We have had a fair drop of rain here today so the river is lifting off the bare bones condition its been in for a week or so. The forecast is for drier conditions tomorrow, but if rain continues overnight there may be just enough water to lift a few salmon up to Horton.
I received a wonderful email from a member who has just completed his first season on the river. This tells of considerable success with our wild brownies and tells me what was caught, how many and where they were caught. If all members supplied similar information we would soon build a very detailed picture of the fishery enabling us to make more evidence based judgements on there way in which the river is managed and developed.
So far this week the tally is hens nil, fox 2. So that’s two less to raid my hen house.
There was a very good turn out on Friday for the annual supper and everyone seemed to enjoy the event. We filled the dining room at the Crown after filling the bar and many pint glasses.
We have a sever fox problem here at present. To date I have lost 1 cockerel, three hens and a duck. All were taken in broad daylight either mid morning or mid afternoon. At first I found it hard to believe that a fox would venture close to the house in daylight, but now there can be no doubt that Reynard is to blame. I let the remaining poultry out as usual at 7.45 and all was well. At eight I went to the Tarn for half an hour and on return found myself short of a duck and a hen. I found the body of the duck minus its head at the bottom of the croft. The Fantastic Mr Fox is going to meet with a serious bloody accident.
The forecast gives no promise of rain for at least a week so salmon fishing is unlikely to be productive on a river that’s approaching bare bones. The Tarn too seems to be unproductive at present. Three members fished last week and all blanked. I have never known a week when fishing has taken place and no fish have been caught. Weird.
I’m just back from showing an enthusiastic prospective new member the fishery and assessing his suitability.
Spent quite a while watching the small flock of whooper swan that is catching its breath on the Tarn after arriving probably from Iceland. Wonderful sight.
Its been a day of frequent heavy showers and as a consequence the river is now pretty full. Too late for trout fishing which ends at midnight, but certainly good enough for salmon from tomorrow.
Its not been too bad a season for trout. I know from the many conversations that I have had with members old and new over the past few months that most weeks have delivered some decent fishing.
The Tarn remains an enigma. Some days offering wonderful sport and the next just sheer frustration. We now have a fixed kite flying over the Tarn in an attempt to discourage cormorants from using the place as a feeding station. It seems to be working at present because I have seen fewer cormorants since it went up. Only time will tell if the kite is a permanent discouragement or if the birds get used to it.
Responses to the supper invite are now rolling in and we should have a fair turn-out of landowners at the Crown next Friday evening. If you are a member and in two minds about attending why not come along. It’s always a good meal accompanied by some good crack.
Once again its been far too long since I last updated this blog. Sincere apologies.
The river today was in very good condition after overnight rain. It’s raining again now at 7.30 so conditions should remain good into tomorrow.
There is a planning application made by the Ribble Rivers Trust lodged with the YDNPA planners for the partial removal of Selside weir to facilitate fish migration in low flow and the natural distribution of spawning gravel. The Hon Sec has written to the planners on behalf of the Association supporting the application. We shall await the outcome with interest.
When fishing the Tarn or river do keep your eyes on the sky now and then. A red kite has been spotted locally. If it does approach the Tarn it will supplement the model kite that’s now flying over the cross wall in a further attempt at cormorant discouragement.
I understand that our local fisheries officer has been nominated by the Wild Trout Trust for an award. This is in connection with his work over a number of years in re-wilding the upper Ribble. We wish him all success.
I have been very busy recently recruiting to fill a vacancy at PBA so hence the long silences on this blog. Sorry.
There is not all that much to tell apart from plans to remove the weir at Selside. This is the barrier at the highest point on the upper river and has been regarded as an obstruction to both fish migration in low flow conditions and the distribution of spawning gravel. Now the Ribble Rivers Trust have submitted a planning application to the National Park planners seeking permission to remove most of the weir.
The Association is making representations to the planning officer supporting the application and we await her decision with some interest.
