the weekend.

The river has been far too hight to safely carry out the monthly invert check, but I very much doubt that anything sinister is cultivating in the perfect water conditions that we have just now.


25 October 2013

Just a quick update on conditions after the brief sunny interlude yesterday.  It’s been showery today, just sufficient to keep the river in good salmon conditions and with heavy rain forecast over the weekend conditions should remain good.

Monday is probably best avoided as we are likely to get a severe Atlantic storm with strong winds.  Much calmer on Tuesday.

I’m going to try to do the monthly invert check tomorrow and Sunday if the river is not too high.


23 October 2013

What a morning! Rain began falling around 7.30 and as I left for work at 8.15 the ford at Newhouses was just passable in the car as was the flood by the Crown.  As I drove towards Settle the road began to resemble a river as the rain intensified.  It got so bad around Stainforth that the wipers going full belt failed to clear the screen.  Driving blind is not to be recommended, but neither is stopping with the risk of a quarry wagon up your rear end.  The rain persisted until late morning when the skies cleared and it became showery.

On arriving home I found a flurry of emails from members commenting on the tidal wave that passed down the Ribble at about 9am.  Take a look at the Locks weir monitor on the members’ website.  This shows a massive flood pulse that peaked just after I got to Settle.  The Weir webcams also show a river that was almost level over the weir.  One of my correspondents offered up the hope that the pulse might wash away the turbine, but indications so far suggest that it’s still in place.

With the river now beginning to fall back there should be the best conditions of the season for salmon tomorrow.  Alan M got three and lost one yesterday.

Tight lines


22 October 2013

As a further update on the activities of members on the fishery yesterday I now learn that results were even better than previously reported.  Mike H got  a stunning bar of silver out of the marker pool to complement the fish caught by Neil and Geoff.  All were returned to add their genes to the Ribble population.

With rain falling again last night conditions continue to be good and now with proof that the pools are home to salmon members can approach the fishery with some optimism.

Here is Mike’s stunner from yesterday.


21 October 2013

The river has been in great form today and so have at least two of our intrepid members who braved the rain to land at least three salmon (not to mention brown trout who don’t know that their season is over and seem determined to take spinners intended for their big cousins).

Reports also reach me of at least six fish fighting up the Foss in the space of 15 minutes which would suggest that there are a few fish coming up from Lyham unless it’s the same fish with an incompetence gene.

Its turned drier this afternoon, but more rain is forecast for tomorrow and Wednesday so there is some life in the season just yet.


20 October 2013

We had a monsoon here yesterday afternoon accompanied by thunder and lightning.  It’s raining again now so the upshot is that there may be some decent salmon fishing this afternoon and into tomorrow.

There are certainly fish up at Horton as I have received reports that one member had three salmon on Thursday.  These fish will still be around and the flood that resulted from the deluge yesterday will have enabled any fish below the Foss to make their way up.

It was a dire week last week at the Tarn with most visits returning a blank.  This is certainly not due to a shortage of fish and is most likely the result of a cold east wind pushing the fish lower down the water column.

Do look out for some familiar faces on Countryfile tonight as the programme is from the Dales and the final item is about invasive crayfish featuring Neil Handy and Paul Bradley.


16 October 2013

My rather pessimistic observations yesterday about the prospects for salmon fishing have spurred the rain demons to action.  It’s been chucking (technical term) it down most of the day and if these conditions persist for a few more hours as they seem set to do then we may have some decent salmon water tomorrow.  Th’s not to say that fish will be present, but at least if there are any in the river they will be able to breast the Foss and make it up to Horton.  Fingers crossed.

Those with access to the member’s website are advised to keep a watch on the Locks weir monitor which shows river levels and the Settle weir webcam.  If the rocks below the weir are covered then there should be enough water for easy passage.


15 October 2013

After a grey and damp few days we actually had some sunshine briefly this afternoon.  I’m sure that this will have been welcomed by one member and his guest who arrived mid morning to fish the Tarn although how much success they had remains to be seen.

There is no doubt that fish have been lying low just recently with very few visible rises and a dearth of fly on the water.  I have been suggesting that members fish with a sinking line and weighted fly to get down to where the fish may be lurking, but even this tactic is failing to entice trout to play the game.

The cormorant may be having more success as it’s still hanging about and would not be so if food were not available.  I have yet to see the damn thing catch anything so it may possess similar persistence to some of our members who approach their fishing more in a spirit of optimism than surety of success.

I am beginning to fear that this season may produce one of the least productive salmon seasons in recent years. The river has hovered around a level that makes fishing just about worth the effort, but conditions really aren’t that good and have not been for weeks now.