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Eden report May.
A very good start for May! The spring salmon just seem to keep coming! It certainly has been quite an exceptional spring this season with a very high average of weight class. Most of the salmon taken look like they are 2-3 sea winter fish; are we experiencing a return to what the Eden was once famous for? I certainly hope so and the brown trout fishing is not too shabby either!
May 1st. The influence of the Helm wind was quite evident today on the middle river with that horrid north, north easterly. Despite that, the trout were feeding on the abundance of invertebrate life we are now enjoying on the Eden. Salmon are moving again and there have been quite a few fish taken on the fly in the mid-teens of pounds up and down the river. The water is about as good as it gets and is in perfect ply, we seemed to have missed the main rainfall in this area.
2nd May, the river level is now dropping and the water is gaining much more clarity. It is good to see masses of smolts moving which have been dropping down the river all week.
There has been the odd sea trout beginning to show, some of them are in the four to five pound class. The salmon movements are slowing down with the lower water levels; there have been small tides this last week with the odd fish coming in.
3rd May, Very bright conditions and clear skies along with that never ending cool easterly breeze have suppressed much of the trout activity. The air was definitely cooler than the water temperature, the odd sheltered pool away form the wind seemed to work better.
4th May, the north easterlies really got up strong with very cool temperatures; although not impossible the brown trout were very reluctant to take. A couple of salmon in the lower teens were caught above Carlisle on the fly. The sea lampreys this spring are very much conspicuous by their absence.
5th May and the strength of the north easterly wind has dropped dramatically, the normal noon time hatch did not happen until mid afternoon, some good size brown trout were taken. Good numbers of caddis, small, medium and large darks with the odd olive upright.
The tides are building this week and there is far more salmon activity after the tide has receded on the lower reaches, some hefty lumps of fish are now showing. The weather is about to change soon and maybe this is encouraging fish to run in, a few more sea trout are in evidence of late.
May 6th, very clear water and the trout fishing very good, good hatches of various olives and caddis today. A few more salmon from the lower river reported, all between twelve and fifteen pounds off the tide.
May7th; a very cold strong south easterly breeze was keeping the activity of both invertebrate and fish in the morning to about zero. The day warmed slightly into the afternoon and even though the hatches did not happen, the trout showed very willing. A small front with rain passed through the county late in the afternoon but not enough to do anything meaningful.
May 8th; the wind started from the south east and swung around south westerly in the late afternoon. Sharp showers did not dampen the hatches of olive upright, iron blue, large, medium and small darks. Very good trout fishing from the off in the morning which lasted all day long, good quality fish and more grayling now taking an interest. One or two salmon are showing up on the lower and middle river of twenty pounds plus to the fly, despite the low and clear water.
May 9th; a warm and sunny day with a north wind, trout activity was at around zero for most of the day and the hatches sparse. Low water conditions and clear. The barometer is dropping like a stone and there is a mackerel sky; there is a front of heavy rain on the way. A couple of salmon taken on the spinner as the water began to rise.
May 10th; heavy rain overnight has put the levels up by three meters and it is very coloured with flotsam, by the afternoon the whole river is now unfishable. Persistent rain for the next day or so will keep conditions poor for the next couple of days.
May 11th; the river has dropped by three feet today but still unfishable. A dry day tomorrow and until the evening Sunday when there is more of the wet stuff forecast. A few salmon on the river taken on Toby spoons and the flying “C”, the water is still with colour.
May 12th; a dry day, the lower river is still with colour and dropping, the middle river clearing very nicely. A few salmon reported to the spinner up and down the lower and middle river.
May 13th; the middle river is in now very good order for the salmon fly fisher and a couple of good fish reported from the middle river. There are very strong south westerly winds which are to bring more rain this evening. The trout fishing poor today and little in the way if hatches due to the conditions.
May 14th; the water is clearing and dropping just nice today. The wind is strong and from the west, still a little cool with the odd shower. Not much in the way of hatches today and the trout very slow to respond to anything. One or two good salmon reported to both spinner and fly up and down the river.
May 15th; there is a strong westerly and cool with it, hatches are still sparse and when there is invertebrate activity the trout are very keen. Small Klinkhamer, Greenwell Glory and Adams sizes sixteen to eighteen are working well; there are many gnats on the water at present. The river is losing the heavy colour in the middle section but still quite a peat stain in the lower.
