Tuesday, 16 January 2018

1st outing of 2018!

A happy new year to all my fellow bloggers and followers wherever you are, hope 2018 is a good year for you.

After a difficult few months I decided to wet my line with my new bamboo rod which I "picked up" from a reputable emporium in Bakewell (Bakewell Flyfishing Shop). This is a 7'10" 5 weight and is built on a Paul Young taper which is and I quote "possibly the best taper in the world" but please don't rip into me with comments!  It is from the same stable as my other 1, John French, a man who picked up all the Marcus Warwick gear together with a list of all the usual tapers from the various American and English rod makers of the past. A really interesting chap to talk to and very informative.

Anyway I went above the 1 Arch Bridge in the park which is usually a good spot to pick-up grayling. The Derwent was up a bit but reasonably clear however it was just above freezing or at least it felt like it. I slid down the bank, a good start, stripped some line off and took my fist cast. The rod loaded easily with the DT5 and I was able to make both short casts and also get a fair amount of line out if needed. It was performing great! This really is a different way of fishing with bamboo than graphite however I will still use these for the times when they are necessary. On another day like this I would use my 10' 4wt as this time of the year it is usually slinging heavy nymphs to get down to the grayling. It was hard going with not a bite in sight as I worked my way up to the bottom weir. I decided to call it a day after a couple of hours and had a few last casts where I got in and blow me a small grayling was landed right at the last call.

So my new rod was christened, looking forward to the new season when it will get a lot of use on those clear balmy evenings when the sedge and spinners are active.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

2nd Half of the Season

As the trout season has now finished here in the UK I thought I had better update my blog!

Adam joined me for a day in July which proved very successful for him catching several fish during the afternoon and early evening. Here he is in Max's bench pool where he covered a difficult fish rising right under the trees on the far bank and landed a lovely brown.
Got 'im

The above 2 fish from the same pool, completely different markings.

The season continued to be productive however the balmy evenings were definitely absent consequently the evening rises were few and far between. It seemed to be that once the sun disappeared behind the hills the temperature dropped and so the fish went down. July produced 12 browns, 7 rainbows and 5 grayling from only 4 visits

Adam joined me again on the 6th August where we fished from the Willow pool down to Bar Brook and then back to the sycamore, Adam ended up with 8 fish and I "managed" 2 browns and a rainbow. On the 14th Derek and I met David down at Beeley for lunch, I got in at the run-in to the hut pool and although rises were not consistent Ia few favourites runs produced a couple of browns. In the hut pool I had to go down to a size 26 black parachute to get any response from the 4 browns which followed. The last visit was to the sycamore and up towards the cattle drink, this afternoon was hard going and i only landed 1 brown and 1 grayling to a brown sedge.

In September I only got out twice as we were on holiday in Cornwall. On my first visit I was met by a very coloured  Derwent with no fish rising, I eaked out only 1 grayling. Later in the month the park beckoned and I started off at Mary's Bower where I picked up a small brown. As I worked my way back to the Cricket pitch I resorted to a small brown nymph and landed 2 more browns, 1 rainbow and 2 grayling, not an easy afternoon by far, all fish hard fought for.

My last visit to the Derwent was on the 6th October, the water had a slight colour to it. I started at the Sycamore and worked my way up. Some fish were showing but difficult to see to what! So, a small size 20 black parachute did the business and 2 browns and 2 grayling were landed with many missed or "long released".

My final visit was to the Wye on Cressbrook and Litton courtesy of My Percival where a sumptuous BBQ was produced. Banter followed and a great afternoon was had by all, unfortunately the wye was up and colouring up and even though I had a few flicks and missed a couple nothing was landed.

I used my bamboo rod and 2 other fishers also had the "wood" out. Here is a neat photo which could have been taken 50 years ago!

Roll on the grayling!

