Friday, 31 August 2012

“A year for the fish, but not the fishermen”

I will save my thoughts on the season as a whole when we get to October. Perhaps the persitamt rainfall will give us a spectaculare back end to the season, targetting healthy brown trout that have survived the Summer floods and turbo-charged grayling that should be in fine condition. I read the Salisbury & District AC report today and this season was summed up really nicely: “A year for the fish, but not the fishermen”.

We have needed this rain. I can remember saying back in March and April that to address the low flows we needed months of rain. It seems we got it too and as I write, the chalkstreams are looking fuller and healthier than I can remember. Many of my local streams are running high and, although they clear quickly, they have taken a battering. I wonder what cost the consistently high water and constant flooding will have on fish stocks? It is great to see that silt has been washed clear of many gravel beds which gives the spawning redds a chance as we head into the Autumn. Sure, the forecast is for some better weather this weekend, but we but a stone;s throw away from the leaves changing colour the leaves starting to drop - a time of year I love.

However, perhaps the days of hot July and August weather has all but gone. I think back and seem to be able to recall better weather in September and October for many years. My hope is now that, with the rainfall we have received, that we get a decent winter - rain when it is expected and some cold, winter weather. Whatever the remainder of the season holds, I for onethink it would be good to see some stable weather.

Last week saw some significant rainfall which left me cancelling and postponing guided sessions again. Unable to get to the chalk, any fishing has been confined to stillwater and some super fit rainbows saved the day.

A pristine rainbow; great fun on a 4 weight

Between the rainy days, we were treated to some stunning interludes. It's scenes like this that remind me how fortunate I am to live in the West Country:

Blagdon lake, alongside the Mendip Hills

This month is a Blue Moon, and we are being treated to some very bright nights. Not great for sea trout, but certainly spectacular:

So, whilst the fingers are crossed for a good end to the season, I have started to think about targetting some grayling. Bugs are being tied and the boxes replenished as I have some exciting days fishing coming up. The Wylye, the Bourne and some small chalk streams in deepest Dorset are calling and I look forward to making the most of this Summer's watery offering!

I took a bike ride this evening, and checked out my 'info' water. I never fish this small stream, but it gives me an idea of what the main river will be like. Being just down the road, it is a useful way of checking to see if the river will be worth a visit. It is clearin nicely after the recent rainfall, although it remains high.

More to my suprise, was the damage that the last push of flood water had on the bank. This bankside damage may look untidy and messy, but it is the degradiation and shallowing of the banks that concerns me, not to mention the silt as a consequence further down stream.

Time for a settled period of weather please. I shalln't hold my breath,



The Jassid Man said...

It's been the same here in Sweden when it comes to the weather. As I'm typing this it's raining. Lets see what the coming weeks will look like.
Have fun fly fishing still waters in the meantime,

Swamp Yankee said...

the streams/creeks around SE Ct. USA have been sooo low, we have had an awesome summer for tanning, but not so much troutn. the last few weeks, it rained twice or so, with a little more this weekend. Gonna try it out this Labor Day Monday ! Good Luck the coming months

Bill Trussell said...

Love those patterns and the trout is awesome---the 4 wt. is one of my favorites fly rods.