Sunday, 4 December 2016

Yorkshire Silver, Gold & Tartan.

I had my day all planned in my head from yesterday and when I arrived at the river my heart sank as 5 cormorants lifted off the pool I wanted to start on, not a good start and something this part of the river does not need is these birds causing severe damage to the stocks.

Just as I was about to sit down and tackle up I came across  what looks like another predator at work....looks like an otter has been busy, the river is starting to take a real hammering and I dont condone nature and otters but I do condone the cormorants and the devastation they cause stocks so far away from the sea, these are sea birds and this far inland cause nothing but chaos in the way of marked and injured fish and the decimation of pools that they are allowed to settle in! Not Good.

After seeing these two events my hopes were diminished but undeterred I still wanted to fish the pool so set off downstream for an hour or so allowing the pool to settle. The first hour was fish-less so decided to head back up onto the pool and see what we could winkle out.

About half way down the pool the indicator stopped and I lifted to find the first fish of the day on, nothing of any size but very welcome in the circumstances.

about 10 minutes later the 2nd fish arrived.

Again nothing of any size but nice to see that the cormorants have not emptied the pool completely, although the fishing was very slow it was still nice to be out and watching the pair of dippers show off to each other in a display and the kingfisher that kept darting past me up & down the river.

I needed to get some circulation in my legs going again so left the pool and took the camera to the trees to see what I could find.

A few fresh looking scalycaps around the base of an old beech tree apart from that most of the trees were devoid of anything.

Time for an early lunch and a hot coffee then we would get back at it. It was nice to sit behind the fallen tree out the breeze and just sit with a hot coffee and absorb everything that was going on, mainly a few finches in the branches above singing out to each other but it was so peaceful and relaxing.

Back into the pool and hopefully now a few fish would make an appearance and it wasnt to long till I was rewarded for my efforts.

We were on the up, the fish was bigger and apart from a small nick out tits tail was in pristine condition, even raising its beautiful fin to show off for the camera.

The very next cast its partner from the run followed.

apart from an old stab wound which has healed over the fish was in top condition and put up a nice account of itself. The nymph indicator I made up yesterday was certainly working.

Apologies for the watermarks on the next couple of photographs, I must have got some water on the lens whilst taking the pictures, which I normally do wipe each time I take the camera out, but I must have forgot to do it and am afraid has spoiled the pictures slightly, but another Grayling followed soon after the last again with signs of predator marks along its back, from cormorants again.

followed moments later with another grayling of a better stamp, again bad drills on cleaning the lens.

The pool had most definitely woken up after its earlier ordeal with the 5 cormorants and was starting to come alive.

The next dozen or so casts accounted for 3 trout of which this golden bellied fish was the nicest of them all and after a quick photograph disappeared none the worst back to where it came.

There was no point on moving anywhere else on the river as the day was getting on and I didn't fancy the long hike to the next pool so settled to fish on for another hour or so & then call it a day in the pool I was in.

I lost a few fish releasing them at range and then managed another to the net.

I decided to start heading to the top of the pool to where I had left the flask and would call it a day, I fished through some of the faster water at the head of the pool and the indicator stopped dead, then started heading upstream, I thought I had hooked into another brown trout only for it then to turn and zoom off downstream and I knew then it wasnt a trout but indeed a salmon.

The salmon wasnt the biggest I've came across, but until now I haven't had much success rate at actually landing them as they either snap off the tippet or drop the fly, I was relieved that this time it was different and I managed to get the salmon onto some shallower water where I could sit the net under it and grab a photograph, my first salmon on a 4# rod.

Unhooked and slipped back into the quieter water it flicked its tail and was gone, I was a happy guy, what had seemed like a pool that was fish-less for the first hour or so had come good as the day got on, with gold silver & tartan all coming from its waters.


  1. James Hinley

    Hi George, thought I'd have a catch up on your blog. Well done one the salmon, great result.

    I popped to the tees earlier in the week and had a similar experience, arrived to find a few cormorants disappear into the distance, and the head of a very large and chewed up trout. Makes you wonder how they keep up the numbers.

    Managed half a dozen grayling to a pound or so, nice to be out

    Apologies James, Deleted your msg by accident so have copied it across to my post. The cormorants on the Tees are getting beyond a joke they need to be culled before they do anymore damage they are getting like the seals at the barrage, a bloody nuisance. Good result on the Grayling :)
    best regards

  2. My goodness George....that fish was decapitated.
    Nature is beautiful but it can be cruel.

    1. certainly was Alan, Im sure its the work of an otter, Ive caught a glimpse of it from time to time in this area but not long enough to get a photo.

  3. Hi George

    The cormorants have been a long standing issue on many rivers, and the problem seems only to be getting worse and worse.

    What I find more worrying though is there seems to be a lot of apathy, a kind of grim acceptance of the problem among anglers and angling bodies as if we've resigned ourselves to the inevitable. And yet organisations such as the Avon Roach Project have shown us a way forward.

    1. Hi Mike thanks for visiting, I have to agree I was part of a study group on the river Clyde a few years ago which counted the birds on a section of river and their roosts. In a few weeks we had counted more than 6 roost sites and over 250 birds. This information was continued over a year and the results were staggering and they were given to the angling authorities that managed the river and another organisation which for the love of me cannot remember the name of, but basically nothing can be done with them as the government are reluctant to release cull permits for the birds to be thinned out. I find this very disturbing that everyone knows what is going on but their hands are tied over laws which are out dated and at the cost of the fisheries.


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