With our northern weather finally turning for the better, I have not given up hope of some sport to the dry fly after what feels like months of prospecting around with nymphs. So tonight, I headed off to Little Salkeld after work and a section of the Eden where I have had some very good sport in the past with late summer spinner falls.
Our Anthony Holme beat is a cracker with a healthy population of trout and grayling present – some very big ones too. The water is interesting and varied and at the bottom end is a very long pool where in the past, on the edge of darkness on humid August evenings, I have witnessed blue-winged olive spinner falls of epic proportions.
Conditions tonight were mixed. The river was carrying a good volume of fresh water with just a hint of colour, but the weather was bright and a stiff-ish northerly breeze put a chill over the water. I didn’t feel too confident that the spinners would materialise and there certainly didn’t seem to be many in evidence below the bankside trees and bushes, so I did my usual and set up a pair of tiny nymphs and spent a couple of hours messing about in the riffles upstream. This tactic brought quick response from a brace of brownies, the better of the two at dead on a pound, but nothing else until later on, a fine hen grayling of 1lb 8oz obliged to the pheasant tail.
Although there were huge numbers of longhorn sedges dipping over the margins, I didn’t see a rising fish all evening and my hunch proved correct about the spinners – they didn’t appear at all…