Monday, 18 February 2019

Long Overdue!

Finally a day on the river!

The temperatures are increasing, the days are getting longer and the predicted bad winter hasn't happened, what could possibly go wrong.

With the river at summer levels I wondering where to go so decided to stay local, take along the camera and make a complete day of it, if the fishing wasnt too good there is always something to point the camera at, so thats exactly what I did yesterday.

Setting off from the carpark just after 10am I walked downstream hoping to glimpse any fly life coming off the river as the last couple of days have seen bright sunshine and warm temperatures, apart from a few midges there wasnt that much happening.

First thing I came across was the abundance of wild flowers, mainly snow drops but a few crocus throw into the mix also.

First few pools didn't result in anything and after almost an hour of fishing I decided to change tact from the european nymphing style I had started out on and changed over to spiders. I had it in my head that the fish wouldn't be hugging the bottom of the deep pools but instead would be in the faster water with a possibility of looking upwards and not downwards for their food. Sure enough 20 minutes or so later I was into the first fish of the day, in this case an out of season trout which if I were to be honest was in a poor state so released immediately in the water without even hitting the net.

Moving downstream I came to my favourite part of this stretch which is where the path pulls you through a bit of fir wood, it always seems magical as I enter it and it was nice to get out the wind for a short time.

Deciding to fish the pacy water, it was again drawing a blank & it wasnt until I had dropped right down to the very bottom of the runs in the slacker water which was no more than 1 ft deep did I register the another fish, & I was playing the first grayling off the day.

Nothing big by any standards but it was a Grayling and I was thankful for it.

With lunchtime fast approaching I decided to take some shelter out the wind and crack out the storm kettle I had brought along, nothing finer than having a fresh coffee on the bank.

10 minutes later I was sat at the base of a large beech tree with a fresh coffee watching nature go by, it was a nice half hour or so of doing absolutely nothing but soaking in the surroundings.

As I sat there letting time go by I got my photographic head on and started playing around with the camera for a few moments. This being the Ivy that was reaching up the tree trunk I was leaning against.

the next couple of trees up were fir trees and some nice mix of colours.

From afar

and in macro

Lunch over it was time to get back to the task in hand and pick up the rod again.

I dropped down the the bottom of the current section and decided to fish the spiders upstream and it wasnt long until I got another fish interested but alas again another trout which again wasnt in the best of health, very lean and empty feeling so released immediately.

The next couple of casts & I actually seen the fish come out the water for the top dropper which was just starting to break the surface to sink, a Grayling of better size.

I was almost back at the point which I had lunch without any further interest from any fish, so a couple of shots of the river around me.

And the house with a view all the way up the river.

It was time to head back upstream towards the car and fishing my way upstream I managed to connect with another trout which took to acrobatics out the water & threw the hook but I didn't care it would simply save me unhooking it.

Back in the fir wood I took one last picture with what was lying around the forest floor with a bit of photographic arrangement before heading back to the car.

A long awaited day back on the river which turned out to be a cracking day indeed, the Grayling might not have been biting much but an enjoyable day nevertheless.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Winter Bimble.

Well another week off the water with levels down to 0.7m where normally they are 0.45m - 0.47m.

This Grayling season has without doubt been like the last trout season, low water and struggling for fish. I dont think it really matters where you are in the country a lot of results have been the same, many miles of looking with plenty of no fish and if your lucky an odd one or two.

With the conditions the way they were today I never even bothered talking the rod out, instead I took the camera out and although not fishing it was still an enjoyable few hours in the cold but beautiful settings of the Yorkshire Dales.

3 seasons rolled into one with autumn, winter & spring.

The view upstream was quite stunning today.

With the walk to the woods giving not a bad view either.

The bitter north easterly winds had taken care of much of the wildlife today, and nothing much to see but the snowdrops and the geese gave a pleasant view along the route.

And a few fresh eggs on the way home for lunch.

Fishing next week? who knows its all down to mother nature & what she gives us.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Back on the Water..

25th November 2018 was the last time I was out on the water and it feels like an eternity away, my fishing mojo has taken a bit of a knock due to it, I knew today was going to be hard as the river was at summer levels, crystal clear and not much in the way of movement. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come again this year

The first snowdrops of the year are now out in bloom.

I wasnt getting up super early so after a bit of a lie in I drove up the Dale to clear skies and a bit of sunshine. The river was very low, levels which I would expect at the peak of summer, not in the depths of winter and looking at previous weeks results there wasnt much fish being caught anywhere.

Undeterred I was out to try & get back some of my mojo which has disappeared since my last outing nearly 2 months ago. 

Starting at the bottom of the beat I decided to approach the low water with a couple of spiders on droppers and a single # 18 nymph on the point.  It was very hard going there was no denying it and I was wondering if a trotted worm below a float would have achieved anything better, as that is now almost another season over without me getting the trotting rods out, something that was unheard of in years past, and hopefully something I will have to rectify soon.

Almost an hour had passed before I felt a slight tug and lifted the rod to find that I actually had something on, and a moment later my hand had slipped under a small fingerling Grayling, the first fish of 2019 for me, it had taken the partridge & orange spider on the 1st dropper.

a few more runs through the same glide and I felt another fish.

No record breakers by any means but I was starting to enjoy myself again, the sights and sounds which used to excite me were returning, a dipper came and said hello by sitting on a stone some 15ft or so away from me and started singing. I was back in a happy place again and the absence had been far too long.

