26 January 2015

Its been another cold and snowy week with much rain yesterday thats cleared  the snow from all but the deep fell gulleys.  Conditions here remain very trout friendly; low water temperatures, plenty of water and few spates.  Let’s hope this continues until eggs hatch next month.

One of the Tarn webcams has gone off line.  I’ll try rebooting it tomorrow, but suspect that a fix will have to await Neil’s attention.  So be patient.

We have a treat in store on BBC2 tomorrow (Tuesday).  At 9.00pm they are broadcasting “The Art of Fly Fishing: Kiss the Water” a lyrical film about the work of Megan Boyd who lived at Brora, tied magical flies and died in 2001 at the age of 86.  A film to thrill the heart of all fly fishers.


19 January 2015

Its been a cold and snowy week.  In some ways a blessed relief from the windy and wet weather we suffered over the Christmas break.  The present conditions are just right for spawning trout.  Plenty of clean, cold, well oxygenated water with few spates.  High hopes for lots of trout fry in February.

The long, drawn out saga of the Deighton purchase may well be coming to a close as we now have the draft transfer document for comment and approval.  With luck this final piece in the MAA’s ownership of the fishing rights above Helwith Bridge may be in place by the start of the new season.

It looks as though funding has been approved by the EA to carry out some extensive surveying of the fish population at the Tarn.  This will include sein netting and late season tagging of stock to determine the rate of overwintering.  I am awaiting a call to arrange a meeting so that Council may discuss and agree plans.

Keeping with the Tarn, I will invoke the new EA procedure tomorrow for consent to introduce fish to the Tarn.  This procedure came into effect today and means that I can now obtain a permanent licence to stock.


11 January 2014

Not a lot to report this week since the appalling weather has prevented much being done outdoors.  The persistent rain has kept the river in excellent water conditions and the gales of the past few days have stirred up the water in the Tarn, breaking down last year’s weed and dumping all the dross on the east bank.

There have been several cormorants present this week so they may be becoming used to the scarer.  I plan to visit he Tarn later today to change he predator call to something different.

We completed filming on Thursday for Winterwatch with Chris Packham.  This is a piece on the adverse impact that non-native crayfish species have on ecosystems and fisheries in particular.  The programme will go out around 23 January and some of the sequences were shot in the PBA lab in Settle.

The MAA AGM has been booked for Sunday 15 March, the first day of the new season.  This year we are returning to the spiritual home of the MAA and holding the meeting in the Golden Lion at Horton.  It is very many years since the club last visited the Lion, but we though it fair to spread our custom between the two village pubs.

Those of you who attend the AGM should take a look at the right hand wall in the entrance passageway of the Lion.  You will see still in situ the rod rests that the club put up over 100 years ago.


4 January 2015

Its not been a bad week weatherwise.  Certainly much better than just before Christmas when the pastures and meadows hereabouts were under several inches of water.  Still, the ducks liked it.

Its been a long time since I have seen so many wild duck on the river in winter.  I went out on Monday with Adam from the Ribble Trust seeking out Japanese Knotweed on the River.  A couple of patches had been spotted on Horton beck in the autumn and it was thought to be sensible to check if this infestation had spread to the main river.  Fortunately we found only one small clump just above Cragghill farm.  These will all be treated by he Trust towards the backend of this year.  If anyone spots further patches between Cragghill and Helwith Bridge that we may have missed please do let me know.

It was a grand walk along the river in decent weather.  The river was in sparkling form and as I have said already it was alive with mallard.  This does suggest that we presently have no mink on the lower river.  I took a good look at the Deighton water that we are just concluding the purchase of.  It needs a fair bit of work especially where the bank is eroding and the river is excavating a monster pool, but it has potential and a bit of judicious tree pruning, wire removal and bank protection should make most of it fishable.

I also marked out were we could do with a couple of stiles on the east bank at Studfold.  This is something thats been on my “to do” list for far too long and something that will be attended to before the start of the new season.

The Tarn fish have now been ordered and I’m just waiting for the new EA consenting procedure to kick in on 19 January before seeking a permanent licence to stock the Tarn.  It will seem a bit odd no longer filling out S30 forms.