August's weather turned out to be very much like July's - dry in the first half of the month and more unsettled in the second.
Nigel and Lisa were my first clients of the month; they were visiting from Australia and decided to have their first go at fly fishing. As usual with these sessions: we spent the morning looking at tackle, casting and flies etc. and the afternoon fishing. The river didn't perform the way I'd have liked for them, but they both cast and fished well and they did manage a few fish, albeit small ones.
The rivers were up slightly for Ian's visit (above and below) so we headed up one of our smaller streams to look at a bit of upstream nymphing. Many of today's anglers tend to lean more towards the modern trends of nymphing, such as: French, Czech and Spanish nymphing, but - in my opinion - there is still room for the more traditional method of upstream nymphing. Although I do tend to practice the modern methods more and more nowadays, the old ways have served me very well over the years and still do on occasions and in certain types of water. It was the old way that Ian and I looked at on his day; fan casting ahead of us to cover any likely spots as we worked upstream and watching the tip of the fly line for indication of an offer. It worked well for Ian and he managed a number of fish throughout the session.
It was back to a modern method for me after Ian and I finished our session on the small streams. I only had an hour, so I dropped back to the main river for a short tea-time stint. I was going to have to fish the nymph if I was to have any chance of a fish at that time of day, so I turned to my 10' 3 weight, the French leader and a pair of nymphs. Fishing a mix of The French and Czech styles in any likely looking pots and seams helped to account for a few nice fish - including the one above - before I had to call it a day and head home to prepare for the following days guiding.
Molly and Russ were visiting the UK from Seattle and called in for their first taste of Eden. Overnight rain had coloured the rivers slightly and I guess that the drop in water temperature had slowed the fish a touch, as they appeared to show no interest in any fly on the surface. So I introduced Russ and Molly to a pretty reliable old favourite 'North Country spiders'. Fished across and down, they're a great way to search our larger Northern rivers. A team consisting of two spiders and a nymph served them well and they caught and missed a few fish throughout their day.
The unsettled weather continued through the second half of August, but luckily, it didn't affect the fishing too much. The rivers were carrying a touch of colour on most of my outings, but remained fishable. Dry fly sport was poor for me and the nymph dominated - but anyone that knows me will know that I don't mind that, as I've always loved my nymph fishing. It was great to see a few Grayling turning up in catches too. Hopefully, this is a positive indication for the Grayling fishing through the winter. I remember decent numbers of Grayling showing up in catches during the final six weeks of the 2013 season and the Grayling fishing was quite good over the following months....