Cressbrook & Litton Flyfishers – Fishing Report 8th June 2018
May started with some fine weather and gradually the river started to wake up. My first full day came in the middle of the month when I hosted two auction winners with Stuart Crofts. The EHK treated us to bacon sandwiches at Duffers while Stuart prepared his kick sample to find out what was likely to be hatching later in the day. (Answer – just about everything!). I decided to act as a guide rather than fish and as a result saw a lot more going on than perhaps I would have done fishing.
Stuart was, as usual, a mine of information and as always I learned from being in his presence. For example, Dance Flies. These are the small Dipterans that form huge swarms over the river, zooming to and fro. Stuart waded into a swarm, wielded his sample net and came back to show us his haul. In the net were dozens of Dance Flies, most of which escaped. Stuart showed us one of the flies, a male, which had substantial front legs. These were designed to carry a small gift for the female, usually a parcel of aphids collected by the male. If the gift was deemed acceptable, the male would be allowed to mate. All this of course done at breakneck speed while hurtling back and forth over the river. And sure enough, in the bottom of the net were dozens of little aphid parcels dropped by the males. And their significance to fly fishers? These flies sometimes make mistakes and end up on the water, there to be taken by the trout. Both our rods caught fish, some on Mayfly, which had already started to hatch up in Cheedale.
The main hatch started with a bang on May 28th, on the upper river. There was no steady build up as in recent years and the hatch continued apace during the fine weather and it is still in full swing as I write. There were some spectacular spinner falls on several evenings, boding well for the future. The Olive Uprights have also continued in vast numbers and in several instances I have caught fish on a small Cranked Shank Spinner rather than the more obvious Spent Gnat. The Olive Uprights will be giving way to the smaller olives shortly, including the iconic Blue Winged Olive for which the Wye is justly famous. Be prepared to stay late to get the best of these flies.
It has been very busy on the river as word spread about the Mayfly. It can be a bit frustrating when every car park is full but with 10 miles of river to go at it is always possible to find a quiet corner. And one of the great things about this Club is its sociable nature – the Mayfly fortnight is a great time to meet your fellow members and join in the craic.
The Club is getting quite a bit of publicity at the moment, with a front cover and a lead article in Trout Fisherman. I have also heard that the long awaited BBC2 series “Paul & Bob Go Fishing” will be airing on 20th June at 20.00. This was filmed last year on Beat 5 and the Day Ticket water.
Just a final reminder that our Bugs & Burgers Evening will be taking place at the Locked Bridge on 29 June from 19.00 until dark. Orvis Bakewell will also be on hand to demonstrate their new Helios 3 rods, which by all accounts are the best on the market at the moment (and this coming from a Sage man!)
We invited Oliver Edwards for a day on the river recently to celebrate his 80th birthday. Oliver is still as keen as ever despite having had a knee replacement earlier this year. The EHK had a pork pie made especially for him by New Close Farm (verdict – OK but not as good as the pork pies from the butchers at Pateley Bridge) and we generally made a fuss of him. His friend John Glynn couldn’t join us but had given Oliver several tips as to where to fish, advice that Oliver put great faith in. So we had to take him up to Litton Mill to try these spots. As soon as we arrived Oliver had spotted a pod of very active fish below the Metal Bridge and, ignoring all our warnings about the silt, managed to sink himself up to his waist in thick oozing mud. Fearing for the loss of a National Treasure we were almost on the verge of calling the Emergency Services but in the end managed to haul him out, covered in mud but none the worse for it. He out-fished us all and it
was 21.30 before we got him off the water. I hope I will be able to put in such a full day when I