Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Not Just Yet

Its been a while since my last post and after the announcement from the Government about fishing being allowed to take place again as of tomorrow, I thought an update appropriate. 

I've not stopped working throughout this pandemic as a key worker and there is nothing more I would love to do than have a few hours on the bank again but I personally feel that for the next few weeks its going to be like the wild wild west and that I can do without so if your looking at a fishing report coming from me then Im afraid it will be a while longer.

If your intend on going fishing then I wish you luck, be safe and use some common sense when out there.

As for me I will continue to monitor the situation but in the meantime my other past time will keep me occupied after a stressful day at work.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

A Bit Different

Well what can I say apart from stay safe & stay at home, this is a totally different world we live in & this wasnt what all the Brown Trout anglers were expecting a day or so into the new season....

I like many other anglers who hadn't been out for a while due to the weather conditions in Yorkshire I was looking forward to a new season as the Grayling season this year was an almost total washout, but I like many others prefer self preservation over fishing and we are staying away from the rivers, sadly to say others are not & burying their heads in the sand with every excuse under the sun, thats only until someone close to them gets the virus then Im sure their attitudes will change (sad to say it but some folk just dont listen until it happens to them or a friend)  so Im glad that most Angling clubs are now shutting their waters, its the right thing to do in my opinion.

Im not on total lock-down just yet as Im classed as a key worker so getting to work although a very different work than it was a few weeks ago, allows me to break the monotony of being sat at home like most fisher folk, but am sure all these books that are sat on your bookshelves that you never got around to reading will ease the burden somewhat.

For me when & if we go into total lock-down its going to be furled leader making & I may even revisit the world of float making but the other passion is photography and although the rivers were not kind to me during the past Grayling season it made for great photography conditions with several waterfalls & other places of interest visited, many of which I still need to edit, so boredom isn't going to be factor for me.

I just hope all my friends and blog reader stay safe and am sure we will all soon be stood on our favourite river with the sun on our backs & the brown trout rising to our dry flies.

Take care everyone

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Time to call it.

Well I dont know about the other Grayling anglers across the country but my season has been abysmal to say the least. With all the Dales rivers being flooded, well rephrase that, with all the Dales rivers, most of the fields, and quite a few homes being flooded its time to call it a washout.

I normally finish my season around this time to allow the fish to get on with things so why should this year be any different. The fish this season apart from a few taken on dry fly in September have not been anything to write home about, but there is always next season to look forward too.

Time for the fill in fish to come around the Brown Trout, a mere stop gap for me until the next Grayling season begins, but long hopefully warm summer nights to look forward to not just for the fishing but also to get out on the hills walking, something I have been doing a lot more of over the past year due to work stresses & strains and have to say if it wasnt for taking up photography it wouldn't never have happened, so for that Im thankful.

I recently headed up the Dale hoping to get a decent picture of Ingelborough but the weather wasnt playing & it turned out to be a media oca day and this was the best of a bad bunch.

I'd just like to take this time to say a massive thank you to my friends Klaus, Tina, Hannah & Jakob from Austria who again this year haven't let me down & sent over a lovely piece of home smoked meat, which Im so looking forward to opening tomorrow night with a whisky when I finish work & kick back for the weekend.

Guys I love you to bits thank you so much again.

To all you Grayling anglers out there, take it easy & see you again next season.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Change of Plans

Its been a couple of weeks since my last entry but I have been busy in the interim period with work & with other pursuits.

Im never too far away from water though, just not stood up to my nether regions in freezing water throwing tungsten nymphs around.

 Im starting to feel the cold too much nowadays & lobbing tungsten nymphs around has never been top of my favourite way of fishing anyway, so Im not finding the spark to get out on the river too much these days to do it,  I find it a very boring method if truth be told so have been focusing my efforts elsewhere.

