Contributed by Brian Kirkwood (01/02/2003)
August was another month of cool nights and varying water levels. There appeared to be a few more fish moving but a distinct lack of anglers trying to catch them.
I myself had moderate success with the dry fly (mainly Adams) late one evening near Trainriggs catching over a dozen fish the best being over one and quarter pounds. There was a lack of sedges this year but quite a few good olive hatches and pale wateries. I only fished four sessions in September owing to the poor weather and then my holidays (in Tobago...very nice but no trout there either!).
The one positive note was that by the end of this very poor trout season the grayling were beginning to show. On return from my holidays I found a river in good condition, mild weather and fly hatches right through October, November and December. I fished and caught the 'lady of the river' consistantly right through to Christmas mainly on a gold ribbed hares ear but also on dry and wet especially on waterhen bloa. They were not big fish but large shoals of half pounders which made a tasty breakfast for friends in the village.
I am writing this as the grayling season ends having fished most of January without much success. Even though the water was in good condition the 'ladies' seemed to have moved on. There were salmon showing in three pools up to this week and there were quite a few cormorants and gosanders on the river. I can only report seeing one mink all season.
Lets all hope March 15th brings the start of a better season after a year of foot and mouth and a poor 2002.