I keep forgetting to tell you that we have the return of an old nuisance. Those of you who have been members for some years will know of the perils of parking at the Tarn especially if you dislike having your pride and joy covered in bird guano. For some years a pair of pied wagtails did regular battle with wing mirrors leaving a trail of crap below each mirror.
They have been absent for a few seasons, but have returned. You have been warned. Socks are the best deterrent. Just slip one over each mirror on departing to the Tarn.
Mind you, pied wagtails and car mirrors are a minor irritation compared to the problem just experienced by scientists based at CERN and the Large Hadron Collider. It would seem that the kit had to be shut down because of an incursion of weasels. It’s reported that the weasel did not survive the encounter. So, advanced particle physics 0 weasel 1.
It’s still very cold and snowy here with frequent wintry showers. Not good fishing weather.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words so here’s about five thousand. As you see, we have snow!
Do please remember that Settle will be shut tomorrow to accommodate a lycra legion on push bikes. A plague of punctures on them all.
Sorry for the silence over the past couple of days. Things have been a bit hectic preparing for a history archiving project event held on Monday. Nothing to do with the MAA, but something else that I got roped into.
The river is now not worth a light and I have rarely seen it so low at this time of year. Mind you, the weather is so cold that even if we had decent water I doubt if anyone would wish to spend much time fishing. The low flows have produced quite a bloom of filament weed. This tends to be a problem in prolonged drought, but according to the EA does no real harm although it looks unpleasant. As soon as we get some decent rain the bloom will go.
Be aware that Settle is best avoided on Friday as the Tour de bleedin’ Yorkshire is passing through and most of Settle will be shut. Also Horton is hosting the annual 3 Peaks race on Saturday so the village will jam-packed. If you are planning to visit the Tarn over the next few days then tomorrow or Sunday would be best.
A staggering number of members and their guests fished the Tarn this past week. Seventeen visits were recorded in the register and over 30 fish caught. There was mixed success with some members getting a maximum take whilst others recorded a blank visit. I suspect that this was largely because of temperature and wind conditions. It was very cold on some days with a biting east wind. This always pushes fish down deep and reluctant to take.
It would be nice to return to warmer temperatures as its been trying to snow this morning and the Tarn looked pretty dead on my early morning visit.
The good news is that almost all of the willow stakes that I put in last month are already showing signs of life. Those round the reed bed at the Tarn are in bud and it won’t be long before leaves are showing. It’s amazing how a few sticks can suddenly burst into life. They will provide both shading to keep water temperatures lower in summer and habitat for fly life. Those on he river as they mature will offer hiding places for both juvenile and adult trout. This is such a simple and cost-effective way of improving the fishery that we can repeat the planting along all the barren beats on the river over the coming years.
I’m stocking the Tarn next Saturday at around 10am so any member planning to fish that day is best waiting a bit until the fish have settled and dispersed.
This glorious spring weather has brought members to the Tarn in droves. Today has been probably the busiest day there for many months with at least seven members thrashing the water. Conditions were not ideal – no breeze, cloudless blue sky and quite warm, but those I saw returning reckoned it had been a good day.
The breeze has got up now and cloud is building so tomorrow may be less bright.
I had a text message first thing this morning from a member who shall remain nameless. This message revealed that the landing net used mostly in the boat was now no longer in the boat, but in the Tarn. A replacement is on its way so anyone in the habit of using the big boat net will have to make alternative arrangements pro tem.
Sitting in front of the PC last evening I happened to glance out of the window and saw a couple of swallow darting by the house. This is very early for new arrivals so maybe we shall have a good summer.
Those members who logged onto the Tarn webcam today will have seen the water bathed in glorious sunshine. Its been warm – possibly the warmest day of the year so far – with just a hint of breeze to ripple the water.
If we had more water in he river then conditions would have been perfect for fishing. Perhaps a touch too bright, but there have been clouds of olives on the water and fish rising to feed on them.
Tarn pasture is filling fast with lambs now so members are reminded to close all the gates including the pedestrian gate in the cross wall.
I’m surprised just how few members have been up to fish this past week, but then, it has been very cold of late. No excuse this week. It’s more like summer and time to check on the hundreds of willow that I put in this winter. Fingers crossed for some signs of growth.
Its been raining hard all afternoon so the river is rising now and should continue to do so into tomorrow morning. It’s cold, but the forecast is for only light breeze so those fly that do brave the challenging temperature should remain on the water.
I’m continuing to receive very good reports of river fishing this season and if this good form continues then we may be on course for a great season. The latest report is from Alan M and he tells me:
Yesterday I fished the river from Dalemire up to the stepping stones at Selside. The water level was of course good as was the fishing. I had eleven 9 to 10 inch fish all in good condition so any fears which we may have had about the floods seem ill-founded. The river is obviously thriving. There was little or no bank damage up there. So all-in-all good news. Alan
I can confirm his comment about the lack of serious flood damage at the top end. When I went to look above Selside after the last big spate in early March I found only a shifted root plate in the woody debris that was put in at Gauber a couple of years ago. It’s amazing how resilient this river is not to mention the resilience of the resident wild trout.
Finally, regular visitors to the web came will be delighted to see that Neil has now got both cameras working again.
The 2016 Wild Trout Trust journal is now out and I have received several copies that I have put in the lodge. Members are very welcome to take a copy as it contains a wealth of interesting articles. One that may be of particular interest appears on page 62 and concerns the fish stocking experience of a well known angling association with fishing rights on the upper Ribble.
Once you have enjoyed the journal why not consider joining the WTT and so help promote brown trout conservation.
The weed cutter has arrived and is a beast of a machine. I really do believe that problems with excessive weed in the Tarn are now well within our capability to control. The problem may be limiting the amount of weed cut because of he fun to be had from “mowing” the water.
Its been raining hard here all afternoon and the result is a river that’s now back in very good fishing condition. The forecast over the next couple of days is for unsettled conditions so water levels should remain good. We may see some sunshine on Thursday that ought to encourage a few fly to hatch.
The long running debate here about strange fish in the Tarn has moved on to consider gudgeon as the culprit. My money is on big stone loach, but then again what do I know.
Just when you thought that spring had arrived the weather here bowls a googley. Late yesterday afternoon the skies darkened and we got a fairly heavy fall of snow. For a short while everywhere went white and we awoke this morning to a world that was still white, but bathed in glorious sunshine. This made short shrift of the snow and even the tops of the fells are now free of the stuff.
The winter conditions were not the best intro for the guest of a new member who had been told of the wonders of upper Ribble fishing. If they fished through to late morning then I suspect that conditions would have been really good.
The Tarn continues to offer wonderful sport with fish now rising freely to feed on something that I can’t see, but they can. There seem to be far more fish feeding that I have so far put in so I’m hopeful that cormorant predation this winter has been minimal. So far most fish caught have been returned numbers are not diminishing all that fast.
I’ll report later in the week on the weed reduction planned for Tuesday.