good quality fly fishing for brown trout in rivers & streams

mambrino

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Hi,
The above will never apply to me unless I win the lottery.Its just that I am curious about it and have absolutely no idea of the answer.
Not bothered about the names of particular rivers,but regions would be an added bonus,I live in Yorkshire but the south and north etc would also be interesting.
What would be considered a good size fish to catch on an average day by a reasonably decent fisherman? Also what would a reasonable number be to catch on an average day?
Obviously everyone's idea of what is average or good can vary,as with locations.I for example have no idea at all.
Can anyone give me a start please?
Rod
 
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Paul Boote

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Best to forget the North-South size thing, Rod - it's meaningless, as many Southern river trout are just-add-water "instant" today, those of the North are not. Okay, the chalk-rich Southern streams potentially can grow larger numbers of bigger wild brown trout, but a good many of them are mere paved with pay-for-play stockies these days, and so don't offer "real" fishing. I would say that Yorkshire trout and grayling fishing is of far higher quality than that of the South, that its Dales rivers produce far better flyfishers and flytyers, too. Talks that I gave years ago to clubs and societies in the North and fishing with their members on a number of rivers and streams before and after my talk convinced me of this. The South merely got most of the early "classic" literature and continues to get the glossy mag', fish-porn publicity. So, think North - I would.
 

keora

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It all depends on the water and the ability of the angler.

In the last two years I've fly fished the Bolton Abbey stretch of the upper River Wharfe four times. I've had seven trout, biggest about 13". It's in a beautiful part of the Dales, expensive at £30/day. So my average was about two fish a day.

I fish the middle Wharfe a lot, where there are less trout and more coarse fish. On a club length where the trout fishing is acknowledged to be difficult, this season I've had one trout in three two hour sessions. I've recently started fishing another club length on the river, where the natural stocks of trout are better. I've averaged about a fish a session. I'm sure catches will improve once I'm more familiar with it.

If a river is stocked with big fish, then you are likely to catch more big fish than when fishing an unstocked river, or one that is stocked with smaller trout up to about 12".

I think if you catch a river trout bigger than about a pound then it's a good fish.
 
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Paul Boote

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Yup. A lot of the Southern rivers would only produce "mere" 13-inchers too, Keora, if they weren't rammed full of instant 2-pounders. It's changing slowly on some of them, though - the days when, as a guest on a world-famous and impossibly exclusive piece of the River Test during the Mayfly in the 1980s, I had innumerable rainbows averaging 5 pounds and up to just over ten, are, at least on some rivers / stretches, passing. Not soon enough, in my opinion.
 

mick b

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Totally agree with Paul.

In most places the Test is stocked with ugly Rainbows just to give the 'pay to play' visitors something to take home and probably boast to their unknowing friends about.
Enlightened thinking on some beats is leading to less stocking of these foreign species and this has resulted in an increase of more and larger Brownies some now going well over the five pound mark.

On the Itchen it is the opposite, with only Brownies being stocked and certainly in the lower reaches, not in large numbers and a goodish fish will go above two and half.
Best of all, Rainbows are as rare as hens teeth and any caught are ruthlessly culled!
 

mambrino

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Thank you very much gentlemen for taking the time to reply,other opinions are welcome too.
Just as an add on,I have finally managed to get a few photographs from the computer for the first time.What a performance that was :(
They can be seen in 'MY ALBUM' , I think.
They are all this seasons fish although they ended up in old picture files on my computer.
Cheers for now
Rod...
 

bullet

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Hi,
The above will never apply to me unless I win the lottery.Its just that I am curious about it and have absolutely no idea of the answer.
Not bothered about the names of particular rivers,but regions would be an added bonus,I live in Yorkshire but the south and north etc would also be interesting.
What would be considered a good size fish to catch on an average day by a reasonably decent fisherman? Also what would a reasonable number be to catch on an average day?
Obviously everyone's idea of what is average or good can vary,as with locations.I for example have no idea at all.
Can anyone give me a start please?
Rod

Don't need to win the lottery, mate. Move to the south west. Various clubs with lots of wild trout only fishing on small rivers for under a 100 notes a season. On these rivers, a good fish would be a 12 incher, about 3/4 pound, a really good fish 13/14 inches or about a pound, anything above this exceptional. Plenty of fish in the 8 to 11 inch category .On an average day once the leaves are on the trees, you could expect to catch half a dozen in a couple of hours on dry fly. It all depends on hatches of fly and thus if the fish are really on the rise. Catch it right and you can be looking at 20+wild brownies in a few hours. On the right tackle, 3# 7-8 footers, it's great sport. Hope this helps.
 

keora

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River Wharf? Or is that stocked nowadays?

Some clubs with fishing on the River Wharfe in West/North Yorkshire do put some brown trout in the river each spring. I don't know if all clubs stock trout, especially since on the lower Wharfe, the habitat is more suitable for coarse fish than trout.
 

Paul Boote

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A good number of the Northern rivers have long been stocked by clubs, syndicates, owners etc, but generally with sensibly sized, smaller trout that can "grow on", that don't hit the river chomping and so eat it and its wild occupants out of house and home. This was the practice on many rivers, North, South, East and West, until the big "vanity fish" thing began to take off 30 to 40 years ago. Much earlier than this actually, read Harry Plunket Greene's 1924 flyfishing classic, Where The Bright Waters Meet, and his heartfelt lament for what stocking did in the early years of the 20th Century to Hampshire's lovely little River Bourne, a Test tributary, how the river simply couldn't take an overload of not even particularly large stockies, with the result that the native fish began to starve and turn into dark snake-like things. Stockers beware.
 

Peter Jacobs

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Totally agree with Paul.

In most places the Test is stocked with ugly Rainbows just to give the 'pay to play' visitors something to take home and probably boast to their unknowing friends about.
Enlightened thinking on some beats is leading to less stocking of these foreign species and this has resulted in an increase of more and larger Brownies some now going well over the five pound mark.

On the Itchen it is the opposite, with only Brownies being stocked and certainly in the lower reaches, not in large numbers and a goodish fish will go above two and half.
Best of all, Rainbows are as rare as hens teeth and any caught are ruthlessly culled!

Absolutely right too.

The native fish is the Brown Trout and one of the main reasons I fish the Itchen is for the virtual absence of the ubiquitous Rainbow interloper . . . .

On the Hampshire Avon above my village we do get some lovely wild Brown trout too, and a decent one will be just over the pound, perfect breakfast size.
 

keora

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There's a book, Fly Fishing, the North Country Tradition by Leslie Magee. In one section he describes the trout fishing in the upper River Wharfe in the 19th century. The trout averaged about three to the pound, and more interestingly, in some stretches of the river, wooden stakes were driven into the river bed to prevent poachers netting the fish.


Waltersgill Publishing Fly_Fishing_The_Nort
 

Paul Boote

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Good book, the Magee, something of a modern classic. I collected books on regional trout flyfishing and flytying in a half-assed manner at one time - the North, Wales and the West Country. When I was made an offer for my first edition Edmonds & Lee, Pritt, Walbran and Magee books that I couldn't refuse a decade or so ago, I let them go. Still have Wales and West Country titles, but not in the obsessive depth that some will have.
 

blood

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I fish on the river Derwent in Nothumberland,the river is stocked with brownies every season supplementing the wild brownies.

I have had wild brownies to about 15" and grappling to 17" there's loads of small grayling and trout for that matter.


We have about 5 miles of water and subs are £76 for the year..money well spent !!



Cheers


Stephen
 
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