Saturday, 29 December 2012

Desolate Dove

My thoughts of Crimbo fishing had been all about getting some grayling on the fly, particularly as Santa had bought me a 10' #3 fly rod. The rivers though have been in full flow and after flooding last weekend had only just got back inside the banks.
With the forecast for yesterday being a little warmer and the river still way up I reasoned my best chance of some seasonal sport could be the fighting barbel. So I headed off to one of my favourite Dove swims to find a scene of desolation following the floods. It was a real tramp through the mud with plenty of opportunity for going arse over but fortunately I managed to avoid any embarassment. Anyone who knows this farm will recognise this.

There was a bit more water on the river than I'd been expecting and it was rising slightly through the afternoon. I misjudged the amount of overnight rain as I thought it would be dropping slightly, consequently 3oz of lead was required to hold bottom in a swim where normally 1oz will do the job. I intended to fish a couple of swims and after about an hour I had the strangest barbel bite I'd ever seen, just a slight persistent knodding on the tip which resulted in me picking up the rod more out of curiosity. So it was very pleasing to find myself attached to the fish above, my first real winter barbel. Then I decided to stay put and I know many advocate moving straight after taking a fish. I normally stay put as I am always wondering whether we've just got to a time when they really want to feed, ie get a bait back in ASAP, and secondly I'm lazy! It was not to be however and I fished on for another hour before heading off to try the other swim I'd got in mind. The river was really racing through in the second and I ended up fishing in the margins for a biteless last hour.
So a trudge back to the car through the mud but I was very pleased to come away with a fish. Chatting to the farmers kid's whilst packing the car it turned out the floodbank had saved the farm last week from a very wet Xmas with a couple of the local roads also flooded.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Lower Dove

This afternoon I had a couple of hours to spare and it was a toss up between the barbel rod, lure fishing on the canal, or try for some grayling on the float. Made the wrong call having badly guessed the water conditions and turned up at the Dove with my float gear to find the river slightly up but very coloured. Result was I fished half heartedly for about 30 mins before returning home early. So I've now got a curry on the go but have had to endure listening to the Rams go down at Palace.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Scropton Grayling

All through the summer I had been wondering what else other than the elusive barbel occupied the lower River Dove. Many a time there has been a terrific evening rise where I'd often regretted not having my fly rod with me.
Now autumn is turning to winter I decided it was time to do some prospecting with the float rod to see what I could turn up from there stetches that are well known for their chub and barbel. I matched up my 14' Daiwa float rod with my old faithfull ABU 501 and set forth armed with a selection of Avon floats and some red maggots. A good walk took me to a swim that I think is rarely fished and I fell straight on to a feeding shoal of fish. They gave me good sport for 30 minutes or so and the swim then just died.

In two hours I fished three stretches with varying results; none matched the rapid of the action of the first and the second yielded not a bite. It just goes to show the importance of keeping mobile and if you are not catching within 15 minutes or so you may be better off moving and exploring other water. This has really whetted the appetite for some winter trotting and I hope to be out again soon.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

River Dove

Well this was my first trip out angling for four weeks, perhaps the longest I've not fished for several years. I've had a lot to think about over the past month and for once angling hasn't been at the forefront of my mind. A lot of time has been spent taking stock and to be honest I've been far happier with my family and the dogs than out on a river on my own. I may fish less now but only time will tell.

So this afternoon I took to my favourite River Dove and what a superb late autumn afternoon it was. Although I was hoping for a barbel I was more than happy with the chub that saved my blank. As the light was dropping I did get one unmissable run that I promptly missed. How does that work then; rod whacked over, baitrunner hissing, grab rod only to find an air fish!!

I guess that is fishing, a bit like life.

4lb 5oz

Friday, 28 September 2012

One for Dad

Dove barbel 8lb 6oz

I've spent a long time thinking about this post as it was Saturday 22nd September when the above barbel graced my net. It had been a few weeks since my last barbel and the seasons had changed distinctly since then. What was also significant about this date was my father passing away. He had fought that bastard disease cancer bravely for two years and never flinched from the battle. Not sure whether I'm going to write any more on this yet as it is taking some time to get my head round it. Rest in peace Dad, Trevor Cross 1934-2012.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Autumn falls

 Yesterday evening I was back on the River Dove after work to catch the last of the light. It is rapidly closing in now as the season changes. Before long we will see the yellows, russets, and browns and autumn will be in full swing. My friend the chub showed up last night to save my blank.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Difficult Dove

I guess no-one thinks that this barbel fishing lark is easy but some times it can give you a right slap in the chops. No sign of the powerful river prince on my last few trips to the Dove. I'll keep trying as I know from talking to others that far more experienced anglers than I can go a good few trips blanking when in search of a bertie.

So some pictures of this delightful river to enjoy, it really does look a picture in the first flushes of autumn.

