Thursday, 8 August 2013

Afternoon Delight

Afternoon Delight
There is a lowland stream in the Dales I’ve been meaning to fish for a while. It has no reputation, unlike many other Yorkshire Dales rivers, and I bet few have even heard of it. It intrigued me though; I like fishing the unknown and vowed to fish it this year. So this afternoon, following a morning teaching a beginner the basics, I visited this stream to see what it was like. I had nothing to lose.

As always the first question is what rod to take. The stream runs through open farmland so my 9’ #4 XF2 Streamflex would be perfect. I also packed my Tenkara Centre UK 13’ Hamon rod just in case. Both good choices as it turned out.
Lowland stream - Daddy
Longlegs territory

I walked to the downstream limit so I could fish up the full length. The stream has had quite a lot of improvement work carried out through grant schemes and this includes sturdy fencing running most of the length. On arriving at the little stream I peered over the fence to see a fish splash at, but miss, a Daddy Longlegs skittering over the surface. I'd seen loads flying and in the grass on my walk down so I needed no further guidance, out came my Daddy imitation from my box. I was stood fully 5’ above the river, still behind the fence, so I elected to use my Hamon Tenkara rod and cast it from the wrong side of the fence and down onto the river. As it landed I saw a trout come to investigate immediately and my heart nearly stopped - it was an easy 2lb plus in this tiny unknown stream. I recast but that was enough to alert the fish that something was amiss and he sidled off downstream and disappeared. Possibly a good job on a tenkara rod!
A small chub on my Tenkara Centre UK 13' Hamon
A small chub on my Tenkara
Centre UK 13' Hamon

I got in the river and fished upstream with the tenkara rod, dropping my Daddy in all the likely places. Another decent fish spooked, this one nearer the 1lb mark. Then I got a rise, struck and hooked my first fish from this stream. I was enjoying this. The fish turned out to be a small chub, my first coarse fish on a tenkara.

Further upstream I came to a lovely looking pool with plenty of flow and depth – it had to hold a decent fish. I swapped to my XF2 Streamflex with the same dry fly. My idea was to cover it at range with a dry then swap to a duo set-up or possibly a French style nymph on the tenkara if nothing took the dry.

A cracking 1¼lb trout on a Daddy imitation
A cracking 1¼lb trout
on a Daddy imitation
Well something did take the dry – a 1¼lb trout. Sometimes you catch a trout that just seems completely surprised to be hooked, like it’s never been caught before. I’m sure there is something in this because it often happens in places that are rarely, if ever fished. This was one of those trout. It went berserk as soon as I set the hook, but it was soon in the net, a quick photo and back it went.

And that was pretty much it for the afternoon. I’d had a marvellous couple of hours on a lovely stream that feels miles from anywhere (but isn’t), caught a couple of fish and marked the spot of a 2 pounder! Happy days!

A lowland stream in late summer
A lowland stream in late summer