Finally, a dedicated fishing mission!
I’ve had a distinct lull in my enthusiasm for fishing recently. Stepping back and looking at my hobby with a critical eye it began to seem almost ludicrous that I’d spend a shit load of money on tackle, provisions, petrol, day tickets etc to go catch rainbow trout that have been raised in an underwater cage and may well have been driven in on the back of a wagon a couple of days ago. Of course, you and I know it’s not that simple and the many pleasurable aspects of fishing, rainbows or not, often negate these factors. Nevertheless I have been struggling to get back into it all.
With summer circling the drain we were keen to get a last weekend mission in and after 30 emails we settled on a plan to fish Hayeswater in the Lake District, near Hartsop. Pictures online of the lake and its residents really switched me on again and I felt the old feelings returning. Back in business!
The 7:30 departure melted away to 9am then sank without trace as Tom slept in whilst Stu enforced a detour to Otley to pick up his waterproofs and a further stop off at an outdoor shop in Ingleton. He’d forgotten his sleeping bag so went to buy a new one and we naturally jumped at the opportunity to buy more outdoor paraphernalia as well. So it came to be we didn’t arrive at our campsite until about 2pm then struggled to put up our extensive array of tents in the blustery conditions which meant we didn’t begin the walk up to Hayeswater until 3pm. Pathetic. Everything was a bit out of kilter, Stu was still a bit broken from our walk up Ben Nevis and I still needed to recover from a disastrous 10 hour drive whilst Smithers was just….Smithers. But the views were spot on albeit much softer than the Highlands.
It’s a quick sharp pull to get up to the outflow of Hayeswater Gill but when we got there any thoughts of fishing found themselves stacked up on top of ‘operation early start’ in the bin of fail when we saw the white horses.
We did stand around for a good half an hour drinking tea and formulating ideas about having a bash at the fishing or going for a hill walk but in the end the fact that our campsite (Sykeside at the foot of Hard Knott pass) had a pub with real ales forced the inevitable. Why is it wherever North Country Angler goes he catches big fish to liven up his excellent blog whereas we end up fishless fools forcing me to fill my pages with pictures of flowers and the like. Anyway, never mind we’ll just have to go back another day. If you decide to go, permits must be bought from here: http://www.lakedistrictfishing.net/online-shop.html. One thing I did get right was to concentrate on drinking this all night –
Sunday begrudgingly coughed up a beautiful morning and after putting the tents down I tried to encourage the ‘B’ team I was left with to do a good hill walk with me but the morning turned into a ‘pottering’ event, taking in Daisy’s cafe and several of Ambleside’s outdoor shops. We then dawdled at advanced level 9.5 before finally deciding to go fish
Mos Eisley Moss Eccles Tarn which sits kinda in-between Esthwaite and Windermere, near Sawrey. This was the second time I fished it but on this occasion I stupidly didn’t bring my waders which really proved to be a mistake, I must have a short memory!
If you’re looking for the happy ending money-shot of me with a big brassy brown trout and a grin forget it, we all caught nothing. I have however learned that Beatrix Potter used to row around on here – bet she bloody caught fish.
Again, permits can be brought from the Lakedistrict fishing website which does a grand job of making obtaining a permit nice and easy.