A few moments grabbing a coffee from the flask and I entered the water again where I had caught the previous two Grayling hoping for maybe a couple more. Around 30 minutes had slipped by before I felt the next indication of a fish.

a further 15 minutes or so proved fishless so I decided to head upstream in search of maybe another fish or two. Stopping off at various point on the beat resulted in no further fish but I wasnt too dismayed I was back on the water and enjoying it.

Deciding to call it a day after 3 hours was my way of keeping the interest alive as the river was so low and with only a limited number of places to fish, I wasnt going to flog them to death in pursuit of a fish and after all I had enjoyed myself up to this point & didn't want to spoil that feeling.

I would have been back on the water last sunday if it hadn't been for the high winds that had hit the Dales, and looking at friends results on the river Im glad I opted for a walk with the camera. It was bitter but by keeping on the move I was able to keep warm and enjoyed taking a few shots on my travels.

I may not have been fishing but I wasnt too far from the water with this shot looking upstream.

And no shortage of these fellows running around in the woods at the moment, as I was taking shots of him I saw movement out of the corner of my eye & saw that I too was being watched so very slowly I turned & managed to grab a photo of the culprit watching me.....

A Grey Squirrel.

A couple of wax caps finished off my walk last week.

Monday, 7 January 2019

A Break Away

First & foremost I would like to wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas & a prosperous New Year for 2019.

It's been almost a month since my last blog entry as some people had noticed & emailed me asking if everything was OK.

I have to confess, Im fine and that Karen & myself had slipped away for Christmas & New Year in the sun.

With mounting pressures at work & a long year of jobs around the house for both of us we decided to disappear and treat ourselves for Christmas & New Year,  so a few days in Abu Dhabi before boarding a cruise ship and heading to India for the festive period.

Whilst in Abu Dhabi we had the pleasure to visit the Grand Mosque, which was on our bucket list of places to visit, It did not disappoint an absolute stunning place to visit if your ever in that region of the world.

A couple of select pictures from our cruise travels to India & back to the UAE.

The gateway to India located in Mumbai (Bombay)

Your eyes arent playing tricks the tree really is bent one way then back on itself!

The QE2 now a floating hotel in Dubai with the Burj Khalifa in the background

Lots more pictures but I wont bore everyone with the holiday pictures & I hope everyone had a great festive period.  Thanks to the concerned few who emailed me asking if all was OK, I promise I will be back fishing again very soon.

Monday, 10 December 2018

If You go Down in the Woods Today....

Another weekend where mother nature pushes the river levels over the top, with all rivers in the Dales pushing through the water, the water scale looking something like the elevations of some of the Pennine Peaks within the Dales.

Not to be deterred I swapped the fishing rod for the camera and had a walk around to see what I could discover.

The old wheel house was my first stop. 

Not much to look at from the side view as nature has worked its magic over the years & covered most of the building in Ivy.

But move to a different angle, into the laide where the water once ran to power the wheel and it opens up.

All the old fixtures where the wheel slotted into the stone work still evident on the inside. 
The mechanism would have went on the left side as we look into it and is accessed by the door on the left, now just merely allowing light to flood into the building, with another access door on the right, unsure how they got to the 2nd story as I seen no evidence of any stairs but I suppose these would have been rotted out long ago as all thats left from  the original wood is the heavy rafters.

With the laide now sealed off the water tumbles over the stones at various locations along its length.

Just walking around the small wood which now encroaches the wheel house, its amazing what sights you see that many would simply walk past.

Switch lenses and get down to their height, past their best now but still very beautiful and intricate in every detail.

Not the fishing trip I had hoped for but still very enjoyable and took me back to my child days when exploring old buildings & messing around was the order of the day for us.

A couple of snaps on the way home.


The Cistercian Abbey at Jervaulx

A view across the Ure back to Thornton Stewart

Sunday, 2 December 2018

So thats what those buttons do!

With the rivers in the Dales all topping the fishable levels I have set for them it was a weekend of rest & recuperation, as by god I need it after the last 2 weeks! Long Story which I will not divulge, those who need to know already know.

Martin a friend of mine asked if I would make him some indicator furled leaders & I have had them ready for several weeks now and it wasnt till he telephoned last night that I actually got to confirm his postal address so these will be in the post to him this week at some point, but before they go I wanted to mess around with a lense I got for my camera.

Im not the greatest photographer around by any means but I do like dabbling so decided to snap off a few shots and getting my head back into the manual that I bought to accompany the camera, with a couple of hours light reading it jogged my memory to what most the buttons and settings were for.

The 3 indicator furled leaders martin asked for.

As with all fly tiers close up or macro photography shows off our creations to all and to get the best out of your camera you have to mess around so thats exactly what I did with things I had lying around on my desk.

From this with my normal lense fitted.

To This, with the new lense.

Still some work to do on the focal points but it's still early days

Another with a few floats lying on my desk.

With all the photography messing around It got me looking through some of my favourite photos I've taken over the last few years, some have been on the blog before others have not.

Seaham Beach as the tide is coming in.

Tommy at night, taken in the early days when he first arrived and was surrounded by grass, I believe this has now all been paved over.

I couldn't believe when I processed the photos & saw this one, taken earlier this year as I laid my hat on the grass & he actually landed on it.

two photographs from a pool in Sri lanka  when out on holiday which I simply love.

And couldn't end without a photograph of the prettiest fish around in my eyes.

A river Earn Grayling.

You dont need to be a professional to take good photography a few hours messing around with settings and you would be amazed what you can achieve, If in doubt write it in a small booklet / piece of paper folded & keep it with your camera, I do!