We knew it was coming, and when it arrived it arrived with vengeance. Sunshine in the summer? Surely not!! We anglers in the UK seem to be never happy with the weather and always complain about it. When it’s cold it’s too cold, when it’s wet it’s too wet and when it’s hot it’s far, far too hot. I wonder how many times in the year we actually say what lovely weather we are having. Not many I bet. What is wrong with every one?
I’m enjoying this hot and dry summer, following the long cold and wet winter we’ve just experienced. I enjoyed that as well actually, at least we didn’t get frozen over for weeks on end as we have done in the past. Far too many anglers are moaning about the lack of sport in my opinion, when searching out different venues and adapting to suit the conditions is all that’s needed.
So the water warms up and weed growth is prolific and the dissolved oxygen levels drop, resulting in lethargic fish that don’t feed all day long. Clay Lane at Mobberley has been hit hard by these conditions. The aerators have been running 24/7 for several weeks and the catch rate has dropped through the floor. Kieran and I have only managed 1 or 2 fish on each visit and we both actually blanked on one occasion.
The small Golden Orfe have been behaving oddly by stringing out in a long line, sometimes half the length of the pool swimming up and down.
When a trout did oblige with taking a PTN on the edge of the weed, it was a tussle to get it out before it headed into the thicket. I lost a few in this way and so I encouraged Kieran to bend into the fish and lift up as quickly as he could.
Our latest visit produced only 1 trout for me, but Kieran was having fun casting and striking at the little Orfe as they darted towards his tiny PTN. He had several and found it a bit of fun.
With Ponds and Reservoirs too warm and the rivers running very low, there are always alternative reliable venues available – the Chalk Streams.
I booked a day on the Warwickshire Avon with Tim Sawyer as my guest. Tim, the son of the legendary Frank Sawyer, the inventor of the Pheasant Tail Nymph was a great fishing buddy to have for the day. We spent more time chatting about his father and himself as a boy than we did fishing. He parted with many tales of his fishing experiences with Frank from the days when he would sit on his father’s shoulders as a 3 year old fishing, to the day of Frank’s untimely death on the river bank.
The river Avon is a lovely stretch at Upavon providing challenging fishing by wading. There are one or two spots where you can cast from the bank but is not really worth the day ticket price to do that.
Tim and I had caught about 10 grayling and trout when lunch time beckoned and afterwards Tim escorted my wife and I to the spot where frank died, a couple of miles downriver, and where Franks memorial bench is placed.
As we arrived the clouds quickly built up and we were soon caught out in the most horrendous thunderstorm you could imagine. We were all dressed in T shirts, lightweight trousers and trainers getting absolutely drenched. We decided to call it a day and make a run for it back to the car and return to our accommodation to dry out. Typically tropical weather. It was so funny to see my wife in a sopping wet T shirt with hair and make up streaming down her face. I wish I had my camera.
You’re going to have to wait for a full transcript of our conversations along with some previously unpublished written material of Franks in my book which will hopefully be completed sometime next year.
A return visit to Mulberry Whin on the Driffield Beck in Yorkshire was another session I had looked forward to for some while. Catch rates have been lower than normal recently with the bright sunshine beating down on the clear water, so my hopes of beating the 20 fish I caught last year was going to be hard going. My usual approach with a PTN worked well but I could only attract 9 Browns and 2 Grayling although all the fish were in the 2lb+ mark.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out later that my catch of 11 fish exceeded other recent catches and more surprisingly the other angler during the day blanked. I didn’t think that could be possible on a Chalk Stream.
I’m loving the summer.