A wet week has seen the river in good condition on most days and despite a lack of rain so far today it’s still offering very good fishing.
The Tarn this morning was very quiet with very little wildlife present. It was always a delight to arrive at the water and be greeted with total indifference by the swans. Their absence after so many years reduces the beauty of the place a little. However, such an inviting body of water is unlikely to remain unpopulated by water fowl for too long.
Given that I stocked the Tarn a couple of weeks ago catches have been on the low side with some members who regularly catch to the limit recording blanks. I know not why this should be so, but suspect that the weather is responsible. There were certainly a lot of rises a few evenings ago so it’s not a case of shortage of fish.
I have just invested in a new pc screen as the old one died last week. Hence the lack of recent posts. I’ll try to be a little more regular from now on. At last I can see what I am typing.
The silence over the past few days has not been due to idleness or lack of enthusiasm, but largely because nothing much has happened here.
The weather continues showery. Not enough rain to bring decent conditions to the river, but just enough to make working outdoors less than enjoyable.
The Tarn was searched last week by the Hon Sec in full diving rig to try o locate the missing anchor. This was unsuccessful mainly because of the dense weed that covers the bed of the Tarn. This was discovered to be around 4ft high and alive with snails. As many long standing members know, the wall that meets the water on the north and south sides of the Tarn extends right the way across. Fish seem to congregate along this submerged wall probably feeding on caddis and snails that find good habitat in the submerged stones.
A new anchor has been ordered and will be fitted on arrival.
Both river and Tarn fishing continue to be surprisingly good for the height of “summer”. Andy R took a guest on the upper river yesterday and recorded 48 fish between them the largest being a 14inch stunner.. I’ll try to get some of Andy’s photos on the blog over the next few days.
Council have asked me to warn you all that the Tarn will be closed for fishing this Wednesday (20th July) from 6pm. This is to enable some essential maintenance to take place (retrieving the lost anchor, etc.). All should be back in order ready for fishing on Thursday.
It’s a gloomy, foggy start to the day here, but the forecast is for some decent weather this week. So with the river still in moderately good water and with salmon known to be present on the fishery there should be some good sport this week.
The river has been in stunning condition this past few days and drier weather today has meant that conditions for fishing have matched the state of the river.
I was sitting munching my lunch earlier when a frantic ringing of the door bell sent me to discover the cause of the emergency. I found a breathless AM standing on the doorstep. After regaining his wits he told me of his encounter with a newly run salmon on the lower river that he estimated to be around 12 lb. Alan was fishing for trout at the time and had only light tackle. He was shaken from the usual fishing torpor by a wrench on the rod that almost removed his right arm. This fish took off like a rocket, turned at the head of the pool and retraced its trajectory. After the best part of 45 minutes by which time he wasn’t sure who was more knackered, him or the fish, he managed to bring this stunning fish to the bank and record it for posterity. Here it is.
So, it would seem that the constant high water of the past few weeks has brought salmon to Horton. Reports would indicate that there are more where that one came from.
The Tarn stocking went ahead without a hitch yesterday and some very fat and fit rainbows are now exploring their new home. Included in the batch were some blue trout one of which seemed determined to fast track evolution and try living on land. It took a fair bit of persuasion to deter a spirited attempt to climb the bank, but once its nose was pointed towards deep water it shot off creating a bow wave that a salmon would have been proud of.
The next stocking will be in late August when a batch of brownies will go in alongside the rainbows. Then that’s it for yet another season and the whole cycle begins again.
Thanks are due to Fred for his very kind comment about the efforts of Council in managing this extensive fishery. It’s essential that we learn about the concerns that members have so that these can be addressed. However, it’s even better to know that what is being done is appreciated. On that theme members will be pleased to know that further stile work is being arranged together with some tree canopy lifting and judicial strimming to aid access to key access points. The work is being done by someone who knows exactly what needs to be done to balance access with maintaining good cover so the results should be a real asset to the fishery.
I understand that Settle Anglers’ are experiencing real problems with mink and one has been seen recently near New Inn bridge on our fishery. Do please keep a watch for these pests as you fish and if you spot anything suspicious let me know.
The river is in cracking form after heavy rain last night and frequent showers today. With the sun now breaking through to give a wonderful evening the water is clearing and falling back from the flood.
Gavin sent me some wonderful photos of fish caught earlier this week and I’ll upload these later. The size and condition of brown trout now resident in the river is remarkable. Members are telling me of good catches at each visit. Whether this is because of the fairly good water we have had so far this summer or because there is now a very good trout population throughout the fishery is a matter for debate, but something seems to be going right.
The Tarn is due to be stocked tomorrow morning around 10am so any member planning on fishing is best advised to wait until the afternoon.
Those of you who keep a watch on the Settle weir webcam and Locks weir monitor will have seen that the river is in great form right now. It has stopped raining so the level will begin to drop, but for the past couple of days fishing conditions have been very good.
Don’t take my word for it. Here is a brief note that I received yesterday from a brand new member:
We had our first day on the river today. Attached is one of the best of the 14 fish I had.
Although the the most magical moment was when a kingfisher landed halfway along my rod
Here is the accompanying photo:
That looks like a very happy lady with a stonking fat wild brown trout.
On Wednesday evening Gavin and Neil cleared back some of the weed that’s beginning to take over the top end of the Tarn. A clear belt has been made below the boathouse out to roughly a casting length so that members who prefer to cast from the bank will have less weed trouble. The new weed scythe makes this task fairly easy for two people and provides much more control over what is cut rather than dragged out. The aim as always is to judiciously prune rather than clear fell.