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.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Rusty Spinner and Sedge Time!

After a busy few weeks I managed a few hours this evening, a long awaited return to the Derwent! It's the posts from other people's blogs and Facebook the has kept me going but led me to a bit of carbon fever. Anyway I went down to the Willow Pool  and remarkably there were no cars in the carpark. It was a glorious evening after a lovely sunny day although the wind had now dropped by 1930. Not knowing what would be hatching I put on a general olive pattern I had tied up with calf tail wings and a full hackle. I got in at the tail of the pool and waited to see if anything was about but nothing stirred. After only a couple of casts I noticed my leader was badly twisted so off came the olive. There was lots of sedge buzzing about so on went a grey sedge. The odd fish was showing here and there but nothing constant. I covered a few rises but nothing, I cast across and as the fly swept under the branches on a tree opposite a slight drag of the fly caused a slow head and tail take. A rather annoyed rainbow then tore off around the pool jumping numerous times. Eventually it was drawn over the waiting net and went about 2lbs, the sedge stuck in its scissors. I covered a few more rises as I made my way up the pool and then a brown of around a 1lb took and was also landed to the grey sedge. This was followed by a lovely rainbow of about 10" which was covered in spots and had the tell tale white edges to it's fins, surely a wild one in anyone's eyes and a rare thing ob beauty. I was getting my camera ready to take a shot whilst holding it in my net when it decided freedom was better than a hollywood career and jumped out and was off.
Fish started o show more consistently now and covering them with the sedge produced nothing, which was odd considering the previous 3 fish. I then noticed a spinner lying crucifix on the surface so off come the sedge and on went one of my rusty spinners. As I was looking around I notice that under the trees on my bank there was cloud of spinners, I should have seen them earlier! I covered a couple of fish and they took but either I struck too soon or they missed the fly. Eventually as I worked my way up to the faster water I noticed more consistent rises and after covering several and having some takes I landed another couple of browns however one was long and thin which did not look too good for it as it should have been in tip-top condition now after the excellent mayfly hatches in previous weeks.
I called it a day at 2115 as the sun had dipped behind the hills and the temperature dropped and with it most of the fish too.
As I left the car park a full moon was showing over Chatsworth.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Sunday 19th June

Today Adam and I went down to the cricket pitch. It started off reasonable although the upstream breeze was rather chilly for this time of the year. Adam got in at the bottom of the cricket pitch and I went upstream. I noticed more pr less straightaway that he was into a fish. He had on a 1-up-1-down mayfly and started picking up fish as he progressed up the pool. Duns were coming off and the odd spinners was about but I think we are at the eve of the mayfly for this year. I got in at the steps and started up the pool towards Bar Brook. The water had the tinge of cold tea but was adequately fishable. Only a few fish were rising and none consistently. I had on a mayfly nymph and was fishing it upstream. A tiny brown came to hand followed closely by a 2nd larger specimen. The nymph wasn't really doing the business so I switched to the same fly as Adam. I covered rises but not much happened apart from a few half hearted slashes at the fly. Eventually a lively rainbow took and was landed. By now I was beginning to get chilled so retreated to the bank to warm up.
Is it summer?
I noticed a fish rising a couple of times centre stream so approached from behind and covered it, on the 3rd or 4th pass it came up and took the mayfly, another rainbow came to hand! I returned to the car to try and warm up as I was starting to shiver.
Adam meanwhile was still moving up the cricket pitch pool and was taking numerous fish. At least he was having a good time!
After warming up I wandered down to see how Adam was getting on and he had brought 10 fish to hand.  He was back at the bottom of the pool again to try and torment the ones he had missed. I waded up with him pointing out rises and he covered them well but struck too eagerly for some. The mayo;y were still coming off and spinners dropping. He brought another 3 or 4 fish to hand.
We called it a day as it had started to rain and most of the fish went down.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

2 Tuesdays - 2 hours!

Last Tuesday I had an hour over the road after work and before our evening meal. The mayfly were coming off still and there were spinners about too at this time. I put on one of the "Staziker" hatching duns which is tied on the dvd which Don and Keith made of the Derbyshire Limestone Streams. It is an excellent hatching dun pattern and it wasn't long before a brown came to hand after missing a few first. Although it's got a bit of cdc in it flows right in the film. several more lovely spotted browns came to hand and an OOS grayling. After about 4 the cdc was done (dun) in and so I swapped to a 1-up-1-down dun. This also started taking the browns too and a few more came to hand finally followed by a rainbow. So in an hour I had 8 fish to hand  and too numerous to count risen.

Tonight I went over to the old bridge to see if there were any spinners about as there were none in my garden which I use as an indicator. There were quite a few about so a quick dash back and jump into my waders and I went over the road and downstream a bit as here I noticed a few fish rising and hordes of mayfly spinners around, it was 8-30 so I had a good 90 minutes ahead of me. Er no after 20 minutes the rain started. so I sheltered beneath a tree.  I had risen numerous fish and had 3 to hand all browns. As the rain started the spinners were still dipping but the fish had gone down. The spinners continued for a while until the rain started coming down in stairods then they started to disappear. After 20 minutes I gave up and dashed home.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Monday 6th June - A Day of 2 Parts

I had the afternoon booked off work today and had arranged to meet Derek and David S at the works. Iy was a beautiful warm day with not a cloud in the sky, not ideal for flyfishing! We decided to go down to the willow pool where David got in Derek went back upstream and I  went down to the deer boom again as I was still after some shots of hatching mayflies. Although there were mayflies coming off the fish were still not switched onto them as numerous floated past fish who showed disdain for them, give them a few days and they will soon get the taste for them. I didn't get anything here so as it was way too hot for the fish decided to go upstream into the gulley as this pool is protected from the sun by trees and I had noticed a few fish showing. It was difficult going with only the odd fish showing consistently but to nothing obvious. A mayfly floated down and was taken so a switch to a 1-up-1-down mayfly resulted in a lively brownie being landed.  I worked my way up the pool quick briskly as there was little showing and I couldn't be arsed bothered to change to a nymph. I picked up another couple but 1 other came to hand.

In the evening I took David M as a guest and we decided to give the bottom stretch a go to see what was around. I could not believe how many mayfly spinners were about.
Mayfly Galore!
We went don to Max's bench pool and the one above and again only a few fish were showing. I had on a 1-up-1-down mayfly and raised a few fish but gave them a "long release"! Eventually I started to land a few as I worked up the pool but again the fish were not totally clued into them. After an hour we decided to go up to the cricket pitch and agin the air was full of mayfly plus a host of other spinners and general buzzing "machines". I pointed the various pools/runs out and David started below the cricket pitch, I noticed him take a couple of fish. Meanwhile I went down to the "stump" where an alder which had taken root last year was now growing away also a rather large rock was submerged in the run so something to be aware of. As I still had on my mayfly I covered a few fish but they didn't really show any interest so I switched to a small cdc "Gasparin Dun", another one shown to us during the winter by Dave Southall. Needles to say the first fish I covered with it had it and a lovely brown was landed. A fish had been rising to something right on the far side in an awkward place and I covered it several times with the various flies I had on to no avail, at least he wasn't put down. I noticed a few small duns on the water too and captured one for future id. It turned out to be a pale watery dun. 
pale watery dun.

The nearest I had was a small grey-olive parachute which went on and after a couple of casts the fish took it as everything came together however it wasn't to be as it took off and under something on the large rock and then continued downstream. Needless to say it was goodbye to him but I call these moral victories!
Unfortunately I didn't have any other flies like this so put on a size 20 yellow bodied emerger as I have had reasonable success in the past when you can't really make-out what they are taking. After a couple of passes "jaws", a large rainbow, put in an appearance and took. After a struggle he got his freedom without me getting him anywhere near close to me.  Another wild brownie came to hand to the emerger before I decided to start moving upstream as the light was beginning to go. I noticed a few fish taking the mayfly spinners caught in the surface film so switched to my old faithful again. I immediately started to hook up with some lovely wild browns as I made my way towards the cricket pitch. 

David had got to the top of the cricket pitch pool now and had been successful which is always good to hear for your guests. I followed him up again taking some more lovely wild browns plus a rather erratic blue rainbow.  It was interesting to note that all the brown trout were wild as they come and no stocked browns and only the 2 rainbows. I think the wild fish know that mayfly tastes good and are not afraid of them.  It always takes the fish a few days for all the fish to completely switch on to the mayfly. 

