7th May – Winlaton Mill , and beyond!

I had a bit of company for my epic trip today, I was joined by Andy of http://coquetfishing.blogspot.co.uk/ fame

Conditions looked pretty good it has to be said, it was fairly cloudy and the water level was showing +2” on Fishpal


We met at the carpark at around 11.30 and were also joined by my “trainee” John. By 11.45 or so we were on our merry way. I decided we would have a walk up past the Viaduct so Andy who is new-ish to the Derwent, got to see as much water as possible.




A twenty or so minute walk later we arrived up about 200 yards or so up past the viaduct, stopping here and there to show some of the likely looking spots as we passed them.


I got first dibs through the first pool , the uppermost pool I have fished. .It looks a better pool than I remember and as we buggered about on the bank there looked to be a couple of fish rising towards the tail end of this pool just to whet the appetite. I fished through with a Brown spider on the point and a Greenwell’s spider on the dropper.


True to form the fish stopped rising as I worked through (I have that effect) and I fished right through without any success. I had a seat and watched Andy follow me through and have a hook up.. as the fish had now resumed their feed! however it was on and off in a flash, just quick enough to raise hopes!!


John was third through this pool and despite a few casts to risers nothing was doing. We walked downstream and split up a little, Andy took the next pool, I took the nice pool on the bend and John was somewhere in the middle!


A couple of casts in this pool and I had a pull and a hook up , a smallish fish , quickly brought to hand taken at just after 1.30 on the Greenwell’s spider


I mooched down to the pool by the tree where another fish as rising and I drifted the flies past him a couple of times without success before I lost a couple of flies on the said tree. Lastly for this length of water I had a go directly under the Viaduct. again without success, I think it’s still warming up as the fly hatches were sporadic to say the least, as were the rises which came and went as the day wore on.


Out we climbed and headed off to the couple of runs just above high dam. John was away home by now but we soldiered on!

First run through here and Andy went first missing a take in the slower water at the mid/end of this pool. I got lucky about half way through with what turned out to be my best of the day , maybe an 8” (at a push) but well-marked wild fish it was now just around 3.30.. another fish to the Greenwell’s spider


As time was marching on.. and I was well worn out we decided to get down to the stone bridge and bend pool. All was quiet and the rises had stopped by now. Andy went through the bend pool first and I followed, taking my third pretty much right on the bend , a smaller fish welcome all the same taken just before home time at 4.45.. again to the old faithful Greenwell’s spider


That was me totally done in. I fished for a little longer than is usual but it was good to see some water with I rarely fish, especially the first pool up past the Viaduct which I will definitely visit more this season.


Thanks to John and Andy who were both great company.




All to do again this coming Saturday up at Rowlands Gill.



2nd May – Winlaton Mill.. Dirty Blank

I went to the river with high hopes today after a decent session on Sunday.


The weather was a fair bit different, bright skies and fairly warm at maybe 13°C . I couldn’t contain my excitement and set off at around 11am; again deciding to fish the Winlaton mill stretch.


The bright weather brought out the dog walkers and the carpark was already a little busy when I arrived around 11.30.


I was set up with a Greenwell’s spider on the point and a brown spider on the dropper. Flies that usually do quite well this early in the season. I walked up to my usual starting pool just above the “dog walk” run.


Setting the first cast down at something like 11.45 or so I fished through this pool and it was noticeably less active .. not as many fish rising, fewer flies about. Not to be put off I worked down this pool without a touch. The next run at Dog walk, a couple of fish rose. I swung my flies right over their lies a good couple or half dozen times to no avail.


This was the tale of the tape as I worked all the way down to the second streamy run at high dam and missed my fist take of the day , felt like a small fish but the fly was in and out before I could strike.


I had a crack at a few rising fish at the slower water here and had a rise to an Adams dry… or my version of it!!  which I also duly missed!


Now it was around 1.45 is so I walked down to the stone bridge , crossing the river just upstream of it. I took the Greenwell’s spider off the point and changed up to a Gold head GRHE.


This seemed to attract a bit of attention , just in the mouth of the bridge as the flies swung across a likely looking spot I had a whacking great take, he was on and pulled the rod into a nice ark…then he was off!! bugger, felt like a good fish too. I know where he lives now though!


hopes raised, I fished through and down to the bend, missing another couple of bites along the way.


I repeated this trick at the bend pool seemingly on a roll now!


All was not lost though as I decided to fish the pool just above butterfly bridge a stretch I seldom fish for one reason or another. It’s a very nice run here a longish wide run of water that looks a nice depth towards the right hand bank. Just to complete the trick of the day I missed another couple of bites here too.


It was a bit of a mental day all in all, I must have had between six and eight fairly solid take and managed to miss them all, which is odd as I felt I have fished better so far this season, keeping good concentration and having a good hook up to bite ratio!


