Sunday, 3 April 2016

Let the Season Begin

I opened my Brown Trout season in Scotland last weekend purely because we wanted to visit family and friends and of course the season was still shut in Yorkshire.

However this weekend its different, the rivers are open again in Yorkshire but as usual have been in fine fettle all week measuring 0.30m on the gauges but as always after the Friday night downpour the rivers rose beyond fishable levels to 1.03m so that was it there was no opening day on my normal river up the Dale so I had to go slightly further afield to a bigger river in the hope of some fish. The river as predicted was higher than normal and carrying a bit of colour.

I turned up just before 10am and sat & watched for any signs of life before deciding what plan of action to undertake, with nothing moving I opted for the olive nymphs that I had tied up last night just in case they were required.

beaded olive nymphs #16

coupled with a couple of droppers with spiders attached I made my way towards the bottom of the beat where I wanted to start.

As I approached the wood I could smell the aroma of the wild garlic, completely carpeting the floor of the wood.

The newly formed fungi still dripping with moisture

and the wild primula in full colour.

I started fishing my way back upstream fishing the pocket water as I went, it wasnt long until the line stopped and the first fish of the day was on, a small trout par no bigger than 6" in length but it was a start.

I wanted to try & get to a particular part of the river for around lunchtime as I knew if there was going to be a hatch on the river it would be around that time but I was certain the fish would probably be in the shallower water which would be slightly warmer than the deeper pools in the shade of the wood.

As I came to the edge of the wood stretch I had to clamber out again as the water in this part was particularly deeper than usual, the winter floods had again changed the riverbed, as I clambered up the bank the gorse was in full colour amongst the dead brambles.

Stumbling over the last few pieces of holly with berries still attached, an excellent opportunity for a bit of arty photography.

Regular eagled eyed blog readers will notice the lack of cane rod, Im still trying to come to grips with this carbon rod and reel before Finland, I have to say the reel isn't my favourite as it spools out too much loose line around the spool when your drawing line off, and it leaves you having to draw more off to re-spool the line back on tight again, it really could do with a stronger pawl and ratchet on it.

Another angler was approaching from upstream on the path and we stood and talked for a few moments before the angler asked if my name was George, I replied yes and he said "I thought I recognized you" It was a man called Neil I used to talk to on a regular basis several years ago when he walked his dog along the river, I was often stood in the river waist deep and he was on the bank as we chatted, I didn't even recognize him, He had fished downstream to where we currently were & had caught nothing so after a catch up chat I headed upstream and he went downstream.

I was almost at the part of the river where I wanted to be for lunch so I found a suitable log and pulled the flask from my pocket and sat and had a coffee hoping to catch sight of any hatches. 
I didn't have to wait too long before I saw the first olive hatch and then a few more, so in anticipating and not wanting to get caught out if the rise was short I changed over to a dry fly pattern and waited.

Nothing was moving to the hatching flies so I approached the part of the river I was hoping the fish would be and sure enough as I gazed over the stretch a couple of fish  rising to the hatch. 

Coming up behind them I could see what I thought to be a decent sized trout so a couple of cautious casts with not a movement from the fish then on the next cast up it came and took my fly....Fish On!

The first trout of the season on local waters and it was a cracker and on a home tied dry to boot.

#18 deer hair olive

A couple of quick snaps as it recovered before I sent it back to where it had come

That was it my day was made, with such a nice fish and on the dry fly too, everything else now was a bonus.

The rise lasted a further 15 minutes with me hooking but loosing a smaller fish before all fell silent again.

I made my way back downstream and stumbled across Neil sitting on the bank, he was still on wet fly as nothing had risen in the deeper water, needless to say a few chosen words in fun were uttered from his mouth when I showed him the photographs on my camera.

With nothing moving at all I called it a day and made my way back to the car, delighted in the fact that the fish were where I had expected them and for a few brief moments they had risen to a hatch. Roll on now the longer warm days when more dry fly action can be experienced.

I tied a couple #18 Trico patterns that a friend from the USA had recommended this week.

and with a small tweak I added a some tails to them.

I wish everyone tight lines for their season ahead.


  1. Well done George, a real beauty to start of the new season!

    1. Cheers Brian, Hope to see you both connecting with fish soon?


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