Early Season Report – Late April 2014

The river is already getting surprisingly low for the time of year, however the gravels have been cleaned by the spring flows and there is good ‘sight fishing’ once again. Invertebrate surveys indicate vast numbers of Gammarus (Shrimps) and Cased Caddis Larvae (mainly Agapetus but also good numbers of larger species), plus increasing numbers of Baetis nymphs, which is encouraging. Hatches of Large Dark Olives (Baetis rhodani) have been sparse and have only brought one or two fish up to the surface, so most sport has been to nymphs. However we should, hopefully, soon see Black Gnats (Bibio johannis) and Hawthorn Flies (Bibio marci) being blown onto the water, plus the early Daddies (Craneflies/Tipulids) and of course Midges (Chironomids).

A few huge grayling are to be seen around the spawning beds, so the cormorants have not wiped them all out in this part of the river. They need to be avoided so that they have a chance to breed and recover fully before being targeted from June 16th onwards.

The brown trout are still tending to spend a lot of time in cover beneath the bankside undercuts and under the willows, but when food species are vulnerable they are increasingly to be seen feeding in more open spots but still generally close to cover. There have been some decent catches so far this season despite some cool east winds. It pays to search out those fish that are visibly feeding (blind ‘search fishing’ is a waste of time).

Some suitable flies include the following:

DRY FLIES

  • Black Gnat size 18
  • Hawthorn Fly size 12 or 14
  • Olive pattern e.g. Adams, Greenwell’s Glory, Kite’s Imperial, Shuttlecock size 16
  • Daddy size 12
  • F Fly or Elk Hair Caddis size 18 to 12
  • Midge e.g. IOBO Humpy, Griffith’s Gnat size 20 (or smaller)

WET FLIES

  • Gammarus/Shrimp in natural, orange or pink sizes 16 to 8 (suitably weighted)
  • Tungsten Bead-head nymphs in sizes 18 to 14
  • Peeping Caddis size 16 to 10 long shank in a range of weights

Report by Dave Southall

2 Comments
  1. Thanks for this report. I look forward to my half day on Sunday 4th May. This will be my first visit to the river so please let me know where and when to turn up. Would Dave Southall or somebody be available for a spot of guiding?

    Regards,
    Antony Wynn

  2. dave was right black gnatts in there thouands coverd the river on the afternoon of 10th may fish were well on to them & we were lucky to be there it turned out to be the best day for fishing the dry fly we have had on this fantastic river with five fish over 20 inches regards Steve Wood

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