Harrogate FlyFishers' Club

since 1887

since 1887


Newsletter May 2019

Newsletter of the Harrogate Fly Fishers’ Club. May 2019

It’s Truly Spring (even Summer, some days!)

I hope that you’re having a good season, even at this early stage. The river level is quite low even after the brief thundery rain we’ve had recent in recent weeks. 

I’ve had my second trip to the Nidd this season – a lovely couple of hours in the river in the sunshine. The water’s temperature is higher than 12 degrees now (which I believe encourages the trout to feed), and sure enough there were some rises in Duffers pool, with quite a few insects in and around the water. (Note to self, learn to identify some of these insects!)

I also need to polish up my rusty fishing technique, as I had quite a few missed fish on dry fly, and also on wet fly in that run below Sanctuary.

I haven’t heard from any members about how the Nidd is fishing currently (all information welcome!), but I do know that Bill Harrison caught a lovely Rainbow trout last week from the middle lake at Jervaux.  Four and a quarter pounds!

Jervaux is one of the waters available for our members to fish under reciprocal arrangements with other fishing clubs. There are specific conditions which the club has agreed, including advance booking. For details look on the home page of our website, using the reciprocal arrangements link

[I also hear that our Chairman caught a salmon recently, though not in our river, and not under reciprocal arrangements!]

Please let me know if you have any information, or pictures, of your fishing experiences. You could always use our Twitter posting @harrofly to provide quick information or pictures to other members, or contact me to put stuff on our website or in our newsletters.

May Prospects – by Steve Rhodes 

Last month I said “the best of the river trout fishing doesn’t really start until May in Yorkshire”, this is true in my experience but as always weather and water conditions play their part. We are very fortunate on our beats that very low water, as we have had recently, does not affect the fishing too much simply because even in drought conditions there is still enough fast water to fish effectively. Rivers such as the Aire, Ribble and upper River Wharfe become very difficult in low water/drought conditions because of the lack of flow.

May sees a marked improvement in fly life both aquatic and terrestrial, many more Mayfly species start to hatch throughout the month and Black Gnats and Hawthorn Flies can also be present in considerable numbers. Large Dark Olives together with Large Brook Duns will still be hatching and as the month progresses expect to see hatches of Medium Olives, Olive Uprights, Yellow Mays and Pale Watery.

Dry fly fishing should start to come into its own but nymphs and spiders will also take more than their fair share of fish especially when there is no hatch or fish simply aren’t “looking up”. Close observation as always is key; Black Gnats especially can be very difficult to see on the water and can easily be missed, I’ve often found that they are easier to spot by looking downstream rather than upstream.

What we want now is some more consistent warmer weather and ideally a little more water to liven things up. 

Club Committee meeting on May 7th. If you have any issues you’d like to raise with us, please contact me in the first instance.

Trout Stocking – Volunteers required!  

We are making the first stocking of the river on May 9th. 250 fish, the same as last year.

We’re meeting at Station Road at 10am. Could any members planning to help with the stocking please let me know over the next couple of days. It’s good fun (my standing ‘joke’ is that this is the only time I see the fish, but you may be luckier / more skilful than me!)

Our second stocking will be on June 20th if you can’t make the date of the May stocking

HFFC Website (http://harrogateflyfishers.com)

Over the next few weeks we will be moving our website to a more modern, more secure protocol  and additionally will be starting to develop a secured ‘Members area’. 

If members have any ideas for content for this new area or for the website in general please let me, or Ian Dodd, know. My contact details are on our website www.harrogateflyfishers.com/contact=form or via email to d.clayden@outlook.com

New Members

We have a new member. Clark Colman, a resident of Darley, has joined our Club. You may have come across Clark as a Fishing Specialist in Orvis’s Harrogate store. Now he’s within casting range of our section of the Nidd, and I understand he’s already managed to charm a few trout! Welcome Clark.

We’ve got another potential member ‘in the pipeline’, but will still have one vacancy – so do encourage your friends to join (or to be on a short waiting list!)

The Fishing Show

In our April newsletter I told you of a New Fishing Show coming to Yorkshire – to take place at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th June. 

Unfortunately the organisers of The Fishing Show have had to cancel the event! Shame! Although there was good support from anglers, the take-up from exhibitors wasn’t as high as needed at this stage, making the event unviable. Maybe next Year!

Trout Fishing Websites

I’m currently browsing through the large number of trout fishing websites, trying to keep up with what’s going on. There are loads, though quite a number are either out of date (not updated for quite a while) or have closed down. Do you have any particular favourites? Please let me know. I was thinking of reviewing some of the better ones (and ‘stealing’ some of the interesting ideas and items) for our newsletters!

David Clayden HFFC Hon. Sec.

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