RIBBLE AND HODDER

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Fishing Reports - FRED HIGHAM.

SHOW­ERY rain fell across the catch­ment and the river lifted to 18in on the marker at Wad­dow on Au­gust 11. Three days later very heavy show­ers cen­tred at the top of the catch­ment brought a nice spate down the Ribble which peaked at about 2ft 6in. This wel­come rain did lit­tle for the Hodder, as the heavy show­ers were very lo­cal and missed the Hodder Val­ley. This is what hap­pens when heavy show­ers are lo­calised – a small beck that gets the rain can colour up the river very quickly. At least this small flood cleared away much of the scum and de­bris but we need a big pro­longed flood to give the river a good flush out and en­cour­age the main runs of fish to come in and run the rivers. Two days later my rain gauge in Clitheroe showed 22mm over a pe­riod of 12 hours. The Ribble lifted and peaked at 1.5m at Wad­dow but by the fol­low­ing day, the first fly-fish­able day for quite a while; it was down to 14in. Re­ports of fish move­ment on the river were dis­ap­point­ing, this lift had not been high enough or for long enough to move many fish up the river, but it was a start and I heard that one an­gler fish­ing just up from the tide man­aged to land three when spin­ning in a high wa­ter con­di­tions. I made my first Ribble visit and it was a joy to be cast­ing the dou­ble-han­der again. My only touches were from small browns and then a good snatched take from a sea-trout from a lie un­der a bridge. Paul De­whurst man­aged to land a 16lb res­i­dent hen fish on a size 12 Red Shrimp. I sus­pect this will be one of the first fish to be landed this sea­son from above Wad­dow. The fol­low­ing day, from the same wa­ters, James Tay­lor fish­ing as a guest, landed an­other res­i­dent hen fish of 11lb on a small Park Shrimp. This fish from the same wa­ters, I sus­pect could be the one I first spot­ted in the pool in late spring when I was on the river do­ing some work. We had not had any wa­ter since for it to move any­where. I spot­ted it on an­other cou­ple of oc­ca­sions when I went down to do a bit of strim­ming. It’s al­ways pleas­ing when you take a guest to fish and they man­age to land a fish, as good as, or even bet­ter, than catch­ing one your­self. We had an­other good lift and the river came up to over 1.5m after my rain gauge reg­is­tered a fur­ther 21mm, leav­ing the river at a good fish­ing height of 18in the fol­low­ing day. The pools be­tween Low Moor to Saw­ley seemed de­void of fish, with some good and ex­pe­ri­enced rods out and with no run­ning fish seen, it was very dis­ap­point­ing. The odd grilse had run the river and Alan Peet fish­ing Set­tle An­glers’ nice pools man­aged to land a fresh one of about 6lb on

a size 12 dou­ble Peter Ross just down­stream from Set­tle. It was pleas­ing to re­ceive pos­i­tive news from the very top of the river for a change. Neil Platts ear­lier in the month out trout fish­ing on Manch­ester An­glers wa­ters re­ports that most pools where full of sal­mon parr mov­ing down the river and some of good size which will no doubt smolt very shortly. Plenty of redds must have sur­vived to pro­duce all th­ese fish and they have even sur­vived the low wa­ter in rea­son­ably large num­bers. We al­ways thought that the smolt mi­grate in the spring, but could it be na­ture’s way of pro­tect­ing th­ese ju­ve­nile fish with some mi­grat­ing down­stream as well later in the year? On Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 21 there is a fly fish­ing show at the pavil­ion in Grindle­ton near Clitheroe 10-2. This event is be­ing or­gan­ised by Hasling­den Fly Fish­ers -

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