Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Derbyshire Derwent

Yesterday will probably be my last full session of the trout season and the venue was the glorious Derbyshire Derwent. This is arguably the jewel in the crown of the DRAC trout waters and it is a beautiful stretch. Autumn is a special time of year with the bleak days just around the corners and it was a joy to be out in the countryside. I met up with Andy at about 1pm and we got sorted out and decided to head down towards just past the bottom of the fly only stretch as this is one of the easiest areas to access.

Modest sport was enjoyed through the afternoon and I was soon off the mark with a brownie to the Sturdys Fancy. We had rain on and off throughout the afternoon and the first sharp shower seemed to put the fish down for a while. Persevering with our dry patterns though brought more fish to hand and a couple of hours soon shot by before we stopped for a Kelly brew. Luckily Andy had a flask so I was able to have some refreshment whilst sparking the kettle into life as I have still not quite got the hang of it. I'm probably putting too much in to start with.

Working our way back upstream we saw pockets of feeding fish which were difficult to tempt refusing most offerings. Finally I got some interest on a deer hair emerger but bumped off both fish which was down to poor angling on my part. Stealth was the key though and we stalked a pod of fish well on the fin, this was going fine until we were just within casting range as Andy slid down the bank and entered the river in a fairly un-dignified manner. We swiftly moved on.
Things died down as evening approached with just the odd sporadic rise. My most successful flies of the afternoon were black and olive Klink type patterns with the black having the edge.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Down on the Farm

Yesterday I managed both to cut the hedge and clean the roof of the conservatory which opened up an unexpected window of opportunity this morning. The DRAC water at Eaton Dovedale farm was my quickly chosen venue this being the fastest venue for me to get to with the hope of a fish on the fly, I only had a couple of hours. I was hoping to also have a look at how the rivers were fairing after the recent much needed rain as I also plan to fish Darley tomorrow afternoon.
Upon arrival the river was quite coloured but at a good level and perfectly fishable. It was drizzling as I tackled up and I had a quick chat with another angler who was going to try trotting a method that yields good results on this stretch. The rain was still light and I chose to fish with two weighted nymphs and give those a run through. It wasn't until I swapped the point fly for a heavier Pink Charm that I took my first and best fish of the session. Mmm, get them right down I thought but having been glad to get a fish under my belt did not have another on this method.
Not unless you count a very greedy river minnow that was definitely bigger than the size 10 charm but there wasn't a great deal in it. I had not strayed too far downstream and returned to fish the car park stretch. Soon the sun broke through and I noticed a few fish rising. Last week I had tied up some Sturdys Fancy and this fly was put to good use taking three or four fish in quick succession. This pattern will definitely be given a swim on the Derwent tomorrow and as predicted it certainly brought the grayling up. It wasn't quite the classic pattern as I used buff thread instead of purpleand a grizzle hackle but the Dove fish did not seem to know the difference.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Jolly Boys Outing

Brian, me, Adam, Mick, John, Guy, & Glen
The day finally arrived for my second trip to the Haddon Estate water on the Derbyshire Wye. Tackle into the car then it was off up to Rowsley to meet the other anglers at the Peacock. Once we were quorate the lower river just upstream of Cauldwells Mill was decided upon. This year I was in a much better frame of mind than my last visit where I had convinced my self that I would have a string of monsters throwing themselves on the bank. You have to fish well to get the best from this river and many have returned with backsides truly slapped. There are no easy casts which will cover a fish through the day and with no wading you have to get your presentation spot on with no drag. Once you get it sorted you will be rewarded with superb fish like this wild rainbow.

The fishing went well in the morning and this is a productive stretch. You could spend a lot longer there than the couple of hours that we did.

We then explored the water just north of the town and had some good sport there. Glen put both Brian and I onto some corking fish just below the sheepwash. This was a tricky cast and these clunkers were not fooled.
Sport then dried up and we headed back to the fishermans car park stretch for a leisurely afternoon the highlight of which were several fish for Ads from a difficult cast, more fish for John, and one each for Brian and Mick from Heartbreak Corner.
Then it was time for chilling out with talk of monsters, tackle and flys before heading into town for some grub before a last go at the town water. The fish proved hard to tempt and I had a couple of browns which put the cap on the day nicely. The last from just upstream of the footbridge was a true Derbyshire warrior and I swear it bit me as I extracted the fly.
Those of you who follow Mick's blog will know he has an uncanny knack of winkling out the better fish. Yesterday was business as usual and this 5lb 8oz fish really made his old bamboo creak.
All in all a good day and great company.

Sunday, 5 September 2010


Yesterday I checked the braided loops on both of my river lines. As per usual there were several frays in the braid and I decided to replace them. Each time I inspect a loop I realised I always find something I am not happy with and even lost a fish last season when the loop itself failed. Enough is enough I thought and decided to go back to needle knotting a length of strong mono to the end of the fly line. Once completed I was very pleased with the results and with the benefit of hindsight this is a far more secure method to use for the interface between the line and the leader. Having considered it further it should also provide a better transfer of energy from the line to assist leader turnover.
In the week I have also been stocking up my fly box for next weeks trip to the Wye with some small olive and sedge patterns. There is a fresh stock of sedges and JT Olives, also a single plume olive in slightly smaller sizes than I normally use for the JT (Tiemco 103 size 15). Recently I have read reports of the Griffiths Knat being quite productive so will knock up some of these in the week on Partridge surehold barbless size 16. At this time of year I'm not expecting to need a great deal more as on the Wye it is dry fly only but any pointers would be welcomed from other anglers.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Back on the Fly

This season I have somewhat neglected my trout rod and have turned attention to catching some tench and barbel. I have felt drawn of late back to the fly and having booked myself onto the Haddon water of the Derbyshire Wye with some other Gentlemen Piscators for a jolly boys outing thought I had best get some practice. I had blanked spectacularly in an hour and a half on Monday morning and had a similar time window last night. Again I chose Ellastone as the venue.
Arriving about 7pm I noticed a few rises but it was not exactly alive. In the end I managed to extract 3 brownies which under the conditions I thought was a good result. The rises died at about 8.15 and I finally gave up at half past. This fish put up a great struggle and I would welcome any comments from more experienced anglers as to whether they thought this was a wild fish. All three came to drys but this one was on an emerger, a fly that I won't be able to use on the Wye. It barely sipped it off the surface and as is often the case the most benign take yielded the best fish.