I had arranged to head over the Cumbria today & meet up with another photographer for a photo shoot but last night after a quick call we both decided it would be a waste of our time & efforts with the wind & rain that was due to be hitting the west coast so a quick look at the state of the rivers I decided to force myself out onto the bank for a couple of hours before the storm moved over to me around lunchtime.

The river was at summertime levels and crystal clear as I sat on the bank tackling up this morning. It was nice to see some colour on the banks already with snowdrops in the sheltered areas now in bloom.

I got my first fish almost immediately, it wont break any records but it saved having a blank day.

I fished on up the river for over a mile without another touch, I was heading to a pool which is always good to me and again in never failed to delivery with 2 out of season trout, both in very good condition for this time of year and a medium sized grayling for this part of the river.

I lost a couple of other fish but by the feel of them they were trout so I wasnt too cut up about them, as I sat having a coffee the heavens opened & the wind started to pick up so I decided to head back downstream & back to the car, I couldn't see any point in getting soaked, so headed home without any further fish.

Karen was surprised to see me back so early & we got chatting about how I used to go fishing in all weathers no matter what....I guess I just need to accept the fact Im getting older & the enthusiasm I had when I was younger is starting to dwindle as I was out in all weathers no matter what & you couldn't drag me off the river, how things change!

Sunday, 5 January 2020

New Decade & New Adventures

A lot of water has passed me by since the last blog entry & thankfully most of it has been warm and soothing, Its been a relaxing time since my last blog but far from the rivers of the Yorkshire Dales.

Karen & myself headed over the pond for almost 3 weeks and went from Ocean to Ocean thanks to the Panama Canal taking in the sights of New York,  Florida, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, & Mexico before hitting California.

14 hours since getting back in the Dales & I was out on the river hoping to get my first fish of the decade and thankfully managed to grab a couple of ladies.

The trip out to the river was really just to clear my head from the travelling back  which we had to come via Amsterdam as there was no direct flights back from Los Angeles so my body clock is somewhat messed up so what better way than out on the river and as the T shirt my good lady spotted & bought for me says.....

The river was at a good height and I wasnt planning to spend long in each spot, more of a few casts & move on for an hour or so.

It didn't take too long for the first fish to grace the net.

I was delighted that the first fish of a new decade was a Grayling and really at that point I could have walked away a happy guy but I headed downstream to the next spot I had planned to fish and after 2 fish lost another Grayling graced the net.

Nothing else seemed to be interested so after 2 hours of fishing I walked back to the car a contented guy, my head cleared a bit from the jet lag and a couple of fish banked for the new year, what could be better to finish off a few weeks of sheer relaxation...

Sunday, 1 December 2019

A Few Ladies Obliged.

The frost was thick on the ground this morning as I made my way to the river, still carrying some extra water but fishable.

The ground crunching under foot, but I was at a very moderate gas mark 6 in my waders as it was time to break out my lomo suit for the first time this year & I have to say the best £25 I ever spent a few years ago.

I sat on the bank watching for signs of movement as the salmon are on this river & I didn't want to disturb them and it didn't take long to see where they were with all the bow waves zig zagging over the gravels. Also whilst watching them I saw a stoat  running along the far bank no doubt looking for something to eat.

It was great to be back on the river as I've missed being there, not only for the fishing but the nature that comes with it.

It didn't take long until I was into the first fish, taken on the dropper and the correct species I was looking for.

A good start back onto the river, and just as I was taking the photograph a kingfisher whizzed by and sat on the trees 20  yards away, just too far for a decent picture but always nice to see.

It was a bit of a gap until the next fish took and unfortunately not the species I was looking for , a lovely OOS Trout but in great condition, and that was the trend for the next 3 fish before I got back into the ladies again.

Nothing big but very welcome on a clear cold day like today.

The fish were deep and hugging the bottom of the river, and although up to my waist in freezing cold water I can honestly say my lomo suit was doing its job, I was nice and warm.

