Decided to have a couple of hours above the 1 arch bridge today. The river was up about 6 ins. and had a slight colour too, I started off by the marker post fishing from the bank with a large klink with a pink shrimp about 18 ins. below. Within a couple of casts a small grayling had a go at the klink which was encouraging. Another couple of passes over the same spot and a small grayling took the shrimp. I was only fishing at rod length from the bank as the river was barrelling through this bit. The wind was playing havoc with the casting so I resorted to a sort of lob to get the fly out. This did the trick and the link shot away again and a decent grayling came in soon followed by another smaller one. It is good to see the small grayling and know that the cormorants have not had them. I then got into the river to wade upstream but the going was tough so extracted myself with difficulty as I had several layers on and my neoprene waders made bending to get up the bank difficult, michelin man came to mind! I wandered up the bank and flicked the shrimp in here and there and took another grayling before it seemed to lose its appeal so switched to a partridge and orange with a small tungsten bead behind the hackle. This is was the downfall of another 3 grayling taking my tally to 7 for a couple of hours. The weather by now had started to hail and so I called it day and retreated to the car for coffee. I also had a decent piece of pork pie from a recommended (Mr Percival) establishment in Bakewell however not as good as Hancock’s pork pies from Stoney Middleton, now they are good, but if you are stuck then the Bakewell ones will take a good second best. Controversial Moi?
Today I planned to do some grayling fishing and the river was actually fishable! Each time this winter I have had the opportunity to go fishing the river has been up and coloured. Today it was up a few inches but with just a tinge of cold tea. I decided to go above the works as this is always a place where I pickup the odd grayling during the summer. There is also some fast oxygenated water here. I tackled up with a red tag and got in by the cattle drink. I was fishing close in to my bank as the river was belting through. It wasn’t looking promising however within a few minutes I had a grayling splash at the red tag so fish were about. Unfortunately that was all and about half way up the pool I decided to switch to a NZ setup. A large link and a killer bug on the end soon resulted in my 1st grayling. This also picked up a couple more before reaching the top of the pool. I retried my steps to the bottom of the pool and changed the big to a partridge and orange with a tiny tungsten bead behind the hackle, again this picked up a couple of grayling before a large OOS rainbow. Another couple of grayling followed before it seemed to loose its appeal so I switched to a small pink shrimp/bug. This immediately started to pickup more grayling as I worked my way backup the pool. I ended the session with around 15 grayling but as my feet were starting get numb called it a day.
This evening I had arranged to meet Derek by the works. I got there around 7.30 and he was already ensconced in the river just above the sycamore pool. A few fish were showing but there was not the flylife around like last Sunday, small sedges were buzzing around but not much else. I had tackled up with a small olive parachute but changed it to a grey emerger. A couple of sniffs and then a take but the fish came off after a short tussle. Within a couple of casts the fly was taken and a brown was landed. At this point Derek had not landed anything and the rises higher up were non-existent! A second brown soon followed to the same emerger. The sedges were really buzzing now so I tried a small brown sedge and eventually after a long range release a third brown came to the net, Derek had still not landed anything, a rather unusual situation to say the least! Still no spinners were around by 8.30 which was odd but it was a cloudy evening with the odd gust of wind so maybe that was keeping them away. I noticed Derek take a couple of fish as I was working my way up but the fish were not showing much attention to my offering now. A fish was showing right under the trees on the far side were a cast above the tree was needed to float it down to the waiting trout. After hooking the branches a couple of times I got it just right and up he came to a size 26 caenis, bang and he was hooked. A fourth brown was eventually landed and a lovely specimen with massive black spots to boot. Rises were now few and far between and I started watching Derek as he had on a rusty spinner but was struggling. We noticed a massive head and tail show and Derek covered it a couple of times but he wasn’t interested. My caenis got a cast and he sipped it down, a large fish took but in the dusk we could not make out what it was as it hugged the bottom shaking it’s head. After a minute or two the small hook pinged out and lodged in the tree which decided to hang onto the fly so game over for me! As we were walking back to the car park there were numerous fish rising by the works were the river was sheltered from the breeze so maybe it was that which was putting the fish off higher up for us?
I decided on a different location this evening, down by Carlton Lees in the park however when I crossed the cattle grid I noticed someone had setup a badminton net! So a swift U turn and I went down to the cricket pitch. I setup with a grey-olive emerger and went up to Bar Brook. Some fish were rising but considering the amount of fly life about I expected more to be honest. I covered a few rises and after a couple coming adrift then I landed a lovely wild brownie below. There was also the odd mayfly still around dropping their stash! I decided to make my way up towards the deer boom as in all the years I have never waded up the middle from Bar brook as it always looked too deep for me but on speaking to Derek he assured me otherwise. Anyway it was not too deep and now more fish were showing even though no spinners were about. I switched to a small brown sedge and picked up a couple more wild browns similar to the first then they came! The rusty spinners started to hover and skip about and with them the fish started to rise with abandon. I switched to a rusty klink and immediately hooked into a cracking rainbow which eventually threw the hook. Another few half hearted rises didn’t materialise and then a fourth brown took and was landed. Things were hotting up! Larger fish were head and tailing for the spinners now and one took my offering but broke me after a couple of seconds. I switched to a spent rusty spinner and immediately took another large rainbow which was duly landed. More mayfly spinners were also coming down, the most I have seen outside the mayfly season ever and the fish were taking them. Anyway several more large rainbows followed as well as being broken again before all the spinners disappeared together with the fish. So I ended up with 4 browns and 5 rainbows for about 2 hours and a lovely evening to boot.
On my way back to the car I noticed this lot giving me the eye! As I stopped to take a few shots the stag started making some uneasy grunting sounds warning me off so I made a hasty retreat.
This evening I went down to the willow pool around 8 as it was a warm evening and there was till some heat in the sun. Some olives were around with the occasional yellow sally and the general buzz of some small sedge (I think). The odd fish was showing here and there but I suspect the fact it was a hot day probably put the fish off. I started off with a general grey-olive parachute but nothing came to it. I switched to a small olive parachute and after a couple of drifts was taken by a lovely wild brown which went berserk! Again a few more rises were covered but nothing rose so another switch to a griffiths gnat. This time on the first cast a fish was on it immediately and another lovely brown was landed. I then noticed a small sip close to the bank I was near and cast over it but the offering was ignored so a quick recast and this time a sip and strike and a good rainbow was hooked. This led me all over the place as I was using my 9′ 4 weight Orvis which I tend to use following the mayfly finishing. Eventually I landed it and it was around 2 1/2lb a belter! I moved slowly up the pool and had another couple of takes which soon came off. Spinners had started to return to the water but I could not spot anything on the surface so kept the gnat on. The sun was dropping below the horizon now so I went up to the head of the pool where the fast water is and although no fisher were rising here a brown took my gnat and was landed, this was only about 8 or 9 inches but full of red spots. At around 9 the temperature dropped like a stone and the fish went down, the pool was completely dead, this happened most evenings a season or 2 back. I hope the same thing doesn’t happen this year. Anyway I knew I would be wasting my time with a dry now so called it a day. Not a bad result for an hour’s fishing though.