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Cressbrook & Litton Flyfishers Fishing Report

April 24th, 2012 0 comments

16 April 2012

After two weeks of unseasonably warm weather, we are back to traditional April sunshine and showers, the latter being most welcome. The heavy snow, far from being the usual lambing shower, lingered much longer than expected. Consequently the river was up and dirty when I arrived at Duffers. So after a quick coffee it was back in the car and downstream to Beat 8, where it was still relatively clear.
Although it was quite sunny, it was bitterly cold. I don’t know about you, but I seem to become a bungling idiot when I’m cold. Tying on a fly seems to take an age and almost invariably I manage to lose it on a bare branch - don’t you just hate it when that happens? Then it’s a matter of retrieving the fly, replacing the tippet, putting on another fly and if I’m lucky, eventually getting the fly on the water.
Despite the cold, fish were rising sporadically and soon I was aware of the odd Large Dark Olive on the wing. I’d already anticipated this and was armed with the little CDC Humpy I spoke of in my last report. Fish can’t get enough of this fly at the moment and I soon had a few lovely wild browns on my score card. 
I was delighted and encouraged by the sight of several water voles going about their business, oblivious to my presence, as no doubt was the weasel I saw at the same time. The dippers are pairing up and it looks like there will be plenty of chicks for Stephen to ring this year. 
The grayling were very obviously spawning, the big dark males chasing around the shallows above the Mill. It’s great to see this activity, something you tend not to notice with the wild rainbows, their favoured spawning areas being in the deeper pools. I did find a few rainbows which seemed to have spawned already, one of which was a good length, but very lean. It was rising in a quiet spot on the far side of the river, where Olives were collecting in a smooth back eddy. It was moving around the slick water in a very deliberate fashion, mopping up the trapped Olives one by one. Mine was just sucked in with hardly any disturbance, my disbelief at its disappearance giving the fish just the right amount of time to turn down. My initial excitement on seeing its size was only slightly diminished by the lethargic fight and the realization that it was spent. A bit like me really! 
Subsequent heavy showers had the river up and down like a dog at a fair and my next visit was a washout, which was a pity really since my guest had come all the way from Australia to fish the Wye, such is the fame of Cressbrook & Litton! The Olives failed to appear and the fish just refused to co-operate, although he did manage to catch a few on his outlandish Aussie patterns. The Erstwhile Head Keeper turned up with fish & chips at lunchtime, hoping to wind him up about the cricket. Incredibly, he turned out to be the only Aussie to have no interest in the Game! He didn’t like vinegar on his chips either, or pork pies. 
It looks like we’ll be stuck with the current weather pattern for a few days yet but when it turns, look forward to an explosion of activity as the upwings are joined by various terrestrials such as the Black Gnat
and the Hawthorn. Meanwhile, I’m afraid that going deep and dirty with the nymph is the only show in town.
Tight lines,
PS Saw my first swallow on the Derwent on the 14th, much earlier than usual.

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