Also, there is still the chub to save the dreaded blank. I have caught six of these fish in my last few trips and they could all be from the same mould.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Derwent Darley Dale

Trout no.1
 It's been a few weeks since I've had a session with the fly rod so a brief cast on Sutton Brook at the weekend wetted my apetite to get back onto the Derwent. Yesterday afternoon I headed up to Darley, it is a frustrating drive in the afternoon with the traffic heavy no matter which way you attempt. Can't complain too much though as I had netted a few fish whilst Phil was still in the traffic jam on the A6!

Trout no.2
 Upon arrival there wasn't much activity on the surface so I'd set up a little New Zealand rig with a size 18 PTN under a buoyant parachute pattern as the dry. I was very quickly into fish on a favourite run with most coming to the nymph. Prompted by some correspondence after my last trip to Darley there is a bit of a spot the stockie test on this post so comments please on whether you think I've hit the nail on the head.

So here goes, trout no.1 I've got down as a stockie, the markings were indistinct and it felt really lean in the hand. Trout no.2 is a defo wildie for me, beautifully marked with white edges to the fins and a tinge of red in the adipose fin.

Trout no.3
 Trout no.3 has got me a little stuck but I'm going to suggest a wild fish due to the white edge on the fins. Also the picture does not do it justice and it was a lot more 'solid' than it looked.

 The best fishing was in late afternoon with only spioradic rises as evening fell. It dropped quite cool later on and it is now starting to feel distinctly 'back end-ish'.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Sutton Brook

After a walk round Calke at lunchtime with dog 1 and dog 2 (still being carried) we stopped at the Chequers for a well deserved pint. Here I discovered that there were no major duties planned for this afternoon. As the barbel fishing is becoming a tad hard and reasoning that they were least likely to oblige mid afternoon I headed over to Sutton Brook with my fly rod. This is a 'funny' stream as rising fish are usually few and far between as was the case today. So on went a Klink type pattern for my normal prospecting type approach to see what will come up. After fishing through one run that had produced on my last visit I managed to tempt the fella above, he rose confidently and took the fly and was soon brought to the net. I was back to the car in time to listen to the end of the Ram's game, another lead blown but it is, as they say, still early days!
I enjoyed being out on the river with the fly rod and will perhaps go for a few more sessions now and give the heavy gear a rest until the autumn.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Summer Hols

Well not much of a summer to speak of in terms of the weather but yesterday Sam and I ventured out onto the Trent to see what we could sneak out of the margins of the mighty Trent. On Phil's recommendation we had tackled up at a nice hole and first cast Sam was into a nice Perch but an over enthusiastic hoik on the whip let it escape. Many more followed and then they dried up just has his attention span was about done, just about an hour with heavy coaxing from me. Still that is one morning not spent in front of the xbox and one day he might thank me for it. I live in hope!

Friday, 10 August 2012

River Dove

Just relaxing with a glass of Rioja so here are the pics from last night. Summer, barbel, rivers, red wine, no work for a fortnight; happy days!!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Is it the same fish??

Yesterday evening I managed to bag myself another Dove barbel to bring my total for the season to seven fish, making it my best ever barbel season before the end of July. Well I could not believe it when the scales went round to 7lb 14oz. So from the same swim on four separate occasions that is fish of 8.1, 8.1, 7.14, and 7.14!!

Monday, 23 July 2012

The new boy

Our new arrival is now imminent and yesterday Freddy spent the day with us and soon pal'ed up with Barney (after some moderate telling off from the resident hound. So another cocker to make a brace, we also have three kids, three cats, and three rabbits. Any guesses where this will end??
Roll on Thursday!! I also treated myself to a new camera last week so this is the first post using the pics and I'm really impressed with it so far.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A new swim

I fished on Sunday afternoon on the River Dove, it was quite busy when I arrived so I tried to get a little out the way and tried a new swim. The river looked absolutely spot on with a tinge of colour and I was quite optimistic about catching a barbel.

4lb 9oz chub
 Alas though it was hard fishing and my only bite produced a nice chub. I packed up a little earlier than usual as it didn't feel like much was happening and on my walk back to the car discovered other anglers had faired similar.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Dove floodwater barbel

Just back from an evening session on a rising River Dove. I'd thought the river was dropping after keeping my eye on the EA site all day and it was reading 0.96m at Marston as I left home 1830 ish. I couldn't decide whether to go to Tutbury or Scropton so ended up on autopilot in my fav swim. The river was really pushing through and probably put on the thick end of 6" whilst I fished. I needed 3oz to just hold bottom fishing over the crease but there was some clag coming down the river, I lost a few hooks. Unusually for me I tried the inside line but just ended getting more snags. Just as I thought a blank was on the cards so I'd finish my flask round went the rod. It was straight off the rest and probably only saved by the baitrunner. This fish really gave me the run around and after one final run that slammed the rod tip into the water it went into the net at first ask and was then well rested. It weighed 7lb 14oz and I'm wondering whether this swim is a one trick pony as the three fish I've weighed this season have gone 8lb 1oz, 8lb 1oz, and 7lb 14oz!! Dark was dropping now so I did nor cast in again and made my way back through the mud in the last of the light.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Egginton Floods

Etwall Road looking towards the bridge
 On Friday evening I nipped over to Willington for an hours spinning in the canal. I had a take from a pike to my Big Hammer plastic lure but unfortunately it did not stick.

