Monday, 22 August 2011

Recon 1

After a solid week of work and missed deadlines, today was spent trying to clear a foggy head by taking a long walk along the river.

It's been well over a week since I last fell into the water, so I thought it was about time I got my ass wet again and do some fishin'.

Darley Bridge at Darley Dale - There's fish in there (somewhere)
Now, the thing with fishing inland in the UK is that just about every inch of inland lakes, rivers and streams worth fishing are privately owned by 'someone'. Those of you in foreign climbs who trek out to vast wildernesses of unpopulated country and cast a fly or bait into Salmon rich H20 will have no idea how vexing this problem is. Not only do we need a national license to fish freshwater, we also need a permit to fish a particular swim on a particular stretch of water - lake, river, stream, loch - you name it! This can range from a few pounds a day to, well, Prince Charles' income range (more than I can count to).

Faith - does not allow photos without a treat - I had no treats!
I've joined a local association to gain access to some decent local rivers that contain Trout - mainly wild or stocked Brown Trout but also Grayling (a beautiful fish).

I never fish for a species of fish unless I can eat it - just my thing. I've never seen the point in putting fish through all that trauma unless it is for the dinner table. If it's too small, it goes back - simple as that.

Anyway, this bit of the River Derwent in Derbyshire is rather nice and offers much for the fly fisherman, both wild Brown Trout and Grayling in abundance. Just walking alongside the twisting, winding course of the river, I could spot likely swims, areas where the Trout were congregating, deep water pools, fast water riffles, shallow gravel beds and smooth, gin-clear, glides showing clearly the circles of water where the Trout were rising, sipping down tasty passing flies and insects trapped in the water's surface.

Fish loiter behind the obstructing tree in the slower current...
This stretch of the river is new to me. Further down stream, high banks hinder any kind of back-cast which means I'd have to wade, but here some of the trees, bank-side, have been felled.

Another likely slow glide under some trees, large Trout rise to sip passing insects
It's very peaceful here too. Just the occasional passing dog and walker, and I can get to play at being one of the 'Railway Children'...

Peak Rail passes just behind the river
In fact when a train passes by I could imagine I was living in the 1930's (if only...)

Walking back to the car and inspired by some of the large Trout patrolling this beat, the sun started to set. Through the long grass, my footsteps stirred hoardes of tiny white / grey moths, a likely prey item for greedy Trout this time of day. Looks like I'm going to need to tie some 'Grey Duster's...'

...more of that tomorrow.


Molly said...

Love the pictures of your river walk, Chris! Good that you were able to put a 'Gone Fishing' sign up on the door and take a bit of time out! I'm glad that you only fish for the species of fish you can eat - that's my theory too as far as any hunting/fishing goes! Enjoyed reading that - thank you

John Gray said...

daddy my daddy

Tom Stephenson said...


Samantha said...

I'll stop taking our vast public waters for granted!
Lovely photos and description.

Crow said...

Glad you got out there to the river. We have a coal train that passes here. Between us and the river. I will never take for granted that is the only thing that is in between. Nice that the moths came out to show you the way. Sounds magical to me. I can't wait to hear more.

Craig said...

It looks and sounds idyllic! I've been eating a fair bit of trout myself lately - a beautiful fish to eat.

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

That river looks beautiful and serene, perfect for clearing the mind after a stressful week at work! I feel like you - missed deadlines make me panic and I'm sure this project is giving me bladder problems, meetings never give me a chance to use the loo! LOL!! Lovely photos.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Looks very serene there. I'm impressed with your fly tying skills. I'm not good with minute detail like that.

Chris said...

Let's hope I catch one folks, or I'm going to look like a reet Charlie!

Anonymous said...

Interesting how different one's access to water can be from one region to the next. When I lived in Iowa it was all privately owned land, too. Although you could put your canoe into a river in the middle of town and then spend all day drifting downriver and fishing to your heart's content. In Idaho most of the lands are public and the rivers are available to everyone (not-quite-as-Salmon-rich as they used to be though.) I don't think anyone here ever takes it for granted!
What a peaceful day, one that it sounds like you needed! I hope you finally caught some deadlines, too.