THE change to showery and windy conditions has not affected angling too much and the rain has been insufficient to make any difference to the state of the River Aire which remains at summer level.

The sport at the moment can be described as about average, with the fly fisherman maybe having the advantage over the bait angler.

Recent catches have generally produced smallish brown trout to the fly from Skipton up to Gargrave while the worm has accounted for the occasional brownie to around the 900g mark. Grayling are virtually absent and an occasional small chub has fallen to the fly.

Minnows have begun to reappear on the river and can be seen making their way upstream to the spawning grounds. This small fish can be an attractive live bait for trout and may be well worth trying at the moment.

In the past the minnow was often taken to both Embsay and Whinnygill Reservoirs by Skipton members and those that were turned loose at the end of a day’s fishing managed to build up a large population over the years.

Nowadays they have disappeared probably due to the change to restocking with rainbow trout and the emergence of perch in both reservoirs. Anglers may still use them as bait but they cannot be taken live to the water.

Bradford City members have reported some good sport with the brown trout on their length of fishing on the River Ribble at Skirbeck above Long Preston. Fly fishermen have been doing particularly well during gnat and hawthorn fly hatches even though this stretch is not typical fly fishing water.

Skipton members will be hoping that the curse of Whinnygill Reservoir will be kept at bay when they fish the first match of the season there next Tuesday evening.

The event will be the first in this season’s Sunset Series of matches and the draw will be held at 6pm. Whinnygill will also be the venue for the first Peter Hart Memorial match on Sunday, June 9.