Kirkby Stephen and District Angling Association

First Trip of the Season

Contributed by Ricardo (21.03.2012)

Had my first trip of the season to KS today. I took the day off as the forecast was for low winds and cloud cover which is normally ideal conditions. I was expecting good hatches, given that the last two days have been windy and the hatches therefore may have been poor, I thought that there would be plenty coming off today.

I arrived at 11am, parked by Musgrave Bridge and walked to my chosen starting point which I arrived at by midday. The water at KS is low and the fish easily spooked so there is plenty of sneaking about and walking very slowly is advisable to help spot fish. I was able to see a fish close to my bank which had risen a few times but first cast of the season was not successful...or the second or third..all with different flies, but drag did for me. Really I should have changed the angle but this would have meant a lot of faffing about. Eventually the fish which would have been 1.5lbs had enough and slipped off downstream.

Trout River Eden 2lb 1oz

It was now 1pm and a few LDO's and the odd MB were coming down and I was about to leave and go upstream to search for more risers when a Trout rose in the slow water between two rocks. By its rise form I reckon it would have easily gone over 3lb. Trouble was it rose maybe 5 times over an area of 5m x 3m so was almost impossible to pin down. Meantime I had my eye on another sizeable beast who was up more regularly. I left the first one and sneaked down the bank till I was opposite it. It was clearly visible in the middle of the river in no more than 12" of water. First cast, I lost sight of my fly but watched the trout who took the 'F' Fly with an audible smack. I struck and he careered about, jumping three times and in doing so gave me a good look at him. On the third jump the rod sprang back ....bugger!! Reckon he would have gone 2lb 12oz, possibly more.

That was it 15 minutes of activity and then it went quiet again with only very odd LDO's coming down with the (very) occasional 'oncer' rising.

Walking upstream I spotted another Trout again in very shallow water on a long pool tail and saw him rise once in 20 minutes of watching. He was on station though and I felt that he was on the lookout for food. Again I managed to sneak up on him and get him to take on the first delivery. After an initial 20m run straight upstream he came in fairly easily and I was able to net my first trout of the season! I measured him at 18" and 2lb 1oz so he was fairly light for his length but it is early in the season. I do have a photo but am not sure how to post them....oh just noticed the 'My Photos' thingy so will try and download it later.

Successful day? Depends how you put it. Certainly not in terms of numbers caught but then KS is not a 'numbers' stretch really. Given the hatch (or lack of it) and low water and the fact that there were four regular risers seen, 3 cast to, two hooked (both first cast) and one landed and both were over 2lb then I'm happy enough. Given a better hatch and more feeding fish I know I would have had more. What made me really happy was for a first outing for months I was able to shake off my casting 'ring rust' pretty quickly.

Rod was 10' 4 weight, leader was probably just over 16' terminating in 6x/3.75lb tippet. Fly was size 16 'F' Fly and also used a size 14 Paradun.