Cressbrook & Litton Flyfishers – Autumn 2017 Newsletter

What’s in a name?

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Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of our merger with the Monsal Dale Fishery, which to me seems no more than the blink of an eye. As I got to know the upper beats it struck me that most of these had named pools, whilst the lower beats were somewhat lacking in this respect. Those we do have, such as the Ram Dam, Twin Pools, Bathing Pool etc are few and far between and on speaking to members, I found that not everyone knew where they were. It was only when I walked the river with Chris Dore this Autumn that I found out where the latter is!

Next year is my final year as President and as a contribution to the Club I would like to formally name the pools along beats 5 to 8 and produce for each member a pocket sized map of each beat indicating these pools. An electronic version could also be published. To do this I need your help. If you have some favourite pools please let me know and suggest some names for our consideration. I can be contacted on 07970 682082.

Chris Austin


The total of fish caught to the end of the trout season was 11,966, of which 69% were browns, 30% rainbows and 1% grayling. This figure does not include the Day Ticket fishery. Of the trout, 2,460 (21%) were marked (which is remarkable considering only 1,500 were put in) and shows that a high percentage of fish stocked are caught more than once and many successfully overwinter. The new online system shows that the average number of fish caught per visit was 6, the average duration of a visit was 3.35 hours and the average number of fish caught per hour 1.85.

DR PAUL BROWN: 1956 – 2017

Dr Paul Brown

Paul Brown was the kindest of men and the finest of angling companions. “PB” to his many friends, he brightened up even the most hopeless day on the river. His infectious enthusiasm and boyish glee at our great good fortune to be going fishing never dimmed over many years. Whether pursuing wily Derbyshire Wye trout or mighty salmon on the Kola Peninsula and Norway, Paul always believed today was going to be the day. Spring days on Tweed, Summer days and nights on Spey and Dee, Autumn on the Teviot, Paul was the complete angler. We shared trips to Tierra del Fuego and British Columbia chasing, and occasionally catching, the fish of our dreams. In March this year we fished on Tweed at Lower North Wark. Fishing like a true gentleman with a single barbless hook, Paul hooked and lost 3 fish in a very short space of time. “Now you might pass me a treble please Pete” said Paul, laughing as ever at his own misfortune. This was Paul. Understated, calm, seeing the funny side of things with hope never diminished. A late Autumn day on Sunlaws and Paul was upriver fishing into the early darkness. We waited in anticipation of his arrival at the hut. “How was it PB?” we asked. He held aloft 5 fingers unable to put into words his remarkable afternoon’s fishing.

Humility as always from a man with so little to be humble about. Paul was a family man and all round sportsman. By profession a GP, he was loved by all those whose lives he touched. Married to his beloved Jane for 37 years, he said he was the luckiest of men to have such a happy family life and was so proud of his boys, Mike, Dave and Steve. He became ill almost 2 years ago. Every round of tests and consultations brought more and more bad news. But herein is the essence of the man. He never once allowed himself any self pity or dwelt on his misfortune. When asked about each new set of results he would just say “Well it’s not the best …”. Paul was the bravest man we ever knew. His care and concern for others remained his guiding principle, even up to his death on 7th August. At times the trials and tribulations of our lives can threaten to overwhelm us. In this context fishing can seem such a trivial pursuit but when it brings a person like Paul Brown into our lives it is indeed a wonderful gift. We shared the best of times and the happiest of memories. We will remember Paul every time we fish. Sadness will give way to warm memories and he will still be there with us, a truly lovely man and the very finest of us.
Shaun O’Shea

Typical of the man, Paul left instructions that half of the collection at his funeral be given to the Wild Trout Trust to fund a suitable project on the Cressbrook & Litton waters of the Derbyshire Wye. This amounted to £900 and we are presently considering several ideas. His ashes will be scattered by the river and a tree planted in his memory.


