Saturday, 25 June 2011

A Tough Afternoon

I was due to go to the Wye today with Derek but he has got shoulder problems so had to cry off. So following the overnight rain I decided to go down to below the cricket pitch around 2.30.The Derwent has come up 2 or 3 inches but not sufficient to colour it up. The wind was still gusting upstream and fly were definitely absent. I had tackled up with a daddy long legs which Derek gave me. I was looking for rises but they were few and far between. I covered a few half hearted rises and landed a small wild brown soon followed by a second. I went down to the bend by Lady's Bower but apart from some tourist deciding to feed the ducks where I intended to fish nothing stirred. So I beat a hasty retreat to the cricket pitch and on the way took a breather on one of the benches and noticed a fish rise a few times so had to cover it and up it came to the daddy and was landed another wild brownie magnificently marked with red and black spots. I continued up to the cricket pitch pool but even here rises were non existent. I did a bit of prospecting with the daddy and took another brown. I rapidly got to the head of the pool just as it started to rain again so called it a day at 4.30. A tough afternoon.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Shall I Stay or Shall I Go

Well I decided to go down to the Sycamore Pool last evening as the rain over the weekend had not affected the river at all. I got there about 1945 and the downstream breeze was certainly strong and gusting with a definite chill in the air. So much so that I sat there watching the river deciding whether to cast a line or not bother as there was not a thing moving apart from the trees and the grass. Anyway at about 2000 a fish rose and as I had on a small black klink decided to have a go and after a cast or two he came up and had it, a nice brown of about a pound and a half, what a start. That seemed to be the cue for the wind to drop, the fish to start showing and the flies to start hatching. I covered a few more rises but the fish did not come up for my morsel. There were plenty of small caenis type flies, caddis galore and a few olives about. I changed to one of my caddis and had a half hearted rise which I managed to connect to and another brown came to hand. It was now caddis city with fish moving everywhere! Unfortunately I had left my net in the car so couldn't trap any to find out what exactly they were but they did look rather pale. After a few refusals I wondered which fly to put on and noticed a sedge which I had been given by Tom Richardson, the old riverkeeper from the Wye, the other season so on it went. I know its a cliche but first cast and up came another brown which was landed. I then flicked the fly in just to make sure it was still floating and blow me another brown got it. This was also landed, what an evening this was turning out to be. It wasn't long before the spinners started so I quickly changed to my trusty old rusty spinner and started picking up fish after fish, all browns except for a blue rainbow. By 2130 I had had about 8 fish and as the light was fading worked my way back downstream to where I got in after changing to a size 22 small yellow parachute.  I picked up an out of season grayling and 3 more browns, making 12 fish for the 2 hours, a really cracking evening considering the initial outlook. What was interesting was that I didnt see 1 mayfly spinner and as the evening progressed the flies came and went. Small stuff, olives followed by sedge, spinners and caenis. Just before I left there were loads of yellow may duns mating and what appearred to be laying eggs however not a fish rose to any of them. I learnt alot last evening too!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

A First Caught More than Derek!

Now, when  I go fishing with Derek I know that he is going to catch fish no question. Me its not always the case. Last evening we arranged to meet above the works around 7. I was late so Derek had already started. I got in by the sycamore as Derek was further upstream working his way up so I was picking up any strays he hadn't got, or so I thought. Anyway there were loads of fly about which surprised me as the evening was not even remotely balmy. I had a long sleeve shirt, a fleece and my waterproof jacket on just in case but yes there were flies aplenty. Small olives about, some sedges and tiny caenis types. Fish were moving and so you could pick which to cast to, brilliant. I cast a small size 16 olive to a few and had a couple of takes which did not materialise before landing a lovely 9" wild as they come brownie. This was quickly followed by another brown of about 1.5lbs. The olives were perhaps a tad smaller than the 16 I had on. Some of the fish could be seen chasing the sedge and I managed to trap a few in my net (sedge that is) and they were dark grey to black bodies with black wings so on went a black sedge I had with the pre-formed wings which I have blogged about last year and was soon into another good brown. At this point Derek had taken 1 but was having one of those sessions when nearly every take comes adrift. I was now showing him how to catch! The sun had now dropped over the hills and the temperature was also dropping all the time but still the fish rose. It was difficult to see what to now as olives were sailing past them but were being ignored. The only thing could be the caenis so I put on small 22 all white parachute a few fish had a swirl and then I covered a fish which had been showing quite a few times and bang he had it, another lovely wild brown with big black and red spots, lovely. It was just after 9 now and I was starting to shiver so I quickly worked my up to Derek taking another good brown on the way to the caenis. Derek was continuing to drop the fish off, just one of those evenings. I called it a day by 9.15 and left Derek to them as once you get chilled then thats it as far as I'm concerned. 5 loveley browns and a lesson for D, hee hee!

