A day of persistent heavy rain has brought the river to bank full conditions this evening and given it a good flush out. We are now basking in a lovely sunny, warm evening and the forecast suggests that these conditions should last through to tomorrow around 7pm.
My guess is that fishing conditions on the river tomorrow will be the best that they have been for some weeks so time to take a day’s leave, blow the dust off your rod and get up to Horton.
Two bits of good news for a change. Neil has fixed the link that sends the signal from the lodge to the interweb so the two Tarn webcams and the weather station are back on line.
I have also found the spare anchor lurking in the store in the boathouse and fixed this securely to the anchor cable on the boat. I’m not sure how well this one will work so do let me know your experience with it.
We have had a fair drop of rain today with more forecast so conditions on the river are improving although the stiff westerly breeze will make accurate casting rather a challenge.
This recent showery weather has put some water into the river and with further heavy showers forecast for tonight and tomorrow fishing conditions early next week should be reasonable.
I had a call yesterday from a member who best remain nameless telling me that he had “lost” the anchor from the boat. I’ll try to rig up a temporary arrangement pro-tem whilst I get a replacement. I’ll also have a crack at fishing with a large magnet for the lost item although I suspect that this will prove futile. For the time being it’s probably best if you bring along someone you hate and use them as an anchor.
I have had a report of mink on the fishery. I’m in the process of trying to deal with this (no luck so far), but please do let me know if you see anything that suggests that mink are around.
The next Tarn stocking is on 9 July at 10 am so members wishing to bring novice guests may wish to make a note of this date.
It began raining here around three this afternoon and is still raining hard at seven thirty. The forecast is for drier conditions to move in during the early hours so there is every chance that the river will be in decent condition tomorrow. Thereafter we are supposed to get a dry week so don’t expect good water to last long.
The Tarn looked lifeless this morning with no waterfowl, no sheep in Tarn pasture and no fish moving. Judging by the returns book it was a less than great week with less visits and more blanks than for quite a while. By my system of counting there are still plenty of fish to be caught, but I do suspect that as we move further and further away from a stocking and fish get repeatedly caught they become hook shy despite careful handling.
Sorry for the silence over the past few days. No excuse, just too little time.
The river continues to fish well despite remaining fairly low. Gavin and Neil had a good evening on Wednesday with Neil landing a monster brownie measuring 19 inches and in stunning condition. Sadly, neither of them had a phone handy to record this leviathan for posterity.
It’s good to see so many new members fishing regularly and enjoying some success. Most are also bringing guests to fish and many of these too are recording good catches. I always impress upon prospective members that the upper Ribble is not an easy river to fish. The trout are easily spooked by a misplaced boot or shadow cast on the water. However, with some stealth and patience it can be most rewarding and this season so far seems to be meeting most members’ expectations.
It’s always good to learn of members’ experiences of river visits. A few do email me with brief reports. These help to provide some anecdotal evidence of the health of the river and our trout and build a picture of where members fish most. With this info we can concentrate maintenance efforts and ensure that favoured beats are treated as a priority when fixing stiles and maintaining access. So do let me know when and where you fish as well as what luck you have.
The rain of the past few days has brought the river into quite good condition and since it’s raining right now these conditions should continue for a few days yet.
A member brought a guest up on Saturday and both had a decent day with around 30 fish between them. Andy reports that a small flash flood put a stop to the fun late in the afternoon. I too remember getting nearly caught by one of these flashes a few years ago. I was standing by the river in dry sunny conditions when a flood pulse came down the river. It transpired that there had been a thunderstorm above Ribblehead that put a large volume of water into the river.
Anyway, here is the gist of Andy’s email:
Had a great day yesterday, my guest was seriously impressed with the river and the quality of it’s trout.
The river fished reasonably well. Matt had 16 and I ended with 17. Between us we had some nice fish around the 10 to 12″ size. But..I ended up with the best fish of the day. A stunning 15″‘er on a emerging caddis type cdc dry.
