Sunday, 3 April 2016

Sunday 3rd April - 1st Visit of the New Trout season


I commenced my 2016 trout season today and a decent start it was too. Although it had rained yesterday and the Derwent was up about 3 or 4 inches the only colour was a tinge of cold tea. It had started off cloudy here in Derbyshire but by 12 the sun had burnt the cloud off and it was quite pleasant. I decided on the Willow Pool and when I got to the car park I was the only one there which was surprising. I tackled up my 5 weight with a LDO nymph as the wind was a bit on the chilly side even though the sun was out. When I waded into the tail of the pool I was surprised at the strength of the current as the tail was now deeper as a result of all the winters floods and the water temperature was definitely on the cold side which did not help any insect life!

I gingerly made my way upstream but nothing stirred. A few flies were buzzing about but nothing which you would call a hatch. I got to the limit where you could wade safely without shipping water and retraced my steps not spotting any rises. On  the bank was a dead grayling which something had had a go at, strangely only the head was missing, maybe it was the roe the beasty was after.

The head of the pool produced a similar result a big fat zero, only a tentative pluck from something! By now I was getting rather cold so before calling it a day I got in again at the tail and fished the slacker water down the near bank and soon had my first trout of the season, a brown which had obviously overwintered and was in need of a good meal and had taken the dark olive fsn.

A hungry looking brown - the 1st of the season.
So at least I knew fish were about now and I started to fish with a bit more enthusiasm. An overwintered rainbow soon followed to the same nymph, now I was on a roll!

An overwintered rainbow in lovely condition.
A final brown was also landed taking my tally to 3 which wasn't bad for the first outing. I called it a day by 2.30, a good start.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Friday 26th February - Last Visit of the Season

Keith getting things going!
Today I arranged to meet Keith down by the 1 arch bridge. It wasn't raining but the wind was lazy i.e. went right through you instead of around! We started below the weir and picked up a few oos trout. The grayling were definitely conspicuous by their absence. I was fishing my 10' #4 with a pink shrimp below a klinkhammer but nothing much was interested. Keith was using a czech/french setup with a Sunray micro nymph line. He was finding locating the grayling difficult too. It wasn't until we went over to the far side that we got a grayling a piece. They were not giving themselves up today.

Me into a fish!
Keith let me have a go with his setup and it's the first time I have used a rod so light for a 10 footer #3, it was brilliant. The way the beaded indicator picks up the slightest twitch was very impressive. This was the first time I have used this type of nymphing  setup and it was very effective so may give it a go early season. I must get one of those indicators and a decent long leader. The line Keith was using was also very impressive, I have seen the Sunray lines advertised but not actually handled one, hmm maybe another purchase coming up! We decided to make our way downstream and picked up a few more grayling, I even saw a single lovely LDO drifting past but alas nothing took that particular one however I did see the odd rise which considering how cold the day was was a surprise. We finished the day around 2-30 and then had a week earned Castlegate pork pie followed by plenty of coffee from Keith's stove which also provided a well earned warm-up!
This would be the last visit of the season as the river is closed during March so roll on April 1st!
Keith into a decent grayling



One of Keith's grayling.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

A Bit Chilly and a half decent pork pie!

Decided to have a couple of hours above the 1 arch bridge today. The river was up about 6 ins. and had a slight colour too, I started off by the marker post fishing from the bank with a large klink with a pink shrimp about 18 ins. below. Within a couple of casts a small grayling had a go at the klink which was encouraging. Another couple of passes over the same spot and a small grayling took the shrimp. I was only fishing at rod length from the bank as the river was barrelling through this bit. The wind was playing havoc with the casting so I resorted to a sort of lob to get the fly out. This did the trick and the link shot away again and a decent grayling came in soon followed by another smaller one. It is good to see the small grayling and know that the cormorants have not had them. I then got into the river to wade upstream but the going was tough so extracted myself with difficulty as I had several layers on and my neoprene waders made bending to get up the bank difficult, michelin man came to mind! I wandered up the bank and flicked the shrimp in here and there and took another grayling before it seemed to lose its appeal so switched to a partridge and orange with a small tungsten bead behind the hackle. This is was the downfall of another 3 grayling taking my tally to 7 for a couple of hours. The weather  by now had started to hail and so I  called it day and retreated to the car for coffee. I also had a decent piece of pork pie from a recommended (Mr Percival) establishment in Bakewell however not as good as Hancock's pork pies from Stoney Middleton, now they are good, but if you are stuck then the Bakewell ones will take a good second best. Controversial Moi?

