Yorkshire Waters

DrRob

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Ey Up !
I manage finally to shake off the cabin fever and have a couple of day’s trouting on the Wharfe earlier in the week.
Sunday was my first outing of the new season, needless to say the first fish of the season to come to the net was a small grayling of about 6” taken on a Black Spider as I fished up a rocky stretch below Linton stepping stones. The Large Dark Olives were coming off the water in sporadic hatches due to the occasional cool breeze that appeared to come up after the sun disappeared behind the clouds but once the sun came back out again it was the cue for the olives and trout to come back up again resulting in a further 4 trout coming to the net all taken on the Waterhen Bloa before the pub called me!
I was lucky to get out again on Tuesday this time I started off below Drebley stepping stones a section where Ollie Edwards was filmed fishing upstream spiders in his latest DVD. Fortunately the conditions were more favourable for me as the water was at a perfect height for the upstream spider leading to me putting up a three fly cast consisting of a size 14 March Brown Spider on the point followed by a size 16 Black Spider on the middle dropper and a size 14 Waterhen Bloa on the top dropper. I started to work my way upstream picking the likely looking pockets where you just know a trout will be lurking. I must have made only 4 or 5 casts before the tell tale swirl at the surface led me to tighten in to a nice 13” brownie still showing the rigors of winter spawning with it’s lean appearance, with the Waterhen Bloa nicely hooked in the scissors I brought it to the net and then gently released him to put on a little more weight. Slowly I continued to make my way upstream casting my short line in to the areas around the rocks and allowing the flies to drift back a few feet with the current, before flicking them back upstream into another likely looking spot, (I’ve seen anglers stand in the same spot for 30 minutes or so not rising a fish, to me you have to be on the move constantly three cast to the same spot and then up to the next one!) A further dozen or so casts resulted in another trout taking my Waterhen Bloa from behind a large moss covered rock just on the edge of the pocket water, after a brief struggle he was in the net, a wild trout of about 9” and fighting fit. All told in an area less than 200 yards long and with only probably three quarters of that really fishable I managed to bring 7 trout to the net and missed another 3 due to not seeing the takes - probably due more to a lack of concentration than early season rustiness.
After a brief break for a cup of tea and a sandwich, i made my way up passed the stepping stones and on passed the gorge where the old Appletreewick footbridge once stood to a big pool often over-looked by the passing angler. After a few moments weighing up the options I realized that there was a thin strip of water tight in to my bank where there was a comfort zone for any trout. The pool itself is wide and very deep at my bank with two ribbons of water formed by a shingle island entering the head of the pool near my bank. As the main section of the current swept in to the bank it was bumped into by the second current coming straight down into the pool this was further enhanced by the nature of the bank which is a jagged deep wall of limestone. It’s not until you stand on that bank and look in to the water that you realise what looks like a foot of water from the over bank is really over six foot deep! As the two currents swept into one another and bounced off the limestone bank they formed a thin strip of water less than 9 inch wide and 6ft long where I just knew trout would be sitting. I cast my spiders upstream so that they landed just upstream and to the edge of this water knowing that the currents would drift the flies down and brush the edge of this slack water hopefully forcing a fish out to take a look. Needless to say first cast brought up a trout of about 2lb in perfect condition. Six more cast were made into and around this area resulting in three further fish being landed all within the 1 to 2 pound mark which for a river like the Wharfe these are good fish.
Following another break for a pot of tea I decided to move further upstream to where the main river is split into two sections by a island of trees, the main pool below the island where the river joins back up is very deep in parts with rocky ledges so not chancing a early season ducking I took the soft option and made my way up the narrow section formed by the island. I suppose this part of the river is never fished due to its difficult nature and the walk involved getting there, thankfully this early in the season the trees and bushes have no leaves on them so even with my 9ft rod I was able to improvise a cast that would enable me to work my way up this short section. I snipped off the March Brown and placed a ribbed Orange Partridge on the point, my theory being that the gold rib would add a bit of glint to the cast and prove more enticing (a theory probably more to do with the mind of the fisherman than the tastes of the trout) After about the forth cast I managed to bring up a trout but tightened to early and lost him, but this nevertheless improved my confidence for I now new there were trout in this little back water so I began to cast upstream with a little more earnest. Sure enough a few casts latter I was into a little wild brownie of about 7” which was followed by several more before I called it a day.
I think my total was somewhere in the region of 16 to 20 trout on what was only my second day of the season.
If I were to be entitled to offer any advice to anyone wishing to fish the upstream spider on northern rivers like the Wharfe it would be to study the water and keep on the move, if a trout doesn’t take the fly after three or so casts chances are his not going to take it at all, so by constantly moving and covering more water you increase your chances. Some people say you need a 10ft rod but to be honest I’ve never seen anyone using a rod of that length. A 9ft, with a 4 or 5 weight line is ample and armed with good number of say about eight patterns you are set up for the season. I personally shorten my leader to about 7ft which for me suits the length of rod and the most amount of fly line I have out is roughly about a rod length to a rod and a half length.
Tight Lines.
 