May 20th; water levels are now around one foot above summer low and very clear, the water temperature is at 51.5 oF. Since the big rise of water last week the hatches have been very sparse and thus the trout activity slow. Warmer weather and light winds are now with us for a while and should settle conditions.
There is still salmon entering the river with each tide and travelling far upstream, with the average weight in the mid-teens of pounds it has been an incredible spring.
A few good sea trout are now making an appearance.
May 21st: a very warm day with temperatures reaching 20oC, bright cloudless skies and low clear water were making the daytime fishing challenging. Hatches are hard to find during the middle of the day and fishing into the evening or an early start is more productive. There are still good mid day trout to be had for the persistent dry fly fisher, a much easier task though on the nymphs.
May22nd; a much warmer day and clear skies, the river is now at summer low. The trout fishing is slow but not impossible in the more broken water. Good numbers of small sea trout coming off the tide which is encouraging, the nights now are warm enough to have a go. Anglers are still picking away at the salmon, it is hard to find one under ten pounds!
May 23rd; a carbon copy of the day before, smaller tides in the afternoon with a few fish entering, probably more salmon are coming on the night tides.
May 24th; the fishing for all species during the day light hours is tough, but still possible. It is just getting warmer, with air temperatures now at 24oC and mild nights the water is warming rapidly. Water temperature is now 58oF.
May 25; 26oC today and everything has seemed to shut down, that critical point where nothing moves is almost there with the water temperature at 62.5 in the morning rising to 67oF by the afternoon. There is cooler but still dry weather forecast next week which should hopefully kick things back into action. There are plenty of fish in the river, good stocks of trout and certainly plenty of salmon; cooler water required but perfect for night fishing as it cools.
May 26th: Air temperature 28oC, water temperature 68oF, bright clear skies, a heavy east wind, low water; just all the ingredients you do not need!
May 27th; the fishing is definitely a better prospect towards the evenings when the light goes as you would expect. Not many salmon reported this week but anglers fishing at night are getting a few good sea trout.
May 28th; although the temperature remains the same, the wind direction has just shifted a little and is now from the south west. The mood of the fish has changed somewhat and now seem willing to have a go, add a little cloud cover and it almost back on form. There are some good sea trout in the river at present, anglers who are willing to give it a go while the air temperature is warm at night are doing very well.
May 29th; more cloud cover today, the fishing for trout has been pretty good up and down the river in the middle part of the day. It will always be better and a lot more activity in the evening around nine thirty or so and also at first light. There is the odd report of a couple of salmon on the fly in some of the faster water. We need a small lift of water at present to get things moving on that front and to cool temperatures down a little, the forecast is set for cooler and maybe rain later in the week.
May 30th; a few salmon took on the fly on the lower river, interestingly the weight of those fish were around the eight to nine pounds, the average for the Eden. We have been well and truly spoilt this spring this year with such high numbers of large salmon, at least sixteen over twenty pounds and the majority into the high teens of pounds.
May 31st; quite heavy rain during the night and throughout the morning has cooled temperatures down a little, with the ground being so dry it has not put the levels up any, but nevertheless very welcome at this stage. Night fishing is proving productive for the sea trout and some large brown trout just on dark. River level is at summer low and clear, a good month.
Glynn Freeman : A.A.P.G.A.I. (Association of Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructors). Glyn’s qualifications include: AAPGAI Masters in Salmon and Trout disciplines, Advanced Fly Dressing, He is a memver of the FFF (Federation of Fly Fishers USA) Masters Trout, has full liability insurance, is CRB (criminal records bureau) checked, child protection, L20 assessing, licensed coach and first aid.
Glyn has fished in Cumbria and the Borders for over 20 years. He is based on the River Eden where he is a river keeper on the lower river and fly casting instructor/guide for John Norris of Penrith.
He holds an I.F.M (Institute of Fisheries Management certificate) and part of working with our youth in Cumbria and S.W Scotland for Borderlines and a member of S.A.N.A
There are many Spey casting, salmon/trout fly fishing courses/experiences and one to one tuition sessions available throughout the whole year, and they are all done in a relaxed friendly manner. All are on private water on the river Eden, see list below and on the adult couses page. Each of them is tailored to suit whatever your ability and requirements are with the fishing included.
They put you in real fishing situations in the water, (not on the grass or platform), I can supply photos , quality fishing, tackle, waders and safety equipment on the day if you have-not any, free of charge. These can be run as a half day, full day, two or three day or a series of sessions. I will take you to some real nice places.