Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Invertebrate monitoring.....and a bonus beast!

I visited my four Eden system invertebrate sampling sites on Wednesday night: two on the Eamont below Penrith, one on the main river at Langwathby and one further up towards Appleby. All 8 groups of invert - ephemerella, seratella, baetis, heptagenid, gammarus, stonefly, cased and caseless caddis - were in evidence, although no one sample contained them all. All four sites scored satisfactorarily, although I was surprised to find a marked difference in abundance between the two Eamont sites which are located up and downstream of the Penrith sewage works outfall (see photo at top). Further sampling over the coming months is required before any conclusions can be drawn in respect of this - admittedly worrying - finding.

The photo below shows a solitary mayfly nymph which came from the Eden at Langwathby, amidst an abundance of small cased caddis. It was also positive to note a healthy number of stonefly nymphs in most samples, although curiously, heptagenid nymphs were absent from the Eden Appleby and lower Eamont samples. Gammarus (shrimp), were also absent from both Eamont sites. It will be interesting to see if any significant trends appear as my sampling continues into next season.......

Later, I managed to squeeze in little over an hour on the Upper Eden before dusk. It was a cool, breezy evening with little sign of a hatch or rising fish, so I decided to try the shallow, lumpy pocket water towards the top end of our beat - and for the second time in the evening, was surprised at what I found. I moved an awful lot of fish in that short time with the vast majority coming short or failing to stick. Maybe 12-14 fish registered their interest in my flies through that mostly overlooked piece of water, but of them only two were brought to hand. They were nice fish: 1lb and 2lb 6oz respectively and the fact that I hadn't really expected to wet a line at all, made their capture all the more pleasureable. The larger fish in particular was one of the better looking trout I have caught.

Friday evening saw me back on the Eden with Bob. A week of poor weather ended with a slight improvement as the breeze died off under leaden skies and the temperature actually rose through the day to reach a balmy 18c. We were hopeful of sport but found the going slow. Once again, the insect activity was limited to a few longhorns performing their dance over the marginal shallows and although a few egg bearing BWO spinners appeared at last light, their numbers were relatively small and only an odd fish rose to eat them in the semi-darkness.
As is often the case when fishing with friends, we spent a lot of time walking and chatting and not so much concentrating on catching fish, but it was fairly obvious that the trout weren't really that interested. We did return a couple, and both missed a fish each on the spent spinner late on. Overall though it was a quiet evening's fishing, and typically late summer with the overgrown grass lying damp and heavy in the meadows and the scent of yarrow and meadowsweet hanging in the air as we headed back to the car in darkness. The light has gone at half past nine now and very soon, our evening fishing will be over for another summer. How quickly it goes and how many grand plans will have to remain unfulfilled until next year!


Midgeman said...

Peach of a brown and a critter collector too! That's how the games played!

oldsmugglerflyfishing said...

Excellent bug hunting! It´s very important for a serious angler to know the underwater world of trouts.

Congratulations for the job!


Anonymous said...

It's a good job they are small. They would be really scary otherwise.