Our visit was cut short. We were planning on fishing the evening rise. But at 6.30pm the river had other idea’s. . A small flash flood lifted the river by a good 8 to12″ in a matter of seconds. . It was quite amazing to witnesses such an event.
This afternoon we got some much needed rain. For around an hour it chucked it down accompanied by a fairly impressive light and sound show. More is needed to make a real difference to the river. However, the level has risen about a couple of inches so there is a bit of a flush on the runs and riffles.
The forecast is for further thundery showers in the next few days so he level should improve further going into the weekend. However, do remember that the B6479 from Horton to Ribblehead will be closed daytime next week and presently there are random major works between Helwith Bridge and Ribblehead.
I keep forgetting to mention this (it’s the age). The Tarn webcams are off because of a failed bit of kit. This needs to be replaced and had not been done sooner because the whole Horton network is scheduled for upgrading to provide a 30meg service. It would seem that the upgrade is a rather longer term ambition than first thought so repairs to the MAA webcams may be done so as to get them back on line. Please be patient.
The hot weather continues unabated although last evening and late this afternoon we did see the sky cloud over and heard a few rumbles of thunder. So far no rain has fallen at Horton so the river remains very low.
Despite this it is fishing quite well as evidenced by a short email I received this morning from a new member. Andy tells me that:
I had a couple of hours on the river last night, very nice. . Ended up with 4 on Dry fly, a sz 16 cdc caddis type. And (best was a lovely fish of 15″)
Nice to see someone fairly unfamiliar with the river getting enjoyment in these challenging conditions.
I was out most of the day so did not get chance to wander up to the Tarn to see how things were doing. It may have been quite busy because at least four members stopped to chat just as I finished waterproofing the house gable wall about 10 am this morning.
The cuckoo is back and has spent the latter part of the afternoon calling continuously from somewhere down by the river at Newhouses.
Its been a real scorcher here today. Possibly the warmest day of the year so far and the river seemed to be steaming this afternoon.
In the relative cool of early morning I visited the Tarn and put up a flock of around two dozen Canada geese. With much honking they made their way down river towards Horton leaving the Tarn in peaceful solitude with just the calls of lapwing and curlew.
The Tarn is fishing remarkably well at present with 16 visits producing a total of 55 fish. It’s good to see new members enjoying considerable success. I suspect that I shall soon be receiving complaints that the fishing is too easy.
I met a prospective member yesterday morning down at New Inn. We stood by the bridge abutment for around an hour and in that time saw innumerable rises. Fish were cruising the rocks above the bridge. Swimming up the eddys then drifting back on the light current to begin the journey again. There was a hatch of big yellow mayflies, but fish seemed to be more interested in small flies on the water.
It’s forecast to be a warm week with the possibility of thundery showers on Tuesday so the river is likely to remain low for the time being. However, as we saw yesterday there are plenty of fish around and the deeper pools will offer some sport.
Its been incredibly quiet this past few days with not much to report on the fishery. However, Two new members did fish the Tarn on Monday in a very stiff north westerly and reported some success with fish surface feeding. This was their first experience of the Tarn and the quality of the fish caught seemed to impress.
Members planning to fish at Horton over the next week should be aware that he B6479 from Settle to Ribblehead is undergoing extensive repair and re-surfacing so expect some significant delays. In fact from Helwith Bridge to Horton the road will be shut from 7pm to 5am so night fishing will be difficult. There will also be day time road closures between Horton and Ribblehead that will restrict access to the upper river.
Today t thought I would be clever, avoid the delays by traveling from Settle to Horton via Stackhouse lane. Wrong. Just past Stackhouse I came up behind a large flock of sheep with lambs at foot being driven up to Knight Stainforth. A five minute journey took over 20 minutes. Mind you, it was entertaining watching the efforts of the collie trying to assert authority over a bunch of bolshie lambs. One decided that it would be a good move to jump over the dog. I almost had it on the bonnet as a mascot.