Chris Pryor writes – “It is with sadness that I report the passing of one of our erstwhile members, Joyce Frost. Joyce was a gregarious and enthusiastic angler all the way into her eighties, a model we should envy. I never fished with Joyce but enjoyed her company at many winter event evenings, particularly the Salmon & Trout Association, as it then was. Joyce fished many rivers as a member of C&LFFC, DCAC and Chatsworth but her heart was in fishing still waters, in particular Ogston Reservoir with her husband Arthur’’. Her son Steve Frost writes – “ Mum and Dad took to fly fishing after their first holiday in Scotland in the early 1970s. They spent several holidays staying at what became their favourite, Kenmore Hotel, at the end of Loch Tay. Their shared passion was particularly helpful when Dad passed away in 1992. I don’t think she would have carried on so long without the continuous stimulation from fishing that captivated her. She always looked forward to her fishing days and often commented how much she enjoyed meeting up ‘ with all those young men!’ ”


Prawn Patia


Serves 2: Serve with boiled Basmati rice or moong dal
8oz frozen shelled uncooked king prawns, defrosted
2 large onions, finely chopped
5 green chillies, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
75ml sunflower oil
1 tin chopped Italian tomatoes
1.5 teaspoons of tamarind sauce
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
Small bunch coriander leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
0.5 teaspoon ground turmeric Salt

Heat the sunflower oil and fry the onions until translucent and only just starting to brown. Remove from the heat.
Mix the tomato puree, cumin, coriander, chilli, garam masala and turmeric powders into a paste.
Put the pan back on a moderate heat Stir fly the spice paste with the onions until the oil is bright red, about 1 minute.

Add the green chillies, ginger and garlic, stir for 2 minutes Add the chopped tomatoes, tamarind sauce, sugar and half of the chopped coriander leaves Add 100ml water, bring to the boil and simmer the curry sauce until it is as thick as tomato ketchup The sauce can be prepared beforehand to this point.When ready to serve bring the sauce to the boil, add the defrosted prawns and cook until pink and tender, this will only take a few minutes, don’t overcook them or they will become tough. Check for seasoning and salt to taste, garnish with the remaining chopped coriander leaves. This is a hot curry; adjust the number of green chillies to suit your taste.
Bon appetit!



Richard Mudford, my good friend and Wye fishing companion of twenty years, sadly passed away recently and since then I have been thinking what I might do to preserve his memory on his beloved river. I obviously thought of a seat but seats rot away. I wanted something that would stand the test of time. Then I remembered a pool, two corners down from the Bobbin Mill, where Richard always had the uncanny knack of coaxing a plump brownie to his Parachute Adams, even on the most difficult days. This was his “banker” pool and we often referred to this unnamed spot as Mudford’s Corner. I approached the Committee with a request to formally name this pool and was delighted that they unanimously agreed with my proposal. A suitable sign will be erected in due course on the high bank above the pool, proclaiming it to be Richard’s pool for all time. All I wish is that members might spend a moment of reflection at this quiet pool and spare a thought for those departed treasured friends, who, like us, have cast a fly over these hallowed waters in times gone by.
Philip Spi$ane

As the President points out on the front page beats 5 to 8 have relatively few named pools and would like members to come up with suggestions to remedy this. If you have a favourite pool and would like to see it immortalized, then please let him know.



Just before the end of the season, Chris Thirtle and his partner Nicky Loveday once again hosted this popular event to raise money for MacMillan Nurses and local charities. Thanks to their efforts and the generosity of members we raised over £500 and it would certainly have been a lot more had bad weather not kept people away.

Hook – Partridge CZF s14, 16 & 18, or similar.
Thread – Unithread 8/0 colour to compliment the dubbing used.
Underbody – Fine lead wire built up to produce the familiar shrimp profile.
Front and rear appendages – prepared CDC feathers
Rib – Olive coloured mono or similar (around 0.13mm diameter)
Back – Any shrimp back material of a colour to complement the dubbing used.
Dubbing – CDC feather fibres roughly cut, in pale tan/olive to best copy the colour of the shrimps living in the waters you fish.

