Monday, 6 July 2015

Calm After the Storm

Yesterday was a day for chilling, and reminiscing.
Being a F1 fan it was great to sit back with my feet up on the couch and watch the British Grand Prix, although my driver came 4th it was still nice to see him lead the race for a while and with the weather being the way it was I probably wasn't missing much at the fishing. As for reminiscing it was 32 years ago yesterday that about 400 other young lads and myself walked through the gates of Gamecock Barracks in Warwickshire for our first day at her majesty's pleasure as young soldiers, who would have though back then I would go the full course and complete 24 years in the British Army, Not me that's for sure but would I do it again....Damn right I would.

After a lazy afternoon watching the race then having my Sunday roast I headed up the Dale just before 6pm to have a few hours on a very dry river, hoping to entice some of its inhabitants.

I hadn't even walked the 200m from the car to the river when the sky turned very black and the storm clouds rolled over the top of the hill and the thunder & lightning started, so taking shelter below a tree I sat and watched the natural show of lightning for 45 minutes before it came feasible to start walking the bank, all I can say is thankfully I fish with split cane and not carbon or graphite.

The river is almost shrunk to a quarter or its normal self as the picture shows.

The rain was still coming down when I cast my first line across the shrunken expanse of water and  after a few casts through with the spiders the first trout came to my hand.

Nothing of any great size but it was a small wild fish to start with and my hopes were not high with the current conditions of the weather and the river. After a few more casts I hooked another couple of similar size, but with water on the camera lens they look terrible so they went to the photograph dustbin.

As I walked down the stretch the black spinners started to appear in great numbers and the rain stopped leaving everything feeling fresh, so I stood and watched to see if any fish would rise to the dancing spinners.

You can just see a few of them on this picture, but literally there was thousands covering the breadth of the river.

It didn't take long to see the first of the fish start to feed on them so after a quick swap of flies I started casting in the direction of the rising fish and sure enough 3rd cast up it came and took my artificial.

A lovely wild fish with golden flanks.

A nice end to a relaxing day or so I though as I wasn't expecting anything of this size with the conditions the way they were but as I released this one back to the river an almighty splash at the bottom of the run and another good fish coming fully out the water so who could resist.

I walked down and sat amongst the long grasses on the bank waiting to see if it would show again and if like on queue, up it came for another mouthful so I knew exactly where it was. A few cast later and the line went tight and the fight began, somersaults, a few long runs and then the net slipped under the 2nd decent fish of the evening.

Not a completely wild fish by the look of things but not one of our stock fish either as there was no tell tale blue dot on the belly of the fish, but I wasn't complaining.

The rain started to recede and the clouds started to make way for some clear skies as the storm started to finally pass over the Dale completely.

As I walked downstream heading back in the general direction of the car, I glimpsed a fish barely breaking the surface hard to the overhanging bank, so thinking it might be a Grayling I cast to it and after the most subtle of bites I was attached to another good trout.

This time no disputing it was a stocked fish with the tell tale blue dot on its belly but I was impressed with the way a large stock fish like this barely broke the surface to take the naturals & artificial.

The evening was turning out to be one of the better ones in a while, as its been mainly small fish the last few outings so stock fish or wild fish it was all great sport.

I continued my journey downstream and managed to capture another fish sitting mid stream sipping down spinners as they passed over its head.

Again another stock fish but a nice fight to the net and released to fight another day. As fast as the spinners arrived on the river they started to disappear again and as I moved further downstream they decreased in numbers till there was only the odd one or two on the water and as if the fish sensed this the size of the fish dropped off dramatically back to what I was expecting to catch, small wild fish.

And with that I called it a night and made my way back to the car, 2 hours of fishing and 45 minutes of storm watching, the calm after the storm certainly paid off for me anyway.


  1. Hello George

    Some nice fish there in difficult looking conditions. Doesn't the river look grim in that first photograph, definitely needs a flush through.
    I'm planning a couple of hours after work this evening in the Conniscliffe/Piercebridge area and am hopeful as there looks to be a liitle bit more water in at the moment.



    1. You should be ok up there Dave the tees seems to hold the water well especially in the area your going to, I've had some good fish from there in low water conditions, just search out the deeper parts. Seems like you will need your wet proof if it's anything like where I'm at. Tight lines

  2. It got very wet at times. The river had a distinctly brown tinge to it and was up to 0.85 (near the limit).
    There was nothing doing in the deeper runs but there was a decent rise not far from the bridge in the 'flat' water and I managed to extract a couple of Grayling on the dry. They're choosy little blighters though :)




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