Monday, 2 December 2013

December Grayling

I'd been very aware that the autumn was rapidly slipping away and I hadn't managed to get onto the river for a session after grayling. Now it was December and after a morning spent in Burton buying a Christmas tree and then the dutiful erection I decided to head off to catch the last couple of hours. I was quite optimistic and that only increased as the sky clouded over as I drove up the Dove valley after a bright start.

 Two hours is about right for me when you're in the river at this time of year. Yesterday was actually quite mild but by the end of the session I was glad I had donned my neoprene socks.
I set up with a three fly cast using a hand made French style leader, the flys were two soft touch shrimps and a PTN with a tungsten bead on the top dropper. One of the shrimps was pink the other natural with an orange hotspot which from what I've read is proving a real winner.
So it wasn't long before I was into the lovely 38cm fish below, it felt like I hit the stream just right.

In less than a couple of hours I bought ten fish to hand, and one of the more pleasing aspects was three or four fish that were only a few onces each, that bodes well for the future. There were also another three or four that I practised my long distance C&R on, including a couple of lunkers, doh!

The river is now looking quite desolate but was at a good winter level yesterday at 0.26m on the gauge at Rocester. So Christmas is just round the corner now and many chores beckon over the next few weeks. I can deal with those now though safe in the knowledge that that little window of opportunity was well worth making the effort for, my best grayling session for a while.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Eaton Dovedale

Summer is fading fast, and as I didn't leave work until late knew I would barely catch a couple of hours. So after throwing my tackle in the car it was off to Eaton Dovedale where I would just fish the top of the beat.

Some members have complained about the banks being overgrown here, it is not too much of a problem though. I was soon through it and into the river rewarded by a nice brownie third cast.

 Some nice grayling are also starting to appear. Hopefully they will provide good sport over the autumn and winter. It feels like the former is approaching rapidly now.

Friday, 16 August 2013

River Dove

A welcome return to the middle Dove for a session with the fly rod.
Good company.
French leader and small nymphs.
Kelly on the go.

A rising river that was starting to colour.
Managed to winkle out a few.

The grayling are now coming into condition and will hopefully feature over the autumn and winter.

I've not fished this stretch much over the last couple of years. 
That needs sorting.
Ellastone is a beautiful spot.

Monday, 5 August 2013

The improver

Sam is getting to grips now with his Lightning XL, the rifle has settled down from it's boingy start now we have had a good 500+ pellets through it. I also replaced the naff standard breech seal with a HW80 one which also improved the rifles consistency. I'd love to get it to bits and at least get some decent lube on the spring but am reluctant to whilst we still have a warranty. Yesterday we were at Rough Wedge and after an hour or so on the plinking range went for a dabble round the wood. The pesky blighter only went and pinched my HW97 and showed his dad a thing or two getting three out of four knockdowns in the first lane!!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Testing for gas

 This magnificent sculpture is on the site of what was the Silverhill Colliery as a memorial to the miners of Nottinghamshire. The old pit which closed in 1992 is now landscaped and is worth a trip if you are in the area, it takes about threequarters of an hour to walk the main circular path. The miner sits aloft on the highest point in the county.
It is a sobering thought that in virtually any other country in the world there would still be a thriving coal industry.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A tough start

River Dove
It has seemed to be a very slow start on our local rivers, not only for me but from the other anglers I have spoke to on the bank plus the talk on the forums.

Typical Dove Chub
My blank has been saved a few times by my friend the chub. The standard Dove stamp is about 4lb ish these days and some of them even pull back! Chub of this size were fish of my dreams as a schoolboy on the Derwent at Borrowash.

River Trent
I've also had a session on the upper Trent but this was through the middle of the day. Again a spritely chub ensured that I didn't go home with the dreaded dry net. On that day I had the dogs in the car and one of the club stretches is ideal as you can park right behind your swim with the windows open.
Then last Friday on my fourth trip of the season I was lucky enough to land the magnificent fish below. This was a cracking Dove barbel at 9lb 14oz, it went like a train making my my drag hiss like a scolded moggy!
I've not been out since and now have some domestic chores to complete, the dreaded painting! It is nice to get the first bertie of the season under my belt though.

Dove barbel 9lb 14oz

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Bread Flake

 I'd been getting some ribbing from Phil about getting down to it with bread flake rather than my usual tench baits so on Saturday evening he booked me in for a masterclass at our club pond. He was straight out of the blocks netting two fish including a 5lb'er before I had a bite.

