Thursday, 29 April 2010

Trout or Salmon??

In my last post there is another picture of the small fish above. Upon seeing this Glen Pointon enquired as to whether it was a salmon parr. This was my first thought when it came to hand but if you click on the above picture to enlarge it red spots can be clearly seen. To my mind this makes it a trout but I would be very interested in comments from anglers with wider experience.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

The Glorious River Dove

This morning I fished the DRAC water at Eaton Dovedale on the famous River Dove. It was a cracking start to the day which was fortunate as the river was a little reluctant to give up her treasures. The fishing was pretty tough to start with and I must admit to being on the verge of packing up for some tea when the fish below grabbed my pheasant tail nymph.

The duo had been my method of choice to start off the day but as there were little signs of a rise I soon changed to GRHE on the dropper and a PTN on the point.

This fish was taken just below the island that is about a third of the way down the section. A swan is nesting here so it will be a brave angler who dares to fish close by the island. This will also make wading up to fish above the island tricky and this is sometimes a productive spot.

When I set off this morning it was turn left for Darley Dale or right for Eaton. As I did not fancy the drive to Darley I plumped for the Dove. We forget though how lucky some of us local anglers are to have these glorious rivers not too far away. I spoke for a while this morning with an angler who drives up from Evesham for his fishing, that is a tidy step and makes you appreciate what we have in the county of Derbyshire. Interestingly, the angler suggested that a trip to Darley was not a good choice at the weekend as he had been plagued by canoeists. I only fish this stretch a handful of times each season and normally midweek so have not been particularly troubled by these trespassers. He recountered one incident that had irked him when one club had claimed they had permission when challenged. Fat chance.
This week I again may have missed the best part of the day as I departed just after noon. Either that or the car park stretch may be turning into one of the hotspots as I took a couple of fish from here before I called it a day. Many a time though I have not fished the last of the water and a number of people have mentioned to me that it is always worth a few casts.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Large Woody Debris

To blow the cobwebs away I took a quick walk along the lower section of Sutton Brook this morning. Tim Walton mentioned in his last post on the brook that there was a tree down close to one that we had cut back on one of the working partys. It was just where I expected it to be. This little stretch is one of the spots at Sutton that I feel more confident fishing and have picked up a few trout and grayling here. My size 12's did disturb one fish that I didn't spot but left a healthy looking bow wave.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Avonmaster Strikes Again

The other evening I managed to get the Avonmaster in action with the carp again. The old lad really had to put his back into the battle with the fish above. This mirror is the largest fish I have taken from this small shallow lake, it went a tad over 6lb. I have noticed a distinct difference in the fish since I started fishing this water about a month or so ago. It is like the fish have finally woken up to spring and are putting up a great account of themselves. The bait again was my faithful Spam and this is really attracting these free biting fish. The suspicion is I am getting a few line bites as my bite to hook up ratio is quite embarrassing, probably about four. The guys on Anglersnet forum have given me some advice on this which I shall mull over before my next session here. Interestingly, one of the contributors had similar problems using a hair rig which was to be my plan A.
Hopefully I will have a 'new' reel to try on my next coarse outing, tonight I have purchased an ABU Cardinal 40 from Ebay.
The common carp below was a fantastic specimen and went straight into a weed bed. The Avonmaster had enough spring in his elbow to cope though. Just check out the superb brassy livery, what a fish.

Sunday, 18 April 2010


This morning I headed off early to Ellastone to try and tempt my first river trout of the season. I started off fishing nymphs up through the faster section. The water level was pretty low and quite clear. The sun was soon up and it was quite a bright morning, perhaps a tad too much. At about 0900 a spectacular hatch commenced of a sedge type fly that I think was the Grannom. Unfortunately not spectacular enough to persuade the Ellastone trout to start looking upwards, surprising from the point of view of so many flys emerging. I scooped one nymph up as it floated by and the fly duly emerged on my fingers. I eventually caught a small brown and a grayling, plus a hook up on what I suspect was a larger lady (steady on) from the jag jag of the fight and the way it kept low in the water. That one was not to be though. I was on my way home by 1130 and hopefully conditions would have picked up in the afternoon for any other anglers venturing out.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Out of the Blue

This Easter we spent a few days in France generally relaxing whilst not eating or drinking. It was a good opportunity to catch up on some reading and I whiled away an evening on 'Out of the Blue' by Chris Yates accompanied by a flask of Isle of Jura single malt. This book is an entertaining read of Yates recent experiences with the sea mostly lure fishing for Bass. I really enjoyed it and it remined me a great childhood holidays mosting spent fishing off the rocks in such fantastic spots as Aberporth, Rock, and Porthcurno.

Yates has clearly caught the sea fihing bug but in his usual attractive 'Passion for Angling' style. I would recommend that you give this book a read if you get the chance. At £14.99 it is a little steep though as it was just an evenings read. I managed to borrow this copy from my local library.

It all sounds great fun and I'll have to see what tackle I can smuggle to Spain later in the year. Derby is not exactly the epicentre of sea angling opportunities.

Yates talks of fishing with the older Abu Cardinals, I presume such models as the 40, 44, 66, etc. Could anyone advise whether these are saltwater proof I seem to recollect reading somewhere that they are. Clearly still need a good rinse in clean water after use though. That reminds me how I ruined my Mitchell 300.........

Friday, 9 April 2010

Wonderful Spam

This week I had the opportunity to again do some floatfishing for small carp. The lake I have been fishing has a good head of these fish and they are very partial to some Spam. Whilst not the biggest carp in the world it is great sport and the sight of the float sharply drifting away is one of the great buzzes that angling provides. The fish in this water are all very lean and not what I would refer to as pellet pigs in any way.

This small mirror put up a great account of itself and I should have got a better picture of the scale pattern which was most pleasing. Although now widespread this has not always been the case and the carp is still somewhat of a novelty for me. Having done most of my full on coarse fishing in my teens around Derby carp at this time were few and far between.

There was always the stories of so and so who had caught a ten pounder on a tinned potato from the canal but this was before the days of mass stocking and the carp was not common to my local area. Nowadays of course this fish is popular throughout the country and I do wonder whether it has devalued slightly what is a magnificent fish.

My first encounter with the carp was in one of the many pools at Woburn Abbey whilst on holiday. I badgered Dad into agreeing to stump up for the day ticket if the baliff came round but as it was late in the afternoon his beer money was safe. Even then I caught similar fish on a vitually identical 'rig'; a waggler locked with all the shot and then just a cube of meat on the hook.
My old Avonmaster rod revelled in the battle with the leather below that made several good runs before it came to the net. This rod is very enjoyable to fish with and I wonder how many other great fibreglass rods now sit in shed and attics unused. I am happy to help bring any back to life and put them to good use so all donations gratefully received.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

No Luck on Rivers

This morning I set out hoping for my first brown trout of the season but it was not to be. First destination was the River Ecclesbourne and when I arrived I felt quite optimistic, the river was running fairly clear perhaps carrying some extra water. I was mightily impressed by the amount of copicing work completed by the EA, they have made a real effort here and several pools are now a lot more fishable. Fishable that is but not by muppets and after an hour I had seen no fish and lost three flies! My confidence shot to bits I then decided to up sticks to Ellastone.
The River Dove was just about fishable at the top end of water and colour but the faster section at Ellastone quite often fishes better in these conditions. Not today though and I tried various nymps and also a duo rig with nothing to show for my efforts. If there is no more rain then I expect that conditons will have considerably improved in a couple of days.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Sutton Brook

Earlier this afternoon I dropped eldest off in Hilton which gave me an ideal excuse to have a walk down to Sutton Brook and grab some fresh air. It was a bad Good Friday though having rained pretty much in Derby all day although the weather has brightened up in the last hour or so.

There was slightly less colour in the brook than I expected but it was still carrying plenty of extra water. Angling would not be recommended until the level has fallen which would take a good day or so if we have no more rain. I walked down through Sutton-on-the-Hill village to the top end of the DRAC water. I have a real love/hate relationship with this piece of water as it is a fantastic looking spot but does not seem to be able to sustain a good head of brown trout. The water has been one where in the past you feel like you have had a rewarding session if you have tempted a brace but last season was a total blow out for me. For the uninitiated the creatures in the picture below are not trout. They are though still highly sought after in some of the more remote villages in Derbyshire and by most of Staffordshire.

I have fished the brook mostly with a 7'6" rod and this is about as long as you would want to go. At the moment I keep thinking about getting a 6 footer that I think would be ideal on this water and the River Ecclesbourne. Recently I had some correspondence with Steve Parton and apparently Harrison are now doing a 6' #3 blank. This sounds very tempting to me but at the moment I am managing to resist.

This photo is looking upstream from the footbridge that is at the north end of the DRAC water. After I had taken this I had a drive up round Longford to see if I could spot any reference to the Blount Flyfishers water. However it was not really a day for stopping and exploring. There is a sign looking upstream as the brook passes under the road leaving Sutton village stating "Poachers will be prosecuted", this was the only reference I saw.
Not as ferocious as one of the signs observed this afternoon:

"Private Property - Violaters will be shot, Survivors will be shot again"

I wonder if they'll be voting Green Party?