Monday, 27 April 2015

Catch the Hatch

After spending the weekend finishing off painting in the house then a visit to the Harrogate flower show on Sunday it was time to grab a few hours on the river, hopefully catching a hatch if I could as the reports from all the Dale's rivers have been a bit dour to say the least.

The overnight temperatures were below freezing and although the sun was out it was still blowing a very cold upstream wind when I arrived on the river just after 11am. The sun was out but in the shade it was still very cold so I hadn't high hopes of seeing any free rising fish without there being a hatch on the river.

As I sat and observed I seen the odd olive float past and no movement from below to intercept them. I decided to walk downstream to a wooded stretch and see if the shelter of the trees would help and within 5 minutes of arriving I seen a few small fish rise so decided to give them a go and it wasnt long until I was into my first fish of the day, all being it a small trout par.

There was a few small grayling showing in the runs and as I cast to what I was thinking was small trout, grayling were intercepting the fly as soon as it hit the water, Fighting fit and in immaculate condition I returned  6 straight away and took a picture of one to show the stamp of the grayling I had been intercepting.

 I didn't want to start getting pestered with them, although I love Grayling it wasn't the time for them just yet so waded downstream until I seen some trout rising again, I observed the fish for a few moments and they were letting the olives float downstream and rising for the darker smaller flies which were on the water, which I thought looked like smaller versions of march browns, so tied on a pheasant tail dry to the point to see if I could entice one or two and sure enough almost immediately the second small trout of the day was in my hand.

Slightly bigger and chunkier than the first.

As I cleared the wood the cold wind returned but the gorse looked lovely in all it's colour in the bright sun.

I wandered along until I started seeing a few fish rising under the far bank trees, the wind was in my favor blowing upstream and as I waded out I caught glimpse of a lovely fish rising positive below an overhanging branch, I waded into position and covered him, nothing, second cast...Bang up he came head & tail and took the fly, the line was soon down to the backing and the fish was clearing the water with its leaps, a lovely big brown trout and then crack.....the tippet broke and we parted company, I wont say what words were coming from my mouth at that moment but they weren't for publication. Hey Hoi thats fishing!

After I re-tackled up I waded back out as there was a few other fish rising and soon after  I was rewarded with a nice brown trout for my perseverance.

There was a more prolific hatch of March Brown's coming downstream and the fish started waking up again as more and more fish started to rise..

I started getting both trout and grayling of all sizes in the next 30 minutes, mainly on the small size but nevertheless still very welcome sport.

And as fast as it started it ended and the river returned to silence again apart from the odd small par rising.

In the hatch I had managed to get 11 trout and 6 grayling, which I was very pleased with and combined with the fish before the hatch it had turned out to be the most productive day of the season so far, just goes to show at the moment if your on the river at the right time, it can be rewarding.

I have to say the water is still very cold to the touch and it took a few moments after releasing fish for the cold pains to disappear from my hand, we are not quite into the warm water temperatures just yet.

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