Sitting at work a few hours before the start of my season I have mixed feelings..excitement at getting back out on the river Derwent and slight anticipation that I always have after not fishing for a while… a good couple of months in this case..would I be able to catch alright???
Thankfully the weather Gods have shone on us in Newcastle over the last week or so , we have had little or no rain over the week and although the temperatures have dropped substantially this week it was still around 10°C upon my arrival and fishpal told me that the river was 2″ above normal level.
Out of work and car already loaded up with rod waders and waistcoat. Bright sunshine and clear skies welcomed me to the river today and as I walked up past the viaduct onto the meadow I was starting to regret wrapping up in so many clothes!! it was fair warm like. Although at times it was fairly gusty that could make casting tricky.
I started in some slacker water up stream of the picture above and it was good to get back in to the swing of casting again.
I fished down through this swim and through the “Canyon” with steep cliff walls without so much as a sniff or sight of a fish …about an hour in and nothing…..time to worry yet? I have old faithful gold head GRHE and a rusty Nymph on the dropper…nothing…….
Coming out the other end of the Canyon there is a very nice couple of runs and encouragingly there was a few olives starting to show too.
Casting to the near bank first as there was some small eddies ..and a pull ….and a miss!! that was me happy..on the right track , I think it was the very next cast , this time to the far bank and a solid take and a hook up, a splash fight ensued and the first of the season was to hand a nice 8″ brownie taken on the rusty nymph, a nice plump fish.
two more followed in the next twenty minutes both 8-9 inch plump full finned wild brownies these two falling to the gold head GRHE and both putting a fine bend in my 6″ #3 Shakespeare.
Time was marching on now so I climbed out and headed to the runs just above the butterfly bridge, trying a few different flies now…..give the old partridge and purple a run out and took a small grayling near high dam in the nice riffly runs there , a small fish of about 5″ but so beautiful and delicate looking.
I ran through and under the stone bridge without any success then through the great runs downstream of the butterfly bridge, about 100 yards down from the bridge, a fish nibbled….next cast a slash at my flies…third cast a hook up…and a good stubborn fight ensued, got him on the reel and to hand after a fight where he was as much out of the water as in it, best fish of the day at around 10-11″ and nice and plump…..back he went to fight another day.
I did have a half hearted go further down stream but I was fair goosed by now. I finished up with 4 nice brownies and a small grayling…..I would have been happy with a couple of bites so to start the season so well was brilliant..