Monday, 16 November 2015

Last part of the season

Well I have been conspicuous by my absence since July! I have not had the enthusiasm to blog for some unknown reason. It's been a horrible wet and windy weekend here in Baslow and the Derwent is well up and coloured, just what was needed to flush out the leaves and muck.
So my 2nd half of the season went ok, I fished several times per week and each time caught fish. The flyleaf was superb, most evenings there were sedge fluttering, spinners dipping, midge middling and duns hatching.
On the 15th July I fished above the 1 arch bridge in the park, I had waded out about 15 feet from the bank and there were even fish rising between me and the bank! I covered a decent rise and was surprised to land this.

A lovely dace.
Another coarse fish on fly to add to my list. 
August followed much the same as previous years, when it was warm fish rose right past darkness however on those evenings when the temperature dropped, usually around 9, the fish dropped too and rises ceased.
September came and went in a flash as I was away in Greece for 2 weeks, and lovely it was too! I fished the sycamore and willow pools a couple of times but as the nights were beginning to draw in fishing ceased around 9 at the latest if temperatures allowed.

A lovely brown from the Willow Pool

Autumn colours starting to show at the Sycamore Pool

I was determined to fish right up to "last orders" and met Derek on the 3rd when we went down to Max's bench pool. It was a difficult start as nothing was showing but around 2 a few duns started to come off and then the odd fish rose, I connected with a few before managing to net a lovely brown.
A brown which had been rising between me and the near bank! Notice the lice near it's pectoral fin?

View down Max's bench pool.

On the 4th we met again at the works and I went down to the Willow pool (again!!) this time a grayling was the 1st to be landed, fish were rising in the run on the far side but I think the grayling must have been a fluke as nothing else showed any interest in the multitude of flies I put over them. I even got into the run with my seine net but could not see anything which the fish could be taking. Even getting my face down to water level there was nothing however this did not put the fish off rising being only a rod length away. They must have known winter was around the corner and lean times ahead. I went down to a size 26 grey olive dun and picked up a couple of browns but missed many more as the small hook would not take hold.
This was my last visit before the trout season finished so now onto the grayling........

So just a couple of shots of Chatsworth in all her glory on 1st November in full autumn colour.

View from the bridge towards the house.

The cricket pitch were the river is over by the poplars.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Monday - Another Afternoon Off

I had to take my wading boots back to Orvis in Bakewell today as the soles had decided the did not want to be joined to the uppers. As usual with Orvis their customer service is 1st class. Within no time and a bit of luck they had my size in stock so a quick exchange was completed and I was on my way.
I had arranged to meet Derek down by the gully this afternoon. The wind had calmed down today and the sun was shining but still a bit of a chill. When I got down he had started in the gulley pool so I went below the deer boom again. I started with my mayfly nymph and eventually landed a brown and a rainbow soon followed. The mayfly were starting to come off and fish were starting to show so off came the nymph and on went a dun. Before long one of the fish I covered rose and snaffled the dun, after it gave me a run around a lovely 3lb'er was landed. A brown followed then I had noticed a rise between me and the bank, I was no more than 9' from the bank and every time a dun came down the fish took it. This was getting irritating so I covered him with my dun but he had a look and that was all until the next real one came down. I changed to an merger but again nothing, a yellow sally came down and that was taken too. I added laughter tippet to my cast and put the dun back on and the second or third pass up it came and was hooked but this was short-lived as it slipped off, still a success though.
I then went down to Bar brook and now the mayfly were coming off thick and fast and the fish were rising everywhere. I landed more rainbows and a couple of browns. I had noticed a rise in midstream and covered it and then an almighty mouth engulfed the fly. It took off like a train and in all my years of fly fishing it was only the second time a fish had stripped all my fly line off and went well into the backing. The fish leapt numerous times just like a seatrout and shook its head like mad. eventually on the third or fourth attempt I managed to net it, a cracking rainbow around 6lb again, I was shaking like leaf after this! The afternoon was turning into a real success. a couple more browns were landed then I noticed a rise on the far side so again this was covered and the fish came up lazily and sucked in the dun. This proved to be another good rainbow and again was landed. At this point not much was showing and I was getting cold so decided to call it a day (or afternoon). I had landed around 12 fish but only 4 were browns. Another good afternoon and the new boots were christened!

