Photograph by Steve Barnett

Wednesday 13 May 2020

Big Yellow Taxi

Joni Mitchell got it right when she sang "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone..."

Recent events have certainly shown how much you can miss the things you love.  Being prevented from fishing, millions of British anglers have been peculiarly, and forcibly reminded of what they had "got".  Today, your blogger, like many others, made sure to enjoy what he's "got" by grabbing the opportunity to get out there and open up the trout season at last, now the lock down has been eased.

Much of Henry's athletic prowess has gone now.  His fishing pal, who loves him, and his company, so very much, is dreading the day when Henry can no longer go-a-fishing.  This time it's a case of knowing already what you've got, before it's gone!  He loved the day, but now he is exhausted and asleep in his dog bed.

The fishing, on this beat, of this exquisite tributary, of the Derbyshire Wye, is not as easy as it would at first seem to be.  The water is as clear as gin (but a bit more expensive!) and several times today, the fish saw the angler before the angler saw the fish.  This has the effect of putting all the fish, for about a hundred yards each time, completely off the feed.  It's actually hard to succeed here, which is why I love the place.  It demands meticulous attention to being stealthy and to being very observant.  There is no problem in "fishing where the fish are" as the river has a massive population of beautiful wild brown trout, that tend to be heavy, strong and very fast.  It is hard, but most definitely, it is a dry fly fishing Paradise too!

Being permitted on here is a special and rare privilege.  In return, fishing with restraint is a natural courtesy.  For this reason, a personal limit is self imposed.  Today, ten seemed about right, although sometimes six is quite enough.  The first fish took a Charles Cotton's Black Fly with some force, hooking itself in fact.  A decent flotilla of Blue Winged Olives began to sail down the whole river as the sun came out.  The old favourite fake, Kite's Imperial (variant) did the trick.  Then suddenly there was a violent crashing rise up river.  Why?  Aha!  There were Mayflies, the Drake, putting in an appearance!

A change to a thicker tippet and on with the Hair Winged Mayfly, and it stayed on for the rest of the day.

We packed up at ten fish.  Leaving for home, a few moments considering what I've got before it's gone reminded me how much I love these Derbyshire rivers, how much I love Henry, how much I love dry fly fishing and how lucky I am to still be enjoying AND loving them.

Folks, please do enjoy what you've got and what you love, as much as you can, for it is too easy to end up echoing Joni Mitchell, "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone!"

Regular Rod