Dear Tom , will be in touch soon love you loads Dad XX

Johnny Cash Hurt

Thoughts before I go !

My last night

Tonight I bade farewell to Mia and Tod , as dogs are apt to do they sensed my departure and Mia as always took up position in my bag , Tod is young but sensed his Mothers concern !!
I took this shot this morning of a rainbow piercing the Abbey a good omen I hope .
Anyhows I have been touched by the words and gifts I have recieved prior to departure , you all will know who you are , special thanks to Helen for undertaking the task of Mia & Tod X , and thanks to Sue & Moira for the gift X .
I am pleased to hear you are expecting your first child X To all my friends thank you .

I will let you know my progress as it unfolds .

Mark Whitehead

24th November 2009 0800 hrs

River is falling slowly as at 0800 hrs , however this could easily alter ! the skies are heavy and dark and the rain is falling steadily onto already sodden ground .
At present the colour is good and the height is favourable for nymphing/bugging .

22nd November 2009

Sunday morning 0800hrs , river falling slowly good colour and ideal for bugging methods . Feels decidely fresh today after the mild spell , surface food will be scarce .

21st November 2009

Sorry been busy on our Pheasant shoot today so have been absent from the river .
There has been little rain today and the glimpses I had of the river looked good will update in the morning .
A few picks of the beaters fine dining and a shot of smokers corner .

21st November 2009

Apologies for no pics ! I am hurriedly scribbling this as I am off chasing Pheasants this day .

River conditions are good and a days bugging is on the offing for those inclined , still very mild

1115 hrs 20th November 2009

Since the video shot at o830 hrs the overnight rain has caused the River to rise rapidly , currently conditions are bad and set to get worse , I will keep you informed for the weekend however prospects are looking bleak !

20th November 2009

19th N0vember 2009 0800 hrs

As you can see the River has fallen significantly over night , conditions are favourable for all bugging techniques , the water clarity is good . Heavy rain is forecast and the wind is gusting strong , still feels very mild though .

18th November 2009 Trashed

Heavy rain over night falling on already sodden land , has pushed it to present level and still rising , today and tomorrows`s forecast is for more of the same so the outlook is bleak . However the feeder streams are running well and will benefit late spawning Trout seeking the redds .

Mia `s disdain is clear to see !!

17th November 2009

0800 hrs 17th November 2009 river falling as can be seen from the picture above , colour is good and improving .

16th November 2009

River as at 08.30 am 16th November 2009 , river in good condition , however raining hard and falling on already sodden ground .

Wind stong and due to increase as the day progresses , this is due to continue with Wednesday looking the worst !!

I expect the conditions will change during the day if this rain continues .

15th November 2009

After a day chasing Grouse it was good to tackle up with Jim and Tom and head down to the river for a few hours prior to them leaving south .
Mainly using Jim`s outfit consisting of his 10' #2 and his slinky leader we took turns at nymphing likely holding spots . Check out his blog for more pics !

We caught Grayling thanks to Jims leader which performed amazingly due to its high visability and ease of use .
2 weeks to go and good to see Tom before I go , gonna miss him big time .

To a special lady thank you for your words the other day!
I do hope you find the time to take that walk !

Tom I Love you as a father will , stay safe .
To Jim Williams thanks for taking the time out to see me before my departure , and my apologies for making you eat dry toast !!

Please check out Jim`s blog as he`s much more technically brained than I ! and this is reflected in his coverage of the outing .

15 th November 2009

Sunday 15 th November , river falling again after another lift following yesterdays rain , Jim Williams from Wiltshire Flyfishing School and my son Tom are staying with me for the weekend and we are planning to give it a fish .

Forecast is to stay dryish !! with bright spells .

13th November 2009

A hurried shot of the River as at 0800 this morning , as you can see the river has risen as predicted , however the level has fallen quickly , check out the tide mark !

However as is normal with a rapid lift , the colour is bad but is improving .

Not ideal and would leave it 24hrs to settle , unfortunately gales and more heavy rain due late afternoon from the south , Saturday looks bad too .

To summarise fishing conditions are not ideal , however no pain no gain , and that roll cast can be worked on !

The Grouse Moor 2009

Just a few images of Barden Fell on a shoot day , Halton Heights below as the drive is brought in .

Keepers , beaters , loaders and pickers up take a break at lunch .

Grayling 12th November

Met up with Jim Curry again today , he`d been on this morning with a client . Following a cup of tea at lunchtime , we decided to have a go at a few fish showing at the stepping stones .
We had an hour before Jim had to disappear , anyways Jim geared up with a Klinkhammer on point and I grabbed the camera .
Surface food was very scarce and little wind to supply any extras so rises where infrequent however we soon located three fish moving and one seemed decent .
Jim entered the water and covered the fish carefully avoiding any drag and with gentle presentation , key to not putting them down .
A few passes with the Klink and it was time to step it down , so 0n went a size 18 Griffiths and it was greeted with an immediate nod of approval , however the fish was missed !
Jim offered the Griffiths a few more times , however the fish showed interest but failed to take and sank down .
A change of fly was needed so a size 20 spent midge with a bit of sparkle in the wing was tied on unhurriedly to allow the fish to relax .
The following resulted

After release and seeing her swim off powerfully , we left the river as the threatened rain clouds gathered from the west , as I write the rain is falling heavily and my guess is the River could be trashed for the weekend as the forecast is not good !

I will update first thing in the morning .


A upane kaupane whiti te ra ! ( into the sun that shines )

12th November 2009

River conditions recorded at 0800 hrs this morning , good level and steady and running clean , forecast for showers later arriving from the west !

Very light breeze so all looks well for a days fishing for the ladies . Cavendish (beat 3 ) is fishing well and producing numbers of Grayling around 12"-14" as well as upstream of Waters Meet .

Trout have been seen by myself cutting reds in Strid Wood 03rd November 2009 .

09th November 2009

River settles down .

River fishable again after yesterdays lift , a cloudless frosty morning of what promises to be a glorious day ahead , waterproofs can be left hanging today .

Currently uploading the above video clip , prior to my walk to the estate office , collating Octobers catch returns , and meet any anglers fortunate to have the day free to fish .

After a spate my priority is to check on any debris carried from up the dale ,normally a variety of sheep feed sacks which manage to find inconvenient spots to get caught up !

08th November 2009

Persistant rain overnight has pushed the river up and its rising slowly as at 0800 hrs .

Saturday 07th November 2009

Short video clip of the river below the Priory bridge at Bolton Abbey showing current condition as at 0900 hrs 07/11/09 .

Not a significant drop on yesterday , colour remains good and will fish well today .

New Zealand South Island 3 Months

Follow my solo adventure to New Zealand starting very soon !!!
Have been planning this trip for some time now , kicks off with Dean Harrison pictured above holding an 8lb Brownie !! Renting a truck off him and spending two days fishing with him before I strike out on my own .
My destination is the South Island starting at Christchurch , and planning to fish most regions .
I depart on the 27th November 2009 and return the 28th March 2010 .

Friday 06th November Cavendish

This is my first blog as River Keeper @ the reknown Bolton Abbey stretch of the R. Wharfe at Bolton Abbey

Today I accompanied Jim Curry in the search of the elusive Grayling as you can see we found the lady, albeit not easily , however we where successful as you can see . Our rig was very simple . River was falling and very clear , little surface movement .