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Jangala

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A nice piece. Some good fishing and good advice. I'm visiting the Wharfe this weekend (Bolton Abbey) and can only hope I do as well. I was out on the Swale for my first trip of the year last Tuesday. I had about half a dozen fish in a 3 hour early moring session. They were all Grayling and it was just warming up (both temperature wise and activity wise) when I left.
 

GaryC

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May 21, 2006
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Yorkshire today

After reading Dr Robs piece I was inspired to take to the river.Arriving with all intentions of fishing upstream spiders I loaded the rod with the 4# and attached a set of 3. Fishing the deeper water initially there wasnt a fly to be seen nor a rise. A change to a 14 goldhead PTN on the point brought an immediate response and the first fish of the new season laid in the net 11" of lovely trout.
A cold wind was blowing directly upstream which helped with casting and presentation but not with comfort it was decidedly chilly.
Moving upstream with each few casts I ventured from 4-5 foot of slower water to 2-3 foot of faster streamier runs with the odd pool and connected with a better fish. After 15 minutes of action on a 2.6 lb tippet I landed a very nice trout of 17 1/2 inches, close to my best.

What a great start to the season thinks I as a quick photo on the phone then back it goes.
Continue upstream and after a couple of 8" smaller fish in the gravelly runs I put a larger version of the goldhead (size10) and dropped it along the far bank where the water was slightly slower and looked like holding a better fish.
Was I ever right, WHALLOP and 20 yards flew off the reel downsteam:eek: :eek:
20 minutes later and a beautiful wild brown of 19 inches lay in the net and I lay next to it shaking, my personal best and fat as a bacon hog.
Here it is

I fished on until I was bitter cold at 5.45 and had six smaller fish all of which were fighting fit and in very good condition.
What a fantastic fist trip of the season, lets hope its a sign of things to come.

Gary:D :D :D
 
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Jangala

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Two lovely fish. well done. Was this the Wharfe? What beat?
 

GaryC

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Wharfe?

Imago
Sadly not the Wharfe, a little beck thats getting an awful lot of publicity the Calder but id rather keep the beat to myself as theres starting to get a lot of traffic around here.
Gary
 

Jangala

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I was fishing the Bolton Abbey beat of the Wharfe on Saturday and Sunday. Had plenty fish up to just over the pound on a variety of nymphs, spiders and drys. The weather was quite bright, but windy which made fishing a little dificult and quite cold. However, it didn't keep away the hoards of tourists even this early in the year! There was a decent hatch of LDO's both days in the early afternoon with a reasonable number of fish rising. Unfortunately many of the fish are still very lean and dark after spawning, but it was good fun all the same. Best fish was around a pound. No comparison with the lunkers on the Calder! But on the other hard the scenery is better; and the smell.
 

DrRob

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I had a day on the Ure yesterday at Hawes, the weather was great apart from the rather stiff breeze comming up the dale. Spent the first couple of hours fishing the upstream spider but was having difficulty in hooking them as the water surface was bright and the end of my fly line was sinking under the surface at every turn. So i decided to change to the Kiwi style and started to hook fish more firmly and more often. I think i ended the day with six to spiders and about eight to the copperbead pheasant tail nymph fished under a Klink.
I didn't see one tourist or rambler all day.
 

Jangala

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DrRob said:
I had a day on the Ure yesterday at Hawes, the weather was great apart from the rather stiff breeze comming up the dale. Spent the first couple of hours fishing the upstream spider but was having difficulty in hooking them as the water surface was bright and the end of my fly line was sinking under the surface at every turn. So i decided to change to the Kiwi style and started to hook fish more firmly and more often. I think i ended the day with six to spiders and about eight to the copperbead pheasant tail nymph fished under a Klink.
I didn't see one tourist or rambler all day.
You obviously know what your doing on the Dales river. I've never fished up in the Hawes area though I've often thought about it as I've passed that way. It looks like its more productive water than I thought, so I might have to give it a go. Were you fishing the Hawes water or the Wensleydale water? What size where the fish you were catching in that stretch?