A 4x4 makes a successful fording
 The roads were clear on my way out but on return Egginton Brook had ended up in the fields and then washing over the roads.

The 'bobbing' mini
 The village was shut off at both ends from about 2000 Friday until 0900 Saturday morning. Church Road still looks unpassable.

Church Road, now a river.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

River Dove

Managed to get in a session last night from 1900 to 2200 with the level 0.77m at Marston. First thing I put in about a pint of hemp from the dropper and then set up. First cast was wrong side of the crease and then had a fish on the recast. It was a strong fish that moved upstream and after a short fight with several runs the braid went just above the hook, doh!
Luckily the blank was saved about an hour later by the fish above, that put up a great account of itself business as usual for Dove barbel.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Swollen Dove hits top form

8lb 1oz same weight as last week!
 On Monday I managed a short session on the Dove before last knockings and it probably had nearly a foot of extra water than last week. Level for reference was 0.99m at Marston and dropping. I've not fished previously with the water as high so this was a new string to my barbel fishing bow.

Looking over to Tutbury Castle
 It wasn't long before the fish responded to the pint of hemp I'd bait-droppered in and after playing a fish across the current it dropped off under my feet, doh! As the water was quite coloured I never even saw it but like all Dove barbel it pulled like a train. A couple of pals were on another stretch and I got a text to say Rob had just landed a 10lb'er. My rod was soon round again and this one faught like a tiger. I've never really felt undergunned but my 1.5lb TC rod felt not quite the tool for job with this amount of water on. This fish had my drag spinning with several strong runs and I thought it was a good double. It just shows how good condition the fish are in as it weighed in at 8lb 1oz, identical to the one I had last week.

Sunset over the Dove
 No sooner had I returned it I heard that Rob had just gone a few onces better landing a 10lb 3oz, both fish on a quiver rod, 5lb line and lobworms, great angling!!
It was not the end for me either as later on I had a smaller unweighed fish and as the clock was heading towards 10pm decided to call it a day.
About 6-ish?

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Derbyshire Beer

If anyone is out in Derbyshire today and fancies some refreshment you might want to consider calling in at the beer festival at Arkright Mills which is celebrating Derbyshire Beer. There is a good choice of tipples there but I'd go straight for something from Middle Earth Brewery. I tried their latest brew Witan one evening last week and it was spot on. Middle Earth is run by an old pal of mine Steve Twells and his partner Carla, their emphasis is always on quality and it is highly recommended.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Scropton Barbel

5lb ish, but with the tail of a bigger one!
 I was really looking forward to some barbel fishing this year and had a great opening session yesterday evening at Scropton. The water was quite colured and after all the rain we had last week was at a reaonably high summer level of 0.83m on the EA site.
There were quite a few cars around and I met another angler on my way down to the river who had caught some nice chub and a corking brown trout on a prawn! It was barbel I was after though and I was slightly surprised to find my first choice of peg free, it had been fished earlier though.
Initially I put in about half a dozen bait droppers of hemp and corn, had a walk to the bottom boundary then came back and tackled up. My normal 1 oz feeder would not hold bottom so on went a 2 oz and that faired OK. After an hour or so I had a feisty barbel of about 5lbs and how I'd forgotten how hard they pulled!!
A longer wait for my second fish but it was worth it. Just around dusk my rod leapt round in the 2 foot twitch and the fight was on. Three time this fish had the drag spinning making strong runs and took a long time to work upstream. After the excitement it went into the back of the net and I rested it before weighing and a quick snap. At 8lb 1oz I was well pleased and two barbel on my first trip was a little more than I expected. I released the fish a tad downstream where I could get into the river earlier and ensure the fish was fully recovered, I ended up supporting it in the dark with my headtorch on. After a good few minutes it was on it's way so happy days.

8lb 1oz

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Bunking up

Can you believe this pair?

Harold and Barney have a tolerable relationship through most of the day but after their activities quite like to chill out together. Yesterday Barney had been taxed with an inspection of the Dove to adjudge whether it was ready to try for a barbel. Harold had done his usual patrol of the village to ensure everything was in order.
It was clearly very tiring work for the pair of them.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Nipping out for a loaf

 This evening I needed to get some provisions and as Sutton Brook has picked up decidedly this season thought I'd combine the trip with a few casts. No sign of any fish rising but prospecting with a Klinkhammer style pattern soon bought a brace up from some likely looking runs. Question though does the fish above also feature in my 4th June post??
Bugger! just got home and forgot the milk!