Ho-hum, just one of those days I suspect, it did get a bit breezy at times meaning I had to pause between casts. However despite the fact there were fewer fish rising it was still nice to get a few takes and good to be out on the river.


Looks like Saturday Rowlands Gill will get the water whipped into a lather.

1st May High Dam

I had initially planned to get out on to the river on Saturday but good old fishpal showed the river up at +4″ so that was a no go.

Sunday it was then and a quick check online found the river to have dropped to 2″ It was overcast outside and not too cold at maybe 10-12°C. I had John my apprentice!! with me today.



We met around 12 noon at the carpark.I was set up with a Greenwell’s spider on the point and a brown spider on the dropper.

We set off to a few hundred yards above High Dam and I let John fish through the first pool, an inviting pool that has a nice depth and decent flow. Just as he worked down the pool we spotted a fish rising. Four cast later or so he was into his first ever fish on the fly..a nice fish of around 9-10″ or so taken on the Greenwells spider.n To say he looked pleased was an understatement.



I followed through this pool getting into the water just after 12.30. there were a good few flies about and a few fish rising too. It was to one of these fish that I cast to and got a thumping take a decent scrap ensued and I used the net for this fish  of around 9″ taken on the Brown spider … a good start ..blank was off by just after 12.45



Next up was the first of two runs that look very fishy but it seems they don’t always live up to their fishy appearance. Not to be put off though towards the end of this pool there was more fish showing and I was quickly into a slightly better fish who fought hard and bore deep , pulling my rod round  before I got him to the net a nice wild fish of around 12″ again on the brown spider take at 1.30

I was now at the slacker water working closer to the weir. There is some nice water here and there was one fish after another rising. It was now 2pm and time for another fish! This time a brownie of around 10″ taken on the Greenwell’s spider.

We stuck around here for a while and I took another fish of around 8″ on the Greenwells before We headed downstream to the stone bridge.

John had to head off but I thought I would have an hour or so fishing the bend pool downstream of the bridge.about three casts in as I worked down this pool I have a savage pull and .. fish on. he pulled a bit line as he made for mid stream but I eventually turned him out of the current and into my net, a really beautiful fish  only about 10″ and taken on the Greenwell’s again but his colours were spectacular, steely blue around his gill case.



Last but not least was a smaller fish taken 10 minutes later at just after 3.15 a nice 7″ fish on the Greenwell.


I did fish the run about 100 yards up from the Butterfly bridge and there are some fish to be had from here but not today, that was me done at about 3.30.


It was the best day of the season so far loads of fish rising…plenty of flies hatching…all is well on the river.. or so it would seem.


















Friday 22nd April, mainly Winlaton mill

You cannot beat a cheeky Friday holiday to spend on the river… certainly beats work that’s for sure. The whole week had been very bright and warm at about 15-16°C.



So .. it was little or no shock when I checked the weather on Thursday that temperatures were due to plummet to 8°C and chance of snow!! As it turned out the weather wasn’t quite that bad, for all it was certainly chillier the skies were clear and pretty much remained that way all day. Fishpal had the river at +2” but it looked normal to me.



I set off towards the river about 11am and had decided to have a look up to Rowlands Gill , I started off at the weir pool, but it has to be said I wasn’t really “feeling it” up there today so I fished rather quickly down past the BBQ run then decided to climb out … empty handed .. and jump in the car to Winlaton Mill.


Plenty of empty car parking spots awaited me and I landed here about 12.30. I had taken off the gold head hares ear as I was snagging the bottom quite a bit , so on went a couple of brown spider type of things.


I walked up past high dam and started fishing just past “dog walk run” This is a really nice run.. very “popply” and fishy looking. Right on queue after about 20 minutes I saw a fish rise.. YAY.. as I approached and managed to remain calm, I swung the flies through his station and a slashing rise to the dropper!!



A decent fight ensued and I quickly got him to hand, taken on a Greenwell’s spider.. or my version of it!  a nice fish of around 8” maybe slightly bigger. Brilliant, blank off.


I was then joined by a galloping black Labrador running straight through my pool and if I hadn’t pulled my line out he would have been entangled….following behind was the owner who now saw me and decided against either apologising or even acknowledging, now I understand that the river is to be shared with all manner of folk and I don’t mind whatsoever but a bit of common decency goes a long way in my opinion. However onwards to the next pool



I worked through the next inviting run similar to the last if slightly shallower. Nothing doing here, so I fished to the tree that now lies across the river, this has created a “mini pool” just above the tree. Casting is tricky, with tree branches on the far bank really restricting casting.  I did manage to get my flies into a decent position and had an almost instant take, a smaller fish this time..though still very very welcome. He was quickly brought to hand and returned, again taken on the dropper and again on the Greenwell’s spider.. this fly seems to do really well early season when Olives are about.



