Cressbrook & Litton Flyfishers Fishing Report on the Derbyshire Wye
March 30th, 2012 by David Marriott 0 comments
31 March 2012
Opening Day Celebrations
For the third year running the season has started with low water and bright, settled conditions. This made for very pleasant opening day celebrations but challenging fishing.
It was good to see plenty of members out in force on the 18th (particularly some of our new members) and here I would like to thank our Head Chef, David Percival and his Sous-Chef, Stuart Crofts, for their unstinting efforts in providing an endless stream of bacon sandwiches, kippers and insults to the starving hordes.
There were plenty of fish caught, including a four and a half pound brown at Netherdale by Membership Secretary Chris Pryor. Larger fish have also been hooked and lost in Duffers.
I started in Millers’ Dale with my Tenkara rod and found fish straight away with a bead head PTN tied on a size 16 Hanak jig hook. I’m really getting the hang of this now and landed most of the fish I hooked. The secret is to be very gentle whilst hooking and playing the fish, using side strain judiciously to keep the fish off balance. Also, one has to be prepared to leg it if a big fish decides to head off downstream!
Reports came in of good Large Dark Olive hatches down at the Lock Bridge (it may have been a little too cold for them in the shade of Millers’ Dale) and certainly there were plenty of spinners dancing above the cars as we drew into the car park. By now the warmth of the sun was declining and I managed only one fish on the surface before reverting to the nymph to get back in contention. That fish took a Baetis Foam Emerger, a pattern not dissimilar to the Baetis Cripple described in Don Stazicker’s article in our September 2011 Newsletter. The difference being a flyfoam emerging wing, rather than the Zelon wing of the original dressing. You can watch a video of the tying sequence at Blue Ribbon Flies.
I was out again the following Sunday, which was an exceptionally beautiful warm Spring day, more like May than March. After breakfast at the Cock & Pullet, we started at New Bridge, with the intention of fishing up to Lock Bridge. There were plenty of Olives about when we started at 11.00 a.m. and this remained the case until about 2.00 p.m. The first fish fell to a Parachute Adams but I didn’t feel that this was really doing the hatch justice, so I switched to a CDC IOBO Humpy* and this was what the fish wanted. Just about every fish covered took with confidence; gorgeous plump wild brownies around the 12” mark, topped by a couple of fish of around 2 lbs. Things slowed down once the hatch was over but I persisted with the dry, picking up the odd fish whilst pressing on up to the Lock Bridge. The afternoon was rounded off with two real beauties from the Bridge Pool, on the PTN, both well over 2 lbs. Looking forward to April, let’s hope the hatches of Olives continue, although we could do with some overcast and rainy days to get the best from these winter flies.
A huge thank you!!
Whilst at the Lock Bridge I had the opportunity to inspect the pillars for the new bridge, which are now complete and a credit to the skill and workmanship of Gerald Colley, who has been working like mad to get them finished over the winter. We owe a real debt of gratitude to the resourcefulness and generosity of Gerald, who has done this work free of charge and who couldn’t have known the extent of the work required when he agreed to take on the project.
Future outlook and tactics
We’ve probably seen the best of the Large Darks already but they will be replaced with Medium Olives as the month progresses. I suspect we will be reliant on terrestrials again this year, so look out for Black Gnats on the wing and then the Hawthorns.
Nymphing will continue to produce good bags, particularly in the deeper holes, where the fish will be seeking cover in the absence of weed. There haven’t been many out on the Day Ticket Water so far, but those who have found fish feeding well on Large Dark Olives.
To check out the availability of tickets please click here before contacting to book a day. We’re going to be keeping in touch with rods who have previously fished the Day Ticket Water by sending them a copies of these reports throughout the season.
P.S. Congratulations to our River Conservancy Officer, Don Stazicker, whose photo of a rising trout won first prize in the wild Trout Trust’s Photography Competition