Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Monday - Found a shoal of Grayling! (at last)

I just went over the road this afternoon for a few hours. I started off in the pool below Baslow old bridge where I usually pick up grayling in the summer and there are some nice runs and riffles. Today nothing was about. I worked my way across, up and down but zero! I was now on the far side  and as I worked down below the old ford connected with a decent grayling which became "detached". The next cast also connected and this time I landed a small grayling. I continued dropping my nymph into this area and nearly every pass a grayling had a go. I must have connected with about 15 grayling and managed to land about 7 or 8. This has not happened for me for ages, as mentioned in previous posts, where a shoal of grayling has been located. Unfortunately the river was carrying some colour so I could not see them. My nymph was probably fishing between a foot and two down so the fish were coming up for it. I spent a while taking these fish but what was interesting was that I had to change the nymph a few times as once a couple of fish had been hooked the nymph lost its appeal. Once the swim had gone dead I worked my way down the whole pool then back the other side without taking any other grayling until I was opposite the swim again but approaching from the other side, I picked up another couple of grayling before again the swim was finished. Not a bad couple of hours and definitely better than having to work, I am getting used to this retirement lark!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Monday - A Hard Day

Today I paid another visit down to Mary's Bower again. Very overcast but the temperature was up and the Derwent was gin clear. I started off with a link and dink and immediately an dos trout had a go at the link but I left it  and it didn't hook up. The nymph was too heavy so I changed to a black spider with a 2mm pink bead. Eventually a grayling took hold and was duly landed to the nymph. I worked my way up the run and an dos trout took hold and was quickly released in the net without
being taken out of the river. The link wasn't doing anything so I put on couple of heavy nymphs instead. This had the desired effect and another couple of grayling soon followed. It was a struggle today as an upstream breeze got up and the temperature dropped. After trying by the stump without success I called it a day. Derek was also fishing upstream and he had 3 grayling too.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Wednesday 25th January - A Lovely Day after the Grayling!

Well considering I retired at the end of last October this is the 1st outing since then! Not what I had planned but hey ho I have the new season to look forward to with certainly plenty of fishing pencilled in.

Today I planned to meet Derek at the cricket pitch in the park for a try for the grayling. As this was my 1st visit for months I wasn't feeling too confident. We started around 12 and the sun was shining and not a cloud in the sky, the early frost was gone and everything was lovely! I went down to the old stump pool and had on a couple of heavy nymphs, I was soon into grayling number 1 on the top dropper so at least they were prepared to come up for the nymph. A second had a long distance release before number 2 soon followed to the same nymph on the dropper. Things were looking good as both grayling had come from the same area of water. Was this a shoal, er no! I didn't hang around here and made my way up to the head pf the pool without anything further. It was great to be out, not many people in the park. A large herd of red deer minding their own business too was a bonus.

I then went down to Mary's Bower and started to work my way back as there is a good run of fast water which I thought the grayling would be looking for. I couldn't go wrong and picked up 6 more grayling all except 1 to the top dropper. What was interesting was that they were picked up in twos from the same area of water so not exactly shoaling but nearly!

I called it a day around 3 as the sun was dipping behind the hills and the temperature was dropping plus my feet were beginning to get cold, so 8 grayling landed. I will have to invest in some neoprene socks! A warming coffee back at the new hut and soon I was warm again but even the earlier success could not tempt me back in.

The longest of the day although bit skinny.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Last Orders! (Friday 7th October)

I decided to try and get out before the trout season closed on the 8th October. I managed a couple of hours above the 1 arch bridge in the park. The afternoon was reasonable with some sunny intervals but not much was happening insect-wise. This in turn meant there was little activity on the surface. I started off with a daddy long-legs as these have been very prevalent this autumn but it didn't muster any interest from the fish. The lack of surface activity meant a switch to a dark olive fox squirrel nymph but this also proved fruitless. Although my season has been pretty barren this year due to non fishing issues resulting in only a handful of visits my friends tell me that the Derwent has been acting rather strange this year with people struggling at times to make a catch. I wonder if the crayfish problem is causing a shortage of insects? Anyway I worked my way up towards the bottom weir without any offers then in the fast water I notice a small rise in some slack water on the far side. I switched to a LDO and covered the rise area a few times but because the fast water was dragging away the line I could only manage a few seconds of drag free drift needless to say eventually a fish came up and I took a nice brown.

I continued up the fast water also covering the slack water and another brown  came to hand from the far side to the LDO.

The sun was now dipping below the hills and the temperature was really dropping so I called it a day and an end to my trout season for 2016. Fortunately on the Chatsworth section of the Derwent we can fish for Grayling until the end of February so I will be making use of this especially as I am retiring at the end of the month!

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

A Lesson for Grasshopper from "The Master"

I finally took The Mistress out to meet The Master this evening. It was the first time I had had her out since she came into my possession. I am of course talking about my 7'9" bamboo rod acquired from that well known Bakewell fishing emporium The Bakewell Flyfishing Shop. Master had promised me a "getting to know your new rod" lesson and this evening we finally managed to arrange it. We met at the 1 arch bridge at the bottom of the park. Unfortunately the park was still full of grockles so we found somewhere quiet where the joys of casting with a bamboo rod could be explained. Peter had a look at my casting style and quickly pointed out some faults! He took the rod and made casting look like a art form. Although it was difficult at first I soon noticed where I was failing but it is so easy to forget this when you have to remember that. Anyway as Peter cast and I took it all in a fish took the wool on the end which was being used as a fly to show where the cast went, I could not be let lose with a fly yet! Needless to say the fish took the bit of red wool and was on for a few seconds before it decided to let go. We spent about an hour performing various casts before Grasshopper (David Caradine in Kung-Fu for those who don't understand) had had his fill and the light was going and I wanted Peter to have a few casts for the Chatsworth's submarines. We went upstream where there were still some fish rising even though the temperature was dropping and before long Peter connected with a nice grayling. I then had a few casts and landed a nice brownie so the rod was well and truly christened. We ambled back to our cars as a large herd of fallow dear on the far side were eyeing us up hoping that as soon as we had departed they could come down to the river to drink. All in all a delightful, entertaining, thought provoking and educational evening.
Many thanks Peter.
The Master shows us how it's done.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Rusty Spinner and Sedge Time!

After a busy few weeks I managed a few hours this evening, a long awaited return to the Derwent! It's the posts from other people's blogs and Facebook the has kept me going but led me to a bit of carbon fever. Anyway I went down to the Willow Pool  and remarkably there were no cars in the carpark. It was a glorious evening after a lovely sunny day although the wind had now dropped by 1930. Not knowing what would be hatching I put on a general olive pattern I had tied up with calf tail wings and a full hackle. I got in at the tail of the pool and waited to see if anything was about but nothing stirred. After only a couple of casts I noticed my leader was badly twisted so off came the olive. There was lots of sedge buzzing about so on went a grey sedge. The odd fish was showing here and there but nothing constant. I covered a few rises but nothing, I cast across and as the fly swept under the branches on a tree opposite a slight drag of the fly caused a slow head and tail take. A rather annoyed rainbow then tore off around the pool jumping numerous times. Eventually it was drawn over the waiting net and went about 2lbs, the sedge stuck in its scissors. I covered a few more rises as I made my way up the pool and then a brown of around a 1lb took and was also landed to the grey sedge. This was followed by a lovely rainbow of about 10" which was covered in spots and had the tell tale white edges to it's fins, surely a wild one in anyone's eyes and a rare thing ob beauty. I was getting my camera ready to take a shot whilst holding it in my net when it decided freedom was better than a hollywood career and jumped out and was off.
Fish started o show more consistently now and covering them with the sedge produced nothing, which was odd considering the previous 3 fish. I then noticed a spinner lying crucifix on the surface so off come the sedge and on went one of my rusty spinners. As I was looking around I notice that under the trees on my bank there was cloud of spinners, I should have seen them earlier! I covered a couple of fish and they took but either I struck too soon or they missed the fly. Eventually as I worked my way up to the faster water I noticed more consistent rises and after covering several and having some takes I landed another couple of browns however one was long and thin which did not look too good for it as it should have been in tip-top condition now after the excellent mayfly hatches in previous weeks.
I called it a day at 2115 as the sun had dipped behind the hills and the temperature dropped and with it most of the fish too.
As I left the car park a full moon was showing over Chatsworth.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Sunday 19th June

Today Adam and I went down to the cricket pitch. It started off reasonable although the upstream breeze was rather chilly for this time of the year. Adam got in at the bottom of the cricket pitch and I went upstream. I noticed more pr less straightaway that he was into a fish. He had on a 1-up-1-down mayfly and started picking up fish as he progressed up the pool. Duns were coming off and the odd spinners was about but I think we are at the eve of the mayfly for this year. I got in at the steps and started up the pool towards Bar Brook. The water had the tinge of cold tea but was adequately fishable. Only a few fish were rising and none consistently. I had on a mayfly nymph and was fishing it upstream. A tiny brown came to hand followed closely by a 2nd larger specimen. The nymph wasn't really doing the business so I switched to the same fly as Adam. I covered rises but not much happened apart from a few half hearted slashes at the fly. Eventually a lively rainbow took and was landed. By now I was beginning to get chilled so retreated to the bank to warm up.
Is it summer?
I noticed a fish rising a couple of times centre stream so approached from behind and covered it, on the 3rd or 4th pass it came up and took the mayfly, another rainbow came to hand! I returned to the car to try and warm up as I was starting to shiver.
Adam meanwhile was still moving up the cricket pitch pool and was taking numerous fish. At least he was having a good time!
After warming up I wandered down to see how Adam was getting on and he had brought 10 fish to hand.  He was back at the bottom of the pool again to try and torment the ones he had missed. I waded up with him pointing out rises and he covered them well but struck too eagerly for some. The mayo;y were still coming off and spinners dropping. He brought another 3 or 4 fish to hand.
We called it a day as it had started to rain and most of the fish went down.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

2 Tuesdays - 2 hours!

Last Tuesday I had an hour over the road after work and before our evening meal. The mayfly were coming off still and there were spinners about too at this time. I put on one of the "Staziker" hatching duns which is tied on the dvd which Don and Keith made of the Derbyshire Limestone Streams. It is an excellent hatching dun pattern and it wasn't long before a brown came to hand after missing a few first. Although it's got a bit of cdc in it flows right in the film. several more lovely spotted browns came to hand and an OOS grayling. After about 4 the cdc was done (dun) in and so I swapped to a 1-up-1-down dun. This also started taking the browns too and a few more came to hand finally followed by a rainbow. So in an hour I had 8 fish to hand  and too numerous to count risen.

Tonight I went over to the old bridge to see if there were any spinners about as there were none in my garden which I use as an indicator. There were quite a few about so a quick dash back and jump into my waders and I went over the road and downstream a bit as here I noticed a few fish rising and hordes of mayfly spinners around, it was 8-30 so I had a good 90 minutes ahead of me. Er no after 20 minutes the rain started. so I sheltered beneath a tree.  I had risen numerous fish and had 3 to hand all browns. As the rain started the spinners were still dipping but the fish had gone down. The spinners continued for a while until the rain started coming down in stairods then they started to disappear. After 20 minutes I gave up and dashed home.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Monday 6th June - A Day of 2 Parts

I had the afternoon booked off work today and had arranged to meet Derek and David S at the works. Iy was a beautiful warm day with not a cloud in the sky, not ideal for flyfishing! We decided to go down to the willow pool where David got in Derek went back upstream and I  went down to the deer boom again as I was still after some shots of hatching mayflies. Although there were mayflies coming off the fish were still not switched onto them as numerous floated past fish who showed disdain for them, give them a few days and they will soon get the taste for them. I didn't get anything here so as it was way too hot for the fish decided to go upstream into the gulley as this pool is protected from the sun by trees and I had noticed a few fish showing. It was difficult going with only the odd fish showing consistently but to nothing obvious. A mayfly floated down and was taken so a switch to a 1-up-1-down mayfly resulted in a lively brownie being landed.  I worked my way up the pool quick briskly as there was little showing and I couldn't be arsed bothered to change to a nymph. I picked up another couple but 1 other came to hand.

In the evening I took David M as a guest and we decided to give the bottom stretch a go to see what was around. I could not believe how many mayfly spinners were about.
Mayfly Galore!
We went don to Max's bench pool and the one above and again only a few fish were showing. I had on a 1-up-1-down mayfly and raised a few fish but gave them a "long release"! Eventually I started to land a few as I worked up the pool but again the fish were not totally clued into them. After an hour we decided to go up to the cricket pitch and agin the air was full of mayfly plus a host of other spinners and general buzzing "machines". I pointed the various pools/runs out and David started below the cricket pitch, I noticed him take a couple of fish. Meanwhile I went down to the "stump" where an alder which had taken root last year was now growing away also a rather large rock was submerged in the run so something to be aware of. As I still had on my mayfly I covered a few fish but they didn't really show any interest so I switched to a small cdc "Gasparin Dun", another one shown to us during the winter by Dave Southall. Needles to say the first fish I covered with it had it and a lovely brown was landed. A fish had been rising to something right on the far side in an awkward place and I covered it several times with the various flies I had on to no avail, at least he wasn't put down. I noticed a few small duns on the water too and captured one for future id. It turned out to be a pale watery dun. 
pale watery dun.

The nearest I had was a small grey-olive parachute which went on and after a couple of casts the fish took it as everything came together however it wasn't to be as it took off and under something on the large rock and then continued downstream. Needless to say it was goodbye to him but I call these moral victories!
Unfortunately I didn't have any other flies like this so put on a size 20 yellow bodied emerger as I have had reasonable success in the past when you can't really make-out what they are taking. After a couple of passes "jaws", a large rainbow, put in an appearance and took. After a struggle he got his freedom without me getting him anywhere near close to me.  Another wild brownie came to hand to the emerger before I decided to start moving upstream as the light was beginning to go. I noticed a few fish taking the mayfly spinners caught in the surface film so switched to my old faithful again. I immediately started to hook up with some lovely wild browns as I made my way towards the cricket pitch. 

David had got to the top of the cricket pitch pool now and had been successful which is always good to hear for your guests. I followed him up again taking some more lovely wild browns plus a rather erratic blue rainbow.  It was interesting to note that all the brown trout were wild as they come and no stocked browns and only the 2 rainbows. I think the wild fish know that mayfly tastes good and are not afraid of them.  It always takes the fish a few days for all the fish to completely switch on to the mayfly. 

We ended the evening around 10 with fish still rising but the temperature beginning to drop. Getting or rather stumbling out of the river in the darkness was interesting!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

The Mayfly Have Started

I finally managed to get out for only the 2nd time this season due to family illness. I had arranged to meet Derek at the works so we could go down to the gully where the sun would cast a shadow over the pool. It was an unusually warm day and when we met around 2pm the mayfly were starting to hatch off sporadically.  We ambled down to the gully but I decided to go beyond the deer boom as this is a good place to watch the mayfly hatching and I was after some video of a fly hatching. Unfortunately there were not the numbers yet so maybe in a couple of days I will get my shots. I tackled up with a mayfly nymph just below the deer boom and noticed a fish in the margin so a quick flick and tweek of the nymph brought the fish up and of course I struck way too soon! The fish wasn't touched and returned to the bottom so again I flicked the nymph out and again he came up and yes gain I struck too soon but I think he must have felt something as he sloped off into the depths. Mayflies were drifting off but it is still a few days too early for them I think, according to my fishing diary. Hopefully this week will be better as I have each afternoon off so watch this space!

Looking up towards the deer boom from Bar Brook
I didn't get anything from this area so wandered down to Bar Brook, here a few more fish were showing but  not to mayfly. There were also a few yellow may duns coming off but I have yet to see a fish take one on the Derwent, I know other people take fish on them elsewhere also but not here. Lots of other small flies and duns were also hatching so off came the nymph and on went a IOBO cdc. Something which Dave Southall had tied during the close season at one of the grayling evenings. I noticed a fish rise several times and covered it with this and blow me up he came and had it. I struck into a lovely brown which was eventually netted.

A lovely brown to  IOBO cdc
Below  the brook I watched numerous mayflies hatch in the run on the far side and suicidally float past a number of fish which had risen to small stuff but let these by so this convinced me that they have yet to get the taste for them.
A mayfly floated past which was obviously having trouble casting the shuck away as can be seen below so I gave it a helping hand but it's wings were deformed so that wasn't going anywhere!
Stuck shuck emerger

Nothing down for you I'm afraid!
 By now I could feel the sun making it's mark on me so I decided to wander back towards the deer boom where some shade would be forthcoming and on the way picked up a decent rainbow.

Derek was ensconced in the willow pool and  I was given a masterclass in upstream nymphing where he caught and released 6 fish in probably 10 minutes! We called it a day as it was definitely an evening rise evening to be out and maybe we had fished at the wrong time of day, for me at least!
Roll on this week!