Monday, 22 February 2010

The River Ecclesbourne

Here are some photos taken on the River Ecclesbourne on Saturday. This is the DRAC stretch at Hazlewood not far from the 'Puss in Boots'. The Ecclesbourne flows into the Derwent at Eyes Meadows, Duffield and supports a small head of wild trout. The Derwent also supports a large grayling population but they cannot get up the Ecclesbourne due to a weir at Duffield.

This is one of the stretches that I always think I should spend more time fishing. Believe me though it looks very different in the summer when the bankside vegetation is 'full on'. Then it is real Rambo style fishing and you can quickly forget that you are only one meadow from the main Duffield-Wirksworth Road. The stretch is badly affected by the dreaded Himalayan Balsam and we can all do our bit by pulling some out whenever we are out enjoying the glorious Derbyshire countryside.

I would use my 7'6" #3 weight here but that is the longest rod you would get away with. A rod at least a foot shorter would be much easier to handle as you are casting under the canopy in the summer. Terrestial patterns work quite well and I have found a black klinkhammer is as good as any. Should you be lucky enough to catch one the trout are maked delightfully. Tim (Derbytrout on flyforums) has told me of a good fish under one of the tricker features on the beat but I have not managed to tempt him yet, perhaps this season will be the one.
DRAC are planning to do some work in conjunction with the EA on coppicing and improving erosion near the railway now operated by Wyvern Rail. I think that is the company who have been restoring the Duffield to Wirksworth line.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Intrepid Gearfly

I'm a sucker for buying tackle I don't need from Ebay, particularly if it is from the era when I had my nose against tackle shop windows at every opportunity. This Gearfly was too much to resist, the name Intrepid (anyone remember the Black Prince) and the words 'Made in England' had me putting in a bid. It is a kingsize model so completely useless for most of the fishing I do these days. I had intended to load up my WF8F line onto it and use it for the odd day I have each year on stillwater. Unfortunately the drag mechanism has been broken and removed although the pawls are still there. I will see if it can be fixed hopefully by bastardising an old Rimfly that I'm sure is in my Dad's garage somewhere.

My best purchase from Ebay was an ABU Ambassadeur 7000. A classic beachcasting multiplier really comes in handy when you live in Derby. I also have a Peter Wheat Avonmaster 11' fibreglass rod that I intend using for some tench in the summer. The one thing that will make me go all silly when I manage to get hold of one is a Terry Eustace glass rod, they were the thing of dreams in the late 70's.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Sutton Brook; is it broke?

My nearest water on the trout bit of the Derby Railway ticket is Sutton Brook. It has so much potential but unfortunately not many trout. In fact I didn't catch one last season. In 2008 I probably has half a dozen in 3 to 4 trips. It is that sort of water where you can be very pleased to finish with a brace. I had last fished it with a trotting set up in October on a foul morning when I managed a nice perch and a chub (note no trout or grayling). I decided to give it a bash for an hour this morning and again set up with my Alpha float rod and dad's Mordex Major 'pin.
I fished the slower runs towards the bottom end of the water and returned a big fat zero having started out with great confidence. Now I will definitely think twice before giving it another go after my experiences of the last 12 months.
The club were going to have the EA have a look at the brook and I think it is long overdue. I'll pop a post on the DRAC forum and hopefully Phil Harrison will see it and offer an update. Warren Slaney has posted on flyforums along the lines of 'why try and make Sutton Brook something it isn't'. He may be right. Blount Flyfishers have some water upstream and I think stock it as there are far more fish come out than on the DRAC stretch, however is this sustainable and is the environment right for trout to thrive. Pickled Carp has fished this section and there are some good pictures on his blog. Today I would have been happy with a perch or chub but it was not to be.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

River Dove 12th February 2010

This week I had decided to join the midweek slackers and get some fishing in on Friday. My other job for the day was to drop the kids off at school and then collect them at 3.30pm. This gave me a good few hours in the middle of the day to head off to the River Dove. I had decided to start at Ellastone and upon arrival recognised Guy's (Orvisfan from flyforums) car parked up by the bridge. I do enjoy a good chin wag with a fellow angler and it is more pleasureable at this time of the year when the fish are a bit thin on the ground. Guy had fished since 8.00am and had just one grayling on the duo so it wasn't going to be easy. I tackled up with a three fly set up intending to practice the Czech nymph technique. This is a new method to me and I'm still finding my feet with it.

I started off fishing the faster water at the top of the beat with little success. This spot has not fished well for me at all on my last few visits. It is one of the perculiarities of Ellastone that the water seems to fish well or not at all and today was one of the latter. Guy soon joined me and persevered with the duo. He was soon into a fish that turned out to be one of the resident rainbows.

In the afternoon I decided to give Eaton Dovedale a go. This is a good stretch but I did not fish it much last season. There is plenty of water to explore but it does colour up quickly after rain. I put this down to the Churnet joining the Dove only a couple of hundred yards upstream of the start of the Railway water. Three grayling saved my blushes and I had all three on the Czech nymph. I did nearly switch to the duo but realised I had left my floatant at the car. The Dove Valley is much more open here than at Ellastone and the wind felt it was coming straight from the steppes. Once the sun came through though it was great to be out in the fresh air.

Hello and Welcome

I will start by posting up some pictures from memorable angling trips of last year.

A nice carp from Cullens pond taken on maggots. I was using my Shakespeare Alpha float rod and Mitchell Match reel. This fish put a good bend in that old glass rod.

Here is a brown trout taken from the Derbyshire Derwent during mayfly season. I had a magical afternoon with the drake in full swing.

One of my favourite fish is the tench. However, I don't fish for them too often but did enjoy a good morning on Triangle Pond last July. This was one of three similar fish that made it a great morning.