Back from holiday on Monday after a 24hour journey – up at and headed to the upper Clyde as I thought that might be my best chance for a trout. The Kelvin and its tributaries I reckoned would be out of action what with all the rain I have been hearing about and the stretch I wanted to fish on the Clyde is not affected by the rain as much.
The weather was mild but with heavy rain showers every hour or so, I did not see any trout rise the whole day – the trout I caught were all on a prospecting dry fly – a CDC and Elk.
I was sitting scanning the river when I felt my foot crunch into something; it turned out to be a dead signal crayfish. They are an invasive species imported from the states in the 1970s to be commercially bred for food. In no time they had taken over streams and rivers formerly inhabited by British crayfish, damaging plant, fish and invertebrate life.
They burrow up to 1.2m into river banks, in some cases have undermined them, and as a final thrust, they have spread ‘crayfish plague’ (Aphanomyces astaci) – fatal, not to them, but to British crayfish.
A vast section of the Upper Clyde has a ban on angling because of them – I am not sure why, I think it is because they are trying to eradicate them.
My last trout was taken on a dry fly just when I thought things were heating up…
It is strange, as Alex went fishing in the evening to find the river high and dirty. Strange how it changed in such a short period of time.