Sunday, 26 June 2016

Back on the Churnet with the Sheffield

Managed to get out on to the river for the first time in a while yesterday. I wanted to explore a new stretch of the Churnet at Alton on the Fenton and District ticket. I opted for the lower tree lined beat with Pugin's Alton Castle overlooking the lovely, the Rhineland of Staffordshire.

The Fenton and District ticket is amazing value at £38 per year and as well as this cracking stretch of river they also have loads of other waters for both game and coarse anglers including the Dove, the Trent and an array of carp pools.

It was also the first time I'd been out with my new reel, the Okuma Sheffield which I've been wanting to try for a while and I wasn't disappointed. I was able to control my float perfectly and even though the reel would begin to spin immediately after the cast, and continued to spin forever, I never got into one tangle which happened to me all too often with my old centrepin.

I trickled a few maggots in to the riffle in front of me and set my first drift. Bites were immediate and every cast saw me land or bump off a grayling. The Churnet is absolutely stuffed with grayling these days. When I started fishing in the 70s the river ran all the colours of the rainbow due to pollution from the now vanished dye works upstream in Leek. The clean water suits the grayling and they are back in abundance, along with a run of their relatives the salmon after a campaign of parr stocking by the Environment Agency.

We are so lucky in this part of the United Kingdom to have so much fishing available to us at very reasonable prices. This ticket is amazing value. A beautiful river full of fish in breathtaking scenery and still not another angler in sight.