Saturday, 24 April 2010

You Know You've Got it Bad When You're Talking To Your Dog About Small Stream Trout Fishing

I had a walk beside a local small stream a few days ago with my faithful, although pretty unintelligent Retriever. I thought I would post a few pics on here to see if any other anglers agreed with me that this place looks like an amazing spot to relax and cast a line. Not only that, i'd be interested to see if anyone agrees with me when I say that parts of it look incredibly fishy.

All anglers reading this will know exactly what I mean when I talk about "Oh my God" parts of a river. I lost count of how many times, as I walked along the banks of this lovely stream, that having peered through a hedge or branches of a tree at the water below, I'd turn to the dog to say, "Oh my God look at this, it looks f*cking ace!". I also lost count of how many times the dog looked back at me with an expression that said sticks and eating cow pooh is of much greater importance than just how fishy your river looks.

There was quite a bit of fly life, including a hatch of Grannom, but I never saw a single rise on this warm April evening, not only that, I didn't see a single fish. I did, however, startle a Kingfisher, that raced up the river in flashes of blue and green.

All the while, the cry of Buzzards in the forest nearby was ever present, and to be honest, even though we were not too distant from a busy town centre, there was a feeling of being away from it all, and all that could be heard was the babbling brook and the wildlife around it. What a great place it would be to cast a line or two. It looked to me like a perfect Trout stream...I'd welcome comments as to what other anglers think.

I for one would love to stroll down here with a 6ft 3wt rod and tempt a few wee troots to an olive pattern.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A Steady Start to the 2010 Trout Season

It's been a quiet start to the Trout season. We've had some stunning weather, but a fair few cold nights has not encouraged the wee troots to come out and play. 

Now that the kids are back to school, I've managed a couple of hours here and there over the last few days. On Sunday evening, I had a great time on the LADFFA stretch of the Churnet at Lord's Bridge. It was my first time on this beautiful river, and I really enjoyed the feeling of being away from it all and the stunning surroundings, more akin to the Bavarian forests than North Staffordshire. 

If anyone ever says to you that Staffordshire hasn't got beauty, bring them to spots like this at Dimmingsdale, The Roaches, The Manifold Valley, Dove Dale, Berrisford Dale, The Hamps Valley, and countless other spots that most folk would leed people to believe were wholly in Derbyshire. Yes, the Dove is the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border, but most people speak of it as a Derbyshire river. "The best parts of Derbyshire are in Staffordshire" my Dad used to say...and he's dead right.

Rant over. This was one of two Brownies that I landed on Sunday evening. I'd heard people talk about the amazing markings on the fish that they catch here on the Churnet but was blown away when I saw them with my own eyes.

I was fishing a dup set up and I took the fish on a Pheasant Tail Nymph. What a beauty. I'll definitely be spending a few evenings on this stretch in the months to come and I still have the lower limits to explore yet too.

On Monday, I fished Dovedale which I found to be really tricky. I saw plenty of fish, dropped a couple and had quite a few stockies, smashing at my Klinkhammer, inquisatively inspecting this unlikely looking fly slowly floating down the Nursery Pool.

I returned to Lord's Bridge on the Churnet for a couple of hours on Tuesday Morning, to get out of the harsh, cold wind more than anything but had another really enjoyable session with a couple more wild Brownies and a few unavoidable out of season Grayling.

This morning I felt it was time to head off to my Leek and Moorlands Fishing Club stretch of the Dove. I arrived at the car park, tackled up and had a chat with a couple of anglers who were just leaving, having been fishing the next stretch downstream, a different club water. My head went down a bit when they told be that they hadn't caught any fish, but thought I would give my stretch a go anyway...

I've not seen the river looking so good for a long time and looked forward to making a cast or two.

I was rewarded with a nice couple of wild Brownies. I set up with an idicator and a point fly (JT Flashback) and a dropper (JT Straggleback). This fish went to the point fly, the other to the dropper. Grayling were once again showing in numbers, it seems hard to avoid them at the moment, their feeding activity being so great.

What a great few days it has been, things, it appears, are warming up a little for the anglers of North Staffordshire (and Derbyshire :-)), and long may it continue....