This Report now covers Game Angling only. The Fly Fishing ‘ Hints and Tips ’ are based on the Author’s own Experiences.
The Author’s Award Winning Reports aim to help anglers, especially visitors to the area, to find out : Where is fishing well and What are likely to be the most successful tactics.
October started with a gale, rain and cooler temperatures over the 2nd and 3rd October bringing the long dry mild spell to an end. The weather settled again : mild and predominantly dry, often with light winds. The new moon on the 18th October heralded a change bringing another unsettled spell with wind and rain on some days but still mild for the time of year. The month ended with a more settled spell : a mixture of autumn sunshine, cloudier days, light variable winds and exceptionally mild for the time of year as warm air was being drawn up from the South – on many days the temperature was 5? above the seasonal average (contrast this to the end of October last year when we “skipped autumn and went straight into winter” with wintry showers of hail, sleet, rain which fell as snow on high ground and many parts of the country had heavier snow ; it was unseasonably cold). At least we had a pleasant autumn with exceptionally mild and dry weather after the third miserable wet and cool summer in a row.
November also started with strong winds and very heavy rain with some localized rain – the full moon on 2nd November seeing this change in weather with our normal lows from the Atlantic – conditions more normally associated with October.
The forecast is for an unsettled spell – cooler with temperatures nearer to normal or even slightly below, breezy and showery with longer outbreaks of rain at times.
EDEN (Middle and Lower Beats)
Early / Mid October
With the rain accompanied by a gale on 2nd and 3rd October the river lifted a little, but quickly fell back to summer level and then to below summer level by the end of the Salmon Season on the Eden on 14th October. During this period of low level the river ran clear and although the water temperature had dropped a couple of degrees it was still slightly above normal for the time of year.
These conditions favoured the Lower Beats as only a few Grilse were able to run up river.
Anglers were out in force and notable catches include : at Warwick Hall John Gaynor a superb Salmon estimated to be 29 ½ lbs. after being measured at 41” which fell to a size 12 Cascade fished on a floating line. It has now been confirmed that this was the biggest Salmon caught on the river Eden this Season ; Richard Ogden 4 Salmon on one day between 8 and 15 lbs. and on the same day Nick Wilkinson with 2 of 17 lbs. each and one of 8 lbs. all on Flying C’s ; Paul Davidson one of 12 lbs. and the other of 10 lbs. also Stuart Rose one of 12 lbs. and the other of 5 lbs. Other anglers landed Salmon between 14 and 19 lbs. : Robin Gillett, John Gaynor, Andrew Murray, David Bamford, Tom Kay, Andrew Robertson and Nick Marriner. Many of these Salmon were carrying Sea Lice.
Salmon were also caught downstream on the Carlisle Angling Association stretch. During the last week at Holmegate, Trevor Morgan one of 23 ½ lbs. and at Crosby, Brian Eastham one of 18 lbs. and Gordon Evans one of 13 lbs. both on fly. At Park Broom, Paul Davidson again into fish landing 5 Salmon including one of 20 lbs. On the last day at Armathwaite, Paul Davidson in action once more with a Salmon of 19 lbs. on fly and late into the even Gordon Evans one of 11 lbs. also on fly – the last Salmon to be recorded for the Season.
Upstream on the Middle Beats it was more difficult and anglers had to put in long hours with some successful and others “beaten by Mother Nature”. In these conditions the Salmon were mainly holding at the head of pools in the faster water and dour but became more active and sometimes took when any Grilse that could still move up river in these conditions went through. It paid to fish lighter and smaller. Many of the Salmon were coloured and carefully returned unharmed.
