Friday, September 11, 2009

Reaquaintance with running water - rusty - surprise migrant - small dark olives.

A busy period at work and some time spent chasing the trout of Malham Tarn, meant that tonight was the first time I have ventured out on to the river for some time. The season is drawing inexorably to a close once more and this will have been my last evening session of the summer – a summer that has seen me unable to take advantage of the evening rise half as many times as I would have liked. Indeed if you discount a brief visit to the Ribble in early August, then this was my first evening out since an early July session on the Eden with Steven and Terry.

So the latter half of the summer has largely passed me by in a blur of overtime, stress and fatigue and whilst two successful visits to the Tarn last week went a long way to restoring my equilibrium, it was nice to finally return to running water where I am most at home. That said, I didn’t feel very ‘at home’ tonight. Fly fishing is like anything else – regular practice invariably produces a better angler and after a couple of months away, my touch and feel with the 4 weight in hand was decidedly lacking.

Nevertheless, an absorbing time was had by the banks of the Ribble – pleasant enough but with little of interest to report. Only 5 fish came to hand on what looked a promising evening; a foot of stained but clear water invited nymphs and with nothing rising and barely an insect to be seen, that was pretty much my MO for the entire session. In such conditions, I sometimes find that a dark pattern works well in the beery coloured water and it was a little black nymph which picked out the fish tonight – a brace of 10” grayling, a brace of 10” trout and a surprise sea trout of around 2lb.

A drop in air temperature of some 10c between 5pm and 8pm will have gone a long way to ensuring the fish kept their noses firmly sub-surface, which was a shame as very late on, the appearance of a quite staggering number of small dark olive spinners would surely have resulted in surface sport on another night. It felt as if someone nearby had opened a huge box of tiny, translucent confetti as the little blighters fluttered upstream in their thousands. A remarkable sight to end an evening – and in all likelihood season - on a river which has not been nearly as kind to me as it was last year.

Two final outings await before the trout season breathes its last: a day on the Eden with fellow blogger Glen Pointon, followed by one last visit with Rob Denson to Yorkshire’s limestone miracle. Regardless of the outcome of those two trips, the season has been one of the most enjoyable I can remember.

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