Cressbrook & Litton Flyfishers
30 September 2013
For me, September has always been the best of fishing months. In the early days of Grafham Water the last two weeks of the month would draw me like a magnet to those fantastic fry-feeding rainbows. And on the river, there is always the promise of some bigger fish as they start to feed heavily on the resurgent hatches of olives and stoneflies, in anticipation of the rigours of spawning. It came as a shock then, as I filled in my fishing journal, to find that I’d fished on just one September day this season.
Admittedly, it was a beautiful late September day, but the river was painfully low and fish were generally glued to the bottom. My guest Bob had forgotten his reel, so I lent him mine and rigged up the Tenkara for myself. We started at the Bobbin Mill, Bob going upstream whilst I went down to the first bend. I probably should have started with the nymph but I reasoned that there would be plenty of time for that caper during the forthcoming grayling months. And anyway, I’d seen a fish or two rise as I walked down to the cow drink at the first bend. I had on from a previous visit a smallish Light Tan Klinkhamer, which seemed as good a choice as any in the absence of a hatch. Putting into practice some of the tips I’d gleaned from the Tenkara Day, manipulating the fly and so on, I was soon playing a grayling which had sucked the fly down with very little disturbance. More fish came to the same tactic, but they were quite hard to come by.
I wandered up above the weir to see how Bob was doing. He’d opted for this section because he was a bit unsteady on his feet and reluctant to wade. He didn’t realize the challenge he’d set himself. The Magnificent Seven were all at home of course, doing what they do best – driving the angler to distraction! He’d tried every fly in his box, all subsequently inspected in great detail and found wanting. I suggested he might like to try one of my s22 CDC Beetles, with the peacock black Ice Dub body While he was tying this on I couldn’t resist having go for a brownie, which was lying just under the surface, no more than a rod’s length out from the bench where we sat. I flicked the Klink ahead of him, and suffered the usual contemptuous rejection. The next run down I gave the fly the merest hint of a vibration as it approached. Bang! The fish had it without hesitation, much to Bob’s irritation!
I took him up to the cow drink, where there was still a bit of current from the tail of Magpie Sough, persuaded him to get in and fish up the seam close to the bank and left him to it. I went down to the deep hole below the Weir, which I call the Aquarium. There were plenty of fish in view, most of them well down and unlikely to come up for a dry. However, there was one good fish, a rainbow of around 2 lbs, which was on station in the tail of the main flow, about three feet down. I tottered down to the tree, which afforded some cover, then licked the Klink across the current. Drag immediately took the fly under. I worked it with the rod tip, just sub surface, in six inch spurts. It hadn’t gone more than a foot or two when the fish nailed it. As it swam around in ever decreasing circles, its colleagues came up to see what all the fuss was about and I can tell you that there are fish in that hole of Icelandic proportions. It was at this point that I started to think about how I was going to land this fish. I always think true anglers never worry too much about this – we just try to cross this bridge if we are lucky enough to get there! On this occasion, the fish obligingly let go before I had to put myself at risk of a headlong plunge into the pool. Not too disappointing with this fish but it would have been a different matter had it been a 6 pounder! By the way, Bob took a nice fish from the cow drink on that little Beetle.
Reports of more good fish from Beat 6 in the Dale keep coming in. Steve Langan had two really good rainbows in quick succession from the same pool on a s14 Klinkhamer, the one to the left around 5 lbs and the other not much smaller. Tony Goodwin also had some good fish recently, topped by two wonderfully conditioned brownies from Beats 7 & 8, both taken on a s20 IOBO Humpy Variant, 22 and 24 inches respectively. Tony said “ I believe these fish were fish of a lifetime from a Derbyshire stream and we are truly blessed to have access to fishing of this quality. To be lucky enough to hook this stamp of trout in successive weeks is more than I could have dreamed of.”Peter Hayes was up recently with his friend Owain Mealing and they enjoyed some very good sport, including the very nice brown above.
A few housekeeping matters:
I’ve heard back from the Blackwell Residents Association regarding parking. They want to have the spaces for themselves as they all have two cars now. They are not interested in talking to us about any of the alternative arrangements I suggested so reluctantly we have to accept this. They are prepared to let the keepers use the car park however. For the rest of us it’s Shanks’s Pony I’m afraid!The Committee would be interested in hearing from this year’s new members on their impressions of the Club and the fishing they have experienced. If they could drop me an email I would love to hear from them. I’d be happy to hear from any of you for that matter!
The leaves are turning & grayling time is upon us.