Photograph by Steve Barnett

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Before it's too late, eh?

The season has only 11 weeks left so instead of looking at matters dry fly from the beginning we are starting more than half way through. We have therefore begun during the very cream of the fishing in this part of the world. Here in Derbyshire we have the benefit of rivers, that although they have been and are still abused, they have not yet been abused to the same appalling extent as the rivers in the south of England. The population is smaller here and there are reservoirs to store drinking water instead of countless bore holes that suck the water out of the ground before the rivers get chance to put that water to its vital work. There are still big populations of fly life that keep the fish fed and make our Sport continue to be viable.

Today the water is a little coloured. There has been some rain and some respite from the drought.

At this time of the year the best fishing is to be had at dawn and at dusk. The flies in biggest quantity and greatest importance to fish and angler are the upwinged flies, some of the sedge flies, flies from the stonefly family and little tiny midge type flies such as reed smuts.

For this first post we will concentrate on one of the most satisfying methods of fishing the dry fly. Fishing with a spinner imitation to represent the dead or dying adult female Blue Winged Olive. This is an upwinged fly that in her final stages of life, as she returns to the river to deposit her eggs, is known as the Sherry Spinner. Looked at from above the Sherry Spinner does indeed seem to have a body that is the colour of sweet sherry. Looked at from below, with the light passing through her, she actually looks quite orange.

The method of fishing the Sherry Spinner is simply as follows:
  1. Watch the rises and find a fish eating spinners.
  2. Work out how far up from the fish you must cast your fly to coincide with the fish's rises
  3. Make the cast and control the line so the fly drifts as though attached to nothing
  4. When your fly is taken, strike without breaking the tippet
  5. Get the fish away from the rest by using side strain
  6. Keep hidden if possible until the fish is in your landing net.
  7. Unhook the fish as carefully as you can to avoid damage to the fish
  8. Release the fish quickly, carefully ensuring it is recovered enough to swim away strongly
  9. Dry your fly and consider the next fish or move on to another spot
Next time we will look at one of the other types of flies that prove important to the fish and the angler at dawn and dusk. In the meantime if you have any questions or comments don't hesitate to post them.

Regular Rod


  1. how do you now fish is eating spinners from the rise

  2. If you can get close enough, with the light right, you can see the fish rises from very near the surface. It simply rocks itself up to intercept the spinners and then just levels itself off again. Doing this causes the fish to make an elongated rise form consisting of: first the nose, then the dorsal fin, and then the tail fin breaking through the surface. If you cannot get close enough, or the light is not helping you, simply look for those elongated rise forms.

    They will let you know it is time to get the Sherry Spinner on.

    Regular Rod