25 May 2016

The showers that have arrived frequently this past few days have brought the river to some semblance of decent fishing condition.  This was evidenced by Gavin’s haul of eleven fish in three hours last evening.  It’s raining now so conditions should remain reasonable towards the weekend.

Responding to popular demand I have now put up the fishing returns table for the river on the member’s web site.  As in past seasons you can enter your catch by simply clicking on the pen and paper icon in the top right corner of the relevant screen.  This will open the table for editing.  Don’t forget to save your entry before leaving the page.


22 May 2016

I sat by the Tarn early this morning and watched as the water came alive with fish rising to take breakfast.  The water was peppered with rises, large and small and this went on for several minutes.  It’s been a long while since I have seen one of these events.  I suppose that a combination of temperature, weather, sunlight and abundance of fly is the cause, but it’s a hell of a sight.  As usual I had no camera.

The river is just about fishable.  It’s not brilliant, but last week’s rain has cleared a lot of algae and replenished the pools and runs.  We are promised another dry spell early this week so these conditions will not last long.  However, the rain fell just in time to provide a prospective member visiting tomorrow with a reasonable impression of the river.

The Tarn is now fishing wonderfully well and ten visits last week resulted in 38 fish caught.  Just shows what a few newly stocked fish can do to stir things up a bit.


19 May 2016

The past couple of days have been wet and the valley is rapidly greening up after three weeks of near drought.  It will take a good deal more rain to raise the level of the river to anything like decent fishing conditions and clear the algae thats accumulated, but we have a decent start.

You really can’t please some people.  For the past fortnight I have been getting murmurings from some members about how difficult to fish the Tarn had become, allegedly because of a dearth of fish.  Now that its been stocked I’m getting mutterings about it being too easy.  I shall have to give the new stock a severe talking to and explain to them that they should be very wary of any fly that seems less than entirely natural.

I’m meeting prospective new members on Monday morning.  A husband and wife combo.  It really is about time that we had a few more female members so here’s hoping for a successful outcome.



16 May 2016

I went to the Tarn first thing this morning to check that all was well with the fish that went in on Saturday.  As I walked down from the lane towards the water there was a clatter of wings behind me and a lapwing dive bombed just clearing the top of my head.  It flew round and had another go then climbed higher and started calling.  I guess that there is a nest in the sedge close to where I was walking.  If so it’s the first time for many years that lapwing have nested in Tarn pasture.  I just hope that the nest survives the resident cows who tend to bed down in the sedge.  It’s wonderful to have these delightful birds back in residence.  Pity I left the camera in the car.

All is very well with the new fish.  The Tarn water is still crystal clear despite weeks without rain.  There is no algal growth or filament weed showing.  I wish as much could be said for the river.


14 May 2016

I’ve just put some fat and fit trout into the Tarn so that should stir things up a bit for next week.  Most were rainbows, but Phil had some spare brownies and blue trout so a handful of these went in as well. They shot off like little rockets and will have quickly dispersed.

Otherwise, the river remains almost non-existent, but the good news is that we seem to have lost the stiff north-east wind thats been blowing all week.


13 May 2016

I’m definitely stocking the Tarn tomorrow.  The fish will arrive at 10 am and we should be finished by 10.20.

It’s a lot cooler today and there were a few spots of rain this afternoon.  However, that’s all we had so the river remains almost non existent and full of filament weed.  We really do need a day of persistent rain to clean everything up and restore the river to a decent flow.



10 May 2016

I spent yesterday near Ripon helping with a fish rescue on a development site.  The project is to turn a Victorian country estate into an up-market leisure complex.  In the extensive grounds is a large leat flowing off the nearby river, running for a quarter of a mile down to a lake.  This was created as a major ornamental feature and is divided into “cells” by a series of weirs.  We fished out the upper leat and first two cells and collected over 30 brown trout, the largest of which was just under 1lb. We also got native crayfish and a large number of lamprey (a surfeit?).  The team is there all week clearing the remaining cells.  Hopefully the volume of mud that made life interesting yesterday will diminish as they work down the cells.

Our new vehicle mounted fish recovery tank is brilliant and was much appreciated by the fish. We set it up with an oxygen supply and air diffuser and these kept the captive fish in fine condition in the heat of yesterday afternoon until released lower down the main river.

I was working my way up the bank of the leat yesterday and came upon a coot nest complete with chicks.  These had clearly just that moment hatched as they were still damp from the egg.  Wonderful sight.

We really could do with some decent rain here. The river looks barren at present and the Tarn has dropped by around six inches.  It has been slightly cooler today and the forecast is for unsettled weather as we approach the weekend. I don’t like hot, dry weather when stocking the Tarn and neither do the trout.  Cool and damp is best.


08 May 2016

Its been a really useless day for fishing because of the brightness, high temperature and stiff south-east wind.  However, Its been a great day for pottering about in the garden.

The Tarn looked stunning first thing this morning under a cloudless blue sky and small wavelets lapping on the margins.  It would have looked even better with a couple of swans gracing the surface.  Not even a moorhen was to be seen.

Better wildlife has been seen around the house. On Wednesday a cuckoo sat in the ash tree at the bottom of the lower garden giving full vent to its distinctive call.  Yesterday we were presented with the sight of a pair of buzzards doing battle with the resident rooks and coming second.  The wrens are nesting again in the old goat house and swallows are busy building around the house.  All I need now is for the bats to return to the loft and we could outdo Gerald Durrell.


7 May 2016

I think that I must be going senile.  Having reported last week that we were stocking the Tarn last Saturday I was convinced that it would take place this Saturday.  In fact the date agreed with Phil at Dunsop Bridge is Saturday 14 May, the usual 2 months after the first stocking.  I think that a brain transplant may be required.  I shall now go and stand on the naughty step for half an hour!

The Tarn is not short of fish, but there is evidence that catching them is becoming more difficult so a fresh batch should help to stir things up a bit.

The river is not worth bothering with now until we get a decent amount of rain.  Still, this warm weather has triggered into growth all the willow that I put in at the end of winter.  It is surprising how a load of bare sticks can suddenly burst into life and if they carry on growing through the summer they should be quite well established before we get any winter floods.


2 May 2016

We have had a lot of rain in the past 24 hours and the river is in good condition for the first time in weeks.  The high flow has completely cleared the filament weed that had infested much of the fishery.  There is a strong breeze at present, but this is forecast to subside as the weather warms towards the end of the week and by the weekend we could be basking in temperatures above 60f.

For some days I have been intending to investigate something in the river below Newhouses.  From the road it looked like a long line lying just off the left bank.  I now know his to be a length of fencing.  Where it has been washed down from I know not, but I’ll attempt to get it out of the river this week.