River Seven, Yorkshire

Seven magic


And on to one of the most exciting days of the season for me: the first crack of the year at the wonderful River Seven, a couple of miles west of Pickering at the base of the North York Moors. A magical river with a bit of everything – glides, riffles, pools, sand, gravel… everything you could want. We stock it with a few trout in one of the slower stretches of the water but by and large this is a wild trout fishery.

I took my trusty Chas Burns seven-and-a-half footer loaded with a three weight line. It was a bit chilly but bright and I opted for a size 16 emerger. Essentially a Klinkhamer-based pattern with a foam ball for the wing. It hangs nicely in the water.

I started at the bottom of the beat. Not the most interesting section of the water but some vague fisherman’s OCD in me says that the start of the season should be at the start of the water as it were. It’s a long, straightish stretch with a pretty consistent depth of two to three feet:


No bugs coming off and no rises; but against that I had a nice albeit nippy breeze behind me to help with the casting. After 20 minutes a small splash on the fly produced this little geezer who looks like he’d spent the last few weeks at Slimming World:


Well, a result because this time of year can be unproductive. Then at an outflow bringing a foamy flow  into the main river I connected with what turned out to be this modest grayling:


In short measure I had two more of similar size. Nice but would rather a trout or three.

I worked my way up towards the weir, which has a fantastically tasty looking pool:


But nothing doing. Carried on upstream along banks coated in wild garlic and daffodils and into some terrific looking water, such as this:


But could not tempt anything else. Still, what a fantastic day.

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