Autumn carp

I guess like every other salmon fisher in the country, I’m getting very tired of friends, family and colleagues banging on about how “wonderful this Indian summer we are experiencing” is, “no it’s not! We NEED RAIN”.

With the Ribble and Lune at an almost stop and the Eden in a similar state plus a distinct lack of fish in the system, salmon fishing wasn’t even considered this weekend. Current levels on the Ribble at Preston are about half of what’s needed for good fishing water and we have no meaningful rain forecast for the forth-coming week!


The level on the Ribble has nearly dropped off the graph.

What’s a fly fisher to do? Go carping, that’s what.

While I’ve had a few fish this year from Atkinsons I’ve not fished Cleabarrow which I guess is WADAA’s number 2 carp water after Ratherheath and typically holds a better stamp of fish. On arrival at the water I was stunned to find the place to myself on a Sunday lunchtime and a settled forecast. Yes the first signs of autumn are about but crikey “do these carp lads, know what they are missing?”

Leaving the gear in the truck, I had a wander round with some mixers, there was the first real leaf fall on the water and little insect activity but I soon had a few fish rising to the biscuits and shot off to rig up the Greyline 7 weight, floating line and a straight 15lb tippet to a deer hair mixer “fly”, no point messing around with beetles with the lack of insects about.

To be honest it was hard work, fishing at distance was a problem due to aging eye sight, late afternoon sunlight and a lot of leaf litter floating about on the top its hard to keep track of your floating mixer fly and close in there was even more leaf litter with the added bonus of killer snags, hence 15lb tippet.

I soon decided that as soon as I could I would tie up some mixers with yellow foam indicator tags on top to help the old eyes.

At distance I had a few takes that I’m sure I would have struck at fishing up close but I couldn’t be definite of real take or last minute refusal – that’s the trouble with the 15lb tippet I guess. Up close in the “suicide swim” there were a few good fish milling about, taking the odd mixer so, in I went and a good mid double common took virtually first lob (it certainly couldn’t be described as a cast!). I was certainly glad about the 15lb tippet though as it had me towards the tree roots for a 2 minute tug of war, where all I could do was clamp my hand on the reel and bend the 7 weight through to the corks. I managed to steer it into the clear water in front of a fishing platform and the rest was a great fight, but I was always able to bully the fish where I wanted it.

Cleabarrow Mid Double common

Cleabarrow Tarn and a good mid double common

I had another hour creeping about and had a few more late refusals but I was more than happy with my lot.

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