The month of March is without doubt the time of the season when the fish begin to arrive in decent numbers. It has been said for many years by many salmon anglers, that the week after Cheltenham races you had better be on the river if you want a dead cert! That is, if the river is ever low enough to be able to do so, it has been a very frustrating business most of this month to say the least!
High and coloured water from persistent rainfall (and some real nasty winds), has made fishing impossible the first ten days of March with levels sometimes topping three metres. A bit more erosion on the lower beat and gravel movements are constantly changing the characteristic of the pools (and fences) there.
At last on the 12th of the month, river levels (1.2m) have finally come good for the upper beat and under the power lines for the lower beat, when the level drops to under 1m the lower beat will come good especially the Willow Bed and below. We had a work party out on that Sunday to clear some of the upper beat bank near the boundary below the Coops and give it a bit of a tidy up and create better access, also the pathway to the rock shelf at Underwoods which can be so productive when levels are low. A very big thank you to Kevin Edwards, David Airey, Adam Wellings and his friend David who came “tooled up” for all their efforts, a job that would have certainly taken me a couple of days to accomplish (see attached). The top of the beat can be so productive for the spinner at many water levels, for a plain looking pool, there is more feature on the river bed than first meets the eye and the fish seem to like it there. Kevin fished after the work party had finished and the big tide subsided, he managed one kelt and a few takes missed.
There were a few fish taken at Armathwaite in between the rises of water on the 17th, salmon up to twenty two pounds, it just shows there are good fish going through. Rain soon returned that same day and ruined any chances of getting out on the river once more for us! The water levels have ben fluctuating wildly, on the 19th it was nearly three metres and the 20th showing 1.6m at the Sheepmount gauge.
Interestingly enough, I was talking to Tim Bacon who fishes on the Cargo side this week, he has had (besides a four pound tiger trout), a couple of brown trout of five and six pounds (slob trout?) this spring on the lower beat, it just shows what stamp of fish are in the lower Eden and they are certainly worth targeting!
23rd of the month and due to heavy rain all day on the 22nd, the river has just peaked at three metres again, let us hope that the saying of “in like a lion and out like a lamb” will hold true for March, we need a break!
29th, river levels are getting near to good condition (here’s hoping the rain stays off). For those with trout in mind, a few large darks are starting to appear which will stir them into surface action, saw the first of the sand martins arrive today and the water temperature now at 8.5oC. I think when these massive tides recede after the weekend we will see some good salmon movement!
Regarding river levels from the E.A gauge at Sheepmount, .65 on the E.A gauge is summer low on our gauge and 1.2 metres on the E.A gauge is 1’6″ on ours – https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/station/5127
Here is a link that may be useful – http://www.cumbriaflyfishing.co.uk/river-eden-fishing/ as it contains links to tide tables (very important with tides over 8.5m as the river backs up), river levels all up the river Eden (Sheepmount is the lower river height nearest us), maps, web cams, weather and a couple of short films of fish caught on both beats.
I am happy to receive calls etc for anyone needing information or any help, good luck and many thanks,
01697351752 – 07808563788