Friday, 3 June 2022

Thursday 2nd June

 Well how could I eclipse my previous catch! I do have a couple of videos but cannot attach them for some reason. 

I decided to have a punt down the bottom end so arrived around 1:30, the river was looking good although a bit low but gin clear for the Derwent which always carries a tinge of peat stain. Now is mayfly time but not reaching the peak yet so I was undecided if the fish would be fully onto them. I tackled up and the only other person was departing so I had the whole length from the hut to the bottom limit to myself! I went down to Max's bench pool as this is one of my favourite pools on the river. I had on my version of a mayfly nymph based on Phil Whites mayfly nymph. On my down to the pool I noticed a few fish rising in the upper pools so things looked promising. I sat on the bench to see if there was any movement and immediately noticed a few head and tail rises and the occasional splashy rise to a newly hatched mayfly although there were not that many about. Once I got in the river there were a lot of yellow sallies around with fish taking them. I trapped one for later id. here it is.

The photo of it's top was too blurred as it kept crawling!
Anyway after literally 2 casts I was into a fish, a lovely rainbow around 3lb and then the next another which was it's twin! Things were looking good. I continued up the pool taking several rainbows and eventually a lovely brown around between 1 and 2lb. I was also getting that soggy foot feeling as my waders were beginning to leak again.

There were several different flies hatching including some olives and not all successfully hatched!

Even what looked like some mayfly which had "transposed" into spinners which I think usually happens in the  trees were on the water.

I fished into the next pool too but it was not as "active" as the previous. The odd fish was moving to freshly hatched mayfly so I quickly switched to a dry mayfly and managed to land some and lose some too. Wetness was beginning to creep up my leg and so I called it a day, I finished with a lovely wildy to take my tally to 8 rainbows and 4 browns.

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Sunday and Tuesday

 On Sunday I decided to go above the works as the horse trial were in full swing in the park and I didn't want to get caught up in the traffic. I had my 10'6" #3 with me with the new Barrio line too. I went above the works to the sycamore pool where lots of fish were rising. I had a size 16 black gnat on and covered several of the rises, which were head and tail which I think indicates takes probably just below the surface, before a take and a brown was landed. Several more were covered without so much as a sniff so on went a size 18 black nymph on a curved hook with an indicator 6" above. 1st cast and another brown took and was landed followed by an oos grayling. I worked my way upstream taking a rainbow and 2 more browns. Strangely there were not many flies about apart from swarms of midges this afternoon however at 4.15 the temperature dropped quite considerably, the fish stopped showing as if a switch had been thrown and the swarms of midge disappeared. I called it a day by 4.30 finishing with 4 browns, 1 rainbow and 1 grayling.

On Tuesday it was a lovely warm day with a little cloud cover, after doing some gardening I went down to the fishing hut down Beeley. This is the first time I had been down there this season so was interested to see if the floods had changed the pools here too as further upstream there have been some major shifts of gravel and silt in the river. I got in at the pool above the hut and had on the same black nymph which did well for me on Sunday, I soon landed a bright wild brownie and this was followed by a grayling. I landed another lovely wild brownie before getting to the head of the pool. This area has certainly changed more gravel has been washed into the head reducing the size of the pool. I moved over behind the island as this always looks fishy, a decent rainbow took the nymph and was landed. I worked my way up and as the water was deeper I increased the depth of the indicator so it was around 2' now. Another lovely wild brown was landed before..... The indicator shot away and I knew I was into a large fish, at first i thought it was a large brownie as it flashed in the pool however after a minute I spotted a barbel! This was the first barbel I have caught in the 50 odd years I have been fishing, it had me all over the pool and all along I was  hoping the hook would hold. A size 16 206BL on 3lb tippet. At one point I am sure a second fish was following this. Eventually after about 15 minutes I landed it with some difficulty getting it into my net.

Following these photos and returning the fish I had to sit down and calm down as I was shaking! After this I couldn't concentrate so retired to the hut for a cuppa, Matthew turned up and I had to show him the result. I called it a day with 3 browns, 1 rainbow, 1 grayling and a magnificent barbel (by my standard).

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Sunday 8th May

 A lovely warm day and after cutting the lawn I decided to have a couple of hours between Baslow bridges. I had my 10'6" #3 but this time with a DT3 as I wanted to see if I could  make short line nymphing any easier. I had my usual FSN nymph on and started at the pool below the old bridge. The DT made casting/lobbing a bit easier with a 12' tapered leader with a 4' tippet. I landed a rainbow and a small wild brownie from the pool then went further downstream and lost a couple before reaching the new bridge. In the upstream pool a few more rainbows were landed to the FSN before i moved below the bridge and fished the pool immediately downstream. Another couple of rainbows and browns were landed to the same nymph. I was surprised that not many flies were about nor any rises but the fish were obviously feeding on the nymphs. Above the bridge again and a lovely oos grayling was brought in but it had a large gash on it's side, probably from a heron which I have spotted from time to time on this stretch. 

I finished around 5pm with 5 rainbows, 3 browns and 1 grayling for a couple of hours dibbling about!

