Photograph by Steve Barnett

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Rooting for you!

You might enjoy this little trick that I've used since being a lad hunting chub in overgrown places...

Take a look at this fish filled spot.  There is nearly always a row of fish rising here throughout the trout season.  The place looks rather uninviting at first glance and with a strict and total wading ban, it is almost impossible to cast here...

...except during periods of drought or near drought.

Low water?  Well yes indeed.  Of course all trees need roots to live.  Bigger trees by the waters edge, like this double trunked alder, have bigger roots and some of them stretch out under and - during dry spells - above the water!

See below...

Plenty of room for a full grown woman or man to sit cross legged.  It will keep your feet dry and provides a great fishing spot if you are happy to side cast up into the run where the fish are.

These spots are rarely fished efficiently, as most anglers will either struggle to dibble a fly to the fish from overhead or try from the opposite bank.  Sitting there at close quarters makes the whole process very easy and very effective too.

Just make sure you check that the root mass can take your weight without lowering you into the water, backside first, as you sit there in pride of place casting up to fish that are quite unlikely to have ever been caught before.

Special tip...  do your best to be stealthy when getting into position.  If, however, in despite of your valiant efforts to be stealthy, you do scare the fish, simply make yourself comfortable and sit there quietly and wait for the fish to rise again.  Then when they seem to be rising confidently (four times a minute is a pretty good indicator that they are no longer worried about your presence) make your first cast to the fish nearest to you...

Regular Rod


  1. I'm really enjoying your blog. Can you explain the reason for the ban on wading? Erosion control or simply to make a hard thing harder, just for the fun of it?

    Owl Jones
    Gainesville, GA, USA

  2. Hello Owl

    I'm pretty sure that at least on the Haddon Estate in Derbyshire the ban was introduced (over 150 years ago) as a conservation measure. Scoop a handful of gravel or a tress of Water Crowfoot from the river and it teems with life. This linked with the single artificial dry fly only rule (135 years old) has given us what we have today, a wonderful group of rivers, full of well fed fish and lots of varied fly life for us to ponder over when choosing a fly from our boxes...

    It is certainly fun and it forces us to make seemingly impossible casts become possible, or even normal. We get used to it. You can find out a lot more on the Head River Keeper's Blog Water~Lines at

    If you can ever come over here for a holiday and have a few days on the Derbyshire Wye or the Lathkill, or Bradfod, or the Derwent, you may end up never wanting to go home again!
    Regular Rod

  3. Regular Rod,
    No offense, but that kind of fishing doesn't sound like as much fun as throwing a #14 Stimulator in the pocketwater of a freestone stream to me. I'm not much of a fisherman for slow, calm pools I'm afraid. I usually let the(usually all too eager)friends I'm fishing with have those in favor of a fast run, back eddy or pocket water stretch. Thank you for the explanation, though. I guess our streams that are full of nothing but rock, rock and more rock can take alot more abuse! If you'd like to see what I'm talking about, I have some photos of our rocky streams here in the Southern Blue Ridge on my flickr page:

    Thank you again for filling me in! :)


  4. My pleasure Owl. Anglers are like cats, very adaptable. We get by wheresoever we end up living. If you and I lived in Belize we'd be out on the flats after bones and permit and discussing the merits of artificial crabs vs artiicial shrimps and whether Crazy Charlies can be used for fish that are eating both. If we lived in Aswan we'd probably debate the merits of Tiger fish vs Nile Perch and why yellow and orange flies work so well for either fish...


    Regular Rod