The tying sequence for this fly is:
• Start the thread behind the hook eye and work down to about 3mm short of where you intend the
end of the completed fly to be (this is to provide the space for tying in other materials).
• Lift in and secure the first length of lead wire along the back of the hook to about 3mm before the
hook eye (again to provide space for tying in other materials).
• Add two or three other lengths of lead wire on top of the first, each one shorter than the previous
to give the classic shrimp profile.
• At this point (and this stage is optional) you can tie off the fly and remove the hook from the vice.
Super Glue can then be applied to firm up the thread and wire matrix. Allow it to fully dry before
returning it to the vice and restarting the thread.
• Cut a thin tapered strip of back material and tie in at the rear of the hook (about 3mm after the
end of the lead wire).
• Take two good sized CDC feathers, snip out the tips and strip off the bulk of the fibres (save these
for later), leaving 2 or 3 on each side. Lift in the feather at the rear of the dressing to create the rear
• Move the thread to the eye of the hook and tie in the second prepared CDC feather for the front
appendages (these are optional).
• With the thread back at the rear of the hook the rib can now be tied in.
• Dub the thread with the waste CDC fibres and work up to the eye end of the hook.
• Lift over the back material and secure with ribbing.
• Tie off the fly and pull out bits of CDC fibre to give a leggy effect and, if necessary, nip of to length
the front and rear appendages.

Attributes of the fly plus notes:
• For those days when only a good copy of a shrimp will do!
• To get the fly deeper either add a dropper with a heavier sacrificial fly or add a split shot to a
dropper (while obviously conforming to fishery rules).


I have just returned from a three week fishing trip in Montana with my son. We realised that a trip in October would be a big risk because the main hatches of Drakes, Mayflies, Caddis and terrestrials would be over, except perhaps on the Firehole, where hot springs keep the water temperature up. However, we were confident that there would be tiny Baetis and midges on offer. As is well known, Baetis like it cool, damp and overcast. They also like strong winds, freezing temperatures, snow and sleet. Unfortunately, we got mostly the latter. Fortunately, we were lucky to witness some magnificent Baetis hatches, lasting up to four hours with 45 degrees fahrenheit swings in maximum daytime temperatures, not uncommon in the Autumn. We also discovered what our guide called “The Disneyland of Fly Fishing”, the Missouri River below

man with fish

Hauser Dam and the Upper Holter Lake below. We landed over 30 rainbows in the day, over 20 of which were between 18 and 23 inches. The area is referred to as “The Land of Giants”. The less common browns grow even bigger but we didn’t land any. Nothing very sophisticated was required. The rainbows enter the river in October to feed on brown trout eggs so the normal set up is a chartreuse egg pattern, hair rig style, trailing a small scud. In the lake it was another two-nymph rig with a s10 stonefly trailing various s14 nymphs. In both cases the fish took around half of each. The fly that caught our best fish , without the assistance of the guide, was a very simple fly that might be effective on the Wye. I shall certainly be giving it a try next season. It was clear from the rise forms in the inside of the seams and in the slicks that the fish were taking both emergers and the winged stages of the tiny s22 and s24 BWOs . The hatches were so heavy that the fish wouldn’t move an inch to take a fly. During the frequent and prolonged wind gusts it appeared that fish had difficulty taking the flies on the surface so were concentrating on the emergers. Rather than spend a lot of cash on the wide variety of small emerging nymphs available locally, my son roughly chopped off three quarters of the wing of s20 olive F Fly with the scissors of his miniature Swiss Army knife.

fishing fly

I don’t fish the F Fly very often these days. I recall that the fly in question was purchased more than 10 years ago by Allan Redfern, direct from Kenya for two dollars a dozen.


Barry Markham

I first applied to join the Cressbrook & Litton Flyfishers Club in 2010, and was pleased t o be accepted as a full member this year. I live both in Battle near Hastings and Wells-next-the -Sea in Norfolk, so either way it’s a very long drive to the riverside, and each fishing trip is very special. Once the season started, I wanted to understand the whole river as quickly as possible, so I decided to walk and fish all eight beats on the first visit. The following are some initial thoughts about my first impression of the river.