If this work results in more evenly distributed gravel and more fish then consideration may be given to taking out more weirs on the fishery. However, there is a very limited pot of money available for this work and it’s largely through the actions of Neil Handy that Selside is on the list. With several hundred in stream barriers on the Ribble – Hodder – Calder catchments some of which are major obstacles we have been fortunate in getting action on the relatively petite weir at Selside.
Despite recent dry weather the river is in fairly good nick as we approach the end of the trout season. The Tarn continues to give good sport to most visitors and it’s interesting to see how keen the last batch of brown trout are to take a fly.
Rather than me bang on about conditions here and other stuff here are a couple of comments sent to me recently by members. The first is from Alan M and he tells me that:
I fished the river for a couple of hours yesterday. It was too low really for salmon but I had 4 very nice trout and interestingly from off the rock at the entrance to the sewage works pool two sea trout-11/2 and 11/4 lbs – very definitely sea trout and pretty fresh. They were both almost in the same spot. It looks as though the good water we have had may have brought a few up. Alan
And, who is a new member, has……………….
A mixture of emotions. ..
I love my fishing, especially evening fishing after work. And last evening I had 7 bonnie brown trout from the Ribble. Fishing below the bridge at Horton in Ribblesdale. But.. I’m afraid the downside is our evening fishing is coming to an end. Light started to go around 8.10 and by 8.30 I was struggling to cross the river (fished the opposite bank to the car) in darkness. . Packing up back at the car by 8.50 .. complete blackness. It was a lovely still/ humid evening and a few spinners were in the air, the odd big’un among’em.. possibly Autumn Duns? Plus a few other smaller upwings.. just on darkness bats were darting up and down the river banks and over the surface of the river. . While Trout were rising for the very same spinners. . It was great to witness. .. but as I stood waist deep, there was a touch of sadness. .as another season’s evening fishing is coming to an end. Why haven’t I fished more often!! That was my 41st outing (to all waters) of the season. .. could I have fitted a few more sessions in???
I logged on to the Tarn webcams a few minutes ago and thought that rain had set in because of the disturbance on the water surface. A quick check out of the window revealed no precipitation and a closer look at the camera image showed that the disturbance was caused by fish rising to feed. The whole of the Tarn was alive with feeding trout. It is very warm, still and overcast so possibly ideal fly hatching conditions.
It just shows that our Tarn trout do rise when the mood takes them although the mood does not seem to take them that often.
A reminder that there is no legal right for canoeists to be on the river on the fishery. To do so they would need the permission of each and every riparian owner as well as permission from MAA. This will never happen, so if your quiet musing by the river is disturbed by the plastic boat brigade you do have the right to ask them politely to leave the water. Gavin had his quest for salmon at the weekend seriously disrupted by a gang of frantic paddlers. Let’s hope that this is not something repeated too often.
It was inevitable that it would rain cats and dogs today because the first Saturday in September is always Horton show. It’s raining ever harder now and the river is rising to near flood levels. With dryer conditions forecast for tomorrow there may be decent salmon fishing conditions into the early part of next week.
Invites will soon be winging their way to members for the annual Hot-Pot supper. This will on Friday 7 October. Details will be sent by Claire.
Sheila D sent me a photo yesterday of a brown trout at the Tarn that looked as if it could swallow a cormorant. I know that there are some pretty hefty brownies lurking in the depths, but this one is the size of Moby Dick.
The last Tarn stocking took place on Saturday. A mix of brown and rainbow trout went in with a good few blue trout included with the rainbows. These were mostly just under the 2lb mark and looked as fit as a fiddle.
The exercise was watched intently by a cormorant sat on the rock just below the far cross wall. This blighter seemed impervious to our presence, loud noises and gesticulation. If it were not for the occasional flap of its wings I might have assumed that some kind soul had planted a plastic decoy just to wind me up.
A regular Tarn fisher has suggested to me that I should clarify a comment that I posted a few days ago about checking the stomach contents when gutting taken fish. The idea is to do this in the kitchen sink at home, not in the lodge or on the Tarn bank. I had not supposed that any member would gut their fish at the Tarn, but who knows?