The nights are drawing in and another very busy season is almost over. As regular guests and clients know, we take the boats off the water in November for repairs and a bit of a rest. Mainly though, we do this because sitting in the cafe sipping coffee whilst watching wild weather batter the lake we should be fishing is no fun when clients have taken a day off work. Beside which the best days for winter fishing are usually when the air pressure is high, the lake calm and without bursting into song…’The fishing is easy’, or as easy as winter piking ever gets! So the boats are off until we start again in mid February.
Mind it has been a funny old year with some bouts of very wet weather following a long cold spring. This did little to help the early season fishing but we had more big trout than usual off the lakes so there are compensations. George did well in his first season guiding on Derwentwater with lots of happy anglers smiling their way home and a very happy George telling me tales of epic battles and derring – do over the phone for the evening de brief. Meanwhile the ecology of the lakes has been in the news again with Windermere algal blooms causing headlines. Matt Staniek has been doing a great job with his campaign to highlight the problems affecting Windermere in particular. The fishing on there has changed a lot in recent years, and where once the lake was home to pike, perch, char, trout and eels the dominant species are now roach and bream with both species showing up in big numbers. I bet the pike will be grinning a welcome to these recent additions to the food chain!
Elsewhere, whilst the trout fishing on local rivers has been very good with some real specimen fish coming along, although there is some sad news on the Salmon fishing front with numbers of returning salmon being at an all time low. The Salmon fishing fraternity are keeping pressure on the EA to let us try supplementary stocking in a bid to preserve our Salmon. So far the EA have been very reluctant to let us open the Keswick hatchery and I suspect it will take far more than our local hatchery output to boost wild stocks. We live in Hope!
Otherwise, it is Grayling that we’ll be targeting over the next few months with a visit or two on calm days to hunt a few specimen pike with my old piking pal Andy Mac.. Back out on Windermere in early spring and we will keep you posted via the Hemmingways Facebook Page.