Photograph by Steve Barnett

Monday, 29 October 2012

Another thousand words...

Reconnaissance is a vital part of any angler's route to success and enjoyment.  Even more so for the dry fly angler.  Taking a camera along can add to the pleasure and even be another justification for being out there right now, even though the trout season is over round here until All Fool's Day 2013.

Here, across the river is a lovely place very dear to my heart, Ogden Island, that four years ago Warren and Jan made accessible to the anglers.  Many happy hours have been enjoyed there since...

Regular Rod

Thursday, 25 October 2012

You are well overtaken, Gentlemen,

a Good Morning to you both...

There was a bit of a Compleat (Complete) Angler moment this morning whilst out with Henry to practise some retrieving (and "sits" and "stays" not to mention an urgent "Heel!  You little brute! Heel").  We came across Bernie Maher and one of his lucky clients.  Bernie as well as being a fantastic fisherman (Champion and sometimes England Team member) is a great teacher, as your faithfull blogger knows first hand from his casting lessons.

The quarry they sought were the grayling that are in fine fettle at this time of year in our local rivers.  The Town fish in Bakewell can only be approached when there are few folk around so Bernie and his client were taking full advantage that the place was almost deserted.

After a few moments chatting we parted, each to our allotted tasks.


The ball is thrown a long way and there is a pause for half a minute...


Henry is away like a rocket and soon returns with the ball.


It is returned.

"Big fish!"

The shout comes from upriver.  The temptation is too much and we both turn and sprint over to see.

They weren't kidding.  A magnificent male grayling, in dark gunmetal, lay in the bottom of Bernie's ridiculous landing net. 

The little camera was where it lives, in the pocket, so some quick snaps were taken and then the beautiful grayling was returned unharmed to the river.  This led to another photo opportunity and here you can see the results above and below for some short attempts at video capture...

Please accept the apologies due for the poor videos but framing was all guess work, done on the knees, at arms length. 

Just look at those colours and markings in the pelvic fin!

Regular Rod

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Paint a thousand words...

...some of you may recall that a vow was made to carry a bigger camera this season.  Little was it realised at the time how this was going to snowball into something very obsessive. 

Hopefully it will not develop (no pun intended) into a compulsive disorder!

Creativity seems to come upon your faithfull blogger in waves.  Throughout childhood, attempts at painting and sculpture were made but, with a distinct lack of talent in those two disciplines, making photographs became a passion.  Other attractions pushed photography away for the early part of adulthood and then it came back as the urge to make images returned in strength.  Through the late '70s and the '80s it was an obsession and it fitted in nicely with fishing.  For the last decade or so the digital snapshot camera was the only tool and it was only used as a recording device.

Then the urge returned and more sizeable and capable digital cameras were added to the toolkit.  All this was fine and the images made have not been too lousy to use.  However, the influences of real photographer friends and their beautiful work, fanned a little spark within and a yearning flared up for a return to the slow, deliberate, contemplative approach of using film, rather than megapixels to create photographic images.

So the cameras got bigger and bigger.  Even to the point of making one out of a kid's toy just to be able to make panoramic photographs, like the one above, in one go rather than stitching them together in Photoshop.

Here is another such a one. 

Yes it interferes with the fishing, add in Henry and distraction is inevitable.  It's a miracle any fish get caught these days...

Regular Rod

Friday, 5 October 2012

Peacock Fly Fishing Club - Bradford Bonus

It was the annual get together of the Peacock Fly Fishing Club last night and we were in for a special treat...

Warren, the head river keeper for the Haddon Estate, announced the addition of a new river to the waters that we Club members will be allowed to fish from next season onwards, at no extra cost.  The fees stay the same as this year!  The river is the delightful River Bradford, an important tributary to the Lathkill/Dakin, which in turn flows into the Derbyshire Wye.

The rules are simplicity itself.  Dry fly only and no wading.  The major caveat we have to pay attention to is not to contaminate the river with water from elsewhere.  That is, if we fish the Wye, we must not take a damp net up to the Bradford with Wye water on it.  This is a protection measure to ensure we do not contaminate the Bradford with the crayfish virus.  The Bradford is the last place in the Peak District to still have a population of the native White Clawed Crayfish.  All the other rivers have lost their native crayfish to the virus carried here by imported Red Clawed Signal Crayfish.

A stitched panorama of the "Coach Road" section of the meandering Bradford
There are 1.7 miles of double bank fishing on a delightful little spring-fed river to look forward to next season and all the members have to do before fishing it is to make sure their nets are dry and that they text Jan to let him know they are going there.  The Bradford has a remarkable head of insect life, including the Drake.  ALL members will be allowed to fish the Bradford during the WHOLE of the season, including the time of the Drake!

Much will have more, eh?

Regular Rod