Monday, 30 May 2016

Natures Trip Switch

Yesterday Karen my wife wasnt feeling well so I wasnt going fishing after our evening meal I had my mind set on tying a few flies whilst she lay on the couch watching TV, after making the meal and getting all the washing up done and making sure she was OK I was about to settle in for a night of tying with a coffee  when she said I might as well go fishing, that she would be OK, Im sure she just wanted me out the house for some peace & quiet, It didn't take me long to get changed & throw the kit in the car but it was later than usual for me getting onto the water, It was just after 1900hrs (7pm for non military blog readers) that I parked my backside on the bank of the river to observe what was going on....or lack of it!

Not much in the way of fly life or movement of fish at all & I was just contemplating putting on a spider & nymph set up when I saw one small fish top in the faster water, so I decided to take a chance on this and set up the dry fly.

After maneuvering into position which took a few minutes as I didn't want to scare off the only fish I had seen move as the river was very low and crystal clear, I was ready to take my first cast of the evening.
About 4 or 5 casts over where I seen the fish rise it eventually decided to take a liking to the fly I had on and the small brown trout was in the net.

Its always a good feeling when the fish show interest in your choice of fly, especially when nothing is showing on the river in the way of fly life so a small confidence boost knowing that the fly is catching. I continued to cast upstream hoping to entice a few more fish to the dry fly and it didn't take too long until the next fish took it.

What happened next made me laugh, I had unhooked the fish and had let the fly and leader drop into the water whilst I took the photograph when I felt some resistance on the rod, I looked down to see another small trout had come and took the fly as it swung around in the current below me, roughly the same size as the one I was holding, the fish released I pulled in the waiting fish and just as I bent down to lift it up, it slipped the hook and headed downstream in the current.

I continued to take fish all be it smaller than the ones above, nothing more than par but at least it was fish, a couple of slightly better sized fish also made an appearance.

I decided to head upstream and see if I could entice a couple of fish from a spot I enjoy fishing which is located under the trees, as I was moving upstream I caught a couple of sights of the Geese which has had its young on this particular stretch and each time I see them I notice how big they are getting.

One thing I enjoy about the Geese being around on this particular stretch is the amount of free offerings they leave behind for float makers like myself.

As I wandered up the bank I collected a good few quills suitable for turning into Goose Quill Floats.


On arriving at my chosen spot the fly life was getting a bit better, probably from the surrounding & overhanging vegetation

It doesn't look much but over the years has given me some really good fish, even in low water conditions and on the odd occasion I've seen trout with their backs almost out the water feeding in the faster water below the tree.

I stood for a few moments observing for fish movement but nothing was stirring at all but something that did catch my eye.

The first hatch of Yellow Duns this year, only the odd one or two but its always nice to see these wonderful creatures appear from the water.

The next 10 minutes or so I didn't see a single fish move so decided to chill for 10 minutes and sat down for a drink and contemplate on my next move. In those 10 minutes in my opinion a game changer happened, from out of only the odd one or two Yellow Duns came literally hundreds of them, the hatch was on., natures trip switch had just been activated!

It didn't take long for the fish to pick up on this fact also, the fish less runs observed 10 minutes before just became full of splashes as the fish turned onto the hatch and it wasnt just small fish, there were some lovely larger fish making an appearance too.
On looking through my dry fly box I suspected that I would have nothing closely resembling anything like the Yellow Dun as I never thought I would see a hatch of them so all my Yellow Sally's and other imitations were in another small box ready for next month, Typical!

The closest I could come to anything nearly resembling these wonderful creatures was a sparkle dun, a slightly darker colour but it might work, was worth a try anyway.

I cast under the tree and let the fly come around, most of the fish ignored it but just as it was almost at the end of the cast I got interest from a fish but duffed it and missed him. Casting again I let it follow the same path as before and like the last time most fish ignored it then one decided it liked what it saw and the fish was on.

I slipped him back on the other side of the shingle bar as I had taken him well below the tree and he hadn't disturbed the fish above him who were still actively feeding on the Duns. 

Moving back into position I cast again hoping for more of the same but as before most fished ignored the fly as it passed by them, totally ignoring the artificial in lieu of the real flies. After a further half dozen or so cast another decided to take a liking.

this fish had ran right up through the run and caused a bit of commotion with its acrobatic display whilst hooked, so I decided to move downstream away and see if I could entice any further fish. The hatch had died down a bit and there wasnt as many flies hatching but just enough to keep the odd trout still coming to take them off the surface. A half dozen or so casts and the next fish too a shine to my sparkle dun.

Another lovely wild fish glinting in the last few rays of the sun as it began to dip.

The hatch had almost completely gone now and the surface of the river resembled its normal flat calm appearance, I sat on the bank and watched the sun dip down and decided that was it I would fish my way back downstream the short distance to the car & call it a night, I wasnt changing flies or anything as in the dying light my eyes weren't going to cope with such small hook eyes & in my haste to get out the house earlier had left my reading and tying glasses on my desk.

As I made my way downstream darkness covered the river and I heard a splash which made me strike and sure enough I had another fish on.

And by my reckoning its the smallest sea trout in the river, totally different to all the small browns and par I've had from the river in the past, which leads me to think a small sea trout in the appearance of it, and the remnants of my sparkle dun in the corner of its mouth.

Now with everything that went on and the lack of what I would call match the hatch flies, by my reckoning it was a great night, I thoroughly enjoyed it and although most fish ignored my offering the ones that took it certainly changed the evening from the small wild trout to the large wild trout. 

I dont believe in carrying boxes upon boxes of flies I try to stick to a box for that month which is dictated by a hatch chart I have hanging on my wall and although I know the Yellow Duns come out around late May, this year in my neck of the woods everything if 3 - 4 weeks behind with the cold spring we have had, so a note to myself.....Put June's dry box into fishing waistcoat!


  1. Hello George

    Nice write up and photos as usual. Regarding the flukey trout you caught whilst unhooking the other one, a similar thing happened to me the other week. I was moving upstream a couple of foot and had the rod over my shoulder with the line trailing in the water. The next thing I knew the rod tip was rattling like a quiver tip and there was a small Grayling on the end. Needless to say I didn't catch anything else that day.
    Are you at liberty to say which river currently has your attention? :)



    1. Hi Dave, always nice to hear from you, its those funny moments that stick in your mind for years to come, I can remember quite a few funnies of fishing over the years. Which river??....well there is theBain,Leven,Cover,Lune,Codbeck,Tees,Swale,Ure & bedale beck...think that about covers most......I never say which river...simply up the Dale. Some people may recognise a few landmarks but thats about it, and it will always be that way :)


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