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Sunday 1st Possible Trip

Today I planned to do some grayling fishing and the river was actually fishable! Each time this winter I have had the opportunity to go fishing the river has been up and coloured. Today it was up a few inches but with just a tinge of cold tea. I decided to go above the works as this is always a place where I pickup the odd grayling during the summer. There is also some fast oxygenated water  here. I tackled up with a red tag and got in by the cattle drink. I was fishing close in to my bank as the river was belting through. It wasn't looking promising however within a few minutes I had a grayling splash at the red tag so fish were about. Unfortunately that was all and about half way up the pool I decided to switch to a NZ setup. A large link and a killer bug on the end soon resulted in my 1st grayling. This also picked up a couple more before reaching the top of the pool. I retried my steps to the bottom of the pool and changed the big to a partridge and orange with a tiny tungsten bead behind the hackle, again this picked up a couple of grayling before a large OOS rainbow. Another couple of grayling followed before it seemed to loose its appeal so I switched to a small pink shrimp/bug. This immediately started to pickup more grayling as I worked my way backup the pool. I ended the session with around 15 grayling but as my feet were starting get numb called it a day.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Last part of the season

Well I have been conspicuous by my absence since July! I have not had the enthusiasm to blog for some unknown reason. It's been a horrible wet and windy weekend here in Baslow and the Derwent is well up and coloured, just what was needed to flush out the leaves and muck.
So my 2nd half of the season went ok, I fished several times per week and each time caught fish. The flyleaf was superb, most evenings there were sedge fluttering, spinners dipping, midge middling and duns hatching.
On the 15th July I fished above the 1 arch bridge in the park, I had waded out about 15 feet from the bank and there were even fish rising between me and the bank! I covered a decent rise and was surprised to land this.

A lovely dace.
Another coarse fish on fly to add to my list. 
August followed much the same as previous years, when it was warm fish rose right past darkness however on those evenings when the temperature dropped, usually around 9, the fish dropped too and rises ceased.
September came and went in a flash as I was away in Greece for 2 weeks, and lovely it was too! I fished the sycamore and willow pools a couple of times but as the nights were beginning to draw in fishing ceased around 9 at the latest if temperatures allowed.

A lovely brown from the Willow Pool

Autumn colours starting to show at the Sycamore Pool

I was determined to fish right up to "last orders" and met Derek on the 3rd when we went down to Max's bench pool. It was a difficult start as nothing was showing but around 2 a few duns started to come off and then the odd fish rose, I connected with a few before managing to net a lovely brown.
A brown which had been rising between me and the near bank! Notice the lice near it's pectoral fin?

View down Max's bench pool.

On the 4th we met again at the works and I went down to the Willow pool (again!!) this time a grayling was the 1st to be landed, fish were rising in the run on the far side but I think the grayling must have been a fluke as nothing else showed any interest in the multitude of flies I put over them. I even got into the run with my seine net but could not see anything which the fish could be taking. Even getting my face down to water level there was nothing however this did not put the fish off rising being only a rod length away. They must have known winter was around the corner and lean times ahead. I went down to a size 26 grey olive dun and picked up a couple of browns but missed many more as the small hook would not take hold.
This was my last visit before the trout season finished so now onto the grayling........

So just a couple of shots of Chatsworth in all her glory on 1st November in full autumn colour.

View from the bridge towards the house.

The cricket pitch were the river is over by the poplars.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Monday - Another Afternoon Off

I had to take my wading boots back to Orvis in Bakewell today as the soles had decided the did not want to be joined to the uppers. As usual with Orvis their customer service is 1st class. Within no time and a bit of luck they had my size in stock so a quick exchange was completed and I was on my way.
I had arranged to meet Derek down by the gully this afternoon. The wind had calmed down today and the sun was shining but still a bit of a chill. When I got down he had started in the gulley pool so I went below the deer boom again. I started with my mayfly nymph and eventually landed a brown and a rainbow soon followed. The mayfly were starting to come off and fish were starting to show so off came the nymph and on went a dun. Before long one of the fish I covered rose and snaffled the dun, after it gave me a run around a lovely 3lb'er was landed. A brown followed then I had noticed a rise between me and the bank, I was no more than 9' from the bank and every time a dun came down the fish took it. This was getting irritating so I covered him with my dun but he had a look and that was all until the next real one came down. I changed to an merger but again nothing, a yellow sally came down and that was taken too. I added laughter tippet to my cast and put the dun back on and the second or third pass up it came and was hooked but this was short-lived as it slipped off, still a success though.
I then went down to Bar brook and now the mayfly were coming off thick and fast and the fish were rising everywhere. I landed more rainbows and a couple of browns. I had noticed a rise in midstream and covered it and then an almighty mouth engulfed the fly. It took off like a train and in all my years of fly fishing it was only the second time a fish had stripped all my fly line off and went well into the backing. The fish leapt numerous times just like a seatrout and shook its head like mad. eventually on the third or fourth attempt I managed to net it, a cracking rainbow around 6lb again, I was shaking like leaf after this! The afternoon was turning into a real success. a couple more browns were landed then I noticed a rise on the far side so again this was covered and the fish came up lazily and sucked in the dun. This proved to be another good rainbow and again was landed. At this point not much was showing and I was getting cold so decided to call it a day (or afternoon). I had landed around 12 fish but only 4 were browns. Another good afternoon and the new boots were christened!