Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Mr Kelting's Exceedingly Good Bakewell Puddings, Derwent Brown Trout, and Lashings and Lashings of Luke Warm Ginger Beer

No angling and dramming post goes more than a couple of paragraphs without the mention of a large breakfast, a pie, or at least a bag of chips in this one, of course, is no exception for was to meet up with my good pal Chris Kelting for a sunny afternoon on Darley Dale Fly Fishers stretch of the Derbyshire Derwent at Rowsley, and I was charged with the catering arrangements.

I'd made my way, upon Chris' strict instruction, to the Bakewell Pudding Shop where I bagged up on sandwiches and cakes of all description....and a large bottle of ginger beer to wash it all down with. Chris attended a posh school near Oakham. It appears that if one didn't care too much for sport, one could opt for Fly Fishing as part of the curriculum, and so, Chris studied the subject with a passion at the schools nearest venue, none other than Rutland Water. It was to be a fun day then, not least because we spend quite a bit of the time, taking the michael out of each other for the way we speak.....

Chris was amongst the first to offer me a little help when I took up fly fishing, and each time we are on the river, he tries to teach me a new technique. Today was to be the upstream nymphing technique, and after the results I had during the day, I'm very much looking forward to employing it on my own rivers....It was incredibly effective.

The river was a couple of inches up with a fair amount of colour and Chris reminded me to make sure that I use my wading stick to feel my way as there are some really deep holes knocking about...

We parked the car by the river and, having set up with a two nymph rig, a mayfly nymph on a dropper and a PTN on the point, Chris showed me how it works and I started to get takes immediately. The fish, which were all wild and in lovely condition, were mainly taking the PTN just below the surface. What was noticeable early on was that there was a distinct lack of mayfly....for the moment.

I decided to have a walk downstream and got into the river at a spot where I've landed a nice fish or two in the past. I left Chris in a favourite pool of his, he was clearly content as he was managing quite a few fish including a surprise Sea Trout.

I fish this pool for about ten minutes, taking a couple of fish from under the overhanging trees. A few minutes later, I saw a very sorry looking figure walking down the bank towards me, a very sodden angler indeed. Chris had broken his golden rule and stepped in front of his wading stick whilst up to his waist in water. He then slipped down a gravel bank right into a 8 foot deep hole and was completely immersed. His wading belt had prevented his waders filling with water and he had floated down the river, he'd used his wading stick to feel for the bottom and eventually he scrambled out. He sat for an hour on the bank in the sun, all but naked with his clothes drying on the grass in the wasn't long before he was fishing again.

We made our way upstream for the last hour or so and spotted a pod of fish rising quite frequently. These we took to be stockies as they were not spooked easily when we got into the river. We took it in turns to cast wee dries at the fish and hooked into one or two of them....all of a sudden at around 6pm, loads of mayfly started to appear and the fish went mental. I stuck on a mayfly and started to catch some lovely fish. This frantic action continued for about 5 or ten minutes max, and all of as sudden, the mayfly disappeared along with the rises...that was it...all over...

It was a cracking afternoon's fishing and between us we had managed about 25 or so fish in challenging conditions. My first, although very short, experience of how exciting mayfly hatches can be.