At Lazonby Estate in the penultimate week of the Season on the Bottom Beat, George Noblett, a Salmon of 9 lbs. on a Ally Shrimp fly from Smithy Wath, Patrick Arnold one of 5 lbs. also from Smith Wath on a size 10 Cascade but these eclipsed by Gordon Jefferies with one of 22 lbs. on a Golden Lady fly from the Boat Pool and on the Top Beat, Patrick Arnold, one of 9 lbs. on a size 12 Ally Shrimp fly from The Wicket Pool and George Noblett one of 8 lbs. also on an Ally Shrimp fly from the Salmon Pool. In the last week of the Season all the Salmon caught were on the Top Beat : Gordon Jefferies in action again with one of 13 lbs. on his current favoured fly the Golden Lady from The Wicket Pool, Patrick Arnold one of 9 lbs. on a size 12 Late Autumn Boyo fly from The Wicket Pool and on the last day of the Season Estate Water Keeper, Edwin Tailford, one of 11 ½ lbs. on a Silver Stoat’s Tail from The Wicket Pool and Patrick Arnold one of 5 lbs. on a size 12 Late Autumn Boyo fly from The Salmon Pool. For all Patrick’s fish during this period he was using a single-handed rod and a slow intermediate line.
During the Season at least 9 Salmon of 20 lbs. or more were reported caught from the river Eden.
The Salmon Season on the Eden ended on 14th October.
Mid / End October
The Winter Grayling Season Day Permits at Warwick Hall, Lazonby Estate and Eden Lacy came into effect on 15th October 2009 and run until 14th January 2010.
Since the 15th October the river has risen 2’ 6” to 3’ which has not been ideal for Grayling fishing. There are no confirmed reports of anglers having been out. During the first half of October the river had dropped to below summer level and on mild days there were sporadic hatches of Small Dark Olives in the late mornings and early afternoons with fish rising freely ; on the last day of the Salmon Season (on the Eden 14th October) it was exceptionally mild right up to dark with a few late Sedges about with fish again rising. Whilst many of the fish were Brown Trout there were some Grayling amongst them. It was just unfortunate that these ideal conditions didn’t continue after the 14th……………..
At the time of writing it is raining hard and with more rain forecast the river will rise further. Once the river drops, which certainly won’t be during the first week to ten days of November, ideally coinciding with some cold frosty nights to encourage the Grayling to start shoaling up, these Beats are well worth a visit. With these Winter Grayling Season Day Permits costing less than a day on many Stillwaters there is an opportunity for anglers to fish the prime beats on the Middle and Lower Eden. For those who haven’t tried it catching “The Lady of the Stream” is a great experience.
Although the approach will often be fishing deep with Czech Nymphs, on milder days the Grayling will come up so it is worth trying un-weighted nymphs and Spiders fished higher in the water ; there could still be sporadic hatches of small Black Midges with the Grayling taking off the top and this is when using Emergers and Dries come into their own. Another approach when the Grayling are prepared to come higher in the water is to fish New Zealand style with one or even two small Nymphs under a Klinkhammer.
The wind will often drop in the late afternoon and when mild be prepared to fish in the gloaming as this can be a very productive time – indeed stay right up to dark.
The level remained very low with the continuation of the dry spell, with little change after the rain on 2nd and 3rd October. The occasional Salmon and Grilse were caught, mainly from the lower beats.
The river dropped to below summer level with the continuation of the long settled and predominantly dry spell. Only a few anglers were out with just the occasional Salmon reported.
The new moon on 18th October heralded a change in the weather bringing some unsettled conditions with wind and rain on some days but still very mild for the time of year. The level rose between 2’ and 3’ and was carrying some colour and initially a lot of leaves but it then settled. A number of Salmon and the occasional Grilse were caught on spinner and worm at Watercrook with the heaviest reported of 18 lbs. and at The Meetings with the heaviest reported of 12 lbs. Most of the Salmon were coloured with just some fresher Salmon and Grilse.
In the last few days of the month the level was up and down with quite a few Salmon and some Grilse running but difficult to catch with only a few grassed on fly, spinner and worm.
The Salmon Season on the Kent ended on 31st October.
Anglers took advantage of the lifts in the river during the second half of October when some Salmon were running. The heaviest one reported caught on fly was 15 lbs.
The Salmon Season on the Duddon ended on 31st October.
On Sunday 11th October fishing at Whittington Hall, Gary MacDonald landed a superb Salmon which measured 41” long and estimated to have weighed 28 lbs. The fish was coloured and safely returned to the water unharmed. This Salmon is thought to be the heaviest one caught on the stretch for quite some years.
