Photograph by Steve Barnett

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Some Success At Last...

Last year's failure is now just a distant memory!

A nice Grilse from the Dess Fishings' Lower March Pool on Scotland's magnificent river Dee, which took the fly at precisely 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

Here is a picture from the morning...
My clothes drying in the fishing hut after a brief immersion in the sacred waters!
Now it's back to DRY fly fishing where your faithful blogger is convinced he does understand at least a little of what is going on and also rarely falls in...

Regular Rod

Friday, 21 June 2013


Now we can once more get back to proper dry fly fishing with proper sized flies instead of the budgerigars and canaries we deployed during the festivities with the Drake.  This was brought home to your faithful blogger's attention the other evening when in despite of the presence of many Drake Spinners, the fish eschewed them nearly all, in preference of something much smaller.  They were eating the spinners of the Blue Winged Olive, the Sherry Spinners.  So off with the Poly Prop Spent Gnat (PPSG) and on with a finer tippet and a Poly Prop Sherry (PPS) to the new improved recipe...

It was a lovely evening.  Henry was glad to be coming along and behaved remarkably well just as long as fish were being caught.  Moments of reflective contemplation were interrupted by plaintive whinings to get on with it and go catch another!

The meads were beautifully spotted with purple clover and yellow buttercups.  Their colours seemed more luxuriant in the setting sunlight.

There were flies in abundance...

Rising fish taking advantage of their welcome presence...

and so it went on until it was too dark to see the fly anymore.

I realised I hadn't made a single photograph all evening of any fish so put that right with this snap of a little brown trout that I decided was to be the last fish of the evening as we had a mile or so to walk back home and Henry needed his evening session of retriever training... 

On the way back he found a soccer ball in the river.  It was deflated somewhat, so he was able to get hold of it in his jaws and bring it in to his pal to whom all "prey" must be handed in as tribute!


Thursday, 20 June 2013

Free Fly Fishing Event for Women

Fly fishing blogger Irene of 1WomanFlyFishing has organised a special event on June 30th just for women at Press Manor Fishery in the Peak District. 

The instructor is none other than Peter Arfield of the Bakewell Fly Fishing Shop so if you do attend it will be a very good investment of your time. 

Here you can read all about it on Irene's blog.

Have a good time!

Regular Rod

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Sumer is icumen in...

This is one very effective fly if used properly
At last the summer really is here. 

Tonight was my first session with the Sherry Spinners. 

Henry had fun, with a new girlfriend! 

His best pal had fun, with lots of trout. 

The evening's Sport was brought to a sensible conclusion after a good sized hen brown trout succumbed to the temptations of the PPS, which finally came over her head on the right place on the conveyor belt at the right time (after numerous failed attempts 'cos I'm still rusty).

She had the thick lower edge of scar tissue to her tail fin that shows she has dug a few redds in her time.

Regular Rod

Sunday, 9 June 2013

A River in Good Condition

The Derbyshire Wye like every other river in England is abused.  However, the Wye is a miraculous river and it heals itself as it flows from a dirty trickle that supports next to no life to one of the most abundant rivers in the country. 

Today Henry and your faithful blogger simply lost ourselves in its wonder.  Words are inadequate to express how good it felt to be by such a healthy river with every living creature making the most of what it has to offer, so here are three snaps to try and explain.

Red Campion

Look Carefully - Can you see my shadow as I lurk among the willow?

The Food Chain...


Saturday, 8 June 2013

It's here...

....summer that is.

Last night was a proper summer's evening with flies all around and the fish putting on weight by the second.  I wasn't out fishing, just taking a walk with Henry, but I did have the little pocket camera with me so grabbed these mementoes.

Click for a closer look at the sky...
The unmistakeable elongated rise form of a fish feeding on dead and dying spent spinners

What a relief that summer still exists in these parts.  Maybe we are in for some special fishing experiences as every creature races to make up for lost time?


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

James Ogden Day 2013...'s that time of year again!  This is when your faithful correspondent attempts to catch a brown trout, using a rod and reel made by James Ogden, on the very river where the great inventor first conceived the idea of tying flies deliberately to make them float.

Henry in the Mead by Ogden Island

The Head of the Ranunculus Run
Station "X"
Ogden Day Wild Brown Trout from "Station X" Ogden Island in the Derbyshire Wye
Supervising the Release
The Little Pheasant Tail that betrayed the WBT

We had a great time today.  The Drake came on later as they had yesterday and from about 14:00 the PPSG was taken with alacrity.  We packed up early and Warren gave us a lift home, much to Henry's delight.  He loves Warren.


Monday, 3 June 2013


That little feeder stream right in the middle of the picture ought to be a nursery for juvenile trout but all I've ever seen under that footbridge have been sticklebacks.  I think the run off from the agricultural land and some households means that the water quality is not up to a trout's required standards.  Anyway, here in the main river, this riffle and pool sequence, with its billowing fronds of Ranunculus fluitans is a happy hunting ground for the dry fly fisher who is prepared to hide in the margin.  Well it is on most days...

Regular Rod

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Match the hatch?

Hawthorn(e) Fly
We are surely kidding ourselves if we imagine we can make flies that are exact replicas of the real flies the fish are eating.

Charles Cotton's Black Fly

Around midday, this Friday, after a three or so hours with remnants of the, very late this year, Hawthorn(e) Flies, the trout turned their attention to the many Yellow Sally flies, which were doing their very best imitations of Chinook helicopters to get away from the danger zone on the surface of the river and find shelter in the bushes, trees and clothing of your faithful blogger. 

Yellow Sally
Double Badger

Two and half hours after this remove, the Drake put in a welcome appearance and within a few minutes the river was dotted with vigorous rises to the same.  Removing the hat to pin my Double Badger that had sufficed during the Yellow Sally event, it was made clear by the passenger discovered there that the fake about to be deployed was a long way short of being a replica of the real thing. 

Male Drake Dun
Hair Winged Mayfly (HWM)

Nevertheless the fish didn't seem to be able to tell the difference and that is a good thing because were things otherwise we would never catch a thing!

Regular Rod