Harrogate FlyFishers' Club

since 1887

since 1887


Newsletter July 2019

Summer’s really here – but it’s a British one!

June has seen quite wide variations in river levels, reaching a high of 0.80 metres at Birstwith during the month, but now down to 0.12 metres as I write. 

I recall that last June was wonderful for sunshine – the ‘BBQ Summer’ - though it wasn’t so good for river levels or for catching fish!

I made the classic mistake this year of taking two weeks holiday in early June, temporarily forgetting that this is usually a peak time for the Mayfly and for the sport generally! I hope you had some luck during the month!

The days are wonderfully long at the moment, allowing fishing until late. It’s always worrying that the summer solstice, so early in the trout fishing year, warns us that we can’t expect such long light evenings for the rest of the season…..

Club Website

Ian Dodd, who maintains and develops the Club’s website, says that:

The HFFC website has now been updated to the latest security protocols. This is probably a tadge over the top, given the content of the site, but increasingly Google search is giving priority to sites with a security certificate so it is worth doing for that reason alone. Additionally, we have added a members’ area to the site. At the moment this only contains photos of the committee members (so well worth a visit just for that?) and access to the catch returns but it will be developed further in the future. You will need a password to access the Members Area. It is xxxx’. P.S. Don’t tell any non-members!

HFFC Club Picnic, Sunday July 28th

As reported in June’s HFFC newsletter, the club is holding a picnic at Low Hall, on Sunday July 28th, from 2.30 onwards - thanks to the generosity of Mrs Pamela Holliday, our Club President. It’s a chance to see her beautiful and well known garden, which is regularly opened to groups of visitors.

There’s no charge for the event.

Most of us only meet other members briefly on the riverbank, or at the AGM. This is an additional opportunity to enjoy ourselves as club members, maybe meet a few colleagues, put some names to faces (or the other way round), and firm up some friendships.

I provide below a couple of recent photos of the house and the garden – 

To help us in our organising of the event, we’d now like to know if you, together with any family or guests etc. will be coming. 

If the weather turns out to be disappointing on the day, there are large seated areas within the house that we’d be welcome to use. It would still be fun!

Members and their families will need to bring their own food and drink, and any rugs/portable seating they may wish to use in the garden. The club will provide a welcome drink to start proceedings!

Put 28th July in your diary, and let me know that you’re coming! 

Then just come along, and enjoy yourselves.

July Prospects – by Steve Rhodes 

July can be less predictable than May or June but nonetheless the fishing can be good. Still expect reasonable hatches of various Mayflies and of course ever increasing numbers of Caddis, especially in the evening.  As always keep an eye out for terrestrial insects such as beetles.

Fishing in the evening when it’s warm will come into its own and remember to not to start too early and to fish until you can’t see your fly.  If you’re lucky enough to catch a fall of Blue Winged Olive spinners ensure that you have some suitable imitations, if so you should have some great sport.  Listen out for “sipping” rises which is usually the first indication, the naturals are hard to see especially when the light is failing.

If fishing during the day concentrate on the fast water and “pockets”. Any feeding fish are likely to be there if it’s hot and the river is low, seeking out the more oxygenated water.

Rising fish in flat water can be tempting, give them a go but move on if you can’t catch them. Life’s too short!    

2nd Trout Stocking on June 20th 

Another 250 fine trout were introduced into our waters last week. 

An equally fine set of volunteers, Peter, Charles, Rosemary, Tim, Ian and David provided the muscle, and some guile. The trout were introduced from the banks of our upper section, at the foot of the field below Low Hall. Photos below.

The banks are now well vegetated, and their steepness provided some challenges for getting the fish into the river. The exact locations of entry are not disclosed, as all those present were sworn to secrecy - to give us the first chance of catching them! No luck so far!

Our President came to see how we were getting on, and invited us in for a cup of coffee and some bacon and honey on toast! Most welcome!


There was a comment on the club’s twitter feed about the stock fish having tattered fins. Very nice to receive some feedback from members. Email me with your comments if you’re not a tweeter! 

In fact, the adipose fins of our stock fish are clipped at source, to identify them as stock fish. The trout looked fine when they went in, and as with the first stocking, some of them were really big - they could hardly fit into the bins used to carry them from the truck!

New Members

There are no confirmed new members this month – just a couple of ‘rises’ that might turn out well! 

Please continue to encourage your friends to join the club (they may be put on a short waiting list!)

David Clayden HFFC Hon. Sec.

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