I bought a season ticket for the Bolton Abbey water for the first time this year, so I'll probably be fishing there a lot in order to recoup my costs. I must say I've never fished a water with so many people around and I don't know quite what to make of it at present. On the one hand it's hardly conducive to a peaceful days fishing, but after a while you're concentrating so much on the fishing you don't really notice them that much and the fish don't seem to mind. So far though I'm a little dissappointed with Bolton Abbey. You hear quite a lot about it as the cream of Yorkshire fishing but I'd say so far the fish are much the same in size and abundance on the Swale. Certainly when you consider the price of the fishing and the crowds you have to put up with at Bolton Abbey I prefer the Swale, where you hardly see anyone else; either rambler or angler. I'd say the Swale is also more scenic and we have a bigger Abbey:D
 

DrRob

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I joined both the Hawes and Wensleydale clubs a couple of years ago as I felt I needed a change from Bolton Abbey as the tourists were getting on my nerves. The thing I’ve found with these parts of the upper Ure is you need a good level of water to be really in with a chance of a good day. I was fishing the area around Hardraw Beck and Hawes down to Burtersett which goes on to join the Wensleydale waters. The fish aren’t generally large with the norm between 7” to 12” although I’ve had the odd 2lb fish from the River Bain.
With regards to Bolton Abbey I decided to give up my membership when I was fishing near the pavilion one evening and tourists were still driving into the car park at 10.30 at night! This is at a time before they managed to get the barriers up and running so it might be better now.
The Swale around Reeth is beautiful stretch I’ve often walked around that area looking at the river enviously. I fished around there nearly 30 years ago with my father but none of it looks familiar now.
 

MickeyP Coolstreams

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Holmfirth
Hi Folks,

Just got back from a great afternoon spent fishing the River Colne around Linthwaite. The sky was blue and the sunshining with a pleasant upstream breeze, plenty of flylife with LDO's being the main course. After reading Doctor Robs post at the top of the page I decided to fish upstream spiders, as I'd not done so since last spring. To be honest I think I would have done much better fishing the duo, but sometimes it's not about how many you catch but more how you catch them. I managed 7 trout with the best being around 11 inch, but missed about a dozen with my reactions not being quite up to it, I guess I'm a little out of practice. Great fun though with most of the fish taking a Hares lug and plover on the top dropper, when I would have thought the Waterhen bloa on the point would have been much more appealing, well I suppose there is no accounting for taste with some fish.



Sorry about the quality of the pic but was a phone camera job, I must get a decent camera soon.

Cheers

Mick Pogson
 

tigermoth

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As a Lancastrian, it galls me to say it but... there is some simply wonderful fishing to be had in Yorkshire. I love the Ure up at Bainbridge, and the Bain, and Skirfare etc etc. But look - sorry "lewwk" east and there is some fine fishing there too. The Becks..... ahhhh. Roll on September eh MPC?
 

Jangala

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tigermoth said:
As a Lancastrian, it galls me to say it but... there is some simply wonderful fishing to be had in Yorkshire. I love the Ure up at Bainbridge, and the Bain, and Skirfare etc etc. But look - sorry "lewwk" east and there is some fine fishing there too. The Becks..... ahhhh. Roll on September eh MPC?
I'm afraid I must admit that I'm also a Lancastrian. Lancashire is a fine place, but the fishing doesn't really compare with what's available in Yorkshire. Like you say not just the wonderful dales rivers but even chalk streams in the east. I've still got a lot of exploring to do!:)
 

jamesw

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DrRob said:
The thing I’ve found with these parts of the upper Ure is you need a good level of water to be really in with a chance of a good day.
I fished the Ure above Wensley today and must say it is so low and crystal clear that it is like August! Very difficult fishing with a stiff downstream breeze. Had two fish and lost one, but as Dr Rob says it really does need some more water and a bit of colour before it fishes well.
 

DrRob

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I was out on the Wharfe at Barden today :) Managed to net a nice brace using the duo method

Before changing to just a single dry fly (Olive Para) as the fish were rising pretty freely in the warm sunshine. I'm still suffering from the end of my fly-line sinking despite changing the loop connector and sealing the tip of the line. I guess after 5 years! its time to change the old girl :)
The breeze picked up in the late afternoon stopping most of the action to the dry fly but not before i had a few more to the net.

I switched to the upstream spiders for the last hour or so picking up a couple on the Waterhen Bloa and missing many more :( The Wharfe is in perfect nick at the moment and the fish have over come the rigors of spawning and are in beautiful condition.

