Well check me out, venturing outside of my comfort zone and standing in a river that isn’t the Wharfe!
I was kicking around the yorkshireflyfishing bunker on Saturday wondering what to do with myself, initially contemplating a hill walk but eventually settled on fishing a river. I had a good look around this excellent website http://www.yorkshire-dales-flyfishing.com/day-ticket-yorkshire.htm and eventually settled on a sojourn to the Swale. By the time I set off on the 50 mile drive to Richmond it was about half one in the afternoon but this level of dilly dallying will come as no surprise to regular readers. I did a quick lap of the town centre to slake my thirst for outdoor clothing bargains then called into Castle Walk Sports to get my day ticket.
After studying the map I was given I settled on fishing the beat to the West of Richmond and drove out a few miles on the A6108 to park up near the access point north of Marske Beck at the end of the private water.
By the time I got to the water’s edge it was 4:30, shameful! Here was my first tantalising view of the beat I was to fish and I must admit that I’d already settled into the view that this mission was more of a recce than serious fishing. That’s my excuse anyway.
I set up a compromise outfit…9ft #6, 10foot leader finishing in 3lb leader with a size 16 goldhead GRHE and a partridge & orange and waded into the peaty depths. Lordy Lord, this is the most awkward river I’ve ever been in! I would actually advocate having a wading stick with you if you’re at all unsure on your feet because the boulder strewn bed is so uneven. The water really was very peaty as well but it sounds as if this is pretty normal (although I think it was a bit high on the day I went).
I fished a couple of pools before ending up at a nice looking stretch where the main river diverts behind a big island then reappears as a lovely fast run into a deep bend. I felt sure I’d get into fish here but alas it was not to be, I think the bright blue sky, cold temperatures and the water conditions conspired against me, I didn’t see a single fish move.
I fished a bit further downstream to a point just beyond some power lines then decided to call it a day. I’ll definitely be back but need to do a bit more research on where, when and how to fish the Swale. I’d particularly like to hear from anyone who has fished this beat, and the one below Richmond to get some local intel.
One thing that I feel I have to mention is just how expensive it is getting to do anything these days. Although the day ticket from Richmond & District Angling Society is excellent value for money at £6, the day still wasn’t cheap. £20 on petrol, £6 day ticket, plus the inevitable £10 on sundry items that cannot be avoided on any excursion – it all adds up. And my felt soles are coming off…£15 for a repair kit! And my fluo orange line needs replacing with something less ..well..fluo so that’s another £40…and I need a specialist Czech Nymph rod…ugh. Hmm, these are all what are known as ‘1st world problems’ aren’t they!