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.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Tuesday Afternoon

Met Derek and David at the works for a few hours. I went down to the Willow Pool but only managed a recent stocked "bluey"! The wind had changed direction and was coming from the north so decidedly chillier. Mozied up to the Sycamore pool where Derek was playing "silly bu**ers" with a submarine.

 This was an over wintered fish and  not one of the recent stockies. I got in below him but after missing several only managed another stock fish. I noticed a few sedges (grannom)  knocking about but even changing to grey sedge did not proffer any response. The odd fish was rising here and there but nothing regular and to goodness knows what as there were no olives about either however loads of tiny midge so probably to them. Called it a day after a couple of hours due to the inactivity of the fish and me!

Monday, 3 April 2017

We're Off!!! - 1st day of the season

April 1st dawned dull and a bit wet. I had a few chores to do and had arranged to meet Derek down by the Sycamore Pool. I decided to start off over the road then walk down to meet him. I was in the pool below Baslow old bridge and it was good to finally be out on the water even though I have had a few outings after the grayling. Spring is a lovely time here in The Peak District. The Derwent is in fine form, very clear with just  tinge of peat, currently. I was not expecting much flylife to be about as it as not as warm as it has been lately. I had on my usual go to dark olive fox squirrel nymph, a good LDO nymph imitation. After a couple of minutes in the run on the nearside of the pool a wild brown around 10" was landed, a great start to the season! It is always good for the ego to catch a fish early on just to prove to yourself that you still have the "knack". Another brown soon followed then by a OOS grayling. I noticed a small rise over the far side of the pool so a quick change to an olive parachute was in order. Nothing happened with the rise however as my fly dragged back to me an enthusiastic rainbow took hold and was also landed. Things were definitely looking good. I decided to make my way down to the Sycamore pool rather awkwardly where Derek had taken a few trout. Tim was also at the run in and was taking fish too. I "snook" in below Derek ready to work my way up with the dark olive fun and immediately started to take fish, obviously some were stock fish but all in exceptional condition. I did not move much as the takes were coming thick and fast, I ended up with over a dozen fish mixed between browns and rainbows, a good start to the season which this year I am looking forward to even more as it will be the 1st one since my retirement, LOOK OUT FISHY!

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.