Monday, 5 June 2017

Willow Pool Take2

This evening I went down to the Willow Pool again to see if I had more luck than last time. There were many spinners of various types about, not too sure what this one is though so any help would be gratefully received, I think it may be an olive upright spinner?

I had on my usual mayfly as there were lots of mayfly spinners about too, the odd one being taken. After a couple of casts a brown took but after a second or two slipped the hook. A few minutes went by and I knew I was covering fish but nothing so a quick change to a grey olive parachute but still nothing took. Fish were rising but I could not see to what even though they were only a rod length out, something small. Nothing was on the surface which they seemed to be taking even though spinners and duns were there which were not really being taken, confusing! The temperature was also dropping and very now and then the fish would stop rising for 5 minutes then start again. A switch to a griffiths gnat only resulted in 1 fish again as I knew I was covering them. I was beginning to get frustrated and moved up to the top of the pool were again spinners were dipping into the fast water. A rusty spinner produced another brown before the temperature dropped considerably and I started shivering so called it a day. All in all a frustrating evening but encouraging to know that the insect life is unbelievable and the crayfish have not had everything.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A Hard Afternoon and a Dunking!

Is this a fishing hut or what?
Our fishing hut is finished now and a right ol' place it is! All mod cons and looks the part, many thanks especially to Matthew who did the lion's share of work on it and the rest of the team too, a great job!

Some neat roof work!

 I had arranged to meet Bill and Derek down at the hut for lunch today so that we could fish the mayfly. After a natter we started fishing in Max's bench pool, mayfly, yellow sally, yellow may dun and lots of other assorted fly were coming off in droves. The odd fish was rising which I suppose was to be expected as the sun was shining too. I started off with a mayfly nymph and had a few tugs as I worked my way upstream, maybe the fish are still wary of the mayfly as this usually happens and only the odd fish take them until the word gets around. A fish rose to a mayfly under the trees where I had started so I retraced my steps and put on my go-to mayfly, Phillip Whites's 1-up-1-down. I covered the fish and 1st pass it had it and a strike and a nice brown was landed. A 2nd fish had also risen as I had made my way down and I covered this and on the 2nd pass it too had it but it either missed the fly or I struck too soon! I continued up the pool and a couple more fish had a slash at the fly and appeared to take it but on striking there was nothing there. Maybe these fish are still a bit unsure as usually the take is very definite. The rises stopped even though the mayfly were still coming off so I switched back to a mayfly nymph and took another brown. As I was planning to fish this evening I only ended up fishing for an hour or so and returned to my car through the thick clouds of mayfly spinners.

In the evening I went down to the willow pool (again) and sure enough fish were rising but I could not tell to what, certainly not mayfly. This time I started at the top of the pool and worked my way down covering fish and getting nothing just enjoying myself  minding my own business when someone decided to get in at the tail of the pool and fish up! I could not believe it, talk about fishing etiquette, it was not as if they did not see me. Consequently once I reached a point of where I could have probably cast and hit him I decided that enough was enough and attempted to get out whereupon  I stumbled and fell in, SH!T or something similar! Needless to say that put the lid on my evenings fishing, thanks whoever you are.  I know I don't own the river but when someone is fishing a pool you don't just get in with them unless invited or am I being too touchy? Rant over now.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Another Good Day

I arranged to meet Derek at the cricket pitch this afternoon, it was very warm with bright sun, maybe too sunny? Anyway I was a bit late and Derek had got in above the new (old) hut and was working his way upstream. After a brief chat I tackled upend went down to the cricket pitch. It was very odd as there were no fish rising nor were there any flies hatching! I had put on a grey olive klink but nothing showed any interest so I switched to a nymph. Only one half hearted tug was all that I got in the whole of the pool. So off to Bar Brook I went, the odd fish was rising but nothing consistent so I covered a rise with an olive paradun and a take! A blue rainbow was landed but that was it for the afternoon, I gave up soon after 4 as it was obviously too hot and sunny for the fish and me!

