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  1. England
  2. Cumbria
  3. When to fish

When to fish

Length of season

The Eden is a freestone river (spring, lake and rain fed), and a major English game fishing river of medium size with an average annual run of around 12,000 fish. It has a spring, a summer, a grilse and a big back-end Autumn run of salmon. There is a decent head of wild brown trout throughout the river. There is a good sea trout run right through the year. The grayling population is very healthy with a good average weight of over a pound.

Fishing seasons

Salmon: January 15th to October 14th. inclusive, including Sundays. All Salmon caught prior to June 16th, must be returned. From 10th September to 14th October all female/hen salmon must be returned.

  • Sea Trout: April 1st to 30th September inclusive.
  • Brown Trout: March 15th to September 30th inclusive.
  • Grayling and other Coarse Fish: June 16th to March 14th inclusive.

Spring fishing

The Eden was once famous for it's spring run salmon pre-UDN, since then they have been making quite a come back for the last few years with the runs getting stronger each year. Not for the faint hearted, the salmon season begins on January 15, earlier than most rivers. Spring fishing is a bit of a misnomer, at that time of year we are still in the throes of deep winter not seeing any sign of spring until mid-March. Temperature is everything, it will dictate what we wear, how deep and slow we fish, what size fly to use, and how far the salmon will travel upstream. Temperature also has a huge effect on the river conditions, for example; the water may have been running at three or four feet above summer level after heavy rain or snow melt, there is then a sharp frost, this will literally lock up the water coming off the ground. The tributaries stop feeding the system and the levels can drop dramatically and the fish will then hold station in the pools.

With the right conditions, a falling and clearing water from a spate, or good steady levels coupled with consistent weather, there is every chance of connecting with a spring fish on the lower sections of the river. As the season moves into March and April, the numbers of entering salmon increase somewhat and as the water warms the fish are now able to travel into the middle beats by early April. Also at that time of the year we see the first of the sea trout beginning to arrive. Beginning 1 April, some of these sea trout can be rather large and readily take a salmon fly when the water is running off.

Summer fishing

Summer fishing is good, fishing for salmon in the day (and evening) and sea-trout at night, along with the large summer salmon of twenty pound plus in late May and June, the main of the sea-trout run peaks at the end of June with the majority of fish staying at the lower and middle beats of the river given low water conditions.

The Derwent and Lune start to have their fish arriving with Sea-Trout from late June and with salmon coming in from July onwards.

Autumn fishing

Enormous numbers of salmon can enter the Eden at this time of the year with some very large specimens among them. The Haaf nets come off the estuary on September 9, with the right water there is a run of fish off every tide. Catching a falling river at this period, the sport can be quite exceptional. All hen fish are returned after the 10th September.

Fly hatches happen throughout the year, and it is good knowledge to find out which flies are out on the water. This can dramatically improve your catches. Especially wild brown trout.

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