Monday, May 28, 2007

Better news from the Eden valley.

As if to illustrate the importance of being on the water at the correct time of day, I caught a lot of fish today where recent early season evening sessions left me feeling like either the river was devoid of fish, or I was doing something fundamentally wrong.

Quite often through the summer months, I come across another angler leaving the water to catch last orders at the pub, complaining of poor returns - when in reality the best hour’s fishing is just about to start. It’s been the opposite problem for me so far this year, as the commitment of fatherhood has restricted my fishing to a few hours after work and I’ve repeatedly had the feeling that the best of the hatch has been over by the time I have tackled up.

Not so today! I spent a full 12 hours on the Eden and Eamont, and enjoyed every minute of it.
Despite a really chilly northerly (upstream for once!) wind and a few heavy showers, conditions were pretty promising and it became apparent quite quickly that duns were on the surface - and staying there for a good few seconds as they sat waiting for their wings to dry. There were a good number of uprights and many blue-winged olives - the first I have seen this season - and I picked off a couple of fish rising to them in a sheltered spot, using the trusty olive paradun.

It wasn’t really a day for rising trout though, so I put up the New Zealand style ‘duo’ with a klinkhamer dry suspending a small pheasant tail nymph and it was the latter that produced some exciting sport for the best part of the afternoon.
A very pleasing number of fish fell to this method, including trout to well over the pound and a nice grayling of 1lb 8oz.

Later on, I took a look at the upper Eamont around Dalemain, where a large hatch of pale wateries was in progress - riding the current seams like a procession of tiny sailing boats. A few fish were rising, but I couldn’t tempt any of them to take - I didn’t have a suitably small imitation in my box and had to resort to a little Griffith’s gnat, which is of course, black. Lesson learned, I will be at the vice this week!

I did manage one nice fish - a well marked brownie of exactly a pound which fought so hard in the heavy flow, I was convinced he was twice the size. Writing for Trout & Salmon magazine, John Beer once described Eamont trout as ‘the best wild trout in Britain’, and I can see why - they have golden-amber fins and bellies, and are beautifully marked with a dense pattern of small, dark spots which give their flanks a sheen which seems almost blue. I have never seen trout quite like them anywhere else.
A thoroughly enjoyable day then. What I need now is a spell of warmer, settled weather to bring the evening fishing to the fore……and a chance to once again display my embarrassing ineptitude at tackling a fall of blue winged olive spinners!

1 comment:

Kev said...

Hi Matthew - I wish I'd read your recent blog entries before my stay at Appleby last week. I fished mainly dry and it was hard going. A few late evening sessions and a PTN on a duo rig seems the sensible solution - aint hindsight bloody annoying sometimes!
I recognise the pool on your Dalemain blog entry. I was there on Thursday. Some lovely yellow iris just up from there.
Of all the beats on the Penrith AA ticket, my favourite was the Lowther, especially the stretch upstream from Brougham Castle. Some nice pools, especially the wide wooded section where the flow practically stops. Spotted some god size trout in there but very easily spooked.
I've posted a couple of photos on my own blog if interested: