Sunday, 8 December 2013

Back After a Bit of a Lull

After 6 months of non-blogging I am posting again. So how did the 2nd half of my season do? Well after the last post I had a brief session over the road and caught what was probably the best looking brown trout for a long time. It epitomised a true wild brown trout, massive black and red spots and a tail like a spade. Probably weighed just over the pound mark but a cracker.

The season progressed well and I had numerous evenings with Derek above the works when the rusty spinners were falling. we had some cracking last hour's and I can remember 1 particular evening when the fall of rusty spinner was so heavy that the fish didn't have to move to the side to take, needless to say we both gave up in the end and left them to it as our imitations were lost by the multitude of naturals. I know it's a cliche but I have never seen falls of rusty spinner heavier in all the years I have been fishing on the Derwent.

Some evenings had fish rising before the spinner fall to microscopic flies which made identification difficult to almost impossible. There were also plenty of sedge about and at times a dragged sedge pattern created some exciting takes. Stuart Crofts sedge pattern proved another one of his truly successful patterns, definitely recommended. The quality of the fish was excellent with both stocked fish and the wild fish all in beautiful conditions due to the amount of fly life available, no doubt.

As we went into September the pale wateries appeared and again a good few sessions ensued before the season closed.

Yesterday I had my 1st grayling trip above the works. It was a relatively mild afternoon and the water had a slight tinge to it. I started with a klink with a small ptn off the bend but nothing. So I changed to my usual dark olive fsn and eventually managed a 10" grayling which was very welcome. After an hour I went down a couple of pools and again picked up another grayling the twin of the 1st. Then to my amazement I noticed a couple of rises so but could not see anything on the water. I put on a ldo but nothing doing so changed to a small black parachute and 1st pass over the rising fish in the main stream induced a take and another grayling. The final one was rising hard up against an overhanging bush and after a few abortive attempts snagging the branches I lost my fly and the fish went down. I finished up with 3 grayling in an hour and a half which wasn't a bad start to the grayling season.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Thursday and Friday again

I decided to have Thursday and Friday afternoons off again this week. On Thursday it was an awful day, very windy but I decided to go down to the willow pool at about 2.30. Casting into the face of a gale was not easy and no fish were showing. I persevered with a nymph but nothing so I went up to where the brook runs in below the works where the wind was not showing itself as much ion the water. A few fish were showing and I managed a couple to a dry mayfly but as ever the wind changed direction and made casting impossible. I gave up after an hour. The evening wasn't much better so I didn't bother.

On Friday I met Derek down by the hut at Beeley around 1.30. We went down to Max's bench pool and Derek took the pool above. I started off with a mayfly nymph and quickly landed 2 browns. a couple of mayfly hatched and were quickly polished off so a change to a 1 up 1 down dun and covering the couple of rises resulted in another couple of browns, result! The mayfly continued to hatch intermittently and I was constantly switching between nymph and dun. I landed a lovely rainbow pushing 2lbs to a dun and a couple more browns to the nymph. I got to the top of the pool having a reasonable tally of 8 browns and 1 rainbow. I retreated to the hut and put the kettle on before a cloud burst also brought Derek back fora well earned brew. We called it a day around 5. The evening changed to squally showers again and the temperature dropped so again I didn't bother going out in the evening.

As I write this the spinners are covering my car in the drive but I can't get out as on-call. It's a lovely evening and I have just been over to check the river where there are a line of fish rising below the old bridge. I've put my name on that run for myself for tomorrow evening, finger crossed

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A First

Last evening I went down to one of my favourite pools, the willow pool. It was not as warm as it has been but there was still lots of fly about mainly gnats and a large olive spinner. I decided on a size 18 griffiths gnat as I have had success with this fly recently. After dropping a couple of browns I landed 1 by hand but dropped it and pinged off the fly so on went its duplicate. I noticed a head and tail rise quite a good cast away so covered it and blow me the fish took. Well then I knew it would be a tussle as a large rainbow leapt out of the water and made off up the pool. I was fishing fairly light and the first run I just let it go were the fish took me down to my backing, a first for me! The fish led me a merry dance all over the pool and I struggled to get line back on the reel. Another couple of shorter bursts and I could tell it was tiring. Eventually I managed to get it into my net after a few abortive attempts and there lay 5lbs of fit conditioned rainbow, brilliant. These fish are in tip-top condition.

