This morning I should have been up at the crack of dawn, heading north to Craster for a day out at sea. At the time I write this I should have just finished gutting my catch of Cod. Unfortunately, due to the weather, the captain of the charter boat we were going out in cancelled our trip the night before.
I’d got the day booked off work, so it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. After a bit of family time in the morning, and seeing off a hearty lunch I set off for a few hours on the Derwent.
The weather wasn’t great, grey, foggy and rain threatening I wasn’t too confident it would be a successful trip. Mind you, the weather would have to turn pretty bad to have me throwing up at the side of the river, so it’s already better than being out at sea.
I headed off to Allansford, calling in at Lintzford on the way up to check the water level, flow and colour. All looked ok.
The park at Allansford was deserted. Usually there’s someone there walking their dog or playing football with their kids, especially as it’s school holidays. The only people I saw were a trio of old guys just finishing a 9 mile walk around the countryside – I hope I can look as fresh as these gents did after what sounded like a pretty full on hike.
Tackled up and clobber on, I headed off upstream of the road bridge.
The first pool I came to had rising fish in it – what a pleasant change! they weren’t big, not by a long chalk, but fish on the surface is something we’ve not seen much of up until now. Of the four risers I managed two and hooked but lost the other two.
The rising fish carried on throughout my 5 or 6 hours on the river. They weren’t big but they were keen. They were also bloody fast – I missed so many takes, and even when I hooked them I’d estimate only one in three were landed. Not sure why so many fish ‘fell off’ as I brought them to hand, maybe lack of any reel practice!
Spring is in the air!
The temperature warmed up whilst I was out, an hour after arriving and I’d taken off my fleece and fished in just a T-shirt. The floor around the river bank was carpeted in flowers too, is this spring finally arriving? It’s only a couple of days away from the middle of the year and we seem to be almost getting the weather and fishing conditions we should have had 3 months ago!
What’s that Deer?
Strolling further upstream, I rounded a corner and was met with a scene of something crashing and splashing through the water about 200 yards ahead of me. At first I thought it was a dog, launching itself into the water to chase a stick thrown by its owner. Almost as soon as I’d had that thought I realised it wasn’t a dog at all, it was a baby deer, possibly only 3 or 4 months old. It had launched itself from the right hand bank, into the river (it’s quite shallow at that point) to get to the other side. Half way across it must have found an unexpected deeper section, dropped in and started thrashing about. It managed to right itself, get back on its feet and fly off out of the river and up the bank on my left.
At the very end of the walk upstream, at the point I decided to turn and head back to the car, I came across the biggest cloud of hatched flies I think I’ve ever seen. I think they were March Browns:
My entomology skills are not what they should be, so I could be wrong. I used three different flies during the afternoon, a traditional Adams (not parachute), Pink post parachute, and a hopper type dry with the hackle trimmed away on the bottom. All took fish, until they found their way up various trees along the way!
More of this please!
After almost six hours, I estimate I took 18 fish, I hooked but lost at lot more than that. That’s more fish in one outing than the rest of the season put together. None of them are record breakers, I doubt any of them were over 8oz, but I really don’t care – it turned out to be a warm, dry and pleasant day, with plenty of sport and all on the dry fly. Can’t ask for much more!