Getting off the mark

Apologies for this being another one of those ‘the seasons not started well, where are all the fish, oh – hooray I’ve finally caught one’ blog posts everyone is writing at the moment. But if the others can write one, why shouldn’t I? 😉

Spent sunday afternoon on the Shotley Bridge to Allensford stretch of the Derwent. Conditions were pretty reasonable, if you ignored the gale force wind. Temp was around 15 degrees, over cast with the sun making an appearance every now and then.

The wind was pretty bad. It was coming down stream, so presenting a fly with any sort of style proved difficult. Obviously, the continued lack of any sign of fish meant the need for stealthy presentation wasn’t so great. Good job.

Set off with a link and dink setup – white post, grey body Klinkhammer and attached to the arse of that a gold bead-head nymph sporting a partridge hackle, orange floss hotspot, olive hairs ear body and a little pearl mylar to finish things off. It’s the middle one in the pic below.

After loosing half a dozen flies (feckin’ wind!) and retying the duo back on each time, I decided to give up on the two fly approach and went for a solo nymph.

10 minutes after changing to a single nymph the fly line twitched in the water, I struck and caught the bonny little trout below. Not the biggest trout I’ve caught to open my season, but I was glad to get off the mark. That was the first and only sign of any fish all day – for me and the two other anglers I spoke with.

Not only was it the first of the season, it was also first for my new rod. Last week me and my better half took the day off to go on my annual pilgrimage to the Hardy Museum and factory shop. I wanted to get a 3# rod longer than my trusty 6’6″ Streamflex. I came away with a brand new 9′ 3# streamflex (maybe a demo, or maybe used for photography) rod bag and matching tube – cellophane still on the handle and all for near half price. It casts really well and handles perfectly – I just need to remember there’s an extra 2′ 6″ of rod in my hand when beneath trees!

On the walk back, just as I was coming up to the weir (near the memorial bench) I saw a young lad wearing a hoodie (!) fishing away. Upon closer inspection I realised he was using a spinning rod, and quite a heavy duty one at that. I shouted down for him to pack in, he looked up, saw me coming, reeled his spinner in in double quick time, grabbed his Tescos bag (I assume that had the poacher/scaly obligatory energy drinks – Fosters – in it) and sprinted off like Ben Johnson. Bloody idiot.

As I was breaking down my rod at the end of the session, I did notice a rather worrying nick/crack/break in the nearly new Orvis Hydros Superfine #3 line I’m using. Just at the end of the integral line loop the fly line coating has split. I’ve only had the line for a dozen or so outings, so I can’t imagine it’s wear and tear. I’ve reported it to Orvis – I’ll report back on what happens…


And here is the location of my success. I probably walked another half mile further upstream than this, almost to the caravan site. Along all that section not a fish to be seen rising…


4 Responses to “Getting off the mark”

  1. thomasmerryom

    I had the same issue with the WF 4wt Wonderline – actually broke after 2-3 days on the river. Orvis did replace it (after accusing me of rigging it up wrong) but the new one is heading the same way, disappointing!

    • flyman

      Thanks for the comment Thomas. I’ve been in touch with Orvis and they’ve agreed to replace the line. To be fair to them they did so without issue. I need to remove it from the reel and parcel it up now, hopefully they’ll get a replacement out to me ASAP (though the way the river has been fishing for the last two weeks I’ll catch just as much without the line as I would with it!


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