I fished through the slower run the other side of this fallen tree , I suspect there will be some bigger fish to be had here when the season gets into full swing. the water looks nice and deep and has a slow eddying current.. but not today.


I got out and walked back towards the stone bridge crossing just upstream of this so I could fish through the bridge. Nothing doing here OR at the run at the other side. However to “bend pool” always delivers!  and so it proved again as a smaller fish came to hand, around 6” taken on the Brown spider and again on the dropper.. as all three fish were today, odd that.



There was a regular riser who I bothered for a good half an hour, even switching to the dry fly..I did get a rise out of him but he pulled up just short… OR I missed him, let’s go with the former eh!



That was about me for the day today. A decent or certainly improving day on the river. three fish, a missed rise, and a few flies about is a lot better than I have done so far this season. With the missus away this weekend I should hopefully get a couple of days out on the river

Bank holiday weekend 2016-2017

A few reports rolled into one for your delectation …


Firstly Good Friday 25.03.16


My intention was to get out around lunchtime, knowing full well that the river doesn’t fish overly well before noon at this time of year but as usual I couldn’t contain my excitement and was out on the river by something like 10am. It was fairly bright and maybe around 12°C when I landed


There were plenty of dog walkers and runners around when I landed at Winlaton Mill. I walked up to just above high dam and didn’t spot any fish rising on the meander up there.


As suspected it was slow going, no rises … no flies , nothing doing. I did lash through the fly box as I worked my way down to the stone bridge… not good. I was at the bridge about 1pm and had a hook up under the bridge, what looked like a semi decent Grayling was on and off before you could say BLANK.


I worked down to the bend which is a particularly good pool and had a very decent pull here but again managed to miss it.. That was about it for this trip , I was away by about 2pm … probably the time I should have landed there truth be known.





Monday 28.03.16


Mrs Blood must have had enough of my witty repartee as I was given a pass for an extra Bank holiday treat. It was a totally different day to the Friday , being overcast and a fair bit cooler. So.. I decided to have a little trip up to Rowlands Gil. My excitement finally burst at around 11.30 and I set to….. getting on the river around 12 noon… a bit more like it but still a little early for so soon in the season I feel.


I plopped into the river right on the split… my god the floods have totally changed the river here…. the island that split the river in two has been “scoured” almost flat, a tree trunk that had been sat at the top of this part has gone…..it must have weighed around 4-5 tonnes, incredible.


the changing landscape was as good as it got today!! I fished all the way down to the caravan park, most of the debris has been dumped just past the BBQ’s thus totally changing the pool about 50 yards downstream.


Despite my best efforts I managed to pull another blank off today leaving the water around 4pm…2 in a row…… I’m on a roll alright



Saturday 9th April


It was noticeable warmer today , clear skies and maybe around 13°C give or take the river was showing +2” on Fishpal , I had my new starter with me today and we were up by high dam at around 1pm.


There was noticeably more fly life about today and as John worked through the First pool we notice a fish rise…happy days, John had a go at him first … then I did as I followed him through the pool but he wouldn’t play.


We worked through the two nice runs just above high dam .. I noticed one other rise and a few olives showing so stuck a Greenwell’s Spider on the dropper. As John had to be away for 3 pm we decided to get to the stone bridge and fish through there…..I went through first and … nothing, a hatrick of blanks was on the cards as I worked through the bend pool …just coming out of this run I noticed a fish rise. My problem is trying to remain calm and just slowly work towards him through the remainder of the pool, he rose again as I got close, within casting distance, first cast , he ignored. Second time around he went for it though and the line tightened. I stuck into him and he was on!! a short fight ensued midstream before I got him to the net.


A very nice wild fish maybe about 13” taken on a the Greenwell’s spider.. quickly slipped back to get on with his business.


That was just about it for the day, john hooked and lost what looked like a similarly decent fish so he’s on the right track!!


It’s been a pretty slow start to the season, certainly slower than the last few years that’s for sure.


All being well I will be out on Saturday up at Rowlands Gill see how I get on..




Winlaton Mill 25th July

I headed off to Winlaton Mill for my fishing exploits today , I had a couple of things on in the morning…getting over a killer hangover being top of the list!! then I set off to the river at something like 1pm a little later than usual.

It was ideal conditions really , not too hot…being British Summer….a bit overcast with the odd shower here and there too.

I arrived and parked up and set up with a cochybhonndu on the point and a Greenwell’s spider on the dropper, flies that have stood me in good stead over the last few visits.

I set off to the aptly named “dog walk pool”  there were a couple of “youths” cans of ale in hand and just to show you shouldn’t judge were an affable couple of lads and had a bit chat before getting in the water about 1.30.


