Guiding Service

My guiding services are now available to assist fly fishermen on both game and coarse rivers. I'd be happy to advise and arrange your special day anywhere from one of Derbyshires finest trout and grayling rivers to your own local coarse river. Email Mick Martin for details and options. Please copy and paste into your own email

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Oakamoor (River Churnet)

Today I fished the Churnet at Oakamoor, which proved a very interesting day - starting with this beauty pictured below. This is the infamous Egg Box (incubation box), used to restock the river by placing trout eggs in the bottom with a layer of gravel on top. Water is running through the box constantly, courtesy of the green pipe attached with some sort of flow regulator. When the eggs hatch they feed off their own yolk sack at first, but then they go searching up through the gravel to the light, in search of food. They then get sucked out of the outlet pipes - drop into the gutter leading them into a small oasis, which runs a short distance before reaching the river. If you're really patient you can see them sliding down the gutter into the stream which was truly fascinating for me.

Now for the fishing, the first thing that strikes you is the