Friday 7th April 2017

I drove from home to the river, arriving at mid-day. After speaking to Head River Keeper Chris Dore, decided to start at the first weir on Beat 8. I crossed over to the true right hand side of the river and ceremoniously placed a small Parachute Adams in the first weir. Over the next hour or so I landed 3 Rainbow and a Grayling on dry fly, and lost a handful more, all on either an Adams, a CDC F-Fly or a very small Double Badger. Fishing up to the Bobbin Mill, I moved my car to The New Bridge car park and continued fishing Beat 8 and onto Beat 7. The temperature dropped and the fish completely switched off. By 7pm I arrived at the Locked Bridge car park, ready for a cup of strong coffee and a biscuit. Having been a member of the Peacock Hotel stretch of the Wye for 12 years, Beat 8 reminded me of the lower parts of the Wye, and represented familiar fishing. Beat 7 contained a significant number of riffles and pools, and I can understand why it is so popular, with lovely water, plenty of fly life and easy fishing. A wonderful introduction to the river, but perhaps I should have tried a nymph to catch more.

Saturday 8th April 2017

In the Locked Bridge Car Park, I bumped into a husband and wife who were just starting to fish (sorry I’m useless with names but thank you). I was made to feel most welcome as a new member, and I was given helpful suggestions on where to catch fish. They recommended a very small Klink, which I later remembered to good effect. I left them on Beat 7 and worked upstream, fishing with a small Elk Hair Sedge dry fly, which took a beautiful brace of wild brownies. Beat 5 produced a wonderful brownie in the weir below the waterfall. I had followed earlier advice and changed to a Klink (Partridge size 24 15BN Klinkhamer) tied with green hackle and thin green tail. Beat 5 produced another great wild brownie on a size 18 Adams. As I had fished the ‘Day Ticket’ water many times before, I only stopped at the very sharp bend before the main upstream weir to cast to a rising fish. Failing to tempt him, I waded out and tried a black bead headed Pheasant Tail Nymph. He took the nymph first cast, and I landed a monster! However, I hadn’t accounted for a river bed made of ice or perhaps slippery clay! Both feet headed skywards and I landed on my bum, allowing my waist waders to fill with water – yuk. By later afternoon I was fishing through Beat 3, where I took several good fish on a variety of dry flies, finally arriving at Duffers pool at 5:45. A quick cup of coffee and biscuit to revive flagging body made me realise that I had to walk back! I reached my car at Locked Bridge Car Park at 8pm having fished Beats 7/6/5/4/3.

The variation in the water throughout those beats is astonishing. Beat 6 has some amazing riffles where hungry wild browns snatch small flies from the surface, and lazy glides where stockies hunt for big dry fly patterns. Beat 5 is odd, with Monsal Lake leading to the viaduct providing home for some huge stocked fish, yet some lovely weirs where wild fish provide super sport. The fish in Beat 4 around Cressbrook Lake and above were up on the surface and keen to take almost anything from the surface. I’ll admit to skipping much of Beat 3, although there are lots of opportunities to hunt fish taking surface flies.

Sunday 9th April 2017

Parking in Duffers, I started fishing upstream on Beat 2. Nothing was rising, and I took only one large Rainbow in a deep pool on a heavy nymph. Whist the scenery was astonishing, I was not expecting the mountain climb around the gorge, which I’ll confess to finding difficult in waders and boots. Then suddenly the fish switched on. I took brownie after brownie on a variety of dry flies – Parachute Adams, Griffiths Gnat , Small Klink Emerger and CDC Sedge. The water was alive with fish, and I had a wonderful few hours. I reached Blackwell Mill at 2pm and after a coffee and biscuit, started walking back to Duffers. On the way I caught a couple of stockies cruising the flat water, arriving at 4pm. I hadn’t yet learnt about the Monsal Dale Trail shortcut back to Millers’ Dale.

