Kirkby Stephen and District Angling Association

Bank Holiday Monday

Contributed by John Garner (29.08.2005)

Started upstream of Warcop Bridge on Monday afternoon and found one fish rising regularly just upstream of the shared water. Took it after 5 or 6 casts on a size 16 Sparkle Dun. About 12 inches and fit as they make them, 3 times it took to the air before I slipped the net under it. After releasing it I wandered off upstream and noticed that the river seemed to be rising slightly and beginning to colour up. As there didn't seem to be anything else rising I wandered back to the car and drove up towards Kirkby Stephen in the hope that the Belah could be bringing the colour in.

The river looked OK at Musgrave but I carried on up to Eastfield Bridge and fished upstream from there.

There were 2 fish rising steadily in a bit of slack water below the first bush upstream of the bridge. A few minutes later the Sparkle Dun claimed its second victim of the day. Only 8 inches but, again, a fit little fish. After releasing it I managed to prick the other fish and put it down.

It wasn't until well above the falls that I found any more fish rising. In a gap between the trees there were 3 or 4 fish were taking something in or just below the surface. Fish number 3 soon came to the Sparkle Dun, perhaps more by chance than anything else. I definitely couldn't see any upwinged flies coming off. I had a bit of an epic getting into a position (involving laying down and sliding below branches onto a bit of a ledge just above the water) where I could get the net under it and spooked the rest of them. Another fish just above 12 inches and promptly released to fight another day.

A few yards further up there was another group of fish rising steadily, again to something unseen. After a while trying to work out how to get a fly to them I worked my way under low branches until I could sit, uncomfortably, just above the water. The fish continued to rise - OK so far. I'm sure that the method of casting that followed is not in any text book and I'm sure I couldn't describe it but suffice to say I managed to get a fly onto water and after a short time took fish number 4. Another fish about 12 inches and, again, released.

The Sparkle Dun by this time was now just a Dun having had its sparkle removed by fish number 4 and, guessing that the fish could be taking Needle Flies, I tied on a size 16 F fly (with a black silk body). The remaining fish continued to rise but after a few more minutes the cramp set in and I had to move.

Back at the spot where fish number 3 was taken there were fish rising again. The fifth fish came after 20 minutes of perseverance with the F fly. Another fish of about 12 inches, another epic getting it in the net and another one released.

At this point I started to regret making promises to be back early but decided that 5 wild fish, all in perfect condition should be a good enough way to spend a bank holiday . Nothing massive but a hell of a good afternoon.