The precipitation (rain, hail, sleet, snow, cats,dogs etc. etc.) of the past few days has lifted the river appreciably and we presently have decent fishing conditions with water flowing under both New Inn bridge arches. The north-west wind is still quite strong and has a nasty bite to it so you will need to find some shelter to cast an easy fly.
Gavin has been busy at the Garden pool trimming back overhanging branches to improve access to this well stocked pool. We will look at other work on 9 May.
A date for your diary. The Wild Trout Trust AGM this year is at Waddow near Clitheroe on 6 and 7 June. Neil Handy is talking about experience of ceasing stocking the Ribble (including our own experience) and I plan to go for the Saturday. This annual event is a good opportunity to meet conservation minded anglers and enjoy a trout themed weekend.
I’m off to London first thing tomorrow so no post again until next Wednesday.
The rain that fell yesterday has raised the river a touch, but not really enough to provide good fishing. The Tarn on the other hand is fishing very well with members now arriving in good numbers to find rising fish that are taking with alacrity.
There is a surprising amount of weed at the top end so early in the season and this has not dispersed in the strong, cold north-westerly thats been cutting down the valley all day.
When I visited the Tarn first thing this morning the swans were mooching around in the reed bed. It’s a bit early for them to be thinking about nesting and if they build where they were prospecting then the nest will be decidedly soggy. However, this is a young pair of birds and last seasons fiasco proved that parenting skills are not high on their list of competences.
I put off the invert check that I had planned to do this weekend as the village yesterday was a mad house with the annual 3 Peaks race (also the weather was less than ideal). I’ll try to get the check done this week as I’m in London next weekend (boo!).
So far no member has emailed to tell me that they wish to join in the fun on 9 May. Don’t be shy, it’s a chance to get your pet access niggle or other management gripe on the list of jobs.
We have been discussing the need to do a full survey of the fishery to identify jobs that need tackling this season such as stile replacement, tree and shrub work, signing and easing access for the more mature member. It has been decided that the survey will take place on Saturday 9 May and all members are very welcome to give a hand.
The plan is to meet at the Tarn lodge at 10.30 where we will divide into teams of two or three and each take a beat on the river. We will walk our beats and record on a map those tasks that need attention. This should take a couple of hours to complete depending on how fast one walks, what one needs to discuss and record whilst walking and what distractions interrupt the work. We will then reassemble at either the lodge or the Crown (lunch?) and pull together our findings into a master plan for a series of working parties which will take place over the summer.
As I said above, all members are very welcome to give a hand. If you are less mobile we can assign an easy access beat so infirmity is no barrier. If you do plan to attend it would help with planning if you could let me know either by email or by phone before 9 May.
Turning to fishing. The river is now too low for any decent sport, but rain is forecast over the next 24 hours so we shall see what conditions are like once this has passed. The Tarn is now fishing very well with both rainbow and brown trout taking well. In fact the complaints have now shifted to the ease with which fish are being caught. I’ll have a word with them.
Just a very short update as I’m on my way out for the evening
Its been a stunning day with much sun and a good deal of warmth that’s brought us a good fly hatch on both river and Tarn.
Members who fished the Tarn this morning enjoyed considerable success despite the presence of a pair of cormorants that one might expect to have put fish well down in the water.
We now have a report prepared by the EA on the netting that took place on Friday. This could well lead to a solution to the avian piscatorial problem. More on this later.
This is just by way of a short update. I took delivery of some stunning rainbow and brown trout this morning and these were duly introduced to the delights of life in the Tarn. Without exception they shot off like rockets and will take no time at all to disperse. I anticipate some first rate fishing over the next few weeks.
We shall stock again at the end of May.
To wet your appetite here is one of Mike H’s photos of a brown trout that came up in the net yesterday.
And another of netting in progress.
Well, we netted the Tarn as planned and found fish. Not in great numbers, but there is some evidence that both rainbow and brown trout can over winter. From two pulls with a 75 metre net we found three rainbow and two brown trout. As I said, not great numbers, but the condition of these fish was outstanding. All fish were over 3lb in weight with the two browns over 4lb. Clearly there is plenty of food to enable fish to put on significant growth from year to year.
Two of the rainbows showed evidence of cormorant attack so by extrapolation evident that cormorants are predating heavily on fish over winter.
These results will be analysed and pondered upon to see what we might learn and whether changes might be made to stocking or fishing policy.
I shall try to get some photos on this site over the next few days.
Members should remember that we are stocking tomorrow at around 10.30 so fishing is best left until after lunch.
My email to the EA seems to have done the trick as the licence to stock the tarn turned up in my email box this morning. All is now set for a successful introduction on Saturday and the commencement of decent fishing.
There has been some speculation as to whether the lone cormorant now at the Tarn is gay because it hasn’t departed to breed. My take on this is that it’s either “Billy (or Belinda) no mates” or more interested in grub than sex. So long as it departs by Saturday I’m not too bothered what it is.
There have been more stunning views of the Tarn on the webcams today. As we have no breeze the surface has been offering some wonderful reflections of the fells surrounding tarn pasture.
Let’s hope this good weather persists through tomorrow. It will make the netting so much more pleasant and as a good few members are planning to attend there could be quite a carnival atmosphere.
The webcams are broadcasting some stunning images of the Tarn bathed in evening sun right now and these are much improved on this morning’s views which (non-restrictive relative clause, Mr Howarth?) included a hopeful cormorant.
I am now getting rather anxious as the EA licence to stock the Tarn which should have been with me by today has yet to materialise. We now have a new system for EA consenting in place. No longer are we required to complete a S30 fish movement consent for annual stocking. The EA now require a permanent licence to be issued to be issued on a one time only basis. In theory this should make my job a little easier, but not when the EA fail to issue the licence despite the application being made as far back as January. I have chased and am hopeful.
After the wet weekend interlude it’s brightening up nicely now. The river has more flow after the rain and should be quite fishable on most beats. Indeed, one intrepid member rang me this morning to tell me that he was venturing to the top end for the first time this season. I await news of his success (or otherwise).
The forecast is set fair for Friday’s shindig with the nets so I have dug out the video camera to capture what transpires for posterity. Our historian emailed me over the weekend apologising for not being able to come up to Horton on Friday (something to do with a small child and various boxes). She is keen to get photos of the netting for the club archive. She goes on to say “I have gleaned some interesting bits about the salmon pass at Settle and more about the “spawning beds” at the Tarn outfall. Lots of discussion but not much action. Sounds familiar.