2011: the season so far

June has arrived and with very little rain until the last few days the river has been low but fishing very well. It’s at times like these that the minimum compensation water flow from the Derwent Reservoir is vital, as other rivers are really suffering and need rain and lots of it (words you don’t often hear in the North East!).

The early season Olive hatches were truly outstanding, giving excellent sport on unusually mild spring days. This was quickly followed by the biggest hatch of Hawthorn flies I have ever witnessed. These flies hatch on land but end up on the water in their thousands as they are pretty lousy flyers and even worse navigators and the fish swiftly lock on to them.

The Mayfly season was a little hit and miss depending on the time of day, but seemed more extensive in the wild trout area of the Derwent above Allensford.

Fish on the wild side
I would encourage members to explore the upper regions of the river as the scenery and wild life are outstanding. The fish may not be big but they are plentiful and canny little fighters and involve an entire different approach to catch them. The trick is to fish the pocket water, in front of or behind large rocks; if you think it could hold a fish, it probably will. The most useful method is fishing New Zealand style, or ‘klink and dink’ as some call it. If you’re not sure what this method involves, I will try to explain, so here goes:

Take between four and eight feet (whatever you’re comfortable with – experiment to see what works) of leader (tapered if you wish but not essential), add a dropper 16 to 18 inches from the end of the tippet and attach your Klinkhammer. Then add a beaded nymph of approximately size 16 to 18 (the size will to some extent depend on what your Klinkhammer can support). Good patterns for this are hares’ ears, pheasant-tailed nymphs and, of course, the Mary.

Alternatively, put the Klink on the point and tie 12 to 16 inches of tippet off the bend of the Klink’s hook to allow the nymph to hang below the dry fly.

Now add floatant to the Klink and flick the flies into fast water, wherever you find it. Look for the back eddies and seams between fast and slow water as fish don’t waste energy; use tungsten beads on nymphs if you want to go deeper. Try different colour beads – copper, silver, gold and black. In fact, try any colour – if it works, make loads and drop a few off to me!

It’s all about experimentation and what works for you but remember it’s wild and difficult going, especially in the Derwent gorge (The Sneep) so take someone with you or at least tell someone where you’re going in case you have an accident because if you break an ankle up there you might as well be half way up Everest, with no phone signal and no one to hear you scream. So be safe.

The Klink and dink method is also deadly throughout the entire length of the river when fishing warm summer days as big fish will hold in the fast water as it’s where the food and oxygen is.

Guided days
The club’s membership secretary has in the past taken members to these wild areas and anyone who has been along on one of these trips will know all about his skill and experience, which are second to none. Ian is still happy to take full members and day ticket holders out but will now charge £25 for a half day and £50 for the full day. If you wish to understand the area and how to fish it safely, it’s money well spent.

The reason for the cost is that Ian takes holidays and time off work to able to guide members and in the current economic climate needs to at least partially replace that loss of income.

Ian recently took Will Rundle from Fish Legal to fish on the wild side and he commented: “I normally count the fish I catch but today I did not, I was so engrossed in the fishing and the scenery and hanging on to the advice given by Ian who was an excellent guide and companion for the day.” For an idea of the experience, see www.derwentangling.co.uk/charity-day-on-the-river-for-grace-house.

Anyone wishing to fish on the wild side should contact Ian on 01207 591454 to book a place.

The river has now received its second of three stockings and these fish have proved excellent sport and are rising freely to a well presented dry fly.

Senior competition
The senior competition this year is on 26 June (see www.derwentangling.co.uk/senior-competition-2011 for more details) and I look forward to seeing you there. There are prizes for first, second and third places as well as for the biggest fish, so come along, have some fun and meet your fellow members.

Club hats and clothing with new logo
The club have recently placed an order for baseball caps, polo shirts and sweat shirts with the club logo on them. The quality of these garments is much improved since the last garments we had made so don’t miss out. Pictures of these items will soon be on the website to view will be sold to members at cost. For orders and to find out what’s available, call John Douglas on 01207 500 314.

Wild Trout Trust
The association have recently received the new report from the Wild Trout Trust detailing work we will be carrying out on the river in the near future. This will allow wild trout and grayling to move more freely between the upper and lower Derwent. This work will be funded by the club using the compensation money won by Fish Legal for the pollution of the Derwent in 2009. Any members wishing to get involved in these projects please email us through the website with your details. A copy of the WTT report will be added to the website soon.

If there are any club members who are not already on the mailing list and who would like to be, please sign up at www.derwentangling.co.uk/mailing-list so we can keep you all up to date with competitions and guest speakers. We promise not to fill your mailbox up with junk and it goes without saying that we won’t be selling your email address to anyone either. We won’t be mailing you very often either, probably no more than a few times a year.

Enjoy the rest of the season and remember if you catch a decent fish, let us know as nothing has been weighed in yet for the biggest fish!

Alan Farbridge, Club Secretary

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