Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Last day before the new season

Last Sunday I had nothing to do, and with my girlfriend doing a craft fair/workshop I thought I'd get out on the river for one last time before the new season. As a member of Bradford city AA the majority of rivers are closed from the 14th - 31st of March, and the River Swale and Cod beck is one of these.

I'd never fished this section before, but I'd driven past the Swale a few times and been intrigued. I decided to give it a go, the weather and levels were good, overcast and around 8 degrees celcius, so I was inwardly optimistic.

I managed to get to the river around 10am, after a rather precarious drive down a bridle path/road which quickly turned into a mud path. I suited up into the new waders I treated myself to in the January sales (Patagonia Gallegos and river walkers, both half price, absolute bargain) and set off to the river.

First impression were good, the Swale was a bit larger and deeper than I am used to having predominantly fished the Wharfe at Buckden last year, but I started with a home tied tungsten bead pheasant tail with a flash of tinsel along the back. I normally get a feeling about how each section will fish after 5-10 mins, and I wasn't too hopeful that I'd pull anything out in this section. I don't know if it was the time of year or conditions, but it was pushing through very fast and deep in parts, which meant I struggled to get into certain positions, nearly getting my legs taken away once! Anyway, there is always Cod beck I thought.

So, after a coffee break and a quick chat with a fellw Bradford member who was up for some coarse fishing (good chubb and barbel I was told), I headed over to the beck. It looked fantastic, only about 6-8 feet wide but reasonably deep, and very clear, I could see the bottom for almost the whole stretch.

I swapped between an unweighted and weighted pheasant tail depending on the depth, turned a few stones to see some tiny stoneclingers (heptagenids I believe...I'm trying to learn as much as possible about entomolgy!). Unfortunately I didn't see a single fish in the whole stretch. I was as stealthy as possible, although access was tough with steep banks, but I persisted with some prospecting but the day was a blank. Still, its always nice to see a new stretch of river and I'd like to come back over the summer.

Also looking at joining a club on the Nidd this year which will mean some fishing a little closer to home. I always like a picture or two, so here is what I'll be thinking about for the next 30 days.

Tight lines for the coming season everyone!

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