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....
I'm a keen angler and whisky enthusiast. I'm lucky enough to have lived and worked on the Isle of Islay in the Scottish Hebrides, angling and dramming paradise! I fish for wild brown trout and sea trout whilst up North, back in Leek in the beautiful Staffordshire Moorlands I like to meet up with my pals and fish for wild brown trout, grayling and other river species in the Dane, Dove, Churnet, Manifold and Wye.
(firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to contact me)