The early spring fishing in 2014 in the Yorkshire Dales has been a complete contrast to last year, last year ultra low temperatures until mid May and this year following an exceptionally mild winter and a warm/early spring this year, many of the insects both aquatic and terrestrial have been hatching/emerging early.

It’s astonishing, I saw the first Martins on the River Wharfe on the 2nd April, Swallows arrived in Coniston Cold on the 10th April, a full two weeks before normal, Large Dark Olives were hatching in big numbers on the River Ribble as early as the 4th March and fish taking them, recently the first Large Brook Duns I spotted were on were on the River Wharfe on the 14th April. Yesterday on the River Nidd there were Hawthorn flies and brown Heather Beetles in numbers in the air but not on the water, falls of Heather Beetles have happening at Barden Reservoir over the last week and fish taking them.

Oliver Edwards told me one morning last week his lawn was covered with literally thousands of Black Gnats, a little smaller than usual species as were the Hawthorn flies I saw on the Nidd but both  are all members Bibio family, not the normal ones you would expect in mid May, (there are over 50 different species) but the fish don’t know any difference so look out for them and for fish taking them.

Black Gnat, oliver Edwards.

Black Gnat, oliver Edwards.

The wild fish are on the move, yesterday on the Nidd all the fish we caught were wild fish and the same on the Wharfe today, not a stockie in sight, thank god for that!

The fishing is getting better day by day and once we get rid of this cool and nasty wind the better it will become.