River Seven, Yorkshire

Off the mark at Spaunton (just)


Up to the top beat of the Seven at Spaunton Moor on a day that didn’t really hold out much prospect – cold with a biting little north-easterly. I was keen to give the spiders a go on this water with the 9ft 4 weight before the trees start to come into leaf, when things are likely to become a tad tight.

I put on a 4ft furled leader with 8ft of tippet and three flies: Stewart’s black spider on the top dropper, snipe and purple in the middle and partridge and orange on the point.

As I tackled up at the top of the hill the wind cut through my fleece and I was in two minds about whether to bother, but actually when I descended the steep field and got the water it turned out there was some shelter down there and the wind, although nippy, was manageable.

No fish were showing when I started at about 11.30am, so it was a matter of casting the spider team into any likely looking water where the trees allowed it and hoping for the best.

I plugged away for the best part of an hour and a half without a sniff. Then as I worked up towards this pool I spotted a couple of little rises about half way up:

I gingerly worked my way towards the topping fish and put the flies in roughly the right spot. Nothing happened for three or four casts, then the line tautened and I was into a nice little brown of about 8-9″. Slim but prettily spotted:

It had taken the orange partridge on the point.

And that was my lot for the day. I did see another couple of rises a few pools further up, but couldn’t tempt a take. So one nice little brown for a couple of hours’ effort in an unfavourable wind. No blank, so I’m happy and looking forward to the warmer weather and hopefully a bit more action.

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