Saturday, June 30, 2007

Small Water, small fish!


Mindful of the horrible weather forecast for this weekend, I snatched a Friday evening of surprisingly pleasant weather, up on Small Water at the head of Mardale. As it turned out, the weather was too good and for the second tarn visit on the trot, I ended up struggling to find any ripple whatsoever - it's not often you can say that in the Lake District!
Following the short hike up from Mardale Head, I arrived at the tarn to find a nice gentle ripple on the surface. That, and the overcast sky spelled near perfect conditions and I put up a three fly cast eagerly in anticipation of some decent sport. However by the time I was up and running, the breeze had died and I was left with a flat calm and nothing rising - frustrating to say the least!
Patience was eventually rewarded though, as every few minutes a short spell of breezier weather allowed me to work a team of small flies over the marginal shelf. These interludes invariably resulted in a take or two and I managed to return five small but pristine brown trout, all to a size 14 bibio. From the times I have fished this water, it does seem that the native trout are of a lower average size than in some other tarns - most seem to be around the 8" mark - but they are beautifully clean and vividly marked little fish and a pleasure to catch just the same.
Later on, I did eventually find a small pod of rising fish. They were taking grousewing sedges which were evident in small numbers over the surface, but I couldn't get near enough to them - they were patrolling the drop-off which runs parallel to the south-east shore, and this is separated from dry land by a wide bank of shallows. Without waders, the cast wasn't really on.

5 comments:

Andrew said...

Hi Matthew

I had a holiday in the South Lakes a few weeks ago. I had a day fishing on the Rothay and Brathay, but the fish seemed to be pretty few and far between. Did better on the tarns, and managed to wet a line in Easedale, Codale, Harrop, Torver Low Common and Beacon Tarn. I hear the rivers further north are good so I'll try those next time.

Cheers
Andrew

Matthew Eastham said...

Thanks for your comment Andrew!

How did you get on at the tarns you mentioned? I've only fished Easedale and Codale once - lots of perch, no trout - and haven't fished Harop at all. I'd be interested to hear if you had any success....

Matt

alex said...

hi matt, big fan of your site. really enjoy reading your intresting reports of lakeland waters. Im from south lakes myself and love to spend any time i can get exploring hill top tarns. Ive lived here all my life and still have an endless amount ive been meaning to fish. In reply to andrews comment, i would definitely suggest you make a trip harrop, the brownies are mostly small but ive had them to 1lb, and for a short walk the views are incredible. Also try Blea tarn, langdale, the trout are small 4 to the lb size but are very lively, ive caught half lb fish before. as for beacon tarn ive never caught a single trout there, just lots of perch and a few pike which is proberly the reason for few trout about. hope this helps, keep up the good work.

Matthew Eastham said...

Alex,

Thanks for your comment, glad you like the site. It only started as a bit of a laugh for my mates, but I've had enough positive feedback to keep it going!
I would be interested to hear of any of your outings. I'm relatively new to this myself (mainly fished rivers until a couple of seasons ago, I decided to take a rod with me when I went fell walking...), so any info you could give would be welcome.
I'm trying to fish all the tarns, but there's only so much time, isn't there?

Matt

Andrew said...

Hi Matthew

I caught on Harop and Torver Low Common (nr. Coniston). Harop was good, loads of fish rising. But watch out for soft mossy banks - I got rather wet! Torver Low was good too, but Beacon was a waste of time - very clear, and little sign of any fish at all.

Hope to get back up to the Lakes again soon. Looking forward to some more river fishing there too.

Cheers
Andrew