It's a super early autumn morning here in the valley with plenty of sun, high broken clod and a nip in the air to keep things feeling fresh. To cap it all there is still good water in the river and just a light breeze to spin the leaves off the trees.
My mention of the Burnsall club has sparked quite a flurry of correspondence by email about early contacts between our two clubs which stemmed it seems from a meeting in Leeds organised to draw up a few guidelines for northern rivers and which was attended by Abel Heywood Jnr of the MAA and T E Pritt who was a member of the Yorkshire Anglers, The Burnsall club and who wrote about fishing for the Yorkshire post. Contact was maintained for a number of years and a large number of fish were exchanged between the Ribble and the Wharfe. Comment was made at the time about the differences between the native stock in the two rivers with the Wharfe trout being darker on the back with a pronounced pointed snout. The Ribble fish tended to be lighter and more rounded at the front end.
One email from David M enclosed a synopsis of the invertebrates observed on the river between March and September 1903 together with the artificials used to represent the naturals. I spent an absorbing afternoon yesterday drawing up a spreadsheet which attempts to identify the naturals, compare these to the results of our recent survey work and link the old artificials with modern equivalents. This is still a “work in progress”, but if anyone would like a copy I will gladly email it to them in either Excel or PDF format. It would be nice if those who do want a copy can help to fill in the blanks.
The Tarn looked wonderful yesterday with water over 3″ deep on the bottom step by the hut, a few rises and plenty of bird life – some of it unwelcome as I put up a solitary cormorant as I approached the hut. There was a sizable beck flowing away from the duck wall towards the river and Turn Dub was in full spate. The trees we planted at the confluence of the Turn Dub inlet and the main river have survived and flourished despite evidence that those closest to the river are swept by flood when the river is in spate. These were big saplings when we put them in and the wet summer has encouraged good growth this season so it won't be too long before they begin to have an impact on both the visual quality of the landscape here and the habitat both in and around the river.
Finally, the cygnets are growing very fast and seem to be making up well for their late start. This in a way is testament to the health and quality of the Tarn. There is clearly plenty of sustenance there for them.