River Seven, Yorkshire

Scant reward for hard work – but oh what a lovely river!


Wasn’t expecting much fishing action for the next few days, what with the daughter and new grandson staying. But what’s this – they are off to see mother-in-law and all I have to do is walk the dogs then I get a free pass. Brill. So it’s up to Spaunton on the North York Moors for a few hours on the Seven. The weather was not bad, touching 13C with a bit of sun and not too much breeze. The water looked almost unbearably wonderful:

Olives were coming off but no fish were rising when I got into the river at just before noon. First up I put on a couple of spiders, orange partridge and purple snipe. I really want to get confident with spiders but consistent success has eluded me. Same old, same old. After forty-five minutes without a touch I switched to a small hare’s ear with a 2mm tungsten bead. Another half hour in water like this, but still no dice:

So it was on with the 3mm tungsten hare’s ear, and lo and behold within four or five casts into a deepish pool there was a nice little fish on the end:

Came to a slower stretch where fish were rising, so I swapped the nymph for a small parachute emerger. Second cast and I was in:

Well, I was happy with that but despite covering several more rises nothing came to the fly. Two fish in two hours – it was hard going in tricky water:

I slipped on a slimy rock and genuflected clumsily; I don’t particulary mind a ducking but am terrified of writing off my non-waterproof camera.

Some more rises in the slower water:

but the fish were being canny. Back on with the lumpy nymph and shortly had fish number three on – I actually saw the take on this:

Covered more nice water like this:

and this:

Switched back to the emerger when I saw some surface activity in another languid pool. I had six or seven rises to the fly but nothing would stick until finally one did:

And that was it for the day. Three hours’ pretty intense fishing had produced four fish. Either the river hasn’t woken up yet or I’m even less competent than I thought I was. Actually I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. This river is stuffed full of little wild brown trout and a good angler would have had a hatful today. It’s clear to me that a heavy nymph can produce the goods, but I need to get to grips with how to fish it effectively. I find myself looking up French nymphing and 10ft 3wt rods, but I’m not sure how I would cope in the tight, overgown waters that I fish up here. Will have to ponder that one a bit more.

  1. Hi Simon, thanks for another great post. Shame the fish weren’t more interested, but completely agree about the river! If it’s any consolation I was out yesterday too on the Seven just above Sinnington from 4 to 6pm and I struggled as well. I had 1 trout about 8″ long (on a ‘jingler’ dry fly) and might have pricked one more fish on a heavy nymph. I swapped through various nymphs and spiders and also put on a small Adams for the few rising fish that I did see – no interest. I’m going to agree that it’s probably me……..

  2. Loved your expression ‘genuflected clumsily’. It sums it up perfectly.

    Like you, I desperately want to catch well on spiders but can’t seem to master it. Do you ever suspend a nymph under a dry as this may give you best of both worlds.



  3. Cheers Dave. Yes, certainly gave my knee a smack. I haven’t tried suspending a nymph under a dry but will have to give it a go if I continue struggling with the wets. That said, I have enough trouble with one fly, let alone two!

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