I managed to free myself up yesterday for a whole day's fishing. I've struggled on my local waters of late due to low water levels and I knew that if I ventured to one of those, that I might give up if conditions were tough.
I thought about giving the Derbyshire Wye a go. That way, having purchased my day ticket, I'd be more likely to preserver and to concentrate harder if the going was tough. I was aware that it was the second day of the Bakewell Show and that I might have to think about avoiding the crowds. I usually like to spend an hour or two in Scott's Garden but this would be out today due to the fact that it had become a temporary car park for the two day event.
I gave Jan a call first thing to check conditions and he told me that there was a fair breeze and there were occasional light showers. I packed up and sped off to the Peacock Hotel at Rowsley to pay for and collect my ticket and a few flies, managing to resist Pointon's habit of morning coffee, preferring to find a quiet spot away from the show goers and to land me a couple of fish.
I made my way to a spot where I'd done well on my last outing on the Wye. I tried a few different patterns but seemed to struggle and quickly felt my confidence drop. I'd been sure that I'd be into a fish on my first cast.
10 mins to observe the river and chill out was required. 5 years ago, this would have been time for a smoke and a little contemplation.
A small hatch of sedges commenced.
Glen's LTDs were running low in my fly box and I seemed to be down to the dregs of them, ones that I'd probably tied after a few too many glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and gave the appearance of what can only be described as a distressed sedge.
I managed to get one to look somewhere near presentable, carefully muded up my tippet and cast to the far bank, mending my line continually and trying to remain drag free for as long as possible so as to be still fishing when my sedge made it's way under the low branches of a willow on the far bank. Almost immediately, and to my great surprise, there was a huge flash of silver, a big swirl of fin and water and a tremendous bang on the tip of my 8ft"6 4wt rod. The result of this frantic activity was a lovely Grayling in the net and at last, the first fish of the day.
A successful time was had at that spot and I managed another Grayling, a Brownie and 3 wee Rainbows. I made my way downstream and fished around the sheep bridge managing a nice brace of Rainbows and then my OCD kicked in and I started to worry about illegal parking and where I would park in town in time to rendezvous with Pointon who was imminent. I shifted the car and queued up for chips, peas and gravy with 500 Bakewell Show goers and waited for Pointon to arrive. I was glad for the rest as I'd been walking up and down quite a lot and new that energy would need to be conserved for the evening's fishing around the town centre.
Pointon arrived and he was clearly a man on a mission. When ever he goes fishing he always has some sort of a target in his mind. He is unlike me, when I go fishing, I just enjoy catching fish and am grateful for anything. Glen is driven by a particular fish, in a particular swim and doesn't get closure until he's caught it. e.g.....the 9lb Wye Brownie, the Tean 2lber and so on. He'd been watching a particular, large Grayling in Bakewell and raced to the spot to have a cast or two at it before me. Almost immediately he requested that a might bring the flipping net while he tussled with the fish whilst it thrashed in the shallow waters, continually displaying it's huge dorsal fin.
Before long the beauty was landed and weighed. 2lb spot on, a clunker of a Wye Grayling and an angler's dream fulfilled...again.
Jan joined us with his dogs and as the light faded we strolled upstream, casting here and there and awaiting the spinner fall. Rises were not as prolific as they'd been a few weeks ago in more than favourable conditions when we fished with CooommmmoooooooOOO and Bonehead, but a couple of 2lb plus Rainbows were managed along with another nice Grayling.
All in all I'd enjoyed catching 15 beautiful fish, Browns, Rainbows and Grayling. Another belting day's fishing on the region's finest stretch of river. I can't wait to return and to explore upstream and the swims that I've not even seen yet. Come on Pointon, let's get on the Wye.
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.
(email@example.com if you'd like to contact me)