The Salmon Season on the Lune ended on 31st October.
Early October brought a change to early autumn with a gale, some rain and cooler temperatures bringing the long dry mild spell to an end.
Our Stillwaters fished well.
The cooler wet and windy weather at the beginning of the month gave way to a long settled and predominantly dry mild spell, often with light winds.
These settled autumn days challenged anglers on Stillwaters.
Continued exceptionally mild for the time of year and in these calm conditions many anglers found it difficult – the fundamental problem in many instances was they had preconceived ideas that towards the end of October they should be using tactics that are usually applicable at this time of year, i.e. sub-surface tactics often with lures whereas the weather conditions this year were more like a good early October spell with the approach of fine leaders with Nymphs fished just below the surface and on many days Emergers and Dries being what was required, especially when rising Trout were feeding on Buzzers!
With the mild conditions continuing to the beginning of the month there were hatches of small Buzzers with the Rainbow Trout moving all day feeding just under the surface. Fish were tempted by C-d-C’s, Black Hoppers, Bibios, Buzzers and Nymphs drifted across the wave – it was essential to carefully keep in touch with the flies. Several anglers recorded double figure bags including fish between 5 – 6 lbs. : Alistair Murray 14 on Black Pennells and Bibios ; Ian Head 10 on Black Spiders and Klinkhammers and John Walton 9 on Buzzers.
Best flies : C-d-C’s ; Black Hoppers ; Bibios ; Buzzers and Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear nymphs.
It remained steady for Rainbow Trout although at times somewhat difficult in the flat calm conditions, like a mill pond on some days. Fish were moving all day feeding on small Buzzers – the hatched flies on the top and the pupa just below the surface.
The best approach was floating lines with long leaders and when very calm scaled down to as low diameter as possible to aid presentation of smaller flies such as C-d-C’s and little Black Dries accounted for the best catches. The heavier Trout fell to Bibios, Pheasant Tail Nymphs and Stick Flies. Several anglers recorded double figure bags including fish between 2 lbs. 8 ozs. and 5 lbs. with best catches from Wayne Timmins 15 on Buzzers and Phil Collier 12 on Bibios and Buzzers
In spite of the blustery conditions on some days, good numbers of Rainbow Trout at were coming up to Buzzers, Sedges and Daddy-long-legs and taking just below the surface. Several anglers were bringing fish to the net mainly on a floating line and a team of Buzzers or Bibios. Good catches from Wayne Timmins 21 on Buzzers and Peter Collier 16 on Green & Orange headed Black Buzzers with the best of 6 lbs. 8 ozs. A few of the larger fish have been lost at the net by either throwing the hook or snapping the leader at the last moment. The fish are in such good condition they will not be bullied.
Best Flies : Buzzers, Bibios and Black Pennell.
Best Lures : Cat’s Whisker and Orange lures.
This Water should continue to fish well. When not raining but overcast and windy use larger dries but when calm long fine leaders and small dries ; at other times sub-surface tactics with Black Buzzer Pupa, nymphs or Damsel nymphs.
The Rainbow Trout were predominantly feeding on Fry but at times on sporadic hatches of small Buzzers : on cloudy days up on the surface with catches to Fry patterns and nymphs on floating lines but when bright the Trout dropped down necessitating a change to intermediate or slow sinking lines still using the same patterns. Fishing from boats Mike Frith landed 11 to 4 lbs. 6 ozs. and Harry MacGhie 7 to 3 lbs. From the bank Peter Hulland landed the heaviest recent Rainbow of 5 lbs. 1 oz. on a Bloodworm pattern, fished on a floating line.
The best flies were Fry patterns, Cat’s Whisker, Blobs and nymphs.
With mild conditions on many days the Rainbow Trout were still up in the water. When overcast there were hatches of tiny Black Chironomids and at times the fish were preoccupied but difficult to catch, especially in flat calm conditions. At other times they were feeding hard on Fry with catches falling to Cat’s Whiskers, Minkies and floating Fry patterns ; alternatively nymphs such as Diawl Bach and Hare’s Ear on the droppers and a Fry pattern / white lures on the point also worked well. As always it was necessary to change lines as the light changed – floating or slow intermediate when dull but a Di-3 medium sink when bright.