We ended the evening around 10 with fish still rising but the temperature beginning to drop. Getting or rather stumbling out of the river in the darkness was interesting!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

The Mayfly Have Started

I finally managed to get out for only the 2nd time this season due to family illness. I had arranged to meet Derek at the works so we could go down to the gully where the sun would cast a shadow over the pool. It was an unusually warm day and when we met around 2pm the mayfly were starting to hatch off sporadically.  We ambled down to the gully but I decided to go beyond the deer boom as this is a good place to watch the mayfly hatching and I was after some video of a fly hatching. Unfortunately there were not the numbers yet so maybe in a couple of days I will get my shots. I tackled up with a mayfly nymph just below the deer boom and noticed a fish in the margin so a quick flick and tweek of the nymph brought the fish up and of course I struck way too soon! The fish wasn't touched and returned to the bottom so again I flicked the nymph out and again he came up and yes gain I struck too soon but I think he must have felt something as he sloped off into the depths. Mayflies were drifting off but it is still a few days too early for them I think, according to my fishing diary. Hopefully this week will be better as I have each afternoon off so watch this space!

Looking up towards the deer boom from Bar Brook
I didn't get anything from this area so wandered down to Bar Brook, here a few more fish were showing but  not to mayfly. There were also a few yellow may duns coming off but I have yet to see a fish take one on the Derwent, I know other people take fish on them elsewhere also but not here. Lots of other small flies and duns were also hatching so off came the nymph and on went a IOBO cdc. Something which Dave Southall had tied during the close season at one of the grayling evenings. I noticed a fish rise several times and covered it with this and blow me up he came and had it. I struck into a lovely brown which was eventually netted.

A lovely brown to  IOBO cdc
Below  the brook I watched numerous mayflies hatch in the run on the far side and suicidally float past a number of fish which had risen to small stuff but let these by so this convinced me that they have yet to get the taste for them.
A mayfly floated past which was obviously having trouble casting the shuck away as can be seen below so I gave it a helping hand but it's wings were deformed so that wasn't going anywhere!
Stuck shuck emerger

Nothing down for you I'm afraid!
 By now I could feel the sun making it's mark on me so I decided to wander back towards the deer boom where some shade would be forthcoming and on the way picked up a decent rainbow.

Derek was ensconced in the willow pool and  I was given a masterclass in upstream nymphing where he caught and released 6 fish in probably 10 minutes! We called it a day as it was definitely an evening rise evening to be out and maybe we had fished at the wrong time of day, for me at least!
Roll on this week!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Sunday 3rd April - 1st Visit of the New Trout season

I commenced my 2016 trout season today and a decent start it was too. Although it had rained yesterday and the Derwent was up about 3 or 4 inches the only colour was a tinge of cold tea. It had started off cloudy here in Derbyshire but by 12 the sun had burnt the cloud off and it was quite pleasant. I decided on the Willow Pool and when I got to the car park I was the only one there which was surprising. I tackled up my 5 weight with a LDO nymph as the wind was a bit on the chilly side even though the sun was out. When I waded into the tail of the pool I was surprised at the strength of the current as the tail was now deeper as a result of all the winters floods and the water temperature was definitely on the cold side which did not help any insect life!

I gingerly made my way upstream but nothing stirred. A few flies were buzzing about but nothing which you would call a hatch. I got to the limit where you could wade safely without shipping water and retraced my steps not spotting any rises. On  the bank was a dead grayling which something had had a go at, strangely only the head was missing, maybe it was the roe the beasty was after.

The head of the pool produced a similar result a big fat zero, only a tentative pluck from something! By now I was getting rather cold so before calling it a day I got in again at the tail and fished the slacker water down the near bank and soon had my first trout of the season, a brown which had obviously overwintered and was in need of a good meal and had taken the dark olive fsn.

A hungry looking brown - the 1st of the season.
So at least I knew fish were about now and I started to fish with a bit more enthusiasm. An overwintered rainbow soon followed to the same nymph, now I was on a roll!