So that was the end of my first fishing experience of the Cressbrook & Litton Derbyshire Wye. Although I spent more time walking than fishing, I learnt a huge amount about the river in a very short time. I really enjoyed Beats 1 and 2, with the beautiful wild brownies, and the incredible terrain. These two beats offer the opportunity to catch large numbers of wild fish in lovely surroundings. Anyone fishing this water must be impressed with the beauty of the surroundings and feel extremely privileged, even allowing for the huge number of ramblers and day trippers. Beats3 and 4 offers varied water with some big fish, albeit a great many stockies. I’m sure time spent on Beats 3 and 4 would reveal some hidden secrets and produce large numbers of fish on a dry fly. Bright sunlight would help to spot feeding fish, and I was constantly surprised by the number of fish feeding in the upper water column. It’s not always the easiest of water to fish, but I understand why they are the favourite beats of many members. Beat 5 was unusual, with a massive area of still water and a couple of lovely weirs.The relatively still water below the viaduct holds huge stockies. I generally tend to fish the riffles, but a light dry floated gently along the edge of the reeds produced really good fish, Beat 6 is popular and rightly so. The fishing is beautiful and productive. It has a wonderful combination of riffles, glides and deep pools. I’m not much of a nympher, but I could imagine monsters hiding in those depths waiting for a well-placed nymph. Beat 7 has a huge number of fast water swims, where large numbers of wild fish hold station. Although I didn’t catch many fish, the catch returns show that members regularly notch up significant numbers. Beat 8 would appear to hold some big fish and a large head of Grayling. The fishing is easy and great for those who don’t want to walk far. Although it will be many years before I know the water well, it was a good start. My only problem on subsequent visits is choosing which Beat to fish!


Joyce Frost
Joyce Frost, who passed away on 2 November, with her Grandson.


Chris Dore reports that once again the river is free from Himalayan Balsam. No plants have been seen on the river for several years now. The Buxton Tip, which was the source of the original infestation, has been checked several times and remains clear. There is a small patch on the railway line but someone from Network Rail is regularly clearing it. There are still no signs of crayfish on our water and neither have any been found on Buxton Flyfishers’ beats, although they are resident above their water. Rather worryingly though, they have now been found in Bakewell. We will do some experimental trapping next year to keep an eye on things. It seems that the Demon Shrimp has now reached the Dove, making it even more important that you practice the Check Clean Dry procedures on our tackle and waders if you fish on other rivers.
During the Summer we lost a number of very large trees due to high winds and wet ground. Fortunately our keepers were able to deal with them quickly with minimum disruption to fishing.

A new ‘Percival’ is being constructed behind the Hut at Duffers. At the keepers request – no number twos please! A new gas bottle storage cage has also been installed in the bushes nearby.

Next year, instead of dye marking the stock fish we will be trialling a tagging system. Hopefully this will be less stressful for both fish and keepers and should save us several hundred pounds. The tags will be attached at the base of the dorsal fin and will be much easier to see than the blue dots. The stock fish have been of excellent quality due to our keepers being able to pre select the best. Once again, members are urged to kill only marked or tagged fish.

2017 saw an unprecedented increase in the number of poaching incidents. Fortunately our keepers have been well up to the challenge and with the help of the police (well, most of the time!) have seen successful outcomes in over 30 incidents.

Andy Middleton and Simon Lidster have taken on the responsibility for our Riverfly Surveys and are now looking for volunteers to assist them. If you would like to get involved please contact Andy on 07803 137843.

Phil Tidey has a virtually complete set of Trout & Salmon magazines from 1996 to the present day, which reluctantly he has to dispose of. He would hate to send them to recycling so he offers them, free of charge, to members. If anyone is interested please call Phil on 01978 790657.
He will be happy to arrange to meet up at a convenient location.


20 January 2018
Stuart Crofts fly tying Masterclass at Ashford Memorial Hall

17 February 2018
Don Stazicker fly tying Masterclass at Ashford Memorial Hall

10 March 2018
Stuart Crofts fly tying Masterclass at Ashford Memorial Hall

6 March 2018
Annual General Meeting & Dinner at Hassop Hall

18 March 2018
Opening Day

29 June 2018
Bugs & Burgers Evening

7 October 2018
Closing Day

6 November 2018
End of Season Dinner at Hassop Hall

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