Fishing from boats Jim Miller landed 6 to 4 lbs. 1 oz. and John Gardner landed 2 including one in superb condition of 5 lbs. 6 ozs. which fell to a Hare’s Ear Nymph fished on a floating line ; from the bank Peter Littler 12 to 4 lbs. 9 ozs. on legered and float fished worm.
The Rod Average was 4.
Boat anglers have seen the best of the action. On overcast days there were big hatches of tiny Chironomids – on some days the Rainbow Trout were up on the surface and pre-occupied with these flies, whilst on others they were showing little or no interest. When the Trout were feeding the best approach was a floating line, a fine leader and Little Black Dries : John Bailey took advantage of one of these spells to land 5 on size 18 C-d-C’s. On brighter days the Trout were 4 or 5 feet down feeding on Fry with catches to intermediate and sinking lines with Cat’s Whiskers and Minkies. Chris Carter landed the heaviest recent Rainbow Trout of 4 lbs. 1 oz. on a Gold Head Daddy-long-legs.
The weather is set to turn colder so targeting Fry feeding Trout with sub-surface tactics should work well.
When calm and milder there will still be sporadic hatches of very small Black Buzzers and this is the time to change to a floating line with small Black Dries
On breezy days look out for leaf lanes that often carry a myriad of small flies and the Trout will be cruising up these lanes feeding – this is when small black dries or even small black Spiders fished on a floating line can work well.
The best area was The Shallows at the top end where the Rainbow Trout were moving caught on small Nymphs an Buzzers but when calm Emergers.
The best area was still The Shallows at the top end where the Rainbow Trout were regularly moving with good catches on small Nymphs and Buzzer Pupa but when calm Emergers.
Anglers using floating lines with Buzzer Pupa and small nymphs, but when calm changing to Emergers, recorded good catches of Rainbow Trout from The Shallows at the top end.
This Water remains open all year round and stocking continues albeit not with the frequency of the warmer months.
This sheltered Water should continue to fish well even on unsettled days. When it is sunny the autumn colours are spectacular.
Although breezy at the beginning of the month the days prior to that when cloudy the Rainbow Trout were responding to dries.
On the calm days plenty of Rainbow Trout were showing feeding on very small Black Buzzers and Smuts with catches on floating lines with long low diameter leaders and small dries, but not always easy.
Up on this Water it is exposed so picking the right day is essential. When calm the Rainbow Trout have been up in the water feeding on very small Buzzers and Smuts with many anglers finding it difficult but those who used a fine leader and small dries caught well. At other times try sub-surface tactics.
The Rod Average was just over 1 – this reflects the difficulty many anglers had in adapting to the tactics that had been necessary during the warmer calm spell, more like the end of summer rather than early autumn. Anglers visiting this Water should really heed the advice given by venue regulars
This Water remains open all year round and stocking continues albeit not with the frequency of the warmer months.
With an unsettled spell of weather forecast it will be a matter of picking the right day from now on and varying tactics to suit conditions.
No Report was received – this is unusual but the Owner, Ken Gill, was ill with flu during this period.
Although this Water was a little slower than of late for Rainbow Trout some anglers caught well : Graeme Connelly 9 on Black & Silver Minkies ; both Ian Caulfield and Ken Dixon 7 each on Hare’s Ear Nymphs and Minkies respectively ; Ian King 6 on Montana Nymphs.
The Rod Average was 2.
It has been steady for Rainbow Trout : David Spry 8 on Diawl Bachs and Bloodworm patterns ; Graham Dowson 8 on Mini Cat’s Whiskers ; 7 each from Raymond Harwood on Diawl Bachs, Geoff Waites on various patterns, Brian Williams on Dawson’s Olives and Michael Birch on Daddy-long-legs.
The Rod Average was 2.7
It was a little more unpredictable for Rainbow Trout but generally the mornings were the best time. Paul Sandford landed 8 on Black lures, Eric Cross took a different approach using an Invicta wet fly for his 7 and Luke Allsop found the Trout feeding on top so used C-d-C’s for his 6.