Sunday - Fishing with Adam Today

Today Adam wanted a day so we went down to the willow pool but the wind was not quite as strong as yesterday but the pool was still quite breezy! I went down to below the deer boom, a few fish were showing out of the lee of the wind but nothing definite so I kept on the mayfly nymph. I landed a couple of cracking rainbows around 3lb together with a few browns. Adam came down so I let him in were I had been. He had on the mayfly nymph and after a couple of half hearted tugs a lovely rainbow came to the net. He persisted with the nymph and then took another few fish, he was getting it right!

I went down to Bar Brook and still with the nymph on took a couple more rainbows, including a real monster around 6lbs! The sun was shining and the wind down here was just a mild breeze, this was helping the mayfly to take flight quickly after hatching.

Whilst I was watching Adam I was watching mayfly hatching constantly. The timespan from starting to hatch to fully hatched dun was 10-15 seconds. I was searching the edges to try and get a photo of a nymph coming to the surface and hatching but all I could see was the nymph after the hatching process had started. Then more by luck than anything else I spotted a nymph in the margin wriggling to the surface so took some shots. These are the best of a bad bunch but the whole process as I said took 10-15 seconds max. I know it may sound a bit sad to non fishers but it was fascinating to watch!

We called it a day around 1800 as the temperature was dropping and the hatch had ceased. Adam finished with 5 fish and me with 6 rainbows and 4 browns. A good father and son day!

Saturday - Fishing For Heroes

On Saturday I hosted the winner of the Fishing For Heroes auction for day on the Derwent. John had driven up on Friday evening so that we could have a reasonable start time. I met up with him at 1030 in Baslow and we went down to the lunch hut at Beeley. We had a coffee and I outlined the plan for the day. The weather was on the cool side with a dire wind gusting quite strong at times. We started at the pool above the hut and I pointed John in the direction and pointed out the feed lines etc. I went down to the pool below and we both had a mayfly nymph on as the mayfly were hatching now but a bit later in the day. Nymph action below the surface should be the order. I noticed John landing a couple of fish an I also got a couple of browns and rainbows.

We had a break at 1330 for lunch which included one of Derbyshire's finest pork pies from Castlegate butchers in Stoney Middleton, very recommendable. The wind was gusting stronger now so I decided that we needed to try and find a bit of shelter so we went down to the bottom end where hopefully the trees would provide a barrier. I put John into the concrete pool and I went to the very bottom limit. 

Mayfly were starting to show a bit more and by 1600 the trickle had developed. I had changed to a dry mayfly and managed to cover some rising fish which proceeded to show more than an interest in them. I finished the day with 8 browns and 4 rainbows. John was fishing a dry mayfly now and I noticed him taking a few fish. John finished the day with 10 fish, a good day all round!

Friday, 5 June 2015

Don's Mayfly Nymph Does It!

I took the afternoon off today as it was a lovely morning and reasonably warm. I went down to the lunch hut again around 1330 to meet Derek. Nobody was in the pool above the hut so as it was not the hatching time yet I started with a mayfly nymph. The one that was featured in  June's Trout and Salmon article about fishing on the Derbyshire Wye with Don Stazicker. I have known and fished with Don a long time and what he doesn't know about fly fishing isn't worth knowing! Anyway I had tied up a few of the nymphs, they don't look much out of the water but once they are wet well I recommend you to try them. I started at the bottom of the pool, some mayfly were coming off but still not the clouds we usually see on the Derwent, fish were rising here and there and so I started just upstream nymphing blindly. On my second cast a solid take resulted in a lovely fat brown which was quickly released, then within another couple of casts a second followed. I could not believe it! I fished up the pool and took a couple of rainbows but when I came out at 1400 I had landed 10 trout all to the same nymph. Derek had arrived so we decided to go down to Max's bench pool where I got in at the bottom. I covered a rise with the nymph and was immediately taken by another brown. This was turning out to be a red letter day! A few more fish were now rising to mayflies which were taking their time to fly off so I put on a dry mayfly, a 1-up-1-down which has done well for me in the past. I covered a couple of risers before a rainbow took and turned out to be a lovely wild one. I continued up the pool and ended up taking another 5 fish. The main hatch of mayfly started around 1600 and lasted about an hour before the temperature dropped, too much to carry on as I had had a really good day landing 12 browns and 6 rainbows.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Saturday 30th May