Friday, 6 May 2022

Tuesday 3rd May

 I went into the park this afternoon as wanted to see how the river had changed. It was a bit chilly but no wind thankfully, cloud cover blotted out the sun too. I got in at the stump mid way between Mary's Bower and the cricket pitch and immediately noticed how the run on the house side had been silted up forcing more of the river across the other side. This had a positive effect creating a deeper run with more current. It meant the pool current had increased but the drop off appeared to be steeper too. 

I had on my usual FSN as I wasn't sure there would be anything hatching. I was "cheating" a bit with a yarn indicator on a 14' Orvis tactical leader with 4' tippet. This "cast" better than the 30' Czech nymph leader I previously used on my Orvis 10'6" rod. Whilst the Orvis tactical nymph line is rated #1 and the rod #3 it did not seem to load the rod enough for a proper cast only a lob! I suppose if I want to use the rod for that kind of nymphing with the occasional dry fly then a heavier line will be required.

I took a lovely wild brown which was still relatively dark after its winter spawning, this was followed by 2 oos grayling. These were 2 good fish larger than the average I seem to contact in their season. Some LDO's started to hatch together with larger olive uprights so on went a size 16 dry olive. Fish started to hit it but I missed a few before another oos grayling came in and another good wild brown similar to the first. The hatch was active for maybe a couple of minutes then ceased for a few minutes before starting again and this went on for an hour or two. There were certainly more fish rising all the way up the pool whereas in previous years the fish seemed to be congregated in the lower half of the pool.

I then went up to the cricket pitch but there were only a few flies knocking about so on went the FSN again. I lost a couple before a rainbow came in, probably one of this years stocking. This pool has also changed due to the floods, it seems to be shallower nearer the bank than normal with the run being pushed further out. I worked my way up the pool with the FSN taking another brown and 2 more rainbows, the final one an absolute cracker of around 3lbs fully finned with white tips, lovely!

I finished around 5.30 and another positive from the floods was the place where I usually get out, it was much easier now as a new exit point had been worn in the bank so not having to stumble over the large stones right at the head.

A good afternoon with a triple Mc"Chatsworth" Nab, 3 browns, 3 grayling and 3 rainbows!

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Well Hello Again!

Well it's a while since I have added anything to my blog! So what have I been up to?

I spent 4 glorious days last September at Dairy House Annexe in Dorset on the Frome. The river was in good condition but my effort to get to grips with a new river sadly failed. I did manage to catch fish on each day, grayling and a couple of trout but the fact that fly activity was lacking didn't help. Needless to say it did not put me off a re-visit sometime. John Aplin was an excellent host and I can recommend the place for a fish and to stay at the Annexe too, very comfortable.

I also spent some time down in Cornwall just outside Kingsbridge, this enabled me to have a couple of afternoons fishing in the estuary there with both fly and spinner, this did not prove very successful as only 1 small bass came to hand on a spinner. At the eleventh hour just as I was about to pack up the last cast smashed my new spinning rod! This was the first (and only!) time I had used it. Just shows how rubbish cheap rods can be!

Following the close of the trout season I didn't do any grayling fishing during the winter, it was DECORATING season here in Baslow this year.

The winter produced sone big floods culminating in a rise of 5+ metres just prior to the start of the trout season. This was one of the highest recorded levels for years. I only hope that the river has not suffered from excess erosion and deposition etc.

My 2022 season started on Saturday 16th April, the day was warm which followed from the previous day so I assumed the fish may have got used to it as prior to this the temperature had been much lower than average for this time of the year. I had kept an eye on the river by the church in Baslow but little had risen during the times I had been down to check, I decided to go above the works as there is a mixture of slow and fast water there so I was hoping for some surface activity. I got down there around 2.30 and 2 people were coming back and both had taken fish. This looked promising. I sat by the sycamore for a few minutes and noticed several fish rising but couldn't see to what, nothing obvious, no LDOs or any other type of olive. I had taken my Orvis 10'6" #3 weight as I thought some nymphing would be in order but before I started I took off the long french leader and put a normal 12' leader and a size 18 black klink as there were some tiny flies stuck in surface. I covered several fish but was finding the Orvis line difficult to cast as its meant for czech/french type nymphing. Eventually I must have got it right as a fish took my fly and was on! It turned out to be a lovely brown knocking 2lbs and fin perfect! 

Not one of my best photos!!!

I continued with the black klink and soon took another trout this time a rainbow in perfect condition. Things were looking good as I had only been fishing for about 15 minutes! Fish continued to rise but my casting was definitely rusty and several times I put down risers however if I just rested the spot for a few minutes the rises started again. Several fish were contacted but lost but another 3 rainbows were landed before I started to feel the slow creep of wetness down my legs and left foot, my waders had started to leak and not the problem gentlemen of a certain age sometimes have thankfully! I called it a day at 4.30 just as Tim was coming down to fish, it was good to see him again and catch up.

So now to get my waders patched up although they are probably 5 seasons old so could do with a good service. I will probably send them off to Diver Dave unless anybody has any other recommendations.

My good friend and fellow fisherman Derek has decided more or less to hang up his rod now but I hope to still get him down to the river even if I have to take him in his bath chair! There are places on the river which are fairly easy to get in so hopefully I can persuade him to join me especially when those mayfly are streaming off.

Hope you have enjoyed reading my resurrected blog and I will endeavour to keep it up to date!

Tight lines and I hope you all have a productive season.