Searching for Silver
"Where have I not fished for a while?" This was the question that I pondered while sitting at my desk tying a few flies. The Isle of Man has a wealth of rivers with easy access. The problem is deciding which to visit. The last couple of reports have all been very small fish. I narrowed the options to places where bigger fish might hide. The lower stretch of the Silverburn River won.
Running along side Poulsom Park in Castletown the river sees a lot of dog walkers, children and none of them seem to be able to stay out of the water! Who can blame them? It's a lovely bit of river with some very fishy spots. I knew it was going to be hard going while I was alongside the main walkway. I wasn't wrong and only managed to catch a couple of perfectly formed 4 inch fish. This is much better spot early in the morning or as dusk approaches and the fish are not quite as spooked.
Once the park boundaries are passed, things look much better.
There is an attempt to keep farm animals from heading down stream with a couple of gates suspended over the water. this is a known deep pool which holds fish. The fine chap above was the best of the four that came out of that hole. All of them were eager to take the black dry fly. I missed half of the takes. Yet it shows that the delicate presentation of fly first Tenkara doesn't spook an entire pool with the first cast.
It sure isn't the pretties of holes but after a struggle the fish were very welcome. I'm putting it down to dogs, children and walkers spooking them. Once beyond this obstacle the river gets far less pressure. The number of offers to the dry fly showed a large head of fish willing and eager. Many of them were small in the 6 inch or less range when they came from small pockets behind rocks and from slightly deeper water where the banks were undercut.
Most enjoyable fishing. It might look a bit like a channel but there are rapids, pools and glides along it to give some variety. Plus the casting of a longer Tenkara rod is much easier than in the trees of the lower section. On this section you will find some much deeper holes of up to 4 feet deep. Patiently I made my way up to the first them collecting wild brownies along the way.
Above is the first of them with deep water to the right of the picture. The riffle water on the left is surprisingly shallow. Time was pushing on and although I could have fished much further up I stopped at this pool to explore it's depths. In the tail I was rewarded with small fish but then something different took the dry half way up the pool.
Not a brown trout, this one, but a salmon smolt of about 7 inches. Much more silver with a deeply forked tail. A very beautiful fish that was gently handled and released quickly to grown on. It's a good indicator that, later in the season, this is one of the rivers that will hold salmon and sea trout. I already knew it did, but the silver smolt is always good to see.
That's not all that came from this final pool of the day. Up at the head of the hole from slightly under the undercut bank a larger shape surfaced to engulf the fly and head back to it's lie. The largest fish of the day, of towards 10 inches, went jumping around the pool and diving deep.
Not the fattest of fish but I'm sure that will change as the season progresses. It's huge tail was currently out of proportion with it's body.
The Silverburn delivered on it's promise of bigger fish. It also delivered the fine silver of a smolt. There's still a long way to go on the lower stretch before the weir but that will have to wait for another day. Possibly on my next run out. Upstream dry is a fabulous way to catch fish. A Tenkara set up is the idea way to deliver these lightweight flies.
Rating 5.0 (2 votes)
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