Me a Brown trout and a wee red tag

From today the 21st of April I have nine days free from work. I have been given a list of jobs by my better half and today I promised to repaint some skirting boards.
I had every intention of making good on this promise but could not resist checking the forecast for the week ahead.
In my defence the forecast for today was sixteen degrees then seven for the rest of the week.
I considered the consequences of any decision that did not involve a paint brush.
I did not make the sensible decision but I made the one involving me heading to Ebchester to see if I could tempt a trout or two.
I walked down to the lower Ebchester beat below the footbridge and picked a good spot, got comfortable and simply watched the river for any sign of life. After about ten minutes a rising trout taking early Olives caught my eye.
My fist thought was a klinkhammer and as I fished through my fly box for a good Olive imitation my eye was drawn towards a neat row of red tags.
This is my go to fly when Grayling are rising and a favourite of mine so on it went.
The Trout was rising opposite me and the back cast had to be threaded between two trees. In this situation I ignore the forward cast and roughly aiming above the rising fish. The skill is to airiate enough fly line to reach my prey without loosing my fly in the trees.
Im proud to think I’m a canny caster as growing up fishing the Derwent has forced me to improve my technique or spend more time tying replacement flies.
So after my second cast to my first rising trout of the season I only went and caught it.Id like to report it was three pounds but it wasn’t, it was about half a pound and a wild trout to boot. After carefully releasing my prize I sat down to await any further rises but the fishing gods deserted me. I strolled along the bank working my way up to the road bridge without any signs of life. So I found a rock got myself comfortable and took half an hour just watching the river and enjoying what was a glorious spring day.
I bumped into a couple of members and we chatted about the river and we all moaned about the horrible weather we were having and how the early fishing was poor. Quite ironic as we stood in sixteen degrees of sunshine but it’s forcast snow next week and I did promise to get those skirting boards painted.


DAA fishing licence collection

Both senior and junior fishing licences will be available for collection from Hamsterly Colliery post office from Sataurday the 12th of March. Post office hours.
Any problems please contact the membership secretary Ian on 01207 591454.

Catch returns for 2015 season

It’s very useful for the club to have a record of how many fish are being caught on the river, so if you haven’t submitted a paper return for the 2015 season, could we ask all members to complete our online catch return form. We’re not asking how many fish you took from the river – just how many you caught. To take part, go to The survey will be open until 15 April 2016.


New Fishing License Outlet

Licenses are no longer available for collection from Ebchester Village Post Office.

The new outlet is the post office at Hamsterly approx one mile from Ebchester when driving on the same main road towards Rowlands Gill.

The address of the new outlet is Hamsterly Colliery Post Office Victoria Terrace , Hamsterly Colliery.
Post code. NE17 7SJ

There will be no increase in the cost of the licence for the 2016 season for both senior and junior members.

Annual General Meeting

The 2016 annual general meeting of the Derwent Angling Association will be held on Saturday the 27th of February at the crown and cross swords public house Shotley Bridge near Consett at 7pm. All club members are invited and encouraged to attend.
Please come along and support your association

Celebrate 150 years of the DAA with Stuart Crofts

Time is running out for anyone who wishes to join us for the meal to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Derwent Angling Association with guest speaker Stuart Crofts on Saturday 26 September.

Any member wishing to attend please get in touch through the website to book your place for what is certain to be a cracking evening. Due to room size, the first forty people will get a place at the table so don’t hang about.

May fly by the hundreds

It’s on,it’s started in fact its the second week of the May fly hatch and the trout in our little river are dialled right on to them.
Duffers fortnight call it what you will but the best dry fly fishing in the North has started and I would encourage every member to get out and cast a line .

Feedback from members informs us the river is in fine fettle with stocked and wild trout coming to the fly in good numbers.
It’s also great to hear Grayling in more frequent numbers are turning up in catch returns .
Remember all Grayling to be returned with as little handling as possible. A good tip is to unhook them in the net and if you have to handle them wet your hands first.
Tight lines Alan

150 years and counting.

The Derwent Angling Association was formed in 1865 by local people from Shotleybridge and surrounding areas. From its very conception they took on the role of custodians of the river Derwent. Not only to fish it and tend its banks but also to fight polluters and developers from destroying it.
To this very day this ethos holds true and I’m proud to serve on the committee alongside gentlemen who are good friends and share the ideals of our Association.

To give you an idea of the time scale in 1865 the American civil war ended and I’m happy to say both we and America are still going strong.

As the year progresses we hope to add events to the calendar such as our 150th celebration meal with guest speaker Stuart Croffts on the 26th of September.
Any member wishing to attend please contact me through the web sites E mail to book your place for a cracking evening. Due to room size the first fourty people will get a place at the table so don’t hang about.

To learn more about the Association I would encourage you to read its history and articles written by Ian Colborne that are all on the web site and give a rare insight into the history of the Derwent Vally from the Romans to the present day.

150 year celebration badge

I’m happy to confirm the Association have now received the new enamel pin badge celebrating one hundred and fifty years of our history.
The badges are free to all members and many would have collected them at the post office in Ebchester but for those who did not just contact me using the clubs e mail address, shown on this site with your name address and membership number and I will be happy to post one out to you free of charge.
Tight lines , Alan


I’m often asked what flys to use early season .
The obvious old favorites come to mind , hares ears , phesent tailed nymph and the hawthorn fly.
The hawthorn fly is a curious choice as it has nothing to do with the water but with a slight breeze it is blown on the river in its droves and trout soon switch on and take the dry vigorously. When fishing this fly I try not to use floatent as its meant to look waterlogged and disheveled.
Don’t forget to put mends in your fly line as to much drag ruins the presentation. You can read books all day on how to slow drift to be the same pace as the current but nothing beats practice and allow your self time to add your mends before your fly covers the rising trout.
As May fades away Brook Dunns will appear especially on the lower stretches i.e. Linz ford and above.
These wonderful flys look like small May flys and tend to hatch mid day for an hour or so.
Then depending on the weather we end May and enter June when the May fly hatches start.
Ian the membership secretary swears that trout take at least a week to switch on to these floating lunches but once they do its not uncommon to have trout rise to nearly every cast.

The last weeks rain has freshened the river up and the river fishes best with a touch of colour in it. If the rain stays with us and the river continues to rise , head upstream below the reservoir as that’s nearly always fishable when the rest of the river is out of fettle.

You park in the lay-by just before Eddys bridge by the chicken farm and fish down stream crossing over before the water gauge onto the left hand bank looking down stream. You cross over again as you reach Bells wood then tend to stay on the left hand bank to crooked oak. The best way is to just go and fish it with a mate as breaking an ankle up their on your own is not recommended.

If you have a cracking day E mail us and we will add your merry tale to the sight.

tight lines, Alan