Friday, 9 October 2009

2009. The Best Trout Fishing Season I've Ever Had

What a season. I've just counted up how many times I've fished this season, and it appears that I have fished on 65 different days since it started...thank you Mrs Wood.

It's certainly been the best trout season I've ever had. It's been the best for a number of reasons, the new clubs that I've joined are brilliant, the people I've met have been great, the fish I've caught have been stunning, the scenery I've fished in has been breathtaking, and, we've had many a laugh along the way.

At the start of the trout season, I was a member of one club, Leek and Moorlands Fishing Club. For my £40 ticket (reduced to £30 the following year), I had access to one piece of water between the bridge at Eaton Dovedale Farm and the point at which the river Churnet joins the river Dove. This water was very good for me during the early part of the season. Although it is often in poor condition for a good few days after rainy periods, and it is a stretch of only a couple of hundred yards, I have had some fantastic fishing there, plus, I managed to catch one of my best fish of the season, on a corixa, a beautiful 2lb plus over-wintered wild Brownie.

I wanted to be able to fish a bigger stretch at Eaton Dovedale so I joined Derby Railway Angling Club. This also gave me access to the lovely stretch of the Dove at Ellastone which can be in good condition when Eaton Dovedale isn't, and, it's stuffed with fish, Brownies, Grayling and one or two decent sized rainbows.

Joining DRAC also meant that I instantly met many more trout fisherman, of a similar age to me, all dead keen, and all willing to lend a hand to a new trout angler, sharing tips, giving help and tying up a few patterns for him. It also helped that I'd now got access to the fly forums website, again, loads of info, and great for a laugh. I also met, the larger than life, certifiable, Mr Glen (expletive) Pointon, who has been director of the comedy department ever since.

Glen invited me to use a guest ticket up at Dovedale. "Angling Paradise" is how he described it to me, and he was right. I was taken with the place immediately, especially given the fact that I caught a lovely wild Brownie on my first cast into the pool just upstream of the footbridge.

That session on the Dove was enough for me, I had to join Leek and District Fly Fishing Association, and I soon found out they had many other great stretches of river too, all within 20 minutes of home.

Soon after, I was off to Scotland for a week or so with work and I was dying to get back to fish at Dovedale. I loved the place and couldn't wait to explore all the way up to Milldale. It's just a beautiful place to be, when the visitors have left and the quiet reigns supreme.

I'll never forget my fishing trip with Tony Slade, Russell Crowe and a hundred or so Medieval knights on horseback, what a bizarre night, and one that I will never forget. (See top pic and the post Russell Crowe and I: Living the Dream in Dovedale)

I've got Gary to thank for passing on loads of tips, particularly about fishing small rivers with "The Duo". This pic was taken only a few days ago on the Churnet at Eastwall, which is a cracking LADFFA venue, seemingly, stuffed with big Grayling and Brownies like this one that Gary caught on the Duo, and had a head like a Salmon! A beautiful fish.

I had a couple of very enjoyable angling sessions on the River Wye at Rowsley. The first time I day ticketed there was with Glen, Mick and Johnny. Again, I picked up loads of tips and caught some nice fish. Mick landed his famous 9lb wild Brownie from the town stretch in Bakewell, and Glen told us about his bowel problems and stories about Spongebob Squarepants at a car wash at the bottom of Larm Kiln Bonk in Stoke.

Glen was so taken by the river Wye, and so determined to bag a couple of those "Hoora-Lunkers" in the town centre stretch that he just had to join the Peacock Fishing Club, and on his first outing last week, he went and bagged this huge 10lb monster Brownie, wait for it, on his very own design, LTD (Living the Dream!) Sedge! In terms of size, easily the best fish I've seen caught all season. Well done mar mate! Click here to find out how it all happened!

I was lucky enough to fish with our Bri from Stoke. He was kind enough to tie loads of flies for me, particularly the famous LTD Sedge, which I have to say, was definitely my top fish catching fly of the season, and upon which, I reckon Glen is placing all of his trust for his pension fund.

Bri is a top bloke, and a again, another easy going, non-pretentious bloke, eager to help a newcomer to trout fishing.

Way back at the beginning of the season, I'd also purchased myself an Islay House Estates permit so that I could fish whenever I was on the Isle of Islay on work trips. During the Islay Festival of Malt and Music (Feis Ile 2009), I managed to get loads of fishing in and caught plentiful wee troots. I got to fish with my mate David Morris and even entered a competition, catching a good few fish. David was the champion of the competition bagging 37 fish in 4 hours.

I had 4 trips to Islay during the season, the last one being by far the most memorable. I was joined by a fly forum member, Peter Dracup, and also, Mr Pointon joined us for what would be a great few days of fun and fishing.

We fished on Jura for Salmon and Sea Trout, and on many of the lochs on Islay for wee wild Brownies.

Please click on the links for posts about the trip..

Among my best fish of the season were the two 2lb plus Brownies I caught on the very last day at my favourite spot at Dovedale. Here we have enjoyed many a late evening Kelly Kettle, discussing the day's fishing and devising plots to catch those elusive Lunkers in the depths of the dark pools.

This pic that I took with Mr Pointon's camera, speaks for itself...and is a fair reflection of the mood of the fishing this year. It's been enjoyable, a great laugh, exciting and very rewarding.

Tonight I'll have a dram to celebrate the end of my first full trout season, and the beginning of my first full Grayling seems fitting that that dram come from Islay, and more specifically from Bunnahabhain where we spent an ace week whilst fishing.

Bring on the Grayling.




  1. Nice summary of your trout season Dave. Some good photos in there as well. Its great that you've enjoyed it so much. We're very lucky up here in Staffordshire that we've got so much choice of great fishing and good locations (albeit that some of it is just the other side of the border into Derbyshire).

    I hope that you're going to stick with it during the winter and come out with us after the ladies!

  2. Definitely will be out over winter Gary...can't wait. Thanks for tall the help this season....

    Don't forget, the best bits of Derbyshire are in Staffordshire!


  3. Hi dave I am 13 year old and Im a trout and salmon angler any tips thanks

  4. My tips would be to follow a couple of blogs, like Glen Pointon's blog and North Country Angler blog. (links on right hand panel). Both are great anglers and have a wealth of knowledge between them.


  5. Great write-up, I am a big believer in commenting on blogs to inform the blog writers know that they’ve added something worthwhile to the world wide web!..
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