As I was walking back upstream before heading home for lunch I observed a few fish rising, I have to admit I was tempted so sat for 10 minutes watching to see if they would rise again & one of them came up a total of 4 times before it stopped, it didn't justify swapping over to the dry fly & after all I had a lovely couple of hours & some homemade soup was beckoning me home.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Guess What....

Due to the Great Yorkshire weather we always get at the tail end of the week, another weekend of no fishing!
So with the camera in hand I headed out, first stop on the trail was Cauldron falls at West Burton.

As you can see even the becks were pushing water through.

The spray from the falls even at this distance got the camera soaked.

A walk along the side of the river Ure produced a couple of nice photos.

Finally heading home I stopped off at the old mill and got a couple of the beck and mill.

Not fishing but still a nice few hours out & about, maybe next week, we can always hope!

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Trout Tastic

Well after paying my respects on Remembrance Day, the skies were blue the rivers carrying about 2ft extra than usual but you know what I decided I was going fishing no matter what.

Even at mid day there was still frost on the ground where the sun hadn't reached.

With this much water still in the river I opted for a cautious approach as this stretch is treacherous at the best of times so a few runs I would normally fish were passed by today for a more safer route.

That didn't deter the fish as almost immediately I was hooking into fish on the point nymph I was fishing, mainly OOS trout though but still very much in a healthy state and fighting well. A few fingerling Grayling also obliged before the run went totally dead.

Moving upstream I was presented stunning colours as the trees start turning before loosing their leaves completely.

It took a bit of searching but I finally found a few small grayling just off the main flow which obliged my nymphs.

The trout were still very much active & I took another 4 trout, one of which was a big cock male & I would estimate to be above the 4lbs mark, still fighting fit & ran me a merry dance in the fast water, I looked at this beautiful creature in the net & only wished I had bumped into him a few months back in the trout season as I slipped the net from under him & he swam back to where he had come.

As the light began to fade and a few leaves fell into the water.

I called it an afternoon and headed back to the car, very contented that I not only had managed to get out but also had some fish for my troubles, all the while at the back of my mind remembering the sacrifices of my friends & family who had fallen, I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones.

Monday, 4 November 2019

No Fishing Again this Weekend

I want to change the days we work and move the weekend to a Monday & Tuesday in Yorkshire, as those are the only 2 days that the rivers are fishable, come Thursday night the heavens open & the rivers are massive and unfishable, but as soon as we are back at work they drop & are fishable again....Frustrating or what!

So with all this time on my hands what have I been up to? I actually thought my thrill seeking days were over when I left the forces in 2006 but yesterday I had different ideas, I had identified 2 waterfalls in North Yorkshire where no matter how long & hard I've searched I've not found a single picture of them online....I now know why!

With 6 points of contact hugging the steep ravine sides hands, knees & feet I inched my way down the side with 40lbs of camera gear on my back, lets just say I was relieved to see the bottom.

May I present Yew Scar Force

At over 60ft from the top of the falls to the small pool at the bottom. Its not for the faint hearted to get to, hence I hadn't found any photographs of it online.

The journey back out was even slower than the decent with one step forward, 2 slides back, again I was relieved to get out, as I sat resting on the ground with my back against a dry stone wall I spotted a wooden cross right at the end of the ravine before it drops over the edge, it was hard to read but after rubbing off the slime with some moss The inscription on it read "John Cherry 1937 - 2000 New Zealand" and this was the view he has from his spot.

Now thats a view I wouldn't mind having after I pass, may John Cherry R.I.P.

Walking back down heading for my next pot of call the views cross the Dale were  something else.

Arriving at my next waterfall I have to say that was 5 times harder than the last one & there was no way I was chancing my luck again, so that certainly wont be getting photographed by me thats for sure!
With time on my hands now I revisited an old favourite that crosses the River Swale at Ivelet.

Ivelet Pack Bridge

A stop off for something to eat & drink I soon then arrived at my next port of call and with the walking boots on I set off heading for height & this is where I encountered my 2nd memorial in the day, High on the Hill

again another great view to look out over.

