Having booked Friday the 28th off in the hope that the Mayfly would be out, I was sadly disappointed with the sustained cold weather that we have had. But despite that a day I wasn't to be too disappointed.
Having had a cracking day on the Churnet a few weeks earlier I decided to head back there as we have not had much rain. The river was the clearest that I have ever seen it before. Rather than fishing the normal stretch I headed downstream some distance. Dropping into the river and almost ruining my waders in the process on a piece of barbed wire fence, I decided to fish the faster sections with the duo. Only company for the day were a couple of horses!
First up was a small grayling followed by a number of small but perfectly formed trout.
Nothing was rising and I suspect that the low water levels was probably not helping. A few yellow mayflies were hatching, so I decided to give my mayflies a bit of a swim. It wasn't long before I had a huge fish on, sadly it was an OOS grayling. Its ironic really, spend all winter fishing and not catching them and now I keep catching them.
A few more fish were happy to oblige by taking the mayfly, but as the sun came out the takes came to a stop. Back on went the duo taking a few more fish, before it was time for a spot of lunch at Ramblers Retreat.
After lunch it was back into the river just below the carpark. I had a few more fish on the dry, this time trying some of the iron blue duns that I have recently attempted to tie! As I neared the top of the stretch I tried in vain to catch what looked like a monster fish to the right side of Lords Bridge.
After much indecision I decided to head to Dovedale in the hope of catching a few fish on the Mayfly. Was quite shocked how low the river was, certainly lower than I have ever seen it before.
Fished up the river with a small Olive on despite not seeing any rises and took a number of fish up to the stones, most which seemed to be stockies, except for this one which gave me a right scrap. I reckon he was around the two pound mark and had a stonking tail on him.
Now who says fishing is boring....Well I was standing in the river just past the stones, when this chap with a rod tucked under his arm and his missus walk by. I prompted legged it out the river and asked him if he was intending to fish. I made sure that I let him know that fishing here was strictly for members only and that if he did decide to fish then it would be poaching. It was then that his missus...a rather large lady full of tattoos butts into the conversation and tells me that he lets all the fish go.
After a bit of a conversation about poaching, etc the chap tells me that it makes no difference as he will fish down by the campsite where they are staying. Anyway he heads off upstreamwith his missus scowling and giving out a bit of verbal abuse...what idiots. It was clear that he was planning to fish, after all you don't walk about with a gun if you don't pllan to shoot something with it.
I pretty much followed them up the river, casting here and there, but keeping a beady eye on what they were up to. By the time they got up to Lovers Leap, I think they finally realised that I wasn't going away and they headed back to the carpark.
Whilst sitting having a cup of tea on the new Kelly kettle by the stepping stones, it seemed that the sun was shining down on me....my reward for chasing off them poachers!
I tried the odd run back down to the carpark with teh duo on, picking up a the odd fish here and there. All in all a great day, with loads of fish, only thing missing was meeting up with a certain Stoke bloke!