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.

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  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!

  4. Hi Simon,
    great blog! love reading about your adventures! Thanks for the info on fishing at Sinnington…I had a couple of good afternoons there last week, both at the free stretch near the road bridge and also in the village itself (quite a good stretch available there too). Anyway, had 3 very small brownies but beauties all the same! I dont think there is a lovlier looking fish than a full colour wild brown trout…Thanks again for your adice, and like you the spiders dont seem to work for me either but its fun trying!!!
    Tight lines…

  5. Really pleased you managed to get on the river David – yes it is a really wonderful spot. Agree – size isn’t everything!

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