Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Fishing Reports -

WITH VERY lit­tle rain in May, river lev­els dropped to their low­est for some time and with a record amount of sun­shine, too, most an­glers stayed away from the river for most of the month. There was a brief spell of rain around the 16th, re­sult­ing in a rise to 3 ft, and a re­peat rise two weeks later, but both of these rises were short­lived and very few

an­glers got the chance, or made an ef­fort, to wet a line. The first salmon of the sea­son from the LDAA wa­ters was caught on the first of these rises by Alan Ward, and a cou­ple more were re­ported from the river on the sec­ond rise. I made three out­ings for sea-trout dur­ing the month but found it hard go­ing in the low, warm water. Fish were trapped at Forge weir on both rises, with a num­ber of salmon to 20 lb and sea-trout to 8 lb en­ter­ing the cages. The pres­ence of these big fish is con­sis­tent with ob­ser­va­tions made at Forge weir in re­cent years and serve to re­mind us that there re­mains a healthy late-spring run of salmon which, given water, will al­ways move quickly through the river sys­tem. The prob­lem for us on the Lune is that very few an­glers ven­ture out be­fore June 16 and were it not for the fact that a few are caught in the traps or recorded go­ing over the coun­ters at Forge weir every year, the con­clu­sion based on an­glers’ re­turns would be that the Lune spring run was now ex­tinct! Those an­glers who do go out in spring con­tinue to re­port a good num­ber of size­able brown trout, with the best re­ported from the river in May a 22-inch fish caught on fly be­low the bridge at Rig­maden. Te­bay An­glers have also pro­duced a good num­ber of fish to 3 lb for an­glers fish­ing teams of tra­di­tional wet-flies. That wily an­gler, John Ri­ley, has had a num­ber of them to 2 lb 8 oz from the pools above Birk Beck. Pol­lu­tion of the up­per reaches by farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties is a grow­ing con­cern and as these ar­eas sup­port much of the river’s ju­ve­nile stock, the view is, rightly, that these “pol­lu­tion in­ci­dents” can have a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect. The num­ber of ob­served in­ci­dents ap­pears to be on the in­crease and there ap­pears to be an un­writ­ten pol­icy of “pol­lu­tion by stealth” in op­er­a­tion – so long as just a lit­tle slurry en­ters the water con­stantly, it doesn’t mat­ter how much the to­tal is, as it is un­likely to be no­ticed or re­ported un­less there is an adult fishkill. These is­sues were dis­cussed at length at the last Lune Rivers Trust meet­ing, at which the EA were present. Un­for­tu­nately, as it stands the EA have ad­mit­ted they don’t have the re­sources to po­lice the wa­ters as they used to, nor to deal with every re­ported in­ci­dent. The con­clu­sion is sim­ple: it’s up to us as an­glers to po­lice our wa­ters and to record and re­port what we see. Re­ports from neigh­bour­ing rivers in­di­cate this prob­lem is not unique to the Lune and to quote Fred Higham (Rib­ble cor­re­spon­dent) in last month’s T&S, “Any pol­lu­tion seen on the river should be re­ported im­me­di­ately to the EA on the emer­gency num­ber - 0800 80 70 60. It is vi­tally im­por­tant for an­glers to do this as we are the eyes and ears on the river these days and usu­ally the first peo­ple to spot any prob­lem and have it stopped.” As I write this re­port, at the be­gin­ning of June, rain is forecast in suf­fi­cient quan­tity to give an­other rise in water. The good thing with this is it comes just as the main run of sea-trout is about to en­ter the lower beats of the river and I will al­most cer­tainly be out night-fish­ing tonight and over the next week on the Lune Rivers Trust’s beats at the bot­tom of the river. The Lune­side beat, where I served my night-fish­ing ap­pren­tice­ship many years ago, should also fish well from this point on. So, too should the LDAA beats, where late June and early July are usu­ally the peak night-fish­ing weeks. His­tor­i­cally, the main run of big fish en­ters the es­tu­ary over the first two weeks of June and these fish should, by the time this re­port is pub­lished, be mak­ing their pres­ence known in the mid­dle and up­per reaches. I’ve had some fan­tas­tic sport at night fish­ing the Mid­dle­ton and Strangerth­waite beats in late June and July with my stan­dard team of 1 in plas­tic tubes (black-and-yel­low Moon­light Shadow) on the tail and a Peter Ross “lu­mi­fly” on the drop­per. (I am sure the lumi-fly acts as an at­trac­tor at night, draw­ing many fish not just to it but also to the tail tube-fly). The York­shire Fly beat at Rig­maden and the Prince Al­bert beat at Dry­beck are in the area I nor­mally fish and although both clubs have large mem­ber­ships, both beats are al­most al­ways un­der-fished at this time of year. Sed­bergh and Te­bay An­glers’ water to­wards the top of the Lune will also start to fish at the be­gin­ning of July, Te­bay An­glers prob­a­bly be­ing the place to go for night-fish­ing from mid July to the end of the sea­son. I would strongly ad­vise an­glers not to for­get the sur­face lure at this time of year, es­pe­cially if the night is calm, with clear skies. – ANDY HURST.

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