Well, I had another quick trip to the Aire yesterday morning. The fish there are definitely more active than they are on the Wharfe at the moment, but bumping nymphs along the bottom with frozen hands it still felt more like a November Grayling session than spring trout fishing. Things seem to be on the up though, although we're still lagging a few weeks behind normal spring conditions. A couple of fish came to the net - two brownies around the 3/4lb mark - it's a wonderful feeling to get my string pulled again!
I got enough headcam footage to cobble together a small video - hope you like it. My casting/general technique is a touch rusty after a long off season as you can probably tell... please be gentle!
Well, here it is! My first trout of the Yorkshire season, taken on a heavy copperhead nymph from a deep, fast run in the River Aire. Unbelievably relieving to finally get some points on the board as I was beginning to question the small amount of ability I possess. The fish came after a plump out of season grayling - much more solid and stocky looking than its counterparts in the Wharfe. I'm certainly looking forward to fishing for them when they come into season. My pal Tom managed his first trout on the fly too, so smiles all round!
It's easy to wax lyrical about any fish when you've grafted so much to catch it, but this brownie really did put on a pretty spectacular show. I was fishing my nymph below an indicator, watching for any stops and stutters in its run, but on this occasion the line fully slammed tight and the fish launched itself from the water, proceeding to do so five or so more times during the course of the scrap. Heart stopping stuff, and I wish I'd caught it on my headcam but unfortunately it was sitting in my fly vest pocket at the time! Stupid boy... I might sneak in an hour or two tomorrow morning though, so I'll be sure not to make the same mistake then!
Anyway, the pressure's off now, and I can get back to enjoying my fishing fully! If you want a look at the nymph, it's one sold by Stuart Minnikin of Yorkshire Dales Fly Fishing in his online fly shop. Looks a simple tie but bloody deadly, so if you want you can see it plus a bunch of other cracking patterns here.
It's rather late on a Saturday evening, and really I ought to be out drinking, trying to cop off with random unsuspecting lasses, having punch ups over god knows what or throwing up into a drain, same as pretty much every other lad my age. Admittedly that can be the case rather too often on a weekend when I'm up at University, but I'm at home and tomorrow I'm going fishing - the thought alone of tying up leaders with a hangover is enough to make me feel ill. So, rather than kicking seven colours of shite out of my liver, I've been burning the midnight oil tying up a number of variations on a tungsten head PTN in sizes 14 and 16. As you can see above, pretty rough work and I definitely need more practice, but hopefully the trout will get the general idea and humour me. The Wharfe left me watterlicked for a fourth session in a row on Thursday by the way - lots of LDOs, not a single rising fish! Outrageous in such lovely weather. Hopefully the Aire will be more generous... five blanks on the bounce could see me nipping to Homebase for a length of stout rope!
Well, I'm still struggling to get off the mark for the season. It's getting rather worrying actually! Yes, I've had two fish on that chilly opening day session at Ullswater, but I don't really feel settled until I've had a fish from a river. Three sessions so far, three blanks. One in a blizzard on the Cumbrian Eamont, one on the Wharfe last Friday (lots of hatching LDOs, no rising fish) and then Tuesday on the Aire, although that trip was almost a success. Tuesday was a catch up session with my good pike fishing pal Tom, just throwing a few spinners whilst I assessed the stretch of river (a regular spot for Tom) for bug-wafting potential. One major positive was there were a number of areas of great looking trout water, as well as some slower, more typical coarse fishing swims. Another positive was that at around 3 p.m. a number of fish, including some weighty looking fellas, began to rise to a good hatch of midges although there were no olives to be seen. Heartening to see real signs of life for the first time this year, but at the same time it would have been far better had there been a griffiths gnat on the end of my line rather than a 3/4 inch floating rapala! Happily I did connect with a fish in some deep, steady water - a fit little brownie of around 3/4 lb to the pound mark I think, then again, I didn't get him close enough to find out before he shook himself free... yeah, so like I said, all in all the session was almost a success...
I've been dicking about some more with my headcam on my recent outings, and I'm fairly pleased with the it. Good image quality at 1080p for the price you pay, and the sound quality seems better than that of the more expensive 'GoPro' cameras. Hopefully the next fish I film on it will make it to the net.
Hopefully I'll be out on the Wharfe again today, and then the Aire on Sunday with Tom (with proper gear this time!), so keep an eye out and expect a post or two if things pan out well.