P.S. Rang Derek this morning and he stayed till nearly 10 but only managed 2 or 3 fish in total. He said it was only 7 degrees when he left, some winter day's being warmer! It is now nearly 7 in the evening and it has been pouring with rain all day here in the Peak District so with a bit of luck it may send a bit of a flush into the river. Don't think I'll bother going out this evening will tie some 18 pale olives.

Friday, 10 June 2011

A Full Day with 3 Friends

Today I had taken the whole day off as I was meeting 3 guests. A couple are only novices to this game so I was eager for them to feel the pull of a fly caught trout. We met up around 11 and went down to the hut at Beeley. I showed them the couple of pools by the hut as these are good for beginners to cover fish. The odd fish was showing and as I had done so well on the mayfly nymph the previous day I advised the same. Before we had all tackled up Mark took his first river brownie, result number 1! Tony, the experience fly man was off upstream and Leon came down to the pool where Mark had taken his trout. There wasn't much rising, I was very disappointed as I really wanted to show them how good the Derwent is. We met up for lunch and Tony had taken a few trout and a stonking chub.

After lunch we walked downstream to Max's bench but there was somebody already in the pool so I took Mark and Leon to the pool below. I was showing Mark the various lies and then some fish started moving in a back eddy taking duns off the top so I switched his fly to a dry mayfly. It wasn't long before he had a take and landed a lovely wild brownie.

I could see Mark was really in the zone and so left him to see how Leon was doing. Unfortunately Leon hadn't managed a fish yet. There was just so little moving. We noticed Mark take another couple of fish, there was no stopping him now! We tried several different flies but blank. I went up into the next pool up and saw Mark take another to the mayfly, a nice rainbow. We met up for a bite to eat and then decided to go down to the cricket pitch afterwards. Tony went down to the stump pool where he took another fish. Mark worked his way up towards Bar Brook and I took Leon up to where I was yesterday. I was determined he was going to catch. We started off with a mayfly dry and a few fish had a slash at it but nothing developed. I switched to a small olive fsn and within a couple of casts he was into his first fish, result 2! You can see by the grin that he was buzzing! Another convert to the 'gentle art'. We continued at the confluence and within a short time he was into his 2nd fish, this time one of the blue strain of rainbows which have been put in.

We finished about 2030 as the temperature had certainly dropped by now and what few fish were moving had more or less ceased. I am glad the guys caught and I am sure now that we have a couple more converts to river fly fishing. A great day.

Thursday 9th June

I decided to take a half days hol so Icould fish the afternoon when hopefully the maylfy would be about. I arranged for Derek to pick me up around 1330  and we went down to the cricket pitch car park. We decided to fish up towards Bar Brook. Derek got in at the bottom and I made my way up to where the brook runs in. I had on a myfly nymph as there was the odd 1 about but not the clouds we are so accustomed to seeing this time of the year. Straignt away I had a take but the fish didn't stay on and then again on my following couple of casts all not developing into positive hook-ups. I checked my fly but the hook was ok so I changed the nymph for one tied on a standard hook. The previous had been on 1 of these patridge flat nymph hooks. Again I started getting knocks and was soon into a decent brownie. I quickly took another brown closely followed by a rainbow all in the 1.5 - 2lb class. My next take was not quite a 'aggressive' as usual and when there was very little fight I thought I may have hooked up on a piece of dead wood but no it was a small chub about 10". My first chub for a while and a tiddler as there are some really good chub in the Derwent. At about 1500 the breeze dropped and you would think there were not fish in the river as rises had certainly been conspicuous by their abscence. It was like a mill pond so the nymph stayed on but I switched to a small dark olive fox squirrel as a few small olive were about but not enticing the fish to rise. Derek came up from the bottom end to fish up towards the deer boom as there is a deep hole there, but surprise surprise I had taken more fish at this point as Derek had persisted with the dry. Derek soon was into fish using a mayfly nymph and took a really good rainbow pushing 4-5 lbs. This is it putting a bend in his rod.