There was almost instant action , a few fish were already showing and it wasn’t long before I was into my first fish  a small brownie of about 6” taken on the point fly. It has to be said it was a pretty hectic start with 4 fish coming to hand in the first 15 minutes on the river all brown trout, 8,8 and 7” good fun. all taken on the cochybhonndu apart form one on the Greenwell


Enough here , I walked down to the first nice run above high dam and the fish were getting bigger , this  time a 10” brownie who scrapped well above his weight taken just before 2.30.


Now in the slower waster after the second run I had a bit of an odd one, a fish rose on the right hand bank, seriously the water here must be something like 3-4” he must have been grubbing about in the silt, but first cast he was on, another nice fish of 12” fairly difficult to net in such shallow water, but net him I did and carefully slipped him back.

The best and penultimate fish of the day was still to come.. he was a regular riser on the far bank.. slow water where the river narrows somewhat, maybe on 15’ wide at this point, he was a confident and regular feeder though, it wasn’t really a cast more of a flick of the flies. he took them and he was off downstream, I let him go the tried to turn him , he felt a weight but I got him facing upstream getting some line on the reel, he seriously bent my rod, I honestly thought it was going to give! A few splashes on the top and he was done though. Thankfully my rod… and more surprisingly my knots held firm, a really beautiful fish of around 15” looked like a wild fish , I held him steady for a few minutes before he swam back off to his lair.


I fished down past the bridge and bend without a great deal of action until I got just past the bend, a pretty fast riffly run, I noticed a fish slash at my flies just behind a small patch of weeds, it would only be about 7’ from where I stood, second cast and he took, a quick fight … once I got him out of the strong current another very decent fish slightly smaller than the last one at about 14” but nice all the same, taken on black and peacock spider….which fell out in the net..

It was a pretty quick session today , warming up as I got on the river with some very short sporadic showers along the way , the fish seemed to get bigger as the day went on.. which was fine by me. Cochybhonndu  doing most of the damage today

18th July 2015 – Good to be back , Rowlands Gill

Well it had seemed like an age since I have seriously back on the water, something like 5-6 weeks.


In the meantime I had purchased a new fly line , a WF floating jobby off ebay for about £8, it had sat loaded on my reel for the last 4 weeks or so teasing me that I couldn’t fish, also added a new D ring to the back of my waistcoat that had snapped, I was all geared up with no place to go.


However I had neglected to charge my camera battery hence the lack of photographs for this report.


I was up sharp on Saturday … itching to get out, car loaded up, you wouldn’t think it was July, it was fairly chilly and overcast as I packed the car so much so that I nipped back in to get my neck buff.


I arrived at Rowlands Gil at something like 9.45 waders on and stomped off towards the weirpool. However as I was kitted up with an Adams dry on the point I decided to give this a go and stepped into the water near the BBQ’s and Joy of joys about second cast in a slash at my fly and a instant hook up a little brownie of around 7” to hand, a good start.


I really like this run it is nice and deep and dark and a few fish were rising too I did manage to rise another couple of fish from this run but they either rejected pretty quickly or I was a bit tardy in striking… I suspect the latter to be honest.



Done with this pool I climbed up the bank and walked to the weirpool , another rise and a miss then I decided to switch to wet fly and fish down the river.


on went a red collar gold head GRHE.. seemingly the longest named fly in the world on the dropper the old faithful cochybhonndu, a particular favourite of mine, although as I tied it it bares a scant resemblance to the original.


I worked through the weirpool without a bite or seeing a fish. On to the split in the river , it’s amazing how much the river has changed in my 6 week absence, the banks are now 6’ high with Himalayan Balsam and various other goodies, making casting more than a bit tricky on this stretch.


the river level is also pretty low..plenty of excuses right there! However despite my poor flies and overgrown bank I took another brownie on the Cochybhonndu slightly smaller maybe 6” taken just after 11am so a pretty quiet hour between 10 and 11. Things were warming up though both in temperature and fish activity.I took another fish just past the split in the river on the GRHE again small at 6” taken at 11.17.



Now at the BBQ pool where I had started and I took another fish surprisingly a grayling of about 9” about half way through this pool again on the GRHE a lovely little shimmering bar of silver.


The river really seemed to switch on now between noon and 1pm. Fishing through the blue pipe pool, another grayling fell to the charms of the Cochybhonndu a nicer fish around 12” taken just after 12.15 in the next 45 minutes it was decent action another 5 fish 2 grayling and three brownies Cochybhonndu seemed to be the fly to use today as 4 of these fish fell to this fly including a decent stockfish of around 13” who put up a sterling fight before succumbing to the net.


that was about me for the day though. Three and a bit hours a bit of a lull in the early morning maybe down to the cold temperatures but after that there was some decent action to be had.


so nice to be back out on the river though , will do it all again on Saturday maybe have a little look up to Winlaton Mill , there is a fish I have been after for weeks, so he will get some of my attention