I continued fishing up the pool as far as you can go as it does get rather deep so you can probably only cover about 75% of it before having to retrace your steps and get in at the top, needless to say I stayed towards the middle. I landed 3 more browns all to the griffiths gnat again, why haven't I made more use of this fly in the past. I noticed that the fish were also taking some duns and used my net to trap a few, some were small probably size 18 with a grey-olive body. Others the same size but a black body possibly iron blues? The larger olives were also still about these had olive-brown bodies but I am not sure what they could be possibly the spinners of olive uprights, large brook duns or what? I must try and find out from my books. I finished about 2145 as the temperature dropped at about 2115 and more or less put paid to the rises. Another enjoyable evening.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Thursday & Friday

I had booked a couple of afternoons off on Thursday and Friday to hopefully take in the mayfly however things don't always go according to plan especially this year the season is behind schedule. I went down to the hut by Beeley and was hoping that the mayfly may be up. I must admit that Derek had been previously during the week and told me that there were not many about. True enough there were the odd ones around but the fish were not on to them. I started off at the pool by the hit and winkled out a couple of browns to my usual grey-olive parachute. There were loads of fly about swarms of black gnats, yellow mays, some olives,  unbelievable. Derek turned up so we went down to one of our favourite pools, I worked my way up but even though there was tons of fly about there were not many rises possibly due to the blazing sun. I changed fly to a griffiths gnat and then took another couple of browns. At the head of the pool there were several fish head and tailing but couldn't see to what. On went the gnat again and I hit 1 brown  but it soon became detached so moral victory! I persevered and did land a last brown before heading home.

I went out again in the evening down to the works again but how 2 nights can be so different. I really struggled to land anything, I changed fly too many times to count but could not get the fish to take. It was those head and tail rises again! I eventually went down to a size 22 or 24 small black para and landed a brown. I called it a day by 2100 as the damp seeping through my waders got to me!

On Friday again I went down to the hut but it was even hotter today. I was met by hordes of gnats again but today the fish were definitely taking shelter from the sun. It was just too hot for fish and fishing. Mayfly were appearing very intermittently but still not enough to encourage the fish into taking mood. I did manage to get a couple of browns before calling time around 4.

In the evening I went down to the cricket pitch hoping to find an evening rise to something. I walked all the way down to Mary's Bower were several fish were rising. Again loads of gnat about so on went the griffiths gnat. I covered several fish before attaching to a decent brown. I noticed some spinners about so switched to my rusty spinner and landed a couple more browns. I went back up to the cricket pitch and now it was past 2130 and only a few fish were showing but to what? I covered several with the rusty but nothing so as the gnat were still about I went back to the GG and rose a couple of the head and tailers which soon let go, maybe that's what they have been taking all along. Before calling time I did land a last brown to the gnat.

Interesting to note that over this week so far I have only landed 1 rainbow, strange.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

2 Lovely Evenings

Monday 3rd June
As it had been a lovely warm day I arranged to meet Derek down by the works. When I got there at 1900 Derek had already started so I snook in just below at the sycamore pool. There was plenty of flylife about olives, gnats, sedge and smuts a whole smorgasbord! I started off with my usual grey-olive parachute and immediately got a reasonable rainbow knocking 3lb. Lots of fish were head and tailing all in a row so I started to try and pick them off but nothing else stirred to my fly. I switched to a black parachute and got a brown in lovely condition. I was still not convinced I had the fly right. I tried to get as close as possible to the rising fish to use my seine net but then noticed lots of small black gnats and I mean small size 22 or smaller and I had left my box of tiny flies in the car! I had some smallish black parachutes so persevered and started taking the odd brown. The temperature was now dropping and waders leaking into the bargain! I finished the evening at 2130 with 6 fish in total but lost easily as many more. It was a really good evening and hopefully more to come, its been a long time coming.

Tuesday 4th June
Another lovely evening and had arranged to meet Derek again at our usual spot at the sycamore pool. Again lots of flylife about and tonight I was armed with my tiny flies. Derek had started when I got there at 1900 but had not managed anything yet. I started with a size 22 black parachute and hit a couple of browns landing a good example of derwent brown trout. I followed Derek up the pool and was dropping and taking several browns before Derek landed his first, now that doesn't happen often! I continued with the black gnat parachute until a monster tree devoured it! Another gnat was quickly attached to my leader and I continued up the pool taking browns ending up at 2100 with 9 fish. I finished early as the temperature dropped and most of the fish stopped rising plus 2 damp legs again. Note to self :- get waders repaired.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Last Week

I'm a bit late filing this but last week was a disaster fishing wise. I had booked the week off as went to France with some friends for a long weekend and had planned to fish on Wed-Fri. Unfortunately the rain came on Tuesday night and the river came up about 18" and was the colour of bad coffee hence no fishing. I did attempt a few hours on Friday arranging to meet Derek at the cricket pitch, the river looked fishable in Baslow earlier in the morning but really down in the park the river was definitely so-so. So much so Derek didn't even tackle up which is saying something. I went up through the cricket pitch pool with a dry LDO and snaffled a brown of 10" but nothing else. There was a good hatch too of LDOs and also some paler olives of the same size. I also trapped a larger fly and went through my reference books on return home and reckon it's a large brook dun. The photo doesn't do it justice as the wings were more mottled than here.

I then went up to the deer boom which is above where Bar Brook enters the river and it was definitely clearer above as the brook was pouring out a real chocolaty mess, no wonder it was coloured further down. It also transpired that Derek had gone above the works and the river was clearer again as there is another brook below the works which was also feeding in some mucky water too.
I winkled out another brown from the deer boom area to a dark olive fsn as there was nothing rising and the hatch had more or less petered out. I went down to bar brook and fished the edge where the mucky water met the clearer water again with the fsn and got another 2 small browns. Not bad I suppose but not the afternoon I was expecting as the coloured water definitely put the fish down as the hatch around the cricket pitch was certainly tempting for the fish but not enough!

On the Thursday it was the anniversary of the Dambusters raids and I was pottering about in my garage when I heard a rumbling in the distance then realised it was a Lancaster. I dashed outside to see the plane above the house towards Baslow Edge a fantastic sight! It was followed closely by a Spitfire or Hurricane. I watched as it circled Chatsworth and came over my house again, I dashed to get the camera and it then circled for a 2nd time and these are a few shots I got. Unfortunately the best shot was before I got my camera as it banked right overhead however these aren't too bad!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The First Evening Rise?

I decided to have an hour after work as it had been a glorious day on Tuesday with the temperature in the low 20's so I eagerly made my way down to the willow pool. Unfortunately the fish were not coming out to play. No rises and not much buzzing about, the odd midge, olive and sedge only. I had started with a LDO just to try and tempt something but nothing then a grey-olive parachute but still nothing came to investigate. I briefly went downstream to the next pool but only a few small grayling or trout showed a lacklustre interest in my fly but nothing connected. I went back up to the willow pool and tried a fox squirrel nymph and landed a decent rainbor around 2.5lbs. I called it a day at 7 after just over an hour, the temperature had dropped too much. Still it was good to get out and wet a line. Looking forward to a week off next week so should get some visits in! Lovely.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

At Last a New Season Starts

I decided to go on my first outing even though the weather was a bit on the cool and wet side. I went down to the willow pool, nobody else was about maybe due to the weather conditions. The Derwent was looking good with a hint of colour and maybe up an inch or two. The upstream wind was blowing quite hard which made casting tricky as I was a bit rusty due to not being out since February. I started with a dark olive fsn with a big bead to get down to the bottom as there was definitley no surface activity. After a couple of upstream casts the fly line stopped and I struck into a good sized rainbow which decided that he didn't want to play much and after a few jumps gave up the ghost! The river keeper came down and we spent half an hour chatting. A fish rose during this time as the odd olive fluttered about but not what you could call a hatch. I persevered for another half an hour for nothing so went up to the run in to the pool and made a few half hearted downstream casts getting another rainbow, this time an over wintered one. The wind now had changed to downstream and the showers were a bit heavier so another couple of casts and a reasonable brown I called it a day. It was good to be out again and a decent start to the season but hopefully warmer times ahead.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Saturday 9th February

Well I finally managed to get onto the river for hour, we were due to have visitors but due to the impending snow which was forecast they cancelled. As the snow hadn't materialised this afternoon and it wasn't that chilly, the river was fishable albeit a bit high I decided to go over the road.Even with only a couple of inches above normal it was deceiving the added pressure the river put on you. I couldn't make it across to my favouritr grayling run via my normal route so started in the run on the near side where I picked up 5 grayling, 1 coming adrift as I touched it but I still call that counting towards the total. All came to a combination of fox squirrel nymph and black spider with a tiny pink bead to get it down. The run on the far side was still calling as I usually pick-up something. I crossed lower down but still the push of the current was deceptive. I worked my way up but unfortunately no further grayling came to hand, only a couple of out of season browns which looked very healthy. So looking good for the coming season.
A good hour which was just manageable before the cold got to my feet. My hands were fine thanks to an old sailors trick, rubbing vaseline into them before starting to fish. This really does work and recommended!
Only a couple of weeks left now before the season closes here on the Chatsworth syndicate for the month of March before opening again on the 1st April. The season is now only round the corner which has become more apparent now as I have just received the bill for renewal for next season. Happy times ahead!