River Seven, Yorkshire

Low water, not many fish but happy with the new boots


By and large wading boots seem to me to be something of a rip off. The pricier ones cost as much as a decent pair of hand-stitched welted leather brogues and the cheapos fall to pieces after a couple of seasons. The last pair I went through were Greys – can’t remember the model. They came as part of a package with a pair of waders and they lasted a few seasons. I bought a cheap pair of Bisons off the internet, £50 I recall, and have been using them this season, but they’re a bit small so I decided to go down the home-made route. Henry Gilbey’s blog had the instructions, so I duly bought a pair of Dunlop work boots, £37.00:

And a set of 20 tungsten carbide studs, which with the attachment tool came in at £24.00:

You just screw the studs into the sole of the boot at appropriate intervals. It’s simple enough, and you end up with something like this:

My usual shoe size is a 9, these were 11 and fitted nicely. Anyhow, I gave them their first outing today on the stony bed of the Seven up on Spaunton Moor in the North York Moors National Park and they were fine. At just over sixty quid it’s not too much of a gamble and I get the Yorkshireman’s warm fuzzy feeling at the thought of potentially saving a few bob. We’ll see how they last.

Enough haute couture, let’s get to the fishing. A warm, bright day and unsurprisingly the water was low. The sun was up and the sky was blue. Here’s a view of the ridge of the moor from the river:

Usually you can only see the top block of the stepping stones, but today they were much more exposed:

As usual on this water it was the 7.5ft Burns 3wt with mrtrout 4ft furled leader and about 5ft of tippet. I started with a small black and peacock on the point and an orange partridge on the dropper. There weren’t many fish rising so it was a case of putting the flies wherever. Nothing happened for the first hour.

Last time out on this water I had some success short-line nymphing, so I swapped the spiders for a couple of hare’s ears, fatty on the point, titch on the dropper:

The clear water meant that the fish were spooky in the shallows, so I targeted whatever deeper pools I came across, like this one:

Which produced two fish in fairly short measure, both taking the heavier point fly:

As I worked my way upstream I saw a lot of activity in a shallower pool ahead:

so switched to a foam-headed emerger:

I covered several fish who weren’t interested, but finally curiosity got the better of one nicely spotted little critter:

I stuck with the emerger for the next half hour or so, but nothing was interested. I changed back to spiders with no success, chopped and changed with size 22 black gnat, pheasant tail, more spiders. Zilch. So it was back on with the heavy nymphs and into the deeper pools. This one looked promising:

Two or three casts in and the line gave a tic:

Once again it had taken the heavier hare’s ear on the point. Another two came out of the same pool:

I fished on for another 15 minutes or so, but that was the lot for the session. Half a dozen in around two and a half hours of fishing. I had dared to think I might have a few more than that, but I’m not unhappy. And my boots still seem to be in one piece.

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  1. Great write up as usual and lovely photos. Hopefully we are in for a spell of settled weather and improved fishing conditions. Worrying that the river was so low at this time of year. Similar situation on the Usk a month ago.
    Are you going to Scourie again this year?

    1. Thanks Graham. Agree the water levels are worrying – it was the same story last year and they never really got going. Fingers crossed that we get some consistent rain. Yes, looking forward to Scourie again, up on 16 June.

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