Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Meet The Neighbours

Last night I visited Nick Chilsolm of the Annan Fisheries Board. A number of Fisheries Trusts in the area all drain into the Solway Firth and we all fall within the boundaries of the Solway Tweed River basin Plan (Water Framework Directive). This 'mega' piece of European legislation will be hitting a river near you soon. Many organisations share concerns regarding the plans content and lack of ambition. However, here at ERT we feel it represents a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to work with others to try and address many of the catchment driven issues that directly affect our precious wild rivers. To this end I am trying to set-up a support group of other rivers trusts, north and south of the boarder. This will hopefully create a forum where we can discuss best practice and issues and may even allow co-ordinated lobbying if things need to be addressed. The emphasis of the group would be to very much work in partnership with our colleagues at SEPA, Natural England and the Environment Agency. The other vital stakeholders in the mix are the myriad of other user groups including fishing interests and other access based organisations and groups who rely of healthy rivers.

I will report on progress.

I finished the evening by sampling the wild trout fishing the Annan has to offer and was rewarded with a fabulous 2lb 4oz wild fish on a spinner pattern I had tied the previous evening. It doesn't come much better than that!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Super Volunteers!

I had the privilege of attending a water crowfoot planting day on the Lyvennet on Tuesday last week. The day is organised by ERT and is supported by a brilliant group of volunteers. We obtained our plants from the Morland Beck (lots of it!) and trans-located it up to the upper Lyvennet, where we have undertaken habitat works to let more light in and create conditions for this plant to flourish. We have developed a technique which involved planting out the fronds in small Hessian packets. The 'packets are then pinned to the bed of the river using large stones. This method has proved to be very successful.

Our volunteers are fantastic and are very enthusiastic supporters of our conservation work. They really should be classified as 'Super Volunteers' and I find working alongside them to be very inspiring. Volunteers are the lifeblood of a small charity like ERT and without them our organisation would be a poorer place. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude. If you would like to volunteer I can assure you we'd welcome you with open arms and you'd find it a fulfilling experience. We always need help at events, and with conservation tasks such as electric fishing, balsam bashing , crayfish surveying and transplanting water crowfoot. Contact office@edenriverstrust if you'd like more details.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Eamont Blues

Monday evening saw me and a friend visiting the Eamont for the very first time. We targeted the Yanwath area on a Penrith AA day ticket. This section just about has everything, riffles, pools, over-hanging trees, smooth glides. If only we had managed to catch something the evening would have been perfect! There were some upwing flies hatching but apart from the odd slashing rise surface activity was almost absent. I think this was primarily due to a sharp drop in temperature and I'm sure things would have been better earlier in the day. I will be back!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Pride Before A Fall?

Full of confidence I descended on the Lyvennet last night. Conditions were perfect, however, 1km of wading and one small wildie had me somewhat scratching my head. On refection I would say the stream needs a flush of water to liven things up and that my tactics were a bit too crude for these very fussy fish. I also know that the beat had been visited that day by another angler...the farmer told me as I was packing-up...........typical! The great thing is the owner was very enthusiastic about the scheme and likes to see visiting fisherman on the river. He also let me in on a few secrets, and I'm keeping those to myself. The even better news is that the river was full of trout parr, which is very encouraging.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Spawning Lampreys

My second night fishing the Eden was a sharp contrast to the Trout Beck with a visit to the lower river at Warwick Hall. Although big the river here is a stunning piece of water containing salmon, sea trout and brownies. Unfortunately a weather front came through accompanied by a freshening wind, which made for a blank evening. However the the evening was made extra special as I witnessed several pairs of sea lampreys spawning in the river. (The attached picture shows one in the middle of the frame) The fly life switched-on with a short burst of sedges about 10.30 pm with good numbers of rising fish.....none to my rod! As I walked back to the car the evenings nocturnal residents, pipistrelle bats were making short work of last of the spinner fall......wonderful!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

My First Eden Wildie

After a great first day at the office I was well itching to get out and try for my first Eden wild trout. My chosen venue was the aptly named Trout Beck which forms part of the Go Wild Fishing passport Scheme. I completed my two tokens and started at the bottom of the beat. The evening was almost perfect, very warm with hatching mayfly and later a fall of spinners. The stream here can only be described as intimate and contains a variety of riffles, pools, tight bends and overhanging short....Wild Trout Heaven!

After a few changes of fly I eventually caught my first fish a delightful wild brown of about 10cm. This was made all the sweeter as it was the first to fall to my new 5ft6" cane rod, kindly presented to me on my last day at the WTT. I went on to fish through to about 9.30pm and a further two fish came to hand including a little belter of around 20cm.

What a great finish to my first day in post and I couldn't think of a better way to start to get to know the catchment. I'm so excited to be living in such a wonderful place and to be working with such a great organisation!