Sunday, 6 June 2021

Normal Service Resumed

 I went down to the cattle drink above the works on Friday evening and what a sight greeted me. Lots and lots of flylife about, clouds of sedge and olives fluttering about. This photo doesn't do it justice!

Just a dusty lens to some people!

The olives were olive uprights I think. Example below:

Male Olive Upright?

At 1930 there were not many rises only the occasional one however within 10 minutes more and more fish were on the move. Whilst the amount of flies around were epic I could not make out what they were rising to as the rise tended to be more of a roll or suck. I had on a size 20 black klink and covered a few risers but couldn't get the drift right. Eventually it came right and a rainbow sucked in the fly and was duly landed on my 7'10" bamboo rod. After losing a couple I noticed a few spinners dead on the water so switches to a size 14 rusty spinner, a bit bigger than when the BWOs are about. 

As I moved up the pool I noticed a small sip several times not much more than a rod length away, I cast ahead and let the spinner drift back and a beautiful brown sipped down my fly. After a bit of a tussle this was landed and duly "snapped". A wild brown trout I'm sure as fins were arrow straight and a spade of a tail. I hope Mr PP would be proud?

Within another couple of casts another sipper was spotted and another cracking brown landed slightly smaller than the previous. I continued to be a lovely warm evening until about 2045 when the temperature started to drop. The flies continued to flit about but there were noticeably less rises, even in the fast water at the top of the pool.

Looking downstream from the cattle drink.

I became chilled so called it a day in this pool but on my way back I saw a rise by the pulpit and after a few casts landed another rainbow. Only landing 4 for the evening but a start.

This badger was spotted during my last outing, I watched it from the river and I am sure it didn't know I was there!
Mr Brock!


Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Latest Update and Start of The Season

 Well since my last post I lost my Google account which lets me update my Blog! After much to'ing and fro'ing I may have recovered it!

So what's happened, not a lot! I only managed 1 outing during the winter for grayling, this was into the park and I did get a few grayling on a czech/french leader setup. I was finding it difficult with the Orvis 10'6" Helios, I need some coaching in how to use this method!

Then onto the trout season from 1st April. As most of the UK trout fishers know April was wet and cold followed by much of the same in May! 

I ventured out once in late April and decided to start below Baslow old bridge, I had on a parachute Adams and soon landed a small wild brown. This was to prove the only fish feeding for a long while! There were no rises between the bridges and an apparent lack of any fly life. As i said previously the weeks prior had been wet and cold and this must have left any nymphs secure in their hideouts. Below the new bridge I went down to the cattle drink and did spot a couple of risers but that was it, literally. Although the river was up a little it was still chilly so after that I made my way back upstream rather dejected and called it a day.

During May I constantly kept an eye on the river from the old bridge but rises were no existent. Fly life was very dour and I can only recall seeing the odd sedge and willow flies. LDOs were very absent. 

It wasn't until last Friday that I ventured out again down to the bottom end. I started around 2'ish. The river was at summer level and clear and the sun was out, temperatures had been low for the time of year so I wasn't expecting much however fish were rising in the fast water to something small or emerges as the only duns around were yellow may duns, again willow flies and the odd sedge. I decided on a small black parachute and as I worked my way up the faster water landed 2 browns and lost 2. I tried various dries and emerges but could not get the fish to take really. I ventured further downstream to Dereks pool and caught a rainbow and lost 2 browns at the head  of the pool on a parachute adams. Getting in at the bottom again I lost a good rainbow and a few casts later landed a nice one around 2lb, these on an olive nymph.

So although the 3-4 hours was frustrating at times at least fish were moving and some semblance of insect activity was happening. Usually by now the mayfly have put in an appearance but not this year yet!

The Bank holiday weekend was lovely and warm and the 1st few days of June too so hopefully things will take a turn for the better.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Was That It Then?

 No sooner had we come out of lockdown when the rivers opened than it was the end of the season. September continued to offer pretty poor evenings to fish the last couple of hours with very little activity from both fish and insects. Temperatures were on the low side. I tended to fish more in the afternoons. One particular afternoon I went down to the bottom end, I was using my bamboo #5 weight. Usually as you progress up about half a mile fish can be picked off or raised with a neatly cast griffiths gnat or black gnat. I tried both these but could only muster a couple of browns. There just were not the insects about nor the usual rafts of weed. Afternoons spent by the works with Derek produced fish to terrestrials and small black gnats. Talking to the keeper about the issues he agreed that probably due to the biblical floods in February (highest in 50 years) this would have ripped out the weed and shifted many many tons of silt. One of the most amazing examples being down by the bottom hut were the bend just above which was very deep on the near side now has a dry silt area. Unfortunately the last days of the season was a washout with high levels.

So its on to the grayling, maybe a few hours on Thursday or Friday (16th). I will be able to christen (hopefully) my new Orvis Helios3 10'6" #3. I have been reading up on the Czech/French/high sticking practices, Paul Gaskell ( has just written a book which includes pieces on this method plus videos/tutorials about leader setup etc. I am in the midst of reading it and it is very informative. So onto the various "nymphing" methods with hopefully some dry fly on those clear days.

Friday, 4 September 2020

July and August - Something Happening To Our River?

 July was an odd month, fishing was predominantly restricted to the evenings however what was expected to be lovely barmy evenings turned out to be mainly on the chilly side. Result:- little fly life about and even fewer rises but was there some other factor? There was one spectacular evening when it was warm and there was fly life everywhere, duns, spinners, caddis and midges. I had a very good evening catching  browns including a spectacular grown on brown between 5 and 6 pounds. This was a one off, the fish are there but this year there is a sad lack of weed in the river which naturally keeps the insect like down. 

August was not much better, each outing resulted in fish being taken but the incredible hatches of previous years was not forthcoming. Why is this? I am to the only not the thinking this way too. How are clubs above and below Chatsworth fairing this season? 

The floods of last February must have some effect on the river flora and fauna when you look at the above photos showing the flood it must be at least 10 feet above normal. The sheer power must have ripped up miles of weed, gravel thus remapping the river bed. I know there have been floods in the past but this year, well something extra has happened.

So onto September and the sunset of the season hopefully things will improve.


Monday, 1 June 2020

May and Back on The River!

Well it is 11 months since I last fished due to family illness and bereavement. So I was looking forward to getting back on the river after the lockdown was lifted for our fishery last Friday. I met up with Bill and Keith around 1030 at the bottom hut. They had already been in the river and snook a few fish. After the usual pleasantries I decided to go further downstream to see if anything was happening. The odd fish was showing with occasional mayfly coming off. Olives and black gnats too. My casting was a bit rusty after my lay-off but I soon got into my stride. I had decided on a black gnat as there were many around, I worked my up the pool but rises were few and far between here. Eventually a nice brown rose to my fly and a delay to my strike ensured a well hooked fish which was duly landed. As I progressed up the pool a couple of takes were missed so around 1 I reeled in and met up with the chaps for lunch. Lunch was one of Hancocks pork pies, still warm when I collected it too! Needless to say we soon demolished it. I also want to add that all this was accomplished with sensible social distancing, even cutting the pie was done without touching it. Following a leisurely lunch I was changing my fly and rested my rod against my car, I locked the car forgetting my rod was against the door mirror, needless to say it chopped the rod like a guillotine! At least with Sage rods it has a lifetime warranty however it was still going to cost £120 to fix it. Bill and Keith called it a day as they had been there since early doors. Luckily I had 1 of my bamboo rods with me so tackled up again and I went back to the pool I had half fished and carried on. I only successfully landed another brown so I called it a day after an hour, it was great to get out again after such a long break.

Last week I  had a couple of visits just over the road below Baslow Old Bridge. On Tuesday it had been such a warm day and lots of spinners in the garden too,  I had decided to use my bamboo rod a 7'10" #5, such a joy to use as a difference to the carbon rods. I had an olive cdc dun on and landed a nice brown from a run on the far side, always a tricky cast! Progressing up the pool I lost the fly in a decent fish and decided on a change to a griffiths gnat. Another brown followed by a rainbow around 2lbs completed a lovely couple of hours before dark.

The following evening I again went across the road to fish the pool below Baslow Old Bridge. The first fish was another cracking rainbow, fully finned and fighting fit around 2lbs. There then followed a first for me, I hooked into a fish which went wild, it turned out to be a blue trout and as it lay in my net I noticed a fly in its top lip. It was the fly I lost the previous evening to this fish, an olive cdc dun, obviously not affecting the fish's eating habits! I finished off the evening with a final brown to take my tally to 3.

On Sunday evening I went down to the bottom hut again, Derek had kindly lent me a rod to use. The pool above the hut looked inviting with plenty of fly about but nothing showing. I had on a black gnat  as there were many about. In the fast water my fly became waterlogged but whilst I was distracted by a couple of grey wagtails a fish tugged the fly and was on, sheer fluke. A cracking 2½lb rainbow was landed. I tried various other runs to no avail so went to the next pool down but first tried the fast water as I went, again I was distracted by something and the fly was take and a brown hooked itself, fluke number 2! I finished off with another brown from the next pool before calling it a day after an hour. I was feeling a bit vulnerable as there had been several instances of poaching on the river today together with numerous on the Wye and being alone down near the bottom without communication was un-nerving me. Usually it doesn't both me fishing alone but not this time!

May was a quick month fishing wise but a decent start to an unusual beginning. Wishing all my readers a safe and successful season and take care.

Monday, 1 July 2019

22nd June

This evening  I went down to the Willow pool around 7.30 pm, it was a lovely warm evening with a clear sky, a few fish were rising as I tackled up at the hut. Things looked good! Again I started with the grey olive parachute as it represents a small olive dun and there were a few about. Fish were rising everywhere but they were head and tailing however I soon contacted a lively rainbow which was landed. As I worked my way up the pool sedge, midge and duns started coming off with the occasional mayfly too, a real treat for both fisherman and fish. I landed a brown but I was coming to the conclusion that this was not the correct fly as several trout covered ignored my offering. I switched to a small brown sedge again and immediately took a lovely brown around 1.5 lbs followed quickly by a rainbow which flipped out of my hand and took the sedge with it! Both fish head and tailed to the sedge and it took all my willpower to delay the strike. How many times do I strike too soon, wait, wait, strike. It turned out that I only had the one brown sedge with me as I hadn't updated my flybox recently so on went a size 18 grey sedge. This too started working it's magic with the head and tailers plus a couple of splashy risers too. I finished around 9.30 as again the temperature dropped and so did the fish  but 8 fish for a couple of hours was a result for me. Before my next visit I must update my flybox as it's rusty spinner as well as sedge time too!

21st June

On Friday I had a few hours spare so just went over the road below Baslow old bridge from about 7.30 pm. I sat on the bench for a while to see if anything was rising and there were a few small dimples looking up to the right, small grayling I assumed. I had on a size 18 grey olive parachute as nothing of note was about. I also had my John French bamboo rod out for the first time this season. I covered the first dimple a few times but nothing came to my fly and as the fish was still showing I changed to a small b brown sedge and first cast hooked not a grayling but a lovely wild brownie about 10". I continued up and hooked and lost a couple more before landing another brownie about the same size as the first on the brown sedge.

I then went down to the pool below as I had spotted a few rises there too and floated the sedge downstream to a fish which eventually took but was soon off due to the downstream drift I suspect! I switched to the other bank and made my way up but nothing was showing until I reached the top where after prospecting with the sedge two more browns were landed. The temperature dropped around 8.30 and with it the fish stopped moving so I called it a day at 9 pm.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

18th June

I checked the water level at the old bridge in Baslow at about 11 and it definitely looked fishable so arranged with Derek to meet him at the works around 2. I decided to give my 7'10'" Derwent bamboo rod an outing too. I decided on a mayfly dun at first just to see if there was any action but after a while at the sycamore decided that I was flogging a dead horse. Not a single fish rose and also the river seemed to have got decidedly more coloured. A dark olive fsn was tied on and even that didn't do the business. If I didn't know better I would think the river was devoid of fish! The river continued to cloud up and even with a slight hatch of mayfly and some yellow sallies that didn't bring much up. Even Derek was not fussed and failed to connect above the cattle drink. I worked my way up and then decided to switch to a mayfly nymph and by sheer floor took a brown. At 4 I decided to call it a day and picked Derek up on my way back to the car. It just goes to show how quick the river can colour up in a few hours, we have been caught out like this before but that has usually been below Bar Brook. Hey ho at least we wetted a line! The river will probably be out of sorts now till at least Friday.

Monday, 10 June 2019

9th June

Today I took a guest, Dave,  and so went down to Beeley again as this part of the river is beautiful, that's not saying the rest isn't!
We started in the pool above the hut using mayfly nymphs, Dave up the left side me crossing to the far bank. I soon contacted a fish which fought well initially but to my surprise it turnout to be a superb PERCH around 15" long. The nymph was well back in its mouth so it definitely wanted it. I have caught perch before in a few other pools but never thought there would be any here. Within a few more casts I landed a superb rainbow around 2 1/2lbs. Dave had switched to a dry as a few mayfly were coming off plus a few spinners were about too. He missed a good take to the dry, too eager! We only fished for about an hour here before adjourning for lunch giving the mayfly time to get active.

After lunch I thought that we would have a repeat of last Monday and fish the same pool. I gave Dave a few mayfly nymphs and duns to try. I led the way and Dave fished the fast water at the tail whilst I made my way upstream. I noticed him landing a few fish, great! I am always anxious that my guests land fish but now Dave was well into it. I persisted with the nymph and a brown was landed but the mayfly by now had started to hatch quite a lot so on went the "usual".  I proceeded up the pool to the cattle drink landing several browns losing even more! Again I reached the stepping stones and noticed a fish rising in the same place a last Monday. Again I covered it a couple of times before getting a drag free drift and up it came, a lovely brown which again had me all over the pool. 

 Notice anything about the above fish and the one from Monday? I think they are the  same fish going by the markings around the gill covers. I was about 4pm by now and the amount of mayfly duns and spinners plus sedge, and sherry type spinners was a treat to see. Needless to say at 4.15pm the heavens opened and for about 30 mins torrential rain ensued. Maybe the flies knew what was coming. We sheltered under a tree and watched the mayfly still hatching and the odd fish taking them even though the surface was pocked by all the rain. A few casts after the rain and another brown was taken but the temperature had dropped and you could see your breath, this resulted in a lack of fly and the fish went down too. I ended the day with 2 rainbows 6 browns and 1 perch. Dave had a better afternoon landing a dozen fish.     

3rd June

I decided to go down to Beeley today, on arriving Bill was also there together with a host of others. Derek arrived and decided it was too congested so went into the park. Bill and I went down to Max's bench pool. I went upstream and Bill down. No mayfly were hatching at this time around 1330 so on went a mayfly nymph and I soon landed a nice rainbow. As I waded up the pool mayfly started to hatch out however the fish seemed a bit reluctant to take any with only the odd one being splashed at. As I progressed the hatch became heavier and a few more fish were showing so on went the good old 1-up-1-down mayfly (Phil Whites pattern!) and I started to connect with fish. Several browns were  landed successfully! I managed to get right up the pool to the cattle drink this year as the winter floods had changed the river bed slightly. I decided only to cast to rising fish instead of fishing blind so although fish were rising they were not consistent in 1 place however a couple of fish covered rose again and I landed a few more browns. I got to the stepping stones and  a fish rose a couple of times in the same position, I watched it for a while then placed my fly on the direct line to it and up it came. A magnificent brown to finish the day which had me all over the pool. Below is said brown.......

I finished the afternoon with 6 browns and 2 rainbows.