I got into the river to take a photo but Derek had netted it head first and the hook had dropped and then the fish squirmed out of the net and was gone. I went down to fish the cricket pitch and took a couple more browns and a rainbow making 5 browns 1 rainbows and a baby chub. We called it a day just after 5.


Monday, 6 June 2011

A Difficult Day and nearly a duck!

I invited my friend Roger (aka Derwentflyfisher) for a day on my stretch of the Derwent yesterday. We got down to Beeley about 1130 and the temperature was decidedly on the chilly side with a downstream breeze. There were a couple of guys having lunch and they said there wasn't much moving about. The riverkeeper was also there and he commented that he mayfly had been disappointing so far this season. We tackled up with mayfly nymphs and went in the pool above the hut. I pointed out the runs and holding spots for Roger as he hasn't fished this pool before.

On the left had side of the pool there is a small run in where there are usually some fish holding and after a few casts Roger connected with his first brown of the day. There was a distinct lack of surface activity in this pool with only the odd fish showing here and there. Probably due to the lack of hatching flies, none!

We went further downstream to another good pool where I showed the likely holding places and I continued downstream to fish the next pool down. I took 2 browns and a rainbow in the fast water at the head of the pool but again still nothing hatching to speak of. By now it was getting cold and I bid a hasty retreat to the car to pickup my fleece. On returning Roger had moved up to the next pool, He had taken another brown. I then got in where Roger had been and picked up another rainbow and a brown. The mayfly were still absent in any numbers only the odd one. I continued up the pool switching between nymph and dry whenever a fish showed but nothing more until I reached the next pool where I picked up another brown. By now its was time for a warm, Roger had gone to put the kettle on so I followed back to the hut. We had a final 30 minutes in the pool where we started but nothing. A real struggle of a day and all fish taken on either mayfly nymph or dark olive fox squirrel nymph. Roger seemed to enjoy it but I was disappointed that it had not been the day I expected. Maybe next time.

Went out Monday Evening for the last hour or so. Down to the Stump pool where there were a few fish moving. Plenty of LDOs and sedge about. Missed a few. Went up to the cricket pitch and fished up. Plenty of fish moving then a good hatch of BWOs came down like sailing ships and the fish attacked! I missed several and couldn't get to take properly, well thats my excuse. Tried varioius patterns then thought JT olive and 1st cast bang and stayed connected, a nice brown. Needless to say that was my only fish of the evening. It was still a chilly evening although there was plenty of fly about however about 2130 the usual thermometer was turned right down and the flies disappeared together with the fish. I called it a day retreating with my tail between my legs. You can't win em all!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Wednesday and the First Evening session of the Season

As I was working from home today I finished at 1630 so by 1635 I was on my way to the river as it had been a rather warm day with some sun. I walked down to the sycamore pool where there was an incumbent already there, an elderly guy who was not akin to wading so I ok'd it with him if he minded me getting in just above him to work my way upstream. A few mayflies were about together with numerous yellow sallies, CAENIS, and just a general fishes buffet to delight! I trapped a yellow sally and confirmed it on my return home (obvious really). However there were the odd yellow olive type flies about much smaller than yellow may duns and on investigation they could have been yellow evening duns. I started off with my usual 1up 1down mayfly as they were about and took a couple of decent browns. Fish were head and tailing taking stuff but nothing obvious on the surface, maybe taking nymphs on hatching but the only thing they could have been were CAENIS! Worked my way up stream switching dries to try and get the risers to take but only really fluked a couple more on a rusty klink and a grey olive parachute. Very frustrating when I could see constant risers but couldn't get them to take. Took a small grayling from the fast water at the run-in to the top of the pool but that was it until I moved above Baslow new bridge. I got to the pool just below the old bridge and again there were numerous fish rising but to what? I got down practically in the water and could make out that maybe these fish were taking the caenis spinners. Several were poking their "nebs" up to take the flies. I put on my trusty size 22 yellow parachute and covered the fish in the fast run and immediately hooked and landed a decent grayling around 1lb. Still there were fish pushing their heads out and I covered the nearest and connected with a decent rainbow around 2lb in pristine condition, RESULT! Don't you just love it when a plan comes together...........eventually. Considering I hadn't planned on going I finished around 2100 after the last fish, hopefully more warm evenings on the way.