11 August 2015

I always knew that the Tarn was capable of producing good fish, but the arrival of a delighted angler on my doorstep this afternoon set a new record.  Ian W tells me that he landed not one, but two rainbows today that topped the 10 lb mark.  Now I would know if I had stocked something that big.  A 10lb trout is not something you can lose in a net full of stocked fish so where these two monsters came from is an open question.

Suffice it to say they went back so are still lurking in the depths waiting for a tempting fly.

I have further news about the Tarn and an unusual visitor.  You’ll have to wait ’till tomorrow for that.


8 August 2015

I duly retrieved the trail cam from the Tarn this morning (see yesterday’s blog) and was intrigued to see that the device registered over 20 pictures taken.  You can imagine the suspense as I removed the card and inserted it into the PC.  You can also imagine the disappointment when I discovered multiple shots of cows posing at various angles and nothing that looked remotely like visiting wildlife

One particular black and white bovine seems to have sussed the presence of the camera and I would be prepared to swear that the damn thing had deliberately taken up a range of jaunty poses.

I’ll replace the camera positioned somewhat differently tomorrow to try to avoid having bovines trigger the infrared sensor.

Whilst I was working away at the Tarn this morning I was astonished by the massive hatch of olives.  There were thousands of these delicate little upwinged flies in the water margin all round the Tarn and several large rises showed that the resident trout had not missed this opportunity for a feast. I rather suspect that they were pond olives as they appeared to be blue grey in colour with very long tails.


7 August 2015

The theme of today’s MAA email exchange has been mallard bottoms.  This arose from a webcam observation of a creature the lodge side of the cross wall that gave rise to much speculation.  Was it a mink? An otter head? A duck’s bum.  No conclusion was drawn, but over the next hour or so (why were members not watching England demolish Australia?) several images were emailed back and forth of upended mallards.

I’m thinking of getting a few yellow plastic bath ducks and floating these on the Tarn just to enliven further the email traffic.

Nothing much doing now on the river with very little water going over Settle weir and even less at New Inn bridge.  I’ll retrieve the trail cam from the Tarn tomorrow and see what if anything it’s captured this week.


6 August 2015

A long, but hugely rewarding day yesterday working on the upper Nidd at Gouthwaite.  The final tally of rescued fish was 305 brown trout, 7 lamprey, three grayling and an eel. All these fish were taken from the stillage pool at the base of the reservoir dam and placed in the river below the gauging weir.  The pool basin was drained down by late yesterday afternoon and is now dry so that a full inspection of its integrity can be carried out.

The brownies were all of decent size ranging from eight inch to just over a foot.  They were plump, well marked and very clearly wild fish.  How they got into the pool is a matter of conjecture.  some most likely came down the spill way from the reservoir, but the grayling probably came over the gauging weir in a flood.

If an angler was busy down near Pately Bridge he or she may have wondered at the sudden abundance of decent sized brown trout although the disrespect that they had just received would probably have discouraged them from taking a fly.

It was satisfying not to have to chase eels around half an acre of shallow water although the base of the pool turned out to be ashlar lined and remarkably free of debris.  The Victorians certainly knew how to do civil engineering.

The river here at Horton is now well off its best again and with the weather fairing up I doubt if fishing conditions will improve much before the weekend.


4 August 2015

A modicum of rain has fallen today keeping the river just about fishable.  Certainly the Garden pool looked very inviting this afternoon with a number of fish rising along the tree line under the west bank.  Mind you, the weather is more appropriate for October hat August and likely to remain that way all week.

I’m hoping for a fairly dry day tomorrow as we are working at Gouthwaite above Pately Bridge carrying out a fish rescue so that the stillage basin below the dam can be drained down and inspected.  The prospect of standing in the basin below the dam knowing just how much water lies behind the dam gives one a slight sense of apprehension.  However the dam has been there for about 150 years without incident and I’m not aware of any plans of the RAF to flood Knaresborough.

We expect to find brown trout in the pool and perhaps some eels.  I remember doing a rescue a few years ago over in the Lakes which involved removing a large number of eels from the thixotropic mud remaining after a reservoir had been drained.  Wrestling with eels whilst waist deep in mud is more a spectator sport than a participatory one.  Hopefully trout will be less troublesome


3 August 2015

Sorry for the silence over the past couple of days.  No being able to resist something for nothing I rather impetuously allowed my PC to upgrade itself to Windows 10 and have spent quite a while sorting a few resulting glitches.  I’m not going to comment further as I’m fairly certain that this damn machine understands everything that I say near it or type into it and responds with malevolent humour.

The river is now off its best, but still fishable on the deeper runs and pools.  The Tarn is looking replenished and the few members who did visit last week scored some success.

Thanks to the generosity of a very new member I have set up a trail cam at the Tarn to try to discover the extent of our mink problem, where and when they may be active and whatever else visits the Tarn at night.  This info will help me to determine where best to focus attention on dealing with any unwelcome guests.

If the camera is a success then I may well invest in one and keep it running permanently as an aid to effective management of the Tarn.

Welcome to Michael who has now joined the Association and who members may well meet on the river over the next few weeks.