Thursday, 30 June 2011

My First Double

Last night I headed off to the River Dove in search of a barbel and was amazed to find I had the popular stretch at Scropton to myself. So straight to my favourite swim and just to confirm what I knew already the river was the lowest I've ever seen on this stretch. My rod was in for about 1900 and I sat back to enjoy the evening. Another first for me last night was a Kingfisher perched on my rod, probably all of 3 seconds but I felt very privilleged. After about 30 minutes a few taps started on the rod end and then it went round, this was a chub though still that was the blank saved early doors!
It then went very quiet for a while and not until after 2200 did things start to develop. The rod whacked round and I knew this was no chub. After holding the fish for a while I began to move it upstream but it was strong and made a good run for a known snag on the nearside bank. I felt the line scrape against a branch and to get more leverage it was into the river with my net and start to bully it away. Luckily everything held and once in the open the fish had the drag spinning as it made for midstream. Pressure eventually told and it turned back towards the bank but was then into some weeds. Here strong tackle really counts and I was able to get it's head up and into the net. I rested it here for a couple of minutes and then up onto the bank for a quick photo and weighing. At 10lb dead this was my first double and I was over the moon with it. The fish was in fantastic condition and I made sure it recovered properly in a shallower area one peg down, it was great to see it swim away strongly.
That was it for me as it was now getting pretty dark so I packed up and slowly made my way back to the car very pleased with my angling.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

River Trent

On Sunday evening I tried a peg that had set me thinking since a work party a few weeks back, it was the closest one to the bridge that was cleared. The result was a repeat of my last trip, no barbel and one chub. Also similar to my last outing was using braid as hooklength the other coincidence is I'm losing a lot of tackle and snagging up regularly. May have to consider a return to Maxima. Any other tips from anglers on this subject are welcomed.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

River Trent, Shardlow

Last night I fished in the same area as opening day but was not lucky enough to tempt a barbel. The weed was also a lot worse than last week which is a known problem with the Trent through the summer. One chub saved my blushes and this was taken from the third swim I fished in a reasonably short session. Although it is always nice to catch a barbel we should not curse chavender as he has prevented many a blank. He is not in the best of condition at this time of year though and this chap did a passable impression of a bream. I didn't weigh the chub but guess he was around 4lb.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Opening Day

Well it is years since I have fished opening day of the coarse season and I had forgotten how magical it is walking along the bank knowing that no-one has cast a line since March. As I had arranged to meet up with Andy and Dave from Sheffield then the River Trent at Shardlow was the venue. As I had a variety of jobs to attend to today by the time I arrived at around 1100 they were already filling their boots with some lovely fish coming to traditional Trent float fishing tactics.
I had decided to try for a barbel so moved a little further upstream to the faster water. The river was not too wide here and I guess I was fishing threequarters across below an obvious snag. After being out for a curry and some refreshments last night I was anxious to get the Kelly on and get some tea down me as I was still feeling a little jaded.
Bites were few and far between but after just over an hour fishing the odd one started to develop. A big drop back and what I think was a chub but it was soon off. Then a real bite, no indication problems here the rod was straight off the rests and I picked it up off the grass with the baitrunner going!!
The fish was straight into a snag but eventually the pressure told and after a very spirited fight I netted a 6lb 2oz beauty. This fish was in great condition and made some tremendous runs setting the drag spinning.
So for me a great start; good company, Kelly on the go, sun out, and a barbel.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

What a Tench

Last night I had intended heading for the River Dove after trout but felt pretty tired after work and didn't fancy the drive. What better I thought to just unwind sitting on my basket for a couple of hours watching the evening pass by. I had some corn in my basket and hemp in the freezer so that was bait sorted and I headed off to the pool I had fished a few weeks earlier. The peg I had the five pounder from was free and so I plonked myself down and threw some hemp and corn in whilst I tackled up.
I would fish just over the marginal reeds where the depth is about 8' before a rapid drop off. It is effectively right under the rod tip and so I sat well back from the edge. Now for the wait I thought as this pool does not give up its treasures easily. So for 2 hours I patiently waited for some activity on the float. The only sign was one perch that succumbed to a bit of prawn. When the bite came it was un-missable and the rod arched right over. There are reeds to the left and the fish made for these but I managed to bully it into open water. I had taken some advice from Steve and used a 1.5tc rod, if this had been on my float rod then it would have ended in tears. Time and time agian it made for the snags and all I could do was just hold it hoping the 4lb bottom and 14 barbless would hold. They did. I managed to get my net out at full stretch and after one refusal in went the tench.
Well as it went in I knew that this was a special fish and I rested it in the margin whilst I got the scales ready. I did not realise quite how big though as it pulled my Flyweights round to 7lb dead, my best tench by a country mile. The size of the fish was awesome with a prominent back and huge girth. After a quick photo it swam strongly off but that was me done in. It was getting late but there was no need for a last cast, one very satisfied customer the fish left me slightly bewildered. My tench fishing has not been easy this year and I can now confess to 5 blanks at Findern, 2 at Triangle, and 1 at Melbourne Pool. This has more than made up for those. Get in there you beauty!!!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Derbyshire Derwent

The first two weeks in June have been consistently good mayfly sport on the Derwent for the last two seasons. It was with this in mind that I met up with Phil at Red House for what we hoped would be the cream of the mayfly sport. We had a grand afternoon out allthough the fish were a little unco-operative making this the first year for a while that I don't think will see a fish to my mayfly patterns. As Phil knows this stretch well I also learnt a few more runs to try in the future as to the uninitiated a lot of the water at Darley can appear unfishable. We started in some grand looking water towards the top end of the section and I soon saw Phil into a fish. There were some feeding at the top of this section but they seemed to remain just out of casting range.
It was soon apparent that the fish would be hard earned and rising trout were few and far between but we persevered with our dry patterns. I could not get one to stick and worked my way upstream to just above the big bend. From the state of the banks this section appears to have been hardly fished and we located some fish rising against the far bank. This was an assortment of flys hatching including some dark sedges so I turned to the famous LTD pattern and it soon accounted for the beauty below, a fantastic Derbyshire brownie. It put up a great struggle, hardly surprising just look at the tail on it, what a paddle!

Another fish soon came to hand on the same fly and so it was time for a rest and to get the Kelly on whilst Phil fished up the section. Refreshed by a mashing of tea and a pork pie we decided to explore further upstream. This was a short sortie however as we did not locate any fish on the fin.
For the last hour or so we moved down to the mid section which was very busy with other anglers particularly considering it was a Monday. The fishing seemed to get tougher with few rising fish and those that were feeding taking something quite small just under the surface.
The wading on most of the DRAC section is quite exciting to say the least and we ended up in typical Darley swims; about half a rod from the bank and the water already half way up your waistcoat. The cover made an overhead cast impossible so a side cast backhand flick was required to cover some difficult fish in mid water. Luckily I managed to fluke one of these on a PT emerger after they refused a size 18 shuttlecock that I had tied before as a banker (or so I thought). Presentation though is everything, particularly on this slower section where the trout have ample time to inspect your offering. So quite tired casts do not deliver great presentation and after a while thrashing about under trees we retired gracefully after a corking afternoon out in the Derbyshire countryside.