Playing catch-up with the blog after a ridiculously busy week – sorry.
On Tuesday and Wednesday contractors removed several tons of weed from the lower end of the Tarn. This is presently piled up on the far bank down by the wildlife area and will be removed soon.
close to a hundred palmate and common newts were liberated from the weed as it came out and every fork full teemed with gammarus, alder fly and beetles. There is nothing wrong with the quantity and quality of food for fish in the Tarn. Fish went into a feeding frenzy as the fly life was liberated.
So now much of the lower end of the Tarn has significantly reduced weed cover whilst the upper end by the lodge remains untouched. This should provide a decent balance between maintaining the health of the Tarn and providing easier fishing.
It rained a lot yesterday and with more rain promised for tomorrow the river should offer some decent fishing early in the week, but do be aware that Newhouses lane will be closed to traffic on 5 and 6 June whilst major resurfacing work takes place. Some access will be permitted, but there will be major delays travelling to and from the Tarn.
Don’t forget that the Tarn is closed for fishing tomorrow and Wednesday whilst the excessive weed growth is attended to.
The river continues in rather good form with decent water still flowing at Horton. We are promised further rain tomorrow so conditions should remain good into the weekend. However, those of you planning a trip to Horton should be aware that there is the mother of all sponsored walks setting up on the football field and already New Inn flats resembles closely a refugee camp with row upon row of identical tents. I’ll keep a close eye on our assets at the garden pool this weekend because I have some misgivings about this lot. There are multi coloured floodlights on the river bank and a sound system to make Iron Maiden jealous. Nice.
Now for the important bit, as I forecast last week the Tarn will be closed for fishing on 23 and 24 May whilst contractors remove some of the weed burden at the top end of the Tarn. Hopefully they will avoid contracting plague this time and arrive to do the job.
Whilst on the subject of the Tarn it’s good to see the water level almost back to average levels and a flow exiting from the duck wall. This will help to clear any turbidity kicked up by the weed and silt removal.
All members should by now have received an email from Claire about the closure so my warning is for those who are not tied to their communication devices.
We awake this morning to a veritable monsoon. If this keeps up for a few hours river fishing should resume shortly and Andy can cease twitching.
For the first time in nearly a month we had some rain last night and early this morning. It was enough to freshen the garden, but far from enough to make any appreciable difference to the river, However, more prolonged rain is forecast for Monday so perhaps by mid-week the river will once again flow at Horton.
Yesterday evening we put 100 rainbow trout into the Tarn. As usual these were stunning fish with a few that looked well above 2lb. Hopefully this new stock will stir up the residents and encourage them to take a surface fly more eagerly.
I had a good clean up in the lodge on Thursday, removed the encrusted spilt coffee from the tables, cleaned up the fish measurer, scrubbed the sink and swept the floor. It beats me why some members prefer to wallow in filth rather than wipe up spillage and quite why it’s necessary to leave cut leader on the floor instead of putting it in the bin out of harms way is a puzzle. Perhaps I’m just fussy.
It’s good to see that the big willows at the duck wall are coming into leaf. They have been so slow breaking out of winter dormancy that I feared they were dead. However, this past week they are showing some signs of new life.
Whilst planting out peas in the garden on Monday I was delighted to see a pair of cuckoo in a courting flight over the croft by the house. Soon after they landed in sweet chestnut and began calling. I last heard a cuckoo here a couple of years ago, the first time I have heard one at Horton, but this is the first time that I have actually seen one.
It should have been a day busy with the removal of Tarn weed. However, a serious medical issue affecting the contractors has meant that the work will need to be rescheduled for later this month, probably the week after next.
As a consequence the Tarn will be open for members to fish tomorrow (12 May)
Still no rain although the forecast is for a day of heavy rain on Monday. Don’t hold your breath Andy.
Firstly a gentle reminder that the Tarn will be closed for fishing tomorrow and Friday whilst expert contractors tackle the excessive weed that’s clogging the upper reaches of the Tarn. This will be a great opportunity to make a further check for elusive crayfish. If none are present in the weed that’s removed then we can conclude with certainty that the entire population has vanished. If so then plans for re-introduction may be set in train.
As a break from my own burblings I thought that you might like to see thee comments from And R that reached me today. I’m not the only one doing a rain dance!
Please can you arrange for some RAIN!!!! things are getting desperate… I’m getting forced away from the river, before long I’ll have to bring my own water! Fingers crossed…. let’s hope that the forecast for rain over the weekend and early next week is correct. And I’ll be back catching those stunning wild trout of the upper Ribble. On the plus side… my challenge to fish North Country Spider’s or Dry Fly only for a full season (I’ve banned all my favourite tungsten bead heads for 1 season) is going okay… yes I have certainly missed the tungsten, and I would have possibly caught a few more. However, it has to be said that in fishing the traditional upstream spider style/ method, so far this has been highly enjoyable. I have also been messing around at the vice, tying up a new cdc spinner pattern for the summer evenings that are approaching rapidly.. this pattern will be fished full dry or allowed to sink under it’s own weight.. tied on a size16 curved buzzer type hook.. Fingers crossed…. it will take a few?
Also included are a couple of images of Andy’s beautiful flies.
We have been plagued by a howling north-easterly gale for most of the day that has whipped the Tarn to fairly sizeable waves and trapped the kite in the wall. I freed the kite from the fence yesterday and replaced one of the tension wires that had been sprung out by the last gale. I’ll liberate it again tomorrow morning.
The Tarn fished quite poorly last week. Even the master anglers’ found conditions challenging. I suspect that this is because of the high wind and bright conditions rather than an absence of fish. However, stocking on 13 May will not be too soon.
There should certainly be some good feeding for these new fish following the weed removal on Thursday and possibly Friday. Do please remember that the Tarn will be closed to all on those two days.
Returning to the weather finally, we are promised a few days of calmer conditions from tomorrow. Let’s see what arrives.
Greetings from the Gobi desert where rain has still not fallen and the strong east wind is desiccating everything
If the weather was not proof enough of the imminent arrival of summer then the arrival of the cows at Tarn pasture from winter quarters at Newhouses should convince even sceptics.
I saw a report the other day prepared for a forthcoming meeting that suggested the origin of very large brown trout caught on mid-Ribble waters could be Newhouses Tarn. The author clearly has no knowledge of the Tarn because for trout to enter the river from this still water they would first need to climb the duck wall and drop into the outflow channel on the other side, then evolve rapidly to grow legs to enable them to exit the swamp to which the Tarn drains and walk several meters to the river. Having accomplished this stunning feat of evolution they would then need to lose those legs in short order before making their way down to the Lancashire bit of the Ribble that we don’t talk about. Fat chance.
After a very windy weekend it has calmed down this evening to give us a glorious, but very dry end to the bank holiday.
It’s almost unprecedented to get through a bank holiday in the Dales without a biblical deluge. Rather a shame really because the garden is beginning to resemble the Gobi desert.
A quick check of the Tarn web cams a few minutes ago revealed two members busy teaching flies to swim. In these calmer conditions with just a gentle surface ripple and a warm evening conditions should be just about perfect.
Do please remember that the Tarn will be closed for fishing on 11 and 12 May. I plan to stock it again on 13 May.