Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Darley nearly mayfly

This year I am wondering if the mayfly will pass me by. Looking at the reports on the forums and knowing its track record I thought the Derwent at Darley Dale was an absolute banker for some drake action. Time was at a premium however and leaving home at 1130 the drive was almost a full hour to cover the 28 miles. For the last two seasons I have enjoyed some great sport on this stretch so I cannot complain really, however it was a bit disappointing that there was know real hatch through the afternoon. When I finished at about 1545 there was the odd mayfly appearing and hopefully any other anglers will have enjoyed a good evening sport. Fish were hard to come by and my favourite stretch at the back of Oker yielded none which was a bit of a slap to start with.
I eventually found some feeding fish but could not get a take from them. They were either taking something just below or very small off the surface. As the fly that I was later successful with was an emerger then I suspect that it was the former. After going through my box at these fish the one fly I overlooked was the Petit Merde that Brian gave to me on the Wye last summer, these must have been worth a try. The more frustrated I became the worst my presentation so I ended up leaving them. At Darley there are some very slow stretches that are hard to get down to and put out a line, sometimes perseverence in these spots pays dividends as I think the fish are very rarely cast at as it is so awkward.
Eventually I managed to take a few fish on a PT emerger. This fly is tyed on a Partridge Klinkhammer hook size 18 and uses PT body and tails & CDC loop wing. Quite simple and effective today too. No real lunkers today but as ever the Derwent trout are very pretty. If all goes to plan I'll have another go at them next week. These have been the hot weeks on this stretch for the last couple of seasons, perhaps the cold night and also the cool wind have not helped today.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

An evening at the vice

With duffers fortnight fast approaching I have been studying the other fly fishing blogs and forums with interest for the latest information. I hope to have a few good sessions on the Dove and the Derwent so have made sure my boxes are full of deadly mayfly patterns. However, when doing so I have mislaid my pouch of St Bruno, what rotten luck.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Back to Ellastone

My spring tench campaign had somewhat faltered this year so after GP reported mayfly appearing at Ellastone it was time to pick up the fly rod. I had a few hours this afternoon so headed off with hopes of some good sport. There were no other anglers on the beat and I soon noticed the odd may coming off and a very infrequent rise. The fish have not really turned onto them yet to herald the start of Duffers Fortnight. Some larger dun patterns were tried and got the odd slash from the fish but they were not really taking the drake. I also observed plenty of yellow may duns amongst the green drake.
Well I then fannied about for a while fishing nymphs and also had a go on the duo, a technique which I have become crap at as I use it so infrequently. Eventually the penny dropped that the rising fish were not on the drake but taking large dark olives. I quickly matched the hatch and began catching at last, the trout now taking my olive pattern with gusto. In a little under an hour I took four fish of which the one below was the best. Another of a similar stamp was lost. As the clock ticked towards 7pm the activity stopped and consequently I called it a day. A good return to Elly for me and still the cream of the mayfly fishing ahead.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

An Olive Beauty

Since my early success at Findern my tench fishing exploits have distinctly faltered. So what better venue to kick off again that one of the club pools with a reputation for being hard. During one of my dog walks earlier in the week I had spotted a swim I had not noticed before and quite liked the look of it. So after work yesterday I packed the tackle into the car and headed off up to Shardlow. For bait I had casters and hemp plus some sweetcorn. There were a lot of cars about when I arrived but they were all fishing the pool on the other side of the road on which the carp appear to be feeding well at the moment.
I tackled up a waggler on my 14' float rod, the intention was to fish virtually under my rod tip beyond the fringe of weeds, the extra length I reasoned would help me keep the fish away from snags. Double caster first when on the size 14 barbless and I was soon getting knocks on the float and some bites which I just could not hit. Nevertheless activity on the float makes the time fly and it was soon 8pm. I had noticed that periodically the swim was fizzing so I hoped that some tincas were moving in. After catching a perchlet on casters I decided to go for double corn in the hope this would attract a tench. As the light was going the float slipped away and a good fish was on. I could not get it's head up and was certain this was a carp as it was so powerful. Fortunately it chose to run out into the pool and I prayed that there were no hidden snags. Playing it carefully there was no way I could see this as a tinca but on 4lb hooklength did not want to try bullying it up for gander. There was some excitement when the fish finally went for the weeds and I held grimly on but then it surfaced. A tench. With it's head finally up I soon got it in the net. It was in pristimne condition and weighed in at 5lb 3oz. This was a fish I was really pleased with having winkled it out from a difficult water. Lets hope for a few more over the coming weeks.