Well last day of the trout season for me today, to say it has absolutely flown is something of an understatement but it has been a belting season. Today I decided I would fish through some of the pools that I normally walk past but not today!
It was another clear day and I decided to fish the Winlaton Mill stretch today after a couple of trips up to Rowland’s Gill the past few weeks.
It was a fairly clear day and I arrived on the river around 9.30 am, walking up past high dam to a nice riffly run that deepens on the far band where some bushes seem to dip into the water giving a nice bolt hole for an unsuspecting trout. Indeed there were a few fish showing as I carefully waded into the stream. My Rod was loaded up with a gold head GRHE on the point and a cochybhonndu on the dropper.
It must have been about second or third cast that I hooked and landed a nice small grayling of about 6” on the Cochybhonndu a decent start. I fished this pool for about twenty or thirty minutes there was plenty to keep me occupied a couple of pulls and a good few casts at a persistent riser but no more fish came to hand.
Working my way downstream I fished the two nice runs that run under the trees that are parallel to the path but again nothing doing despite a couple of fish showing. Now at the slacker water on the bend I noticed a fish, just where a tree trunk is partially submersed, a semi regular riser. Two casts to him without so much as a sniff though… third cast however I see a BIG bow wave where I suspect my flies are but no hook up. Very next cast and a solid thump on the line and fish on. He immediately headed for the submersed trunk and it was all I could do to turn him as my rod bent hard towards the water, now midstream he pulled a little line off my reel as he headed downstream, I was happy to let him go that way as there didn’t appear to be many obstructions… slowly I got line back on my reel though and I eventually slipped my net under him , at the second time of asking (it’s so difficult in shallow water) a very nice wild fish this time of around 15” and something like 1½lb.
It’s nice to get a fish to hand after spotting him rising…not spooking him.. and having something like the right fly on. Very nice.
I climbed out through the slowly dying back Himalayan Balsam and up and over the stone bridge. Walking downstream to the bend where there is a very small weir, this is one of my favourite runs on the Derwent, slow and deep , plenty of tree cover, nice eddying water where the weir runs in. A good spot with some very nice fish in there, today not so much though !
I normally finish up here but as I was trying different pools here I fished on.
The river past this run there in a nice popply run that deepens towards the tail of the pool a nice run but the fish weren’t playing here either.
Now the river bends again and the water slows down a fair bit now maybe 400 yards or so above butterfly bridge, a couple of very nice runs again bordered by fallen trees. I stood for five minutes or so watching the run here and eventually a fished showed himself just a small rise but I knew he was there and feeding. Sure enough he took the point fly almost straight away and he was on , and a good fish , my rod tip bounced as he shook his head holding deep I could clearly see him mid stream a nice brownie, another couple of splashes on the top but he still wasn’t done but not far away…I even just about reached for my net……then he was off… a good scrap so you don’t mind losing !!
Hmm what to do , I reeled a bit of line in and contemplated heading off home, I was dicking about in one of my waistcoat pockets then lifted my rod to reel in and head off…bloody thing was snagged on some weed or whatnot………but no my silky fishing skills had hooked a (large) brownie when my flies were just dangling in the water!! He didn’t stay on for long.. just long enough for me to see how broad he was across the shoulder and he waved goodbye, an interesting episode.
I do now know where there are a couple of decent fish though, hopefully they will still be there next season!
It was a pleasant change fishing some of the water I normally just dismiss and certainly discovered what may become some of my favourite pools over the next season or so. I didn’t see the amount of fish that I have seen over the previous couple of visits but it was another interesting and enjoyable day on the Derwent.
The weather finally seems to have turned more Autumnal this week , a fair bit cooler, with some wind and rain, time for the Grayling