Saturday 3 June 2023

Mid April and May

 Mid April was still rather chilly consequently fly life was sporadic and so were the rising fish! The Derwent always takes it's time to get going, April being very slow. Although I only went a few times I did manage to catch fish each time.

The first week of May we were on holiday so by the time I got on the river temperatures had increased which brought out the flies but the fish were not exactly switched on. The third week and the evenings started to look promising, the first evening I went over the road between Baslow bridges. The amount of fly was spectacular, loads of olive upright spinners, gnats, a few sedge and a few mayfly. The mayfly were a bit smaller than those which appear early June, some people say these are one year flies as opposed to the usual two year ones. 

The masses of flylife (splodges!) 

Although the olive uprights were out, I had to trap a couple to take them home to double check. The males have dark brown upper bodies but greyish under bodies, whilst the females are bright yellow with greyish tails and legs with pale grey wings. The females dropped to the water for 2-3 seconds then took off again, occasionally a fish would manage to take one. I tied a few some with a brown rib over yellow superfine the others omitting the rib. Both have dun tails and hackle with a medium dun wing parachute style. My next outing was on 2nd June, over the road below the old bridge, to test the pattern and it came up trumps. The olive uprights were still out and a few fish were rising, the first 3 fish covered were hooked and landed, one being a rather chunky oos grayling. I finished after about and hour and a half with seven fish all to either the plain bodied or ribbed fly.

The female olive uprights showing the dark bands on the top and plain underneath.

  The male olive upright (minus tails!) showing the dark top and pale underneath.

Also on my last outing I noticed some slightly larger duns/spinners to the olive uprights but not as large as mayflies but with 3 tails, I could only catch this one and after some checking through my books couldn't decided on what it was. Does anybody know what this is?

                                                                        Minus a foreleg!

Finally for my outings below the old bridge I used my 5 weight Bakewell Flyfishing bamboo rod which performed flawless including suppressing a decent rainbow around 3lbs!

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