An overwintered rainbow in lovely condition.
A final brown was also landed taking my tally to 3 which wasn't bad for the first outing. I called it a day by 2.30, a good start.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Friday 26th February - Last Visit of the Season

Keith getting things going!
Today I arranged to meet Keith down by the 1 arch bridge. It wasn't raining but the wind was lazy i.e. went right through you instead of around! We started below the weir and picked up a few oos trout. The grayling were definitely conspicuous by their absence. I was fishing my 10' #4 with a pink shrimp below a klinkhammer but nothing much was interested. Keith was using a czech/french setup with a Sunray micro nymph line. He was finding locating the grayling difficult too. It wasn't until we went over to the far side that we got a grayling a piece. They were not giving themselves up today.

Me into a fish!
Keith let me have a go with his setup and it's the first time I have used a rod so light for a 10 footer #3, it was brilliant. The way the beaded indicator picks up the slightest twitch was very impressive. This was the first time I have used this type of nymphing  setup and it was very effective so may give it a go early season. I must get one of those indicators and a decent long leader. The line Keith was using was also very impressive, I have seen the Sunray lines advertised but not actually handled one, hmm maybe another purchase coming up! We decided to make our way downstream and picked up a few more grayling, I even saw a single lovely LDO drifting past but alas nothing took that particular one however I did see the odd rise which considering how cold the day was was a surprise. We finished the day around 2-30 and then had a week earned Castlegate pork pie followed by plenty of coffee from Keith's stove which also provided a well earned warm-up!
This would be the last visit of the season as the river is closed during March so roll on April 1st!
Keith into a decent grayling

One of Keith's grayling.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

A Bit Chilly and a half decent pork pie!

Decided to have a couple of hours above the 1 arch bridge today. The river was up about 6 ins. and had a slight colour too, I started off by the marker post fishing from the bank with a large klink with a pink shrimp about 18 ins. below. Within a couple of casts a small grayling had a go at the klink which was encouraging. Another couple of passes over the same spot and a small grayling took the shrimp. I was only fishing at rod length from the bank as the river was barrelling through this bit. The wind was playing havoc with the casting so I resorted to a sort of lob to get the fly out. This did the trick and the link shot away again and a decent grayling came in soon followed by another smaller one. It is good to see the small grayling and know that the cormorants have not had them. I then got into the river to wade upstream but the going was tough so extracted myself with difficulty as I had several layers on and my neoprene waders made bending to get up the bank difficult, michelin man came to mind! I wandered up the bank and flicked the shrimp in here and there and took another grayling before it seemed to lose its appeal so switched to a partridge and orange with a small tungsten bead behind the hackle. This is was the downfall of another 3 grayling taking my tally to 7 for a couple of hours. The weather  by now had started to hail and so I  called it day and retreated to the car for coffee. I also had a decent piece of pork pie from a recommended (Mr Percival) establishment in Bakewell however not as good as Hancock's pork pies from Stoney Middleton, now they are good, but if you are stuck then the Bakewell ones will take a good second best. Controversial Moi?

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Sunday 1st Possible Trip

Today I planned to do some grayling fishing and the river was actually fishable! Each time this winter I have had the opportunity to go fishing the river has been up and coloured. Today it was up a few inches but with just a tinge of cold tea. I decided to go above the works as this is always a place where I pickup the odd grayling during the summer. There is also some fast oxygenated water  here. I tackled up with a red tag and got in by the cattle drink. I was fishing close in to my bank as the river was belting through. It wasn't looking promising however within a few minutes I had a grayling splash at the red tag so fish were about. Unfortunately that was all and about half way up the pool I decided to switch to a NZ setup. A large link and a killer bug on the end soon resulted in my 1st grayling. This also picked up a couple more before reaching the top of the pool. I retried my steps to the bottom of the pool and changed the big to a partridge and orange with a tiny tungsten bead behind the hackle, again this picked up a couple of grayling before a large OOS rainbow. Another couple of grayling followed before it seemed to loose its appeal so I switched to a small pink shrimp/bug. This immediately started to pickup more grayling as I worked my way backup the pool. I ended the session with around 15 grayling but as my feet were starting get numb called it a day.