Contributed by Tom Hird (01.10.2002)
I have been a member of Kirkby Stephen Angling Association for six years and thoroughly enjoy 15-20 angling days throughout the season (depending on weather and "her indoors"). After the tragedy of 2001, I like other members looked forward to the 2002 season with a view that there would be plenty of fish around. Overall I found the season poor, weather-wise and a lack of decent sized fish.
I fished early in the season, when I caught a few nice brownies of 9-11" (returned) on deep nymphs and North Country spiders (Tungsten bead G.R.H.E, Black and Peacock Spiders, Partridge and Orange). These were caught mainly up-stream of Great Musgrave bridge.
I hardly fished mid season, but visited on the Saturday of the August bank holiday. Around 11am a super rise was occurring in the pool down stream of Great Musgrave bridge. Light tackle - AFTM 4, small "para" hackled dry olives and I caught and released 16-17 brownies, however, after the third or fourth fish, it dawned on me that they were all about the same size 8-9"! I found out after the season finished that the association had stocked some fish around that time, not quite "wild" fish, but a very pleasing day.
Any way, I look forward to the coming season with tightlines and beautiful countryside and usually only myself on the river during the day.
NB.. New Years resolution is to keep a log of my fishing on the river.
There was plenty of small fry around the river, possibly the same quantity as previous years.
In past years (certainly2000) I caught Grayling around Great Musgrave and Warcop, alas none this year.
Daytime rises were not common, but fly life seemed to be quite good.
The number of birds along the river seems to have decreased.
Otters are present around Warcop. (I will tell you the story at the AGM)
I am also a member of Appleby AA, and Fishing conditions are similar.