A warm day in May 5th May

Just a quick session today.

I had a quick look up the allotment early on to do a bit of re-potting then home and started to pack the car, it was a beautiful morning, some cloud but really mild and about 15-16°C.

I arrived at Winlaton Mill at about 11.30 to a full – ish car park, full of the usual suspect, dog walkers, runners and cyclists.

As I only had a shorter session today I hadn’t planned to fish right up from the Viaduct but I bumped into a fisherman just above the stone bridge and after a bit of chat I decided to go to my usual starting point.

The river was looking in good nick, maybe ever so slightly up and a very slight colour to it. There was a good few hawthorn flies buzzing about and the occasional rise as I got to my destination only to find another man in my spot!!

So after a bit of chatting, a bit of walking I eventually started the actual fishing bit at about 12.30 or so

I had a bit of crack and changed my flies up to a brown spider and cochybhondu. Walking back downstream to maybe 150 yards above the viaduct there is a nice pool created from a fallen tree and I think the fish lie right up against this tree in deeper water and at the end of the tree where it creates a nice eddying run. To affirm this a fish was rising in the slack water at the top of this run.

I dropped the flies a yard or so up from him and got at least three shows to my flies in a 15 minute spell but he wouldn’t stick!! Still nice to get some interest to show you are on the right track.

Moving down this pool I had a hook up and a small fish on maybe about 5” a scrappy splashy fight before he slipped the hook just as I was about to get him to hand… hmmm cannot really count that one I think then, not even as a long distance humane release!


At the end of this tree now and a nice thump from a persistent riser and he was on.. he flew about the pool like a fish possessed!! Fighting briefly but deep and hard coming in at about 7” and falling to the killer brown spider.

Walking under the viaduct and along the path I had a few casts on the bend where the club water resumes, some really nice deep pools where I hooked a small…but perfectly formed.. small brownie.. smallest of the day this one at about 4” but welcome all the same again fell to the brown spider and taken at around 1.15pm.
Slightly upstream from this I took another bigger brownie about 40 minutes later , this one a decent wild fish of about 8” taken midstream on a Greenwell’s spider, again a very good fight for it’s size, he covered most of the pool before eventually coming to hand.

Clambering out and working downstream I fished the very nice deep streamy runs just above high dam, despite the amount of folk in and out of the water there was a few fish showing and sure enough at about 2.30 had another nice Derwent wild brown trout in my mitts , this one came in again in the 7-8” range and fell to the Greenwell’s spider, seemed like the go to fly today.

With only 45 minutes or so to go today I decided to finish the session off down from the stone bridge and after a missed take I did hook into a fish at the tail end of this run and for a pleasant change it was an out of season grayling only around 5” but a beautiful fish , quickly unhooked and returned to get on with his business, rather predictably I guess falling to a Greenwell’s spider

As it was now about 3pm that was about me for the day, for all it was a shorter session it was immensely enjoyable, I bumped into more fisherman today than I normally see on the water in a season!! There was plenty of fish showing here and there and plenty of takes and fish to hand even though it was a shorter session than usual.

It was a pleasure to get back on the river after my stillwater exploits though, it really makes me appreciate how much more I enjoy fishing the rivers than the stillwaters, the thrill of that pull on your flies is just about an addiction I would say!



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