Time to head back with a smaller water cascade on my way home.

I may not be on the water fishing but you wont find me far from it even if I haven't got a rod in my hand.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Wasn't meant to be.

I was very optimistic that today would be a good day to be on the river, the weather according to the experts was meant to be spot on and the river was beginning to run off after all the rain on Friday.

I looked at the levels last thing last night & although still slightly on the high side I knew they would drop in during the night, well thats what I thought!

Woke up early this morning to  see water on the garden path out the kitchen window...not a good sign & the so called experts had said it was going to be a dry night, looking online at the river levels, my heart sank as I seen the river I was going to fish was almost carrying a metre of water, so that blew my plans, looked around at another couple and found one stretch although right on the limit of fishablility I decided to give it a bash.

After throwing my stuff in the car and driving 40 minutes or so I had found the river was moving in the opposite direction that I wanted it was indeed rising, ah well Im here I might as well give it a bash so getting my gear on I found I had left my neoprene inner socks at home, looks like I was going to get colder feet than normal.

Setting up with a 2 nymph set up with a 3mm tungsten bead as point I fished down the first stream to find the under current a lot stronger than anticipated and had to knuckle down to a 4mm to start feeling the river bed.

An hour passed and all I had to my name was the umpteen leaves which were coming down in the rising river and cold feet, the wind was picking up and a rain shower was imminent as the sky started darkening. I was starting to think I was an idiot for being out but decided to give it another half hour.

I decided to walk to a part of the river where I knew one small pool shouldn't be as bad for floating debris  and almost instantly on the first pass I felt a pluck on the line and low & behold a grayling had took a fancy to the dropper.

I stayed on in the pool fishing it hard for the next 20 minutes but nothing else so my mind was made up as the next rain shower passed over I was heading home & my thoughts turned to hot coffee & a sausage sanny sitting in the warmth of my front room, sadly today's fishing wasnt meant to be, but I was very gracious of the Grayling.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Scratching the Itch

The weekend came and yet again high water levels dictated that it wasnt going to be a fishing weekend so the walking boots & camera rucksack were placed in the boot of the car at an ungodly hour of 0500hrs and I set off heading up the A1 to a place I've driven past many many times but never stopped so it was time to rectify that.

First port of call was Low Force on the river Tees just as it started to get light & with nobody around I had the place to myself to do as I pleased.

This was an area of the Tees I always said I would visit but sort of stayed away from due to the popularity of the place but it was an itch I had to scratch hence the early start to see as much of the place before the place got busy as it normally does being right on the route of the Pennine way.

After a few shots from different angles of Low Force it was time to start heading upstream to my 2nd place of interest High Force, a short steady walk upstream passing some interesting characters on route.

I was surprised to see these next 2 photographs as I had never seen them advertised or photographed before & being a fisherman they really appealed to me.

Heading upstream there were quite a few places along the river I stopped to take in the stunning views with always the thought at the back of my mind "what a lovely pool to fish"

A short pleasant walk & I was soon hearing the roar of water from High Force.

And as close to the edge as I was ever going to get!

I had heard of a lesser waterfall higher up the river within walking distance and wanted to see it for myself so tightening the straps on my rucksack & putting my head down into the wind I headed upstream.

I have to say it was well worth the walk as I have to admit I thought this waterfall was the best of them all I had seen so far that morning.

It was time to walk back downstream in the direction of my last port of call, a waterfall close the where I had parked the car, Gibson's Cave, although not a cave but may well have been many years ago when it was used as a hideout in years gone past.

I have to say the morning's walk certain scratched the itch that I had and I for one will be back again in this beautiful part of the world, stopping the next time instead of driving past.

Just to finish off on route back home up over the tops of the Tees Dales & into Swaledale.

The old pack horse bridge at Ivelet.
Then over the butter tubs pass & back into Wensleydale.

3 rivers ventured, The Tees, Swale & Ure and not a rod in my hand but what stunning scenery.