The 2013 trout season is three days old now and has started with possibly the worst start of the season weather conditions I have known in over 45 years of fly fishing the in the Yorkshire Dales, freezing cold, lying snow, frequent snow flurries and the rivers at summer drought low and gin clear. Basically…bleak mid winter.

River Wharfe, Lythe House - 27.3.13

River Wharfe, Lythe House – 27.3.13

Today Roger Dyson, Chairman of the Appletreewick, Barden and Burnsall Angling Club, my wife Barbara, new pup Skip and I had a walk up the River Wharfe from the Red Lion in Burnsall to our top limit just above Linton stepping stones. We wanted to check the general condition of the river after the winter floods, gales etc.  Surprisingly considering the exceptional amount of water last year and earlier this winter very little had changed except for some limited gravel migration and the odd tree or bough down.


We did not see an angler, hardly surprisingly, the start of the fly fishing season seemed months away, frequent snow flurries combined with the intermittent strong wind made it feel like winter but when the wind dropped and the feeble warmth of the sun tried its best it was not unpleasant.

River Wharfe, Hebden - 27.3.13

River Wharfe, Hebden – 27.3.13


Around 1.00 there was a half decent, although localised hatch of Large Dark Olives and just one fish was really on the prod and taking them avidly, I wished I had brought my rod, I am pretty certain I would have caught him.  Closer inspection of the water surface revealed large numbers of winter midge although they were ignored.


It gave me hope that even in these conditions the fish are there and willing to take a fly or two, like all of us I expect they are waiting in earnest for spring to finally arrive.