Just a quick report from a couple of session I had on the Derwent at the back end of November.
First up , a short session just under two hours today and a trip to Winlaton Mill, there had been a fair bit of rain down in the few days preceding this trip and to be honest I though t that there would be no way the river would be fishable …once again though the Derwent proved me wrong, it really does seem to drop it’s level very quickly and the water seems to lose any colour that rain brings too so win win.
I arrived at Winlaton Mill about 11am and walked up past high dam. As usual I had my 6’ Shakespeare with me today kitted up with a red collared GRHE on the point and a Greenwell’s spider on the dropper, these two flies have been my staple flies for pretty much all of the winter…so far
I was almost exactly 11 o clock by the time I plodged myself into the water, again no other anglers to be seen. I had to wait just 15 minutes before I got my first fish out of this first run a small grayling of about 6”. The all went quiet for around an hour until I got to the slower water around the bend where I took a nice out of season Brownie on the Greenwell’s coming in at around 8” and putting a good account of himself before I got him to hand.
The next 40 minutes or so were busy, (ish) another 4 fish falling to these flies, nothing spectacular but nice small wild fish all in the 5-7” bracket, the last 2 coming from the small weir pool just below the stone bridge.
Second session was up at Rowland’s gill on a chillier Sunday morning, I had intended a good go up here but my bad back put paid to that after about an hour, however stead action was to be had. The water level was up a bit and must have been something like 4” above normal , flow was noticeably faster and a little colour in the water too, I started off at the big weir pool with the trusty red GRHE but lashed a brown spider on to the dropper… don’t know why I changed up just fancied the fly.. which is as good a reason as any.
I started on the river at around 10am and worked my way to the split in the river without so much as a touch. then in the nearside of the split I took my first.. a 6” grayling on the brown spider…. followed by another at the end of this run of almost identical size and on the same fly.
In the slack pool past the groynes I took the third of the day a slightly smaller fish again a grayling and AGAIN on the brown spider.. an inspired choice today it would seem.
Last an certainly not least , I spotted a slashing rise midstream just at the top of the “blue pipe pool” first cast and he was on a nice 9” brownie to finish the session fighting extremely hard before I slipped him back to his lair. That’s it, my back was absolutely killing so that was me for the day, I have yet to be out in December but might yet get a couple of sessions in before Christmas come I think.
The river has been so quiet since the trout season has ended, I don’t think I have seen another soul on the river since then, it’s hardly over populated during the season but it would seem that very few members venture out late Autumn / Winter. They are missing out on some beautiful scenery and decent grayling fishing.