Had a trip out to Eaton Dovedale last night after Brian tipped me off that he'd had a great day's fishing there a couple of days ago.
The Dove upstream has struggled of late with the water levels being so low. Also, whilst day time temperatures have increased since the weekend, night time temperatures are much cooler, and so, when I was deciding where to spend my evening's fishing, I opted not to go to Dovedale as I knew that temperatures would drop quite quickly as the sun dropped behind the valley tops. And so, It was off to the Dove at Eaton Dovedale where the flood plain is wide and where I'd have the benefit of the warmth of the sun for just that little while longer, and hopefully, there would be a few rises.
I called in at Ellastone on the way and had a quick look over the bridge. First thing that was evident was the herd of stirks that had given chase to Brian a couple of weeks ago, and second was that there were quite a few rises along the margins of the Dove. I decided to leave it for today and stick to my original plan....that way I'd avoid an encounter with the playful stirks!
And so I tackled up at the car park at Eaton Dovedale and kept a look out for a rise or two. Most of the fish that were showing seemed to be tiny but there were a couple of more promising rises under the far bank so I walked down stream a little, quietly got into the river and slowly made my way up towards them. The most noticeable rise was of the head, tail, fin variety and so, having tied on rather large, Griffiths Gnat that I had liberated from an unsuspecting angler on the Wye on Monday, and made a cast to it. Initially, I didn't feel too confident about attracting a take as recently, I stupidly made the decision to try a different type of mud for my tippet, moving away from my usual choice from Orvis. This newly purchased mud refuses to sink my tippet, no matter how much time I spend smoothing it along my tippet, and no matter how much of the damn stuff I choose to apply. (Email me if you would like to know the brand of this mud that could easily be substituted for Gink!).
Anyway, back to the head, fin, tail rising fish. I cast about 3 feet in front of it, and within a second or two there was a splash, and the fish was on...a good sized Grayling to my surprise. I'm sure that this was the fish that was rising. Do Grayling rise like that or did it just happen to be sitting beside a rising trout before it walloped my Griffiths Gnat?
I took another Grayling and a Salmon parr, and all went quiet...well...on the fishing front that is...I could soon hear an old van rattling it's way down the lane, accompanied by the sound of "Wwwooodddyyy!", shattering the still evening air. "Wwwooodddddyyyy!". A white van sat on the bridge, it's 3 occupants overlooking the river. "Glen Pointon Electrical Contractors" emblazoned on the side in a broad potteries accent. "Wwwwoooddddyyyy!"
Glen arrived with his girls. He'd promised to take them to see Wwwoodddyyyy catch a fish as they'd never seen one caught before, and so, the pressure was really on and the fish had stopped rising. So we decided to move upstream of the Derby Railway Angling Club stretch and fish the water upstream of the bridge which belongs to Leek and Moorlands Fishing Club. Very few people fish this lovely stretch of water and the banks are very overgrown but, once in the river, you can wade the whole stretch.
Pointon persuaded me to fish with nymphs and what a method this proved to be in the absence of any rises. I began wading slowly up the river running the nymphs through slowly and started to take fish after fish. Loads of Grayling of various sizes and the pick of the bunch, a lovely little Chub that was an absolute delight to catch. I was please to see the Chub as years ago I fished under the far bank here with a swim feeder full of maggots and corn on a size 16 and one day had 5 large Chub in as many minutes, one of my all time best angling moments, what beautiful fish and what a scrap they give.
Anyway, another fab short fishing session...with loads of fish...where to tonight Pointon?
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)