 My confidence in the bait was not that high although I do recollect that I had had my best haul of tench in terms of numbers on bread. That was 35 years ago and ironically I was in the same swim as that evening! I was off the mark with a lively youngster which shows the pond is in fine form. After that activity picked up in my swim and the fish in the first photo weighed in at 4lb 4oz. I missed a few bites before connecting again with the fish below which was a beautiful specimen about the same size as the first. So confidence restored and I'll hope to get in another session for the tincas before the river season starts.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Classic Tench on the float

My first tench of 2013
 Word has been getting about that a local club pond well known for it's tench fishing has been showing a bit of form. I'd not yet had a session after the tinca this year so decided to have a couple of hours after work.
On arrival I found Steve already established and the tench were showing some interest. At this pond the tench are not of specimen size but they are a good stamp and provide excellent sport for the float fisher.

The tranquil pond
 I tackled up with 6lb line straight through as this pond is so snaggy that you really have to hold on to a hooked fish. A couple of rod lengths out is all that is required and this is one of those waters where they are either havin' it or it is a blank.

Steve nets another in the legendary gorse bush peg
 I was really pleased to take a brace on my first outing and this may have re-kindled my love for this classic tench water.

Typical stamp - not massive but go like stink

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Sam's new rifle

Well I've not posted for a good while now and to be truthful have hardly got any fishing in and if so it hasn't been worth blogging about. Over the winter I've managed to drag Sam away from his XBox long enough to do some shooting with air rifles. We have been indoors over the dark nights and he has been using a pre-charged club rifle, an Air Aims S400. These are tremendously accurate and he was spoilt a bit by this first experience. Come the spring we have been going to Derbyshire Air Rifle Club at Yeaveley and here Sam has been borrowing Dave's Webley Longbow, a classic springer. I'm a big fan of springers myself and Sam had also tried a BSA Lighting XL which he got on with OK. So we took the plunge a couple of weeks back and got him a Lightning XL tactical which has quite a tasty looking composite stock. The rifle will only be used for target shooting and plinking so we chose .177. He is getting on with it fine now, the hardest bit for him was getting a good technique to cock it. This morning we went to Rough Wedge nr Cannock and had an enjoyable couple of hours plinking away and testing ourselves on the course. I took my HW97 and soon got chatting with the other folks there who were very friendly. We will have a few visits here in the future and also to Yeaveley which is another friendly club with great facilities.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The soft touch

I really enjoy nymph fishing for grayling although it is very easy to forget how cold it is standing in the river at this time of year. Some sessions were planned over Christmas but the state of the rivers put paid to that so the chance came on Sunday to get a couple of hours in on the Dove. This was something to look forward to as Santa brought me a 10' #3 rod and I'd also wanted to try a new pattern. The soft touch shrimp is a fly from Glen Pointon and it aims to simulate the 'feel' of a real bug with the use of silicon sealant on the body. The fly has been enjoying some real success and I'd tied a few up over Xmas whilst dreaming of the rivers being fishable. It was a really tough morning on the fly with the sun breaking through the cloud cover. The Grayling Society were out on the neighbouring stretch and the chaps trotting were doing a lot better than the fly men, ie they were catching!
So after two hours freezing my nads off I tried a slower stretch of the beat and bingo, a fish! I did not see one other fish caught by a fly angler, perhaps they did not have the STS.
Nice one Glen!

Dove grayling taken on a pink STS

Sunday, 6 January 2013



 This afternoon I went off to Scropton as the weather is still quite mild so I was hoping for a barbel. There were a few other anglers tempted out by the conditions on a January afternoon despite it being horrendous underfoot, the banks are a sea of mud. I managed to take two winter chub the one above being a real lunker.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year

This Xmas holiday has got to be the wettest I can remember with barely a day passing before our already swollen rivers get topped up. The fields are also saturated but it was nice today to see some winter sun. We decided to take the dogs up to Etwall with the prospect of a quick outdoor pint at the Spread Eagle.

 It was a quick pint as well but well earned after one of the first fields we had to cross was a complete quagmire. The temperature was soon felt as well after stopping, it is only 1st January. The dogs really enjoyed their run but I'm afraid it was bath time when we returned. Freddy the younger spaniel is already showing his instincts diving into the undergrowth to see what he can flush out. Barney, the blue roan, is far more stately now at only two and half years and is quite happy just to amble up to the pub with the prospect of a treat.