Cumbria’s “Helm wind” persisted for the first half of April, making the more contemplative outdoor pursuits, such as angling, a decidedly chilly affair.

The Helm wind originates on the fells at the head of the Eden Valley, and blows in a north easterly direction. This wind is specific to Cumbria, and often occurs alongside dry and sunny early spring conditions.

It is the only named wind in Britain - and a bad wind for fishing!

Once this troublesome meteorological phenomenon finally eased, small pods of salmon ran the Eden, as the daily temperatures rose. The riverside trees swiftly came into leaf, giving timely cover for the myriad nesting birds and bees. The riverbank reinvented itself almost overnight.

Warwick Hall, at Warwick on Eden, is one of the loveliest stretches of Eden fishing, and owner Nick Marriner is encouraged by recent catches and sightings of the river’s sought-after spring salmon.

Stuart Rose travelled over from Yorkshire to be rewarded with two fly-caught salmon, an 8lb fish from the Coops Stream and a 15-pounder from the Gravel Beds. Steven Welsby cast a fly for a beautiful 10-pounder from Crow Wood, a pool that appears to have benefitted from the wild floodwaters of early March.

Gerry Cowley then returned a fine 11lb springer from Jackie’s Stream, with Bill Blackadder managing a 9lb fish, also from Crow Wood, on a “Flying C”.

The happiest fishing clan at Warwick Hall was probably the Hollick family. Buoyed by his recent capture of a 12lb salmon further down the Eden at Park Broom, David Hollick’s weekly journey down from Edinburgh was further rewarded on consecutive Wednesdays with another 12 pounder from Duffers, and then by a sea-liced 10lb bar of silver from Crow Wood.

David’s successes were largely down to the guiding hand of his father, Frank Hollick. Frank remains a legendary figure on the riverbank, perhaps most renowned for his prodigious performances with the sea trout of the Border Esk and Liddel.

Having been shot and wounded whilst serving in Korea, explosives engineer Frank returned home in 1953 to Wigton, where he set up a building company. His fishing mentor was Tom Elliot, the butcher from Newcastleton. Frank then taught son David to fish around 1968, moving on to fish for salmon at Crosby-on-Eden, where they still fish 50 years later.

Approaching his ninetieth birthday, colour-blind Frank still ties all of David’s winning flies. At the fly-tying bench, he either asks his daughters to select the colours of the materials, or, “just guesses”.

Once again, Frank guessed right this week.

n IT'S four years since the last open match at Whin’s Pond, Edenhall. Stocks denuded by cormorant predation have been somewhat restored by stocking and Mother Nature.

The 13 anglers that gathered last Saturday were greeted by the hottest day of the year so far, clear water and calm conditions, none of which are conducive to a great day’s fishing.

Jimmy Millar from Annan had only fished the lake once before. He drew fancied end peg 27 and cast his cage feeder, baited with red maggot to the centre of the lake, waiting patiently for his three large bream that came at the beginning the middle and the end of the match weighing 22lbs 3oz, and the £70 first prize went north of the border.

John Edwards was second on peg 7, landing seven of the newly-stocked carp for 19-7.

Paul Price was third, landing two large bream on maggot feeder for 16-4.

Local carp specialist Paul Price adapted his approach and managed two large bream from peg 29 early in the match on maggot and feeder. He lost another which might have won him the match but he had to be content with third place with his 16lb 04oz.

The next open match will be on Saturday, May 18. The draw will be at 1.00pm with fishing from 2-8pm. All are welcome.