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September Eden

Published on September 6th, 2013 by

wild Eden trout plume tipThe river has been spectacular for the last few weeks!  Although the late summer/autumn hatches have not yet been as they can be (is this a result of the increasing siltation?), black gnats, or one of the various species to which we ascribe this name, have been a daily occurrence, and sometimes drifting down stream in rafts.  Both trout and grayling seem to feeding relentlessly on these very easy targets on the surface, to the preclusion of all else.  I have even seen pale wateries drift by unmolested, which is particularly unusual.  The grayling have re-appeared and now feature in most catches.  In my last four sessions on the river, I have had seven grayling, with four of these over 40cm, along with 30 trout between 25 and 50cm, every one of these to dry fly; either heron herl plume tip or, mostly, the black plume tip (both patterns in a size 19 or 21).  It has been methodical fishing, requiring good, clean turnover, and accuracy, because the better trout and all the grayling are locked onto the feed lanes and will not budge very far (and the grayling will not move a centimetre!) from their feeding stations.  It has been so good to find the grayling again and perhaps the best finding has been two areas where the populations of juvenile trout seem to be recovering.  One of these is high up the Sandford section of the Appleby waters, and the other is at Bongate weir.  Both of these areas are fast flowing gravel sections and it is this comparatively fast flow, I suspect, which is the reason that the juvenile trout can thrive here.  In so many other areas of the river, where the flow is slower, silt from the wrecked landscape of the river-bordering farms, is having its devastating habitat effect. Juvenile trout, and particularly grayling, along with numerous invertebrate species, have been devastated by this.  It is enormously refreshing to be able to be positive about the Eden.  We must all hope that the autumn rains flush through much of the silt that the glorious summer has left and that the juvenile grayling also re-appear.

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