Yorkshire Waters

Pritts Apprentice

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
521
Location
West Yorkshire
Hots the word, too hot for daytime fishing. The last couple of weeks on the Wharfe have been disappointing with either single fish or blanks predominant. Not much fly life visible either on the streams of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Foam slicks in the back eddies normally have plenty of victims trapped either dead or dying, but I have seen little evidence of this in the past few weeks. To fair there are some sedge over the water and sometimes a few spinners, other than midge not much else. I blame the amount of slurry that’s going on to the fields, visibly and going by the stench it’s a continuous practice. All for a big yield in producing more milk.

I fished a couple of evenings ago and it was surprisingly cool at 7pm in a freshening north easterly breeze. The water felt dead and produced nothing, typical August, but it would be nice to fish some big sedge. I had a rise to a silver sedge, but the fish decided it was not for eating.

A little more luck on a small, moorland stream I fish, has produced some small fish in extremely low water conditions, 6” and less in places. Providing there is flow and good tree cover/ shade I have caught well on the snipe and purple spider, in the surface film. Think it might be taken for egg laying sedge/ needle fly. The emerger has been less effective and the nymph ignored. If we get some rain, I have found a new little beck to fish, so will give that a go. Not sure who owns the water (probably a farmer), but it has a public footpath so it’ll only be half a trespass. There is another beck spurs off but that looks to be very private, judging by the signs and barb wire, so I will leave well alone. Doubt it ever gets fished, but it’s not the point, it’s on private land, so I won’t overstep (pardon the pun) the mark.

I fished the Aire, one evening a week ago. There was an old chap rolling a worm, but he hadn’t had much luck, but then he was fishing a rubber worm, after failing to purchase live ones. I had half dozen small Grayling and a small trout to spiders. Again it was a cool breeze from the North West and the water felt very quite, despite being a good level and clear.

It’s not been the best of seasons for me so far, but with luck it might change as we draw in to September. Next time out, I think I will take an old rim fly reel I’ve had since I was a boy. It would be good to get a strong fish on that old reel and hear it sing out again, funny how such a cheap little reel can bring so much pleasure. Hope everyone else is faring much better on the Yorkshire waters this month.
 

Pritts Apprentice

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Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
521
Location
West Yorkshire
All this rain is making for some fabulous beck fishing. A couple of becks very local to me have produced some stunning fish last couple of outings. These fish are fat and fighting fit and at 8” in length are big for my little becks, carrying no more than a foot of water. This morning I had 5 fish between 9am and 12pm on a gold headed nymph, fished almost euronymph style, hardly any fly line out of the rings as there is just so little space between pots and with the enclosing vegetation. It’s good when it comes right and there are many days of hard work before you have a gem.

Main rivers have been fishing poorer, for me anyway. In the high water I have been out with the heavy lures, and despite clear water, I m still not getting any interest. Canoeists have been out in force making the most of the high water conditions on the Wharfe. Last couple I saw going over some falls had me a little worried. They were very cautious in their approach, the first one over capsized and the second got through dryshod. They weren’t foolish but at the same time didn’t appear too confident.

Next month, the lasts month, so let’s hope for some good fishing, before the close of this very short and awkward season. I might try my hand on a Stillwater if we have a nice late September. I always enjoy a late season rainbow on an upland reservoir and not had much chance to fish one so far this year. Make the most of the last few weeks and at least we are getting some water now.
 

Overmiwadrers

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
404
Location
Yorkshire
Have to say that the becks and small rivers around my part of Yorkshire are fishing well to. The grayling stocks in one small river are looking particularly good , with lots of this years brood already growing well and the river producing plenty to 15 inches which are good fish for a small stream. Brownies doing well to

O M W
 

Pritts Apprentice

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
521
Location
West Yorkshire
I had a walk along the banks of the upper Aire this morning, between Bell Busk and Airton. What a fabulous stretch of water this is, very beautiful today in the sunshine, a princess of a river. The water was at the perfect height and had that typical Aire clarity, which to me is always slightly milky, I think it comes from the limestone. The access is very good along this stretch, threading though level meadow grassland, with only occasional low trees, lining the bank, the most you would need is thigh waders. The river width is no more than 15ft and the water runs shallow (avg. 1ft) however the sides, where the main current flows are much deeper (3ft). You could quite easily fish along rod and enjoy yourself immensely fishing dries, spiders or upstream nymph, all visual fishing in the clear water. This is historic water and was enjoyed by the North Country school of fly fishing a century and more back.

Alas, today there was not a sole to be seen fishing and not much evidence on the bank side to show its fished very much at all. This seems sad, however this is very private water and belongs to Bowland Game anglers I believe and so no day tickets and in a way this might be a good thing as it keeps the river pristine. Even so it was missing a fisher today, it just seemed right for the river. Having sung this little river praises, all was not perhaps perfection. I looked keenly for fish, but saw none, not one, no shadows, no rises, no splashes, nothing. There was no fly life over the water, plenty of cow dungs on fresh pats in the fields. There were no dippers, no king fisher, no herons, and thankfully no gooseanders or cormorant.

This was not a stretch of river that would be regularly fishable, it needs water, as it was today, otherwise being so shallow, any dry spell would quickly render it unfishable. Below Bowlands water, Coniston Cold hotel have a nice stretch of day ticket water, slightly less accessible but eminently more fishable, as it runs, partway anyway, between wooded banks and is deeper overall. Think I might have to give it a day sometime in the spring next year, perhaps early May.

Returning to the car and changing my boots for slip on shoes, in between chatting to a black cat, a large sedge fly alighted on my shirt sleeve. A great meal of a fly, a few of those on the water might well bring forth the fish, methinks.

Finally, spent Friday afternoon on a new, larger beck, not more than a few short miles from home. A magical piece of water, lots of dippers, heron and a sparrow hawk working over the water and yes a hatch of olives and fat brown trout rising. Not easy to tempt, but a well presented size 20# parachute duster was the downfall of a few greedy takers who obliged me. A lovely height of clear water, flowing between big boulders and down slipways of smooth gritstone, bubbling runs, smooth glides, deep pots and swift, foamy currents tucked into dark banks of stone and shale, often with a long drop to the water. Ivy stems hanging down 30ft to trail in the water, made this feel like the Amazon in places, particularly with shafts of sunlight streaming through the canopy. 7ft rod country, but you could have fished an 8ft.

Well only 3 weeks remain to the end of season, I best get back on the Wharfe for a few more sessions before time runs out or the Barbel of the Swale prove to irritable through September.
 

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