Dry fly on the dove.
Waking up on a Saturday as of late, I’m usually met with an overcast sky and windy conditions. So waking up to clear skies with little to no wind made for an easy decision. I’ve been looking forward to a stroll along the dove with my dry fly set up, so that is exactly what I set out to do. Arriving at the river and dodging what seems to be a growing herd of cows each time I go, I began scanning the likely spots. The morning was quiet but around noon things began to pick up and before long a flurry of rises was happening 50 yards below me.
It appeared that who ever was lurking beneath the surface was ambushing olives. Tying on an F-fly I began casting at the closest rising fish. The first drift was met with what seemed a very confident rise, to which I replied with a down stream strike and was greeted with nothing. Second and third drift was a similar story and at this point I was beginning to feel confused. Presuming the fish were rejecting the fly at the last moment, I wondered whether they were spotting the line so scaled down. If this didn’t work then the next process of elimination was to drop the size of the fly. Casting back out I fluffed the cast and slapped the line onto the water, to my surprise the cast was met with a rise. This time I made it count and connected with what seemed a good fish, seconds later the hook pulled and I was back to square one. The rises began slowing down and less drifts were met with a rise. I switched fly which seemed to spice things up and I connected with a fiery little fish which shot off down stream. Upon netting the fish a lot of questions were answered ‘Grayling’.
Derbyshire Wye – Wye not.
On route to the Derbyshire Wye the weather was near perfect apart from the odd gust of wind. Which is a complete different story to the last time I visited where we saw rafts of weed the size of shopping trolleys and water clarity which could only be described as chocolate. Upon arrival it became apparent that the wind was worse here than back home and could prove a problem. Strolling along the banks of the Wye it was clear that the residents were feeding off the surface with the occasional rise and numerous fish visible sitting with their heads up. With Pete being a regular to the Wye he got us off the mark with a couple of stunning browns and a rainbow.
My first Derbyshire Wye Trout.
Moving to a different stretch along the river after putting down some fish due to poor casting, I managed to find a few fish feeding confidently. The rises were frequent with enough room between the fish to try my luck at more than one without spooking another. Casting my dry fly to one of the fish feeding in a slack lane it soon become apparent that what ever he was feeding on, my fly bared no resemblance. Before changing I decided I’d try my luck with a fish that was feeding close to the bank with cover from a sparse bush at the edge of the river. Throwing a tricky over the shoulder side cast whilst balancing on a tuft of grass I worked out my distance before attempting to swing it round and try and tuck in against the bush. First attempt was close but not close enough, expecting to balls it up and stick it in the bush I gave it another go. This time it swung round and landed perfectly in lane, almost instantly it was engulfed in a boil which almost caught me off guard. A quick lift of the rod and I was in, a short fight and the fish was netted by Pete, which banked me my first Derbyshire Wye Trout.
Unfortunately as the day grew old the fishing became harder. The fish were not overly keen on the dry fly’s we had to offer and many a refusal was seen throughout the day. Pete changed tactics and fished the riffled water which looked likely to hold a trout or two and fished on the theory that a rising fish would have less time to inspect the potential food source. His theory worked and bagged him a couple of late afternoon fish before the pressure of being married and needing to return home got the better of both of us. I look forward to returning to the Wye and have already started mulling over when to plan my next visit. One last thing, big thank you to Pete for kindly giving me a guest ticket and taking the time to share his knowledge of the water with me.