The beats i've fished in the last few days haven't been stocked yet so the season holds some promise :)
 

MickeyP Coolstreams

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Hi Rob,

Great looking fish, sounds like I might have to get up to the Wharfe one day next week.

And I think another trip to the West Beck might be in order come September Tigermoth.

Mick Pogson
 

Jangala

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Fished the Wharfe at Bolton Abbey this Friday and Saturday. Lovely weather on both days with good numbers of fish rising to hatches of LDO and midges. Plenty fish coming to the net, particularly on the duo. The river is low but fishing well. However, I am concerned that this beat is a difficult one to learn as the number of rocks being thrown in by tourists may lead to significant changes in the course of the river:) :mad: . In fact if they carry on the way they were last weekend for a few more weeks I'm worried they may fill the river in completely:eek: :D . However, the fish don't seem to mind and I'm getting used to it as well.
 

Jangala

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Had an afternoon on the Swale on Monday. It is very low and clear so that a long line is needed in most places to avoid scaring fish. There also looks to be more algae in the river that usual for this time of the year, which is probably a result of the low water increasing concentrations of nutriets. In spite of all the rain in the winter we are going to be needing some more soon if the fishing isn't going to suffer.

There is a lot less fly life than the Wharfe and only a very few LDO's were around during one brief hatch; which did bring the fish up and resulted in a couple of trout on a dry hare's ear. In some ways this is my least favourite time on the Swale as the holidays, start of the season and higher water levels bring out the most other anglers. I saw 2 other anglers on this trip, which is a lot for this stretch. You can tell it has been fished hard recently as normally productive pools were reluctant to yield fish and I had to search for out of the way spots to get many fish.
 

DrRob

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Just got back from a day on the Wharfe. I fished the upper reaches above Burnsall early in the morning before moving downstream to Drebley after lunch. The water is gin clear at the moment and quite low for the time of year making the fishing tricky to say the least. I started off the proceedings fishing the duo method into the likely looking spots around Loup Scar,

managed to bring a couple of trout around the 1lb mark to the net before I started to hook into a few grayling, so I decided to leave this beat and give the grayling some rest bite for the spawning to come.

Moving down to Drebley I noticed the water was over the stepping stones a sign that water was being released from Grimwith reservoir, remarkably even in this high coloured water the odd trout was coming up to a sporadic LDO hatch. I picked up another couple of trout close in to the bank on upstream spiders before packing it in for the day.
 

jamesw

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I had a couple of hours on the Swale below Catterick Bridge today. As Imago says, it is low and clear and there is quite a bit of algae already. There was no sign of fish and very little fly life, but after about 15 minutes a speculative Klinkhamer brought up a nice brownie of about 11 inches. I did hook and lose another smaller fish soon after but generally things were very quiet, in spite of trying a variety of methods.

I fish a number of Yorkshire rivers (though seldom the Wharfe) and have noticed that the Swale's fly life seems poor compared with the Nidd or Ure, for example. I don't know why that should be - perhaps it's more polluted?

I was approached by a chap asking whether I had any hooks to spare. He was apparently trying to teach his young son to fish. He had brought rod, reel etc but forgot the hooks. I guessed that probably they wouldn't have a permit, but the lad was only about 4 and looked a bit upset, so I stripped the dubbing off a couple of my more tatty flies and handed them over. I didn't have the heart to tell him they were barbless!
 

ArcticFoxFly

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Keighley, West Yorkshire
My father and I fished at Buckden on the R. Wharfe for the first time some weekends ago. The weather was fine, a damn cool breeze though which froze my hands! The water was really clear. Fishing worm my father caught 3 Brownies on the bottom as he was ledgering (with split shot). And I caught nothing, not a single bite. I was using the same method as him and fish were in every pool and I still caught bugger all.

I fished it last weekend and the weekend before, I still caught bugger all. The water was clear again. I notice there is plenty of life up there and the fish were feeding on caddis larvae. I noticed a bullhead too in the shallows.



I went to Carleton, nr. Skipton on the R. Aire two weekends ago and I caught my best Brown Trout ever, a 13" 1.5lb trout. Also caught on worm on the river bed. I went there last weekend again and caught 3 12" Brownies. I took one of them. It is a nice river with plenty of rapids and deep pools. There were fish in every pool.
My father and I think the fish were just stocked as they were silvery. Maybe Skipton AA stocked, but we don't know. If anyone has any info on this then I would be pleased to here if they have stocked it.

Photo of 13" and 12" Brown Trout


Arctic
 

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