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.
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