Cressbrook & Litton Flyfishers
13 May 2013
Low water continued up to the end of April, with one or two showers failing to make any impression on the river, which remained gin clear.Strong winds persisted, making accurate casting a trial. Despite the unpromising conditions, there were some good hatches of Spring Olives, particularly in the New Bridge to Locked Bridge area. I bumped into John Glynn and Carl Brumby on the last Sunday of April, both packing up after a challenging but rewarding day. They had enjoyed good sport with the Olives, Carl with the IOBO Humpy and John with a CDC Emerger, that he’d tied up after a frustrating session the week before. The dressing is as follows:
Hook: TMC 200R size 20
Tying thread: Danville Spider Web
Tails: Olive dyed cock hackle fibres
Body: Veniard olive CDC, corded up and wound on (trim off straggly bits)
Thorax: Underfur from an olive dyed Elk Hair patch (the stuff we usually comb out and throw away) brushed out to give an impression of legs
Wing: Bushy natural CDC looped and doubled
In John’s words:
“Here is the brownie I caught last Sunday (21st) in the tail of the Locked Bridge Pool
on a CDC Dun at 3.00 p.m. The day was almost identical to conditions today (28th)with the wind again proving to be a hindrance. LDOs started around mid day and came in pulses. When the hatch stopped the fish went own and as soon as it started again the fish were straight on them and most pools had rising fish. I would say the hatch finished about 3.30 p.m. This fish put up a tremendous scrap and was in perfect condition. There seem to be lots of good sized quality fish around this year and most anglers I’ve met have confirmed this.” “Here is the rainbow I caught today(28th) in the head of the small pool above the new steps near the memorial bench. Several good fish were moving to LDOs right on the point of emergence in the meniscus. They wouldn’t look at anything else, even the dun. These were extremely picky fish . After the previous week I’d tied up some small CDC Loop Wing Emergers and this proved to be what the fish were looking for. I took five fish from the pool but presentation was difficult because of the troublesome wind. This was pretty much sight fishing and trying to place the fly in front of a specific fish was a challenge to say the least. Very enjoyable though and it’s great to be out after such a pig of a winter”. Warren Cookson also enjoyed a successful Monsal Dale expedition a few days later, in
the company of Andy Middleton. Again, I can’t put it better than Warren: We had a very pleasant three hours fishing in the wild section in Monsal Dale (Beat 6), accounting for eleven fish between us, the best being a rainbow of 2 lbs. All the fish.
took a size 16 Quill Bodied nymph with a dark 2mm tungsten bead. I have also been adding a single 2mm shot about six inches from the fly to get it down. I have recently acquired a 10ft three weight Streamflex which, coupled with a new long tapered French leader, is a delight to wield! This particular fly has been a real eye opener for me and I haven’t changed the fly at all in the last three outings. It is ideal for this low, clear water.” There are quite a few versions of this pattern. Warren’s is tied as follows:
Hook: Size 16 barbless fine wire
Thread: Olive Uni Thread 8/0
Bead Head: Dark tungsten bead 1.5 – 2.00 mm
Tails: A pinch of hackle fibres (any)
Under-Body: Tying thread built up towards thorax
Body: Natural or olive stripped Peacock Eye quill over a light covering of super glue.
Thorax: Hends Spectra Dubbing No. 22
It was Bank Holiday Monday before I could get on the river again, by which time the level was as low as I’ve ever seen it up in Millers Dale. The sun was shining, the leaves were bursting out and the birds were singing. It was great to be on the water again even though the prospects were not looking good. I had the river to myself (apart from hordes of walkers) so, ignoring the usual suspects in Duffers, I concentrated on the faster riffles where my little CDC Olive brought up a succession of beautiful wild rainbows. Most of them seemed to be yearlings and fortunately they managed to shake themselves off more often than not. There was very little fly life about, although the Spotted Flycatcher in the pool below Lenzini’s seemed to be getting plenty. As I reached the top of Lenzini’s, I could see several small children playing on the big branch that goes across the river, just below where the Sandyford Spring comes in. My annoyance was momentary – I would have been doing exactly the same when I was their age. By the time I reached Sandyford they had gone, and fish were rising where they had been playing! When I reached the Highland Stream I put on an Olive Klinkhamer to provide more of a mouthful in the faster water. Every hole held a fish but it wasn’t until I reached the section where the bank has collapsed that I found the bigger fish, right on the edge of the fastest runs.
Some very welcome rain came on the 10th which lifted the river a couple of centimetres. It looked quite tasty on the 11th when we welcomed the President for his first day on the river this season. Also with us, fishing as a guest of Peter Hayes, was internationally acclaimed fly fishing photographer, David lambroughton. It turned out to be quite a cool, showery day, the sort of conditions you might expect to favour Iron Blues. They didn’t put in an appearance whilst I was fishing but there were plenty of Medium Olives on show and fish were taking them quite readily. A Baetis Cripple was very effective for these chaps, with a Baetis Nymph for the fish downstairs.Peter Hayes, David Lambroughton, Don Stazicker and the President
Looking forward to the remainder of May, I’m still hoping to see the Hawthorns at some point. We should continue to have good hatches of Medium Olives and Olive Uprights and of course the Greendrake should start to show during the last week, provided of course that the late Spring doesn’t delay proceedings. The first of the caddis should start to put in an appearance and look out also for the Yellow Sallies, which should be on the water around the same time as the Mayfly.