In the evening I went down to the works and got in at the sycamore pool, there were loads of fly about just like last evening, gnats, a few duns and spinners including a couple of mayflies! I had on an olive link and eventually a fish took and brown was landed. This continued as I worked my way up the pool with fish showing all around me, I switched to a griffiths gnat as the swarms of gnats around were amazing and started to take fish on this too. It was a lovely evening and although I only fished for 90 minutes I ended up with 5 browns and 3 rainbows.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

1st Evening Session

After today's duties I decided to try the evening session to see whether there was anything happening. I went down to the willow pool and in the car park the only car was leaving, they said it had been "quiet" in the willow pool but it didn't put me off. I got down and put on a general grey olive parachute a couple of rises were covered but nothing showed an interest. There were loads of fly about from spinners and duns to masses of gnats. I managed to catch a few in my net and the spinners were not blue winged olives but slightly bigger and a brown olive colour. I put on an olive paradun and immediately a brown was landed. Another couple of misses and then a rainbow came in. The amount of fly about this evening was amazing, looking downstream what I thought was a mist turned out to be masses of gnats. I switched to a black gnat and again after covering a few fish another couple of browns came to hand. A few fish were head and tailing which to me means they were taking spinners and the only thing I had closely resembling was a pheasant tail body and a pale hackle. I tried off the bottom hackle so it would sit right on the film and luckily a fish took it and a brown was landed. The light was falling now and I could just make out the light hackle on the fly as another final brown took and was landed. I called it a day at 2130 as the light also called time, a really good evening with many more to come.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Saturday - 1st Iron Blue, Pale Watery and Yellow May Dun!

I had arranged to meet Derek down at Beeley again around lunchtime. The morning was reasonably warm as I cut the grass and things were looking rosy for the afternoon. I got to the hut around 1330 and as I was tackling up a small iron blue landed on me, this is the 1st one I have spotted here on the Derwent this year, as I was trying to get my camera out and ready to take the shot off it flew! I went down to Max's bench pool with Derek fishing the pool above. As I was manoeuvring into position what looked like a pale watery floated past. I had on a small black parachute to hopefully tempt something. A fish rose underneath the trees opposite and on my 1st cast the fish rose and was hooked and landed, a lovely wild brownie.
Notice the red adipose!
My next attempt at getting under the trees resulted in a lost fly! As I was tying on another black parachute what looked like a yellow may dun wafted past. It was turning out to be a real mix of flies but alas these were one-offs. There were plenty of midge about in both black and a light olive. Covering the next couple of rises produced nothing to the parachute so I put on a "special" cdc midge pattern given to me by Mr Marriot. This worked a treat on the next 2 browns as it was sipped down easily and resulted in 1 fish being landed. I worked my way up the pool and a blue rainbow had a go at the midge as well. The wind was a nuisance this afternoon and soon the temperature was dropping and I was getting cold so a hasty "stroll" through the pool produced another blue to an olive fsn as the few rises that were about had dried up hence the nymph.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Turned out nice again this afternoon.

Yesterday's weather forecast was 9 degrees but today dawned sunny and after a bit of gardening Lynn suggested I go fishing, before the sentence was finished I think the car was loaded up! I went down to Beeley again but today I was determined to fish dry only as the temperature was rising lots of grannom and olives were about and it was just a lovely afternoon. As I was tackling up Derek appeared and Matt was continuing to put the finishing touches to our new hut.

The pool below Shaun's bench.
I started in the pool below Shaun's bench, at the run in a fish was rising and I had on a grey-olive parachute. After 2 passes the fish took and a small brown was landed. I  was determined to stay with the dry today so was searching the water for rises which were few and far between. Another fish showed  in the run in and again after a couple of passes it came up for the fly but I was too eager and missed it. I continued to scan the water for rises and spotted another tiny rise in the same area and again after a couple of passes with the fly the fish came up and a lovely brown was landed. In a few weeks time it will be in peak condition.