Difficult at times fishing on the top for Rainbow Trout when calm with the best catches from those using sub-surface tactics : another good session from Paul Sandford with 14 on lures ; Grant Higson 8 on Black Fritz and Dave Thornton chose Black Buzzers for his 5.
With good hatches of Buzzers and plenty of Rainbow Trout rising this Water has fished well : Grant Higson in action again with 11 on Buzzers and Green Fritz lures ; Raymond Harwood 11 on Black Lures ; Father and son, Ben and Ray Chesworth 10 and 9 respectfully on Cat’s Whiskers.
With the mild conditions prevailing Killington has produced some good catches of Rainbow Trout on dries.
It is surprising how few anglers have been here for the Trout fishing.
The forecast is for a cooler unsettled spell, breezy at times accompanied by showers and longer periods of rain.
On breezier days a team of Buzzers or Nymphs drifted across the wind is a good approach but as water temperatures begin to drop, then lures should also come back into their own.
Given any milder days there will still be sporadic hatches of tiny Black Buzzers usually in the late morning or early afternoon but sometimes in the last hour if the wind drops. These hatches will often bring the Rainbow Trout up to the surface and they will become preoccupied with these very small flies – not easy to catch and it is essential to have fine leaders and small imitative patterns ; Emergers or Dries fished in the surface film or right on the surface, but sometimes Pupa fished just below the surface.
As the days shorten it will pay to fish hard during the middle part of the day.
PATRICK ARNOLD and ENGLISH LAKES FLY FISHING
Patrick is a passionate and very experienced Game Angler, regularly fly fishing the rivers, lakes, tarns and stillwaters in the English Lake District. He has also fished throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland and Austria. When time allowed he was a competent fly fishing competition angler on the National Circuit.
He is a professional Fly Fishing Instructor, Game Angling Ghillie / Guide offering Fly Fishing Tuition – Individual, Group and Courses – also Guided Fly Fishing Days, Corporate Hospitality Days which can also include other Countryside Activities and Angling Holidays. When asked, he gives lectures and less formal talks on a wide range of angling topics including “Anglers and Conservation”.
Patrick’s speciality is fishing for Wild Fish with a love of the river Eden and Ullswater lake. When on the riverside searching for Salmon, Sea Trout, wild Brown Trout and Grayling, Patrick has Rods available for clients at Lazonby Estate on the river Eden (just north of Penrith) – Prime Beats in some really beautiful and peaceful surroundings as the number of Rods are strictly limited on any one day. He is a very knowledgeable and accomplished boat angler and on Ullswater (from Glenridding) he has access for clients to a 17 ft. Angler’s Fancy boat which is ideal for true loch style fishing for wild Brown Trout. When fishing for Rainbow Trout, Patrick takes clients to a number of stillwaters in the South Lakes : from the bank at Bigland, Ghyll Head also High Newton and from a boat at Esthwaite Water, where there are also facilities for families with young children. When requested, Patrick will travel to Waters further afield. Rod Hire is available when out fishing with Patrick.
Patrick is an Agent for Greys of Alnwick. He has been appointed by Fisheries as a Game Angling Instructor and Ghillie / Guide, also by a number of nearby Hotels as their Resident Fly Fishing Expert.
He is a Member of the Angling Writers’ Association, a prolific Angling Writer and his Award Winning Reports aim to help anglers, especially visitors to the area, to find out : Where is fishing well and What are likely to be the most successful tactics. The Fly Fishing ‘Hints and Tips’ are based on his own experiences. He features from time to time on television and radio for issues effecting conservation and angling in the Lake District – the protection of the environment and development of sustainable game fishing. He is a member of Angling Clubs, both in England and Ireland. For many years he was an active member of a number of National, Regional and Local Committees.
For further information contact Patrick Arnold at English Lakes Fly Fishing :
e-mail – email@example.com
Tel: +44 (0) 1229 889792 or +44 (0) 1229 889365
Address : “Fellside”, Kirkby-in-Furness, Cumbria LA17 7UF, England.
Websites : www.lakedistrictfishing.net and www.englishlakesflyfishing.co.uk