Monday, August 29, 2011

Weird Quartet

This month's edition of Trout & Salmon magazine described some of the writing in this blog as, ahem, 'purple', which last time I looked was not a particularly good thing. So I'll be brief:

I fished the Ribble for a couple of hours yesterday, in uncomfortably windy conditions. In truth I didn't expect a great deal and only decided to head up-valley at the last minute when I unexpectedly found myself at a loose end late in the afternoon. Which is just as well, because most of the brief session passed off entirely without interest, the cold westerly wind taking all pleasure from proceedings, and the river's trout population (in keeping with my experiences of the last two seasons) seemingly very sparse indeed.

This apparent dearth of Ribble trout concerns me to be honest. I accept that I'm not best qualified to judge, having only fished the river maybe eight times in the last two seasons, but it would be a pretty impressive run of 'wrong place, wrong time' scenarios all the same. My returns have been limited to a handful of trout and grayling with a proportion of the former having been escapee stock fish from the syndicate water downstream. I have heard reports of better returns from some of our members, so hopefully it's a case of either my incompetence, or just bad timing. Our monthly invertebrate monitoring does seem to indicate a river in good health, so fingers crossed. But with so many clubs on the river insisting on artificial stocking policies, our beat - home to some of the finest game fish habitat on the entire river - should be one of the few to give a truer perspective of the Ribble's native population; and from what I've seen, it isn't a pleasing picture - especially when compared to some of the other river systems here in the north of England.

Yesterday's brief foray further added to my worries. Despite the difficult wind, the Ribble was in perfect ply following a slight overnight rise, and I fished a good mile of it on a brace of small weighted nymphs. Every cast into every crease and pocket had me expecting a fish at any moment, but by the time I had reached the bottom of the woods I had two salmon parr to my name, a miserable return. Finally I met with success in the confused water at the head of a favourite pool, although it was success of a weird kind and as such went some way to reinforcing rather than easing my concerns. In the space of a few casts I returned a nice cock grayling of towards 2lb in weight, followed immediately after by a fine sea trout, followed by - of all things - a small chub, and finally one of those nuisance stockies I mentioned earlier. Although their capture was pleasing (well the first three anyway), the statistics tell a sorry tale: four fish, and not one of them a native brown trout.

As I mentioned earlier, I haven't fished the Ribble much recently and am well aware that my poor returns are most likely down to my own failings, or just bad luck. I would love to hear from anyone who has a more positive tale to tell, either through the comments section here or the email address below.


TC/Trout Underground said...

Purple? What the hell does that mean?

In any case, some of use love it here, and maybe purple is a damn sight better than "bland" (which is how a lot of fishing magazines are described).

Trout Magee said...

Sorry to hear about the low number of Native Browns in that stretch of water. Glad to hear the river is healthy. Maybe they will start gaining strength in the future. Some streams around here have a ton of Browns one year and then it seams like they all disappear the next. Nice job getting the rest of those fishes attention. I don't know if the fish bite on the same flies over there as over here but if so I use a Castle Rock Killer pattern that usually catches more Browns than any other trout. If you search Castle Rock Killer on my blog it should pop up some pages. They attack it like they are mad at it. But if no Browns are present than I guess it might not work to well for them :) Gook luck on the Ribble. Tight Lines.

e.m.b. said...

I just so happen to love purple. Don't lose your style! I read your blog regularly; but what I don't read regularly are fishing magazines. Keep doing what you're doing.

Peter said...

Hi Matt,
I started buying the T+S just as soon as my pocket money would allow, that was back in 1966. That, as you may have heard, was a successful year[world cup win].I have subscribed to the same magazine on and off down the years but I am sad to say that I now only purchase it occasionally.I get fed up with advertisements for this and that and the reminder that there must be a lot of people out there with dosh to throw around.They will on occasion remind us that there are accessible pieces of fishing for us mere mortals to access. Just ignore them and keep publishing.I can engross myself in your blog [and many others]quite happily and more often than not with greater satisfaction. regards. Arden

Jindra Lacko said...


I don't subscribe to T&S, as it seems too commercial and stillwater heavy to my taste.

On the other hand I eagerly follow your blog, as it is about actual fishing (which is supposed to include a blank day every now and then) rather than about making your advertisers happy.


Flyfishermanrichard. said...

Don't understand it, maybe it's why I don't buy that magazine?

I love the blog myself, it's in my top 5. Great writing, and pictures, please keep it up Matt.

It will be interesting to see what feeback you get. Please let us know?


Anonymous said...

Great blog Matt...keep up the good work. Your writings have me planning a day or 2 on the Eden next season.

Just out of curiosity what edition and part of the magazine did it mention your blog? Anybody?

David W

Matthew Eastham said...

Cheers David,
Towards the back of the latest edition - Autumn 2011. A small section about some of their favoured blogs - page 80-odd I think.

John Mac said...

The T&S are all breeks and tweed and only interested in salmon fishing.I love reading this blog I live near all your rivers,, so find all your methods and tactics very interesting
Good luck

John Mac