Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Bumper Hatches:

Olive Upright nymphs

It’s not often you get to witness multiple species of fly hatching at once.  First up, several things including water height, temperature, wind strength, cloud cover, etc. etc all need to slot into place.  Then of course we actually have to time our visit Olive Upright 2accordingly, which is down to pure luck rather than good judgement as we don’t really understand the exact criteria that prompts bugs to emerge.  Though when it does occur, scores of mature nymphs make for the surface all at once. Despite unsettled conditions, I was fortune to enjoy a couple of days when Iron Blues, Olive Uprights, March Browns and to a lesser extend Large Dark Olives carpeted the water.  Of course, the trout went bananas when more notable trout could be tempted using dry flies-the stuff dreams are made of…

~An absolute pearler taken during the mythical multi-hatch~

PP (22)

Sunday, 22 April 2012

March Browns in Yorkshire:

During a recent week on the river Wharfe at Bolton Abbey we experienced hatches of mottled winged flies.  As Large Brook Dun (Ecdyonurus torrentis) are common in these parts I initially put the activity down to these.  However the hatches resembled those of March Browns (Rhithrogena germanica) which often emerge in definite flurries or pulses.  Inquisitive as ever I managed to nab a few of duns.  Exhibiting a dark fleck in the upper femur and with a clear window in the wing with no apparent cross veins, amazingly these were March Browns.  Rumour has it there’s been no official record of March Browns in Yorkshire.  With that, doubt crept into mind, nothing for it then except for the experts to cast their beady eye over my findings.  Craig McAdam (Invertebrate Conservation Trust) and Stuart Croft kindly confirmed that these were indeed Rhithrogena germanica-excellent news then.  Paul~

March Brown Dun 2

It’s easy to see why fishermen mistake Large Brook Duns (below) for the true March Brown (above).  Although images are no substitute for examining bugs first hand, you can clearly see a more olive-yellow tinge to the wings of the Large Brook Dun whereas March Browns tend to exhibit a monotone shade of brown.


Monday, 9 April 2012

An ill wind:


Apparently “It’s an ill wind that blows no good”.  On the face of it, never a truer word seemed to have been whispered during a visit to the Eden last week. A brutal nor’easter carrying arctic temperatures, brought overnight snow.  Granted the white stuff may well have melted by lunchtime but come 2pm (apparently the warmest part of a day) we were still suffering a windchill factor or –4 degrees C.  Amazingly some 30 minutes later Olive Uprights decided to trickle off.  Thankfully the trout seemed juDSC00244st as pleased to see them as us and finding a sheltered corner I managed to prise out a handful of fish on dries. Though sport did get restricted to some 40 minutes for just as quickly as they showed the duns were gone, taking with them any stragglers which cared to rise.    Paul~


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Back on home turf:


Whilst destination fishing takes me far afield there’s something special about being reacquainted with an old friend-my home river.  Low, clear water might well have put trout on high alert, but plenty of bugs flitting about  encouraged a few of them to eat flies from the surface.  Bright sun brought me my knees and once in range of feeding fish, longer leaders helped present the fly like thistledown.  Given the presence of terrestrials a small, beetle like imitation seemed wise and when fish nosing 3lb odd move to snaffle your fly, you know you’ve cracked it.






~This sleek beauty moved some 3ft to engulf my small terrestrial pattern~











~The signature of a clean spring fish is one bearing a butter yellow belly~