|A wild trout from the River Eden|
|A Large Brook Dun on the Eden|
The Eden in Cumbria is one of England’s best known rivers for all game species, but the upper reaches are justly famous for wild brown trout. Last Wednesday was a difficult day to fish because of an awkward wind. Not a particularly strong wind, it was gusty, sneaking round corners and bouncing off the bank. It was easy enough to cast into but trying to place your fly accurately was nigh on impossible. The line went where you intended but the leader and fly wherever the wind took them. I gave up on several rising fish when repeated attempts just failed to present the fly either in the right place or without drag.
|A swarm of black gnats on the River Eden|
A combination of wind and current actually helped in one pool where a tributary entered the main river. The tributary was the source of lots of Large Brook Duns (LBD), but as they flowed into the Eden the wind from the opposite direction sandwiched them and as ever the trout were quick to realise this and were knocking them off greedily. This was the source of my biggest trout of the day. A swift move by car downstream found more rising fish, but they wouldn’t take my March Brown Paradun (used as a LBD imitation). A closer inspection revealed why…black gnats. A procession of them lined up down the foam lines and current lanes. The trout were almost oblivious to your presence because they were so keyed onto the black gnats. The river was alive with trout and the odd grayling, and you could easily get to within a rod’s length of them without spooking them. It was a great day’s fishing in one of the country’s most scenic places all for £15 on a day ticket.
|Colne Water, Lancashire - definitely a "Dirty Place"|
And so two days later I arrive in Barrowford to fish Colne water with my mate Dave Heeley. He’d already bought the day tickets for the extortionate sum of £4 each! It’s a small stream so I decided to use my new Hardy Lightweight 7’ #3 rod for the first time, and looking back that was a good decision. It takes a while when fishing a new river to get a feel for where the fish are, but after a few fish were netted we’d learnt that the resident trout seemed to have a distinct preference for concrete! Anywhere that had a bit of depth and concrete sides had a fish every time. We fished from Barrowford to the outskirts of Colne and were very happy with the numbers of fish we’d fooled on nymphs. I’d fished a single nymph upstream and Dave fished 'the Duo', leapfrogging each other. As we turned back downstream a hatch of Large Dark Olives (LDO) started. Odd ones at first, then a constant hatch that was still going strong as we left for home. The trout started to rise in some of the deeper glides and so we took more fish on CDC Duns on our downstream journey.
|Colne Water "average" trout|
|Yours truly playing a trout on Colne Water|
|Fishing below the M65|
|Urban flyfishing - Dave on Colne Water|