A month into the season and……. what a month it’s been. Without doubt the worst start to the trout season on my local rivers for some years.
Last year the start was glorious, fine sunny weather, the heat of the sun warming the water and encouraging the fly life to become active, and the trout.
This year it cannot have been more opposite, cold westerly and easterly winds, cold water, hardly any sunshine at all and the result has been virtually no fly life and virtually no rising fish. Only yesterday did the temperature rise for the first time and the sun come out. The end result of that was activity for the first real time this year. Many anglers were out taking advantage of the change, and as a result many fish were probably caught in return. For myself the 2 and a half hours yesterday morning were rewarded with some fine fish, but more importantly some actual activity, with fish starting to rise (still no fly life on the surface, but plenty ‘in’ the surface). A last it gave some sign that the slow start to this season may actually be catching up.
Up until yesterday it has been pretty soul destroying, many times wearing gloves to ward off the biting cold winds, and not a single rising fish to cast to. All of the aquatic life has been doggo, lying near the bottom and hardly moving in the cold, cold April and May water. Admittedly it has been possible to tempt out some fish on heavy weighted nymphs, but it hasn’t been exactly an enjoyable experience – wearing clothing in May more akin to that of the Arctic Circle.
This week has seen a fine start with temperatures yesterday reaching a heady 20 degrees, with today being the same. However the week will then plunge back to 12 degrees and rain, which can only mean a bit of a knock back to the local anglers.
The cycle may have already started however with the sunshine bringing in the warming of the water that is desperately needed. At last the trees and bushes have started to bud or even open up with fledgling leaves, so finally the aquatic fly life may now have something to live on, and the fish may start to show some activity higher up in the water. But it’s been late this season. A good test of what’s going on is the ritual stone turning. Very few nymphs crawling about at the bottom of the river, and some of the fish that I have caught are obviously over wintered and haven’t yet had the chance to replace their body weight. I only hope that there’s a dramatic change to this starting from now.
Looking forwards and being positive, the season really started yesterday. The warmer weather is hopefully now with us, and the heavy rain forecast later this week may help to clear out some of the sludge that has gathered since the winter (apart from the snow it’s actually been by dry and the rivers need a good clear out).
The forecast for the week is a heady 20 degrees today, light rain and 15 degrees tomorrow and heavy rain and 11 degrees on Thursday. I may venture out tonight.