Well as the season is now over .. it is a good time to complete a full season review.
Looking back to last Winter it was extremely difficult conditions both high and coloured water and some extremely cold weather made it almost impossible (for me) to get any bites let alone fish to hand , and so it went, pretty much until the trout season started, I think it was almost a year ago to the day a bright unseasonably warm day in March that I landed the first fish a nice brownie of 10 or 11” caught on an olive nymph just above butterfly bridge on the far bank, it made the days holiday booked off all the more worthwhile, it was still a tricky day only had another couple of bites but I still went home happy I remember.
As the mid to end of March came around the warmer weather and more fly life really seemed to turn the trout on, Gold head GRHE was the order of the day.. or next few months.. and I landed a couple of really nice brownies, a couple approaching 2lb, one from the viaduct and another a little upstream of the viaduct in the slower water, both falling to gold heads.
Curiously it is always the one that get away that stick vividly in the memory, I was fishing down from the stone bridge , must have been end of May or June, when a nice wild brownie jumped clean out of the water in the slack water just as the river bends to the left….I cast to him and was lucky enough to hook him..and he was on .. for about 30 seconds.. he sulked mid stream then decided to jump..clear of the water… and clear of my hook!! He looked a good fish maybe 14-15” or so , why do lost fish stick in the memory so much?
As summer came around it opens more opportunities for a little evening fishing and there was some top sessions from around 6pm until 9pm on the Winlaton Mill stretch… one that jumps out was a night where I HAD to be back to pick the wife up for 9pm…. I had had a great session, loads of smallish brownies to about 8-9” or so and it must have been about 8.30 when I was on my last cast.. well just one more.. and a decent pull.. another cast.. and missed him.. next cast and he was on.. and a very nice wild brownie of 1lb 5oz was netted, and I still made it back in time to collect the wife from work!
I also remember how spooky it was, the day after the trout season ended…. I caught nothing but Grayling for weeks and weeks on end, it was as if someone had flicked a switch, I found that the Grayling would seem to shoal in the slacker deeper pools and once you found them you could almost pull one out after another, great sport all lovely little fish ranging from 4-8” never found any of the bigger ones although they are in there!!
Winter arrived and I expected the worst it has to be said after last years fun and games!
However it was not to be, a lack of rain and snow meant I could fish pretty much right through unhindered, I had a sticky patch of 3 blanks in February but that aside I caught every time out to one degree or another, mainly smaller grayling the odd better brownie of 10” or so but all excellent sport. And so it came to my last trip out of the season last weekend where we have gone full circle..with the gold head GRHE coming back on song.. landing a couple of decent grayling.
For anyone looking for a secluded river with little disturbance.. less anglers and some top notch wild fishing you cannot go far wrong with the Derwent, all year round fishing , a decent head of wild Browns and Grayling, some very nice stock fish that fight like madmen, what’s not to like?
I did bump in to a few members and season ticket holders all pleasant enough and good crack, but most days you can seemingly have the whole river to yourself.
Flies for the year, seriously why do people carry so many flies, you see folk with box upon box upon box of the things, I only own one box and I must have only used half a dozen flies over the season.
Gold head GRHE
Partridge and Orange
Partridge and Yellow
These flies in both 12 and 14 have pretty much done me for the whole season, with one or two exceptions these flies will do you for the whole season on the Derwent.
The River Blyth beacons for me this coming season, and a high bench mark has been set by the river Derwent, if this coming season is half as good as the last one I will be a lucky man.