In a few weeks this chap will be in peak condition

It was difficult not succumbing to the nymph to pick-up some more fish but as the cliche goes "there is (much!) more to fishing than just catching fish". I fished through the pool and picked up another brown before working my way down to below the cattle drink where I was expecting some more fish rising but nothing showed. I called it a day after just a couple of hours but hey 6 or 7 fish on a lovely afternoon, everything in the garden is rosy as they say!

Friday, 21 April 2017

Wednesday and a new fishing hut begins to take shape!

Today I went down to Beeley as I did not go there much last season. As I rounded the bend to the car park I was net with the construction of a new log cabin which will become our new fishing hut. Matthew was busy putting the roof planks on ands hoping to finish it in the next few weeks. It will certainly be the best fishing hut I have seen, I will post some photos once all completed.  Derek was already in the pool below the old hut so I got in at the pool by the new hut above him. I really enjoy fishing this pool as there are a few good runs where the fish hold off in the seams. A few grannom and olives were about but nothing rising consistently to them only the odd one here and there. I had on a small olive fun and after a couple of casts a lovely oos grayling all of 4" was landed, it is encouraging to see these small fish about knowing that breeding is taking place and all the small fish are not being devoured by either the crayfish or other fish. I noticed a rise further up the run and so put on a small black link style fly and after a couple of chucks a lively brown followed, again a small example of a wild brownie.

I am always wary of hooking these expecting a larger brown or rainbow to attack them so endeavour to get them in and released as quickly as possible, some would say bullying them in! Another couple of fish (rainbow and brown) followed before I reached the head of the pool. After a quick chat to Derek who was finding it hard to keep the fish attached I went down to Max's bench pool. This is another of my favourite pools as there always seems to be fish rising underneath the trees near the bottom and it was true today. A couple of fish seemed to be taking something unseen from the surface and as I still had on my black fly I cast underneath the trees and on the first cast it was taken by another brownie which jumped and was gone, I call these moral victories. Th commotion had not put down fish number two and after a couple of rejected passes and hooking the low branches the fly was taken and another wild brown was landed. I worked my way up the pool but there were no further consistent risers so on went the olive fun again and I started picking up fish as  I worked my way up the pool.
At about half way up i thought we were under attack as 2 RAF Hercules planes came roaring down the valley. This is a regular occurrence as they must use the Derwent as a low level training route, needless to say with these at least you can here them coming which is more than you can say when the fighter planes come down! It is a magnificent sight to see them appear from behind the trees on;y a few hundred feet up, it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on edge!

At around 1600 I noticed that he temperature dropped considerably and the  takes to the nymph dried up so I called it day. As I got out Bill was in the above pool so we strolled back together bemoaning the drop in temperature and the effect it has on the fish.
Another day that can't be taken away from you!

Friday, 14 April 2017

Thursday - Brrrrrrr!

It was rather chilly this afternoon! We went down to the cricket pitch but the cold north westerly did not do much for any surface activity. Between there and Mary's Bower I only saw a few fish rise and they were not regular risers. So it was the usual dark olive fsn with some lead to get it down. Nothing came from the stump area even after a couple of changes to other colours! So mosey'd down to Mary's Bower and again no surface activity. The fsn did manage a take but the fish came adrift. I noticed a tiny rise on the far side of the run but could not make out any definite fly so I put on a small black klink style fly and  a small brown was landed and swiftly released. The wind was a real pain which was keeping the fish down, as I worked my way back up to the cricket pitch a few sedges and olives were about but no rises to them yet. At the cricket pitch Derek had had a few rainbows but again the same story not much rising. I went up to Bar Brook and then fsn took a couple of recently stocked rainbows! Again not real surface activity even though now there were a few more olives and sedges coming off. I called it a day after an hour as the fish and I were getting bored with the rather chilly wind.