The day dawned a bit wet but I decided to go down to the bottom end after lunch so I arrived at the hut around 1330. The sun was trying it's best to come out and there was a distinct rise in temperature compared to the previous week. As nobody was down here I had a few flicks in the pool by the hut but only picked up some very small browns but encouraging that the fish are breeding well. I was keen to get down to the bottom but stopped off first in Max's bench pool. Unfortunately there was nothing rising so I took off my grey olive parachute and put on dark olive fsn. There were loads of yellow may duns coming off but even though they were taking an eternity to take off not one fish rose for them. I have yet to see one taken by a fish but I know some fisherman swear by them but not me! There was also the odd mayfly scooting about and I noticed several empty shucks floating by. I picked up another small brown as I worked my way up the pool and then near the run in at the top a fish was rising so on went the a grey duster type fly tied in the normal way, this is unusual for nearly 100% of the time I fish parachute style flies. Anyway as I approached it was still rising but could not make out to what specifically so I cast over it and up it came but in my eagerness I fluffed it however this did not put him off and he continued to rise. I cast again but nothing and on the second attempt the cast was short by a foot but up came a rainbow this time and gave me a real run around before being netted.

I now went down to the bottom an island had developed quite nicely over previous seasons with willow taking root. This area is a bit sheltered and more fish were showing here to a variety of flies including the odd mayfly. I caught a yellow fly which turned out to be a yellow sally, also some spinners were flitting about too. I worked my way up slowly picking up browns to a grey olive parachute and a large adams with a beige body (my nana fly!).

The final brown was a real stunner with a tail like a spade which was landed around 1630. I climbed out of the river around 1700 as the temperature was dropping and fish had ceased to rise. I finished up with 12 browns and the large rainbow. I met up with Derek at the hut who had also had a good day in the pools near the hut and cattle drink.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Bank Holiday Monday

The day dawned lovely and bright but soon clouded over, not quite as cold as yesterday though. Adam fancied a day so we went down to the bottom end after lunch. There were a few olives hatching in the polls above and below the luncheon hut.
 Adam took the lower pool whilst I tried the top pool. Nothing was showing so I had a dark olive fsn on, after a few minutes this picked up a decent out of season grayling followed swiftly by a second from the same spot therefore I decided to move upstream in case there was a shoal there. Nothing else happened so I went down to the pool where Adam was, he had had a couple of browns to a fsn and was now fishing the tail, I notice a few rises under the trees at the head so on went a size 16 grey olive link. This was hit on the first cast but the fish decided not to continue to take hold! The next cast also produced a take and an exquisite wild rainbow of about 14" was landed, it was perfect with the tell tale white edges to the fins and covered all over in spots. I was trying to get a shot handing my camera to Adam but the fish flipped and was gone. After a few more casts and with the fish still rising I landed a lovely brown. Adam was miffed so he had a flick in the run and after a couple of half hearted takes he landed a lovely grayling around 14" too. This little run contained plenty of fish. We retreated for lunch and Adam noticed some fish rising opposite so made a bee line for them and landed a couple more browns.

We decided to go further down as the river is more enclosed by trees so I thought it may provide some shelter from the wind. Adam took the top of Max's bench pool whilst I took the bottom. I noticed Adam land a couple of browns to a dry adams whilst he worked his way down, I didn't touch anything. As we were getting out I noticed my first mayfly of the year! I also noticed another large olive, not much smaller than a mayfly and recon this was an olive upright. We then went down to the very bottom of the stretch, Adam took the last pool and I took the next one up. A few fish were showing and I still had my grey olive klink on and each time I covered the rising fish they came up for it. Two stayed stuck and were landed including this brown who was after a selfie!
 Around 1730 the sun came out and there were loads of midges buzzing about and fish again were rising in the run on the far side. Casting was difficult so a roll cast managed to get the fly across. The fish found the same fly tasty and a couple more browns were landed. Then a few spinners started buzzing about, much larger than bwo so maybe the spinner of ldo or olive uprights, who knows?  I put on my rusty spinner and was pleased with my cast right over a riser and up it came but I was too eager and the fly pinged off! What surprised me was that a fish continued to rise in the same position so was that the same fish or had another snaffled his spot? Anyway that one wasn't interested in my rusty nor was any of the others so on went the grey olive again and again I landed another couple of browns. Adam wandered up and he had also landed 3 or 4 trout too. By now it was around 7 so we called it a day after landing around 12 fish a piece. Happy times!

On my way back I spotted this dandelion and so gave my macro lens a closeup test, all other photos also taken with the same lens too.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Sunday 24th May - a Bit Chilly!

I decided to go down to the willow pool around 3.30, the day had dawned wet but now it was dry but still a downstream wind greeted me. I started with a small FSN in dark olive but nothing was happening with it. The odd fish showed as there were some olives hatching and also some black gnats. I put on a size16 black klink and after a few casts right under the trees on the far side a fish took but in my haste I obviously struck too soon. This is my party trick at the beginning of the season! Another fish rose and  so I covered this and this time I delayed the strike a touch and it stayed on and a lovely brown was landed. The wind was persistent and really rather chilly for May so much so that I had to come out of the river and put my waterproof on to try and break the wind. An olive came past which I trapped and it looked like a LDO so on went a grey olive parachute to match hopefully. There was the odd fish here and there but nothing taking my fly then a fish rose at rod tip length so I dropped my fly on it and up it came and another brown was landed. I was starting to shiver so decided to see if there was anything further upstream by the sycamore pool as the walk would warm me up.

At the sycamore pool there was no movement so I went back to a FSN but I wasn't enjoying just casting and retrieving slowly. Eventually another brown took hold and was landed but now I was too cold so decided to call it a day after a couple of hours

 The Sycamore Pool looking upstream.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

1st Outing of the 2015 Season

On Saturday I finally managed to get out for a couple of hours. I went over the road between the bridges in Baslow. The weather had one of those April showers earlier but the sun was out now but still a bit on the sharp side! I started off in the pool below the old bridge and second cast produced an oos grayling to the good old fox squirrel nymph. Pointless using a dry as nothing was showing or hatching. I fished a couple more casts and then my 1st brown a lovely little wildy about 8 inches. I then worked my way downstream and picked up a reasonable rainbow about half way down. The fast water lower down produced another wild brown and then something which is quite rare here a rainbow trout about 6 inches and still with 'parr' marks on it's flank so they must be breading hereabouts, beautiful. The pool above the new bridge produced a couple more rainbows again to the same nymph and then as the temperature started to drop I briskly worked my way back upstream and picked up another rainbow and a couple of grayling so not a bad start to the season for a couple of hours. As I  said earlier nothing hatching apart from the odd olive and never saw a rise!

Friday, 3 April 2015


Well after a long long winter with no grayling fishing done due to the river being out of sorts when the opportunity to go cam, the trout season finally started on the 1st April. A lot of heavy rain in the run up to the start made the river unfishable, even Derek had not gone out! Today the river is still up by a good foot, hopefully by Monday it will be on form.

On another note Fishing for Heroes which is a charity which helps our military is having an auction and there is a days fishing on Chatsworth available with yours truly. Details here

I hope everyone who knows me or reads this blog has a great season, speak soon.