Up to Pickering Beck for a periodic sampling of the invertebrates as part of the national Riverfly monitoring initiative. The three-minute kick sample produced a lively bag, with good numbers of freshwater shrimp, heptas and cased caddis. In all there were around 300 bugs of the six species that we monitor, including a brute of a stonefly nymph which must have been a good two inches long. The water remains healthy.
Then a quick drive across to Sinnington to have another crack at the grayling on the Seven. The water was looking ok, albeit up by about a foot on normal levels. I made my way to the spot where I’d nabbed a couple last time out:
Tackled up the 9ft 4wt with a braided indicator on around 3ft of tippet, finished off with a size 16 goldhead hare’s ear with an orange tag and 2mm bead. I made a somewhat ungainly entrance into the water by sliding down the bank on my backside (and hoping to God that the water wasn’t deeper than I thought). I flogged away for fifteen minutes or so without a touch and realised that the nymph wasn’t heavy enough to reach the bottom. So rooted around among my meagre collection of weighted flies and found a larger-beaded goldhead PTN. That did plummet pretty impressively, but then I noticed that the indicator was being taken under too, so clearly not enough tippet. Fixed that but to no avail. Not a touch after half an hour or so.
Made my way upstream towards the weir, where there is an outfall from the adjacent trout farm. The turbulent water here holds grayling:
But none were playing ball today. Just a couple of out-of-season trout. Bother. Normally one would be delighted to see these fish, but at this time of the year your heart sinks as you almost avert your gaze while you unhook it and release it with a ‘sorry old bean’.
Up to the weir pool, where the water coming over the top looked impressively angry:
No grayling, got a trout (sorry!) so had little option but to call it a day. Not before the spool on my reel decided to detach itself and plop into a foot of fast-moving water. Fortunately it got wedged on a submerged branch at my feet and didn’t go dancing off downstream with me frantically hauling in line. So no damage other than a wet sleeve.
To compound a rather unsuccessful outing, when I took my waders off I noticed a wet patch on my right knee. Oh well, waders now packed up and ready to be posted tomorrow to Diver Dave in Aberdeen for a patch or two.
Meanwhile, I’ve had a few short sessions with the maggot on the Derwent down the bottom of the field. Not too successful. A handful of tiddlers like this:
with the odd slightly better one:
I did get one belting twang on the quiver tip, and when I struck was met with solid resistance. A seriously good fish, but after about five seconds the line went limp: snapped half way along the hook length. Never mind.
So not the best of weeks. But things will improve…