It’s good to see a real winter at last after the rather pathetic excuse we had last year. I thought that you might like to see conditions at the Tarn this afternoon – ice with a dusting of snow. Perfect conditions for char if not rainbow trout. That should give the weed something to think about.
We had a great morning yesterday when ten members arrived at the Tarn ready to attack the lodge and put it in condition to survive another Ribblesdale winter.
One team demolished the rotten cladding on the boathouse and replaced this with new timber provided and painted by Michael B. A second group stripped and painted the window frames inside the lodge whilst a third team did the same work to the outside. Neil did some upgrading to the electrics that power the cameras and charge the boat battery. The installation should now be much more robust. A final pair wrestled with a frying pan and kept everyone liberally supplied with hot drinks and bacon and sausage butties.
The weather was stunning. Clear, windless and not too cold. It was a working party as of old; good company, plenty of crack and everyone doing their bit to make the morning a great success.
Here are some photos taken by Mike H.
That’s the end of another fishing season and one during which i have failed miserably to keep up to date with this blog. Hopefully next year I should do a bit better because the archiving project that’s taken an extraordinary amount of my time over the past two years comes to an end in March thank God.
Its been a pretty good season. Lots of fine healthy trout in the river, possibly the best ever season for salmon catches and a swan back on the Tarn.
Thanks to the efforts of Council we now have equipment to tackle excessive weed growth in the Tarn and a lot of new stiles have been built along the river up to Horton.
We also welcomed a number of new and enthusiastic members with more lined up for next season. The Guardian and Yorkshire Post both ran articles about our success in re-wilding the river, helping to encourage natural recruitment of brown trout.
It would be nice to have a calm, cold winter to encourage spawning and kill off some of the Tarn weed. We shall see.
After a veritable deluge has fallen today we now bask in glorious evening sunshine. The river is in majestic flood and has submerged most of the pastures and meadows below Horton. By tomorrow morning we should have perfect salmon water and a lot of migrating fish.
Well that’s it for the 2017 trouting season. After a wet summer the river goes into the closed season in very good condition containing a high number of wild fish and some cold weather around Christmas should encourage these to breed like rabbits.
What’s not in such good form is the crayfish population in the Tarn which appears to have crashed over the past eighteen months. Council at their last meeting agreed to put in place the groundwork to restore this important element in the Tarn’s ecosystem and to this end PBA will be installing tomorrow a large number of traps in the Tarn to pin down exactly how many (if any) crayfish remain. The traps will remain in place until the weekend so if you are planning to fish between Wednesday and Sunday please try to avoid the traps.
I understand that there has so far been a dismal response from members to the Hot Pot invite. Whilst I’m quite happy to spend all evening chatting to local landowners I can do that most days so a few other MAA members attending would be really nice. It’s a good opportunity for new members to meet and chat to the farmers they may bump into whist fishing.
Those of you with access to the Tarn webcams may have noticed that a swan has returned to the Tarn. Its been almost 18 months since we lost the last pair and the water has seemed strange without a resident cygnus. I well remember my first sight of the tranquil bowl of Newhouses Tarn when we arrived here from the south almost 20 years ago and I thought how wonderful it was to see the water set off by two majestic and serene swans.
I very much hope that our new arrival decides to stay and finds his or her self a mate.
It looks although we are in for a drier spell over the next few days so salmon fishing will be more of a challenge. Still, its not been a bad season so far with over 12 catches to date that I know of so the tally is likely to be quite a bit higher.
Those of you who keep an eye on the Locks weir webcams will see that the gauge is showing 50cm of water so right smack in the middle of decent salmon water.The weather here is a mix of sunshine and heavy showers with a light westerly breeze. Not impossible conditions for fishing.
It rained a lot last night and by early this morning the river was in flood. Consequently all the timber resulting from the removal of the tree under New Inn bridge has now been washed away.
Great water today for salmon fishing and if the river continues to fall overnight there should be some wonderful trout fishing tomorrow.
We are aware of the return of cormorants to the Tarn and plans are afoot to try to deter these predators from fishing.
Watch out as you cross Newhouses ford. The cobbles are being lifted, raised and relaid in sections which leaves a ridge at the leading edge of the replaced section.
I went down to New Inn first thing this morning and cut up the tree wedged under New Inn bridge. Most of the brash went down river on the flood that was still running. The larger logs are stacked under the west arch on the gravel bank and will go with the next full spate unless someone takes them for firewood. A really fun job, but I could have done without the audience standing on the footbridge making smart-ass comments.
The river really is in stunning form. Just a touch of colour, cold and fast flowing. Perfect for growing trout and for salmon seeking out the spawning gravels. It really is odd that so few members fish the river especially when conditions are so good.
Those planning to fish the Tarn next week should be aware that the cobbles on Newhouses ford are being reset starting on Monday. Contractors have told me that they will maintain access at all times, but expect some minor inconvenience until Thursday.
Whilst on the subject of the Tarn we are stocking for the last time this season next Saturday. Fish should arrive at around 10 am so it’s best to give the new arrivals a while to settle down before fishing.
A lot of rain fell in a short while earlier today and has brought the river to a level where a good flow is running under the west arch of New Inn bridge. This minor flood has also stripped a large bough from a tree at the top end of the garden pool and deposited it just above the bridge. I’m working tomorrow all day so will go down on Thursday morning and remove the timber to the bank. That’s provided the river is not in flood again.
There is a short piece about Horton school on More 4 at 9 this evening. A bit like bolting the stable door after the horse has departed, but nice to see familiar faces on TV expressing sensible yet passionate views rather than the usual “celebrity” tripe.