Friday, 25 March 2011

Eden Archive

Last year I rather rashly decided that I would start to compile an archive on the River Eden and its rich angling heritage, with the view of writing a book on the history of the fishery.

I have received information from a number of sources including a huge collection of newspaper reports from 1967 - 1980. I am also in receipt of the minute books of the then Eden Fishery Board from the period 1930 to 1951. A number of individuals and clubs have also provided some very interesting information, books and articles.

It's been an interesting read....and one thing for sure is there aren't that many new problems affecting the fishery. As far back as 1930 there were widespread concerns (and action) about the effects of cormorants roosting in the Solway Estuary! Pollution reared its ugly head all too often and the river board and fishermen seemed to have a real love hate relationship with coarse fish....from being classed as vermin in the 1930's to being promoted a worthy quarry in the 1960's. However only as far back as 1969 fishing clubs were still removing large numbers of dace 'at invitation' from various beats along the river.

I am still a long way short of enough material to start to compile the content of the book.

I am particularly interested in any catch records, photographs and stories of great fish hooked...lost or landed! The other gap I have surrounds some of the great characters and stories that must be associated with the Eden.

One chap I'm particularly interested in was a trout fisher called Ronald Mckillop who fished the river circa 1935-. In Carlisle AA's 150th Anniversary book there is a wonderful picture of young Ronald tying a fly by hand next to his beloved river....sadly Ronald was killed in a Spitfire in 1943. I plan to dedicate the book to the memory of this WW2 hero who made the ultimate sacrifice so that future generations of Eden fishers would continue to enjoy this wonderful fishery in freedom.

If you have any information on the Eden, including old photographs, etc...please do contact me at the Trust.

All proceeds from the book will be donated to both ERT and Combat Stress (an armed forces charity that looks after veterans with post traumatic stress disorder).

I only hope Ronald would approve?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Swift Trout.....

Well, after what seems like a very long, dark, wet, cold and grey winter...the 2011 trout season has arrived on Eden!

I took half a days leave today and fished my favourite beat on the middle river. Running at about '1ft on' the water looked trouty enough. However there was still a fair old push of flow through many of the pools and runs.

I opted for a trio approach. Tungsten bead Turkey Biot nymph on the point, Partridge and Orange on the middle dropper and Waterhen Bloa on the top dropper. After what seemed like an age I did connect with a 'Swift Trout' of about 1/2 pound (pictured above). Early season trout are not known for being shy and this wild little devil gave an account of itself that stockies of three times that size could only dream of!

At about 1pm a steady stream of LDO's started to drift downstream which did prompt some surface feeding. I switched to dry fly (snowshoe hare emerger) and rose two fish both of which I bumped off (too keen!).

Did I care? Not a bit!..... I was out on the river. It might have been raining, it might have been grey, but I found myself starting to look forward to the season ahead and all of the fly fishing possibilities that a spate river offers.

But its not just about the fishing. My best seasons are measured in terms of catching-up with old fishing friends, gallons of Kelly Kettle tea drunk , contented wet labradors , lazy lunchtime bankside BBQ's enjoyed and sinking more than a few pints of beer to celebrate red letter days!

I can hardly wait.........and I feel very lucky to be able to fish such a wonderful river.

Best of luck - wherever you fish - just as long as it's wild!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Wild Trout Weekender

17th, 18th & 19th June 2011....dates for your trouty diaries!

You are cordially invited to attend the inaugural River Eden ‘Wild Trout Weekender’.

In a bid to support important fisheries conservation and habitat restoration work on the river, Eden Rivers Trust and the Wild Trout Trust have joined forces to present a ‘Wild Trout Weekender’ fundraising event on 18th-19th June 2011.

In a nutshell, a range of beats will be offered throughout the entire system (competitive bidding basis) to be taken on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June. Prices range for £10 – 50 per rod per day. Some beats will also ‘rent out’ the services of guides, again with proceeds going to ERT / WTT.

The quality of the wild trout fishing on the Eden is truly excellent and it is hoped that the event will also raise the profile of the affordable and easily accessible association and private beats along the entire 80 mile length of the river. The event has been planned for June when the river is at its peak and the crème of the fishing is on offer......Cumbrian weather permitting!

On the Friday evening (17th) there will also be a themed Eden Fishing Evening event taking place at the Tufton Arms, Appleby. Tickets priced at £19.50 include a two course supper, guest speakers, and fly tying demos. There will also charitable auction of ‘Affordable Promises’ with items such as signed books, flies, fishing tackle and other sporting ephemera!

Guest speakers on the evening include:
Paul Procter on fishing the Eden, flies and entomology
Jeremy Lucas – Modern River Trout Fishing Techniques

The Tufton Arms Hotel will also be offering a preferential rate for fisherman and guests attending the weekend.

Further information on the event and the availability of beats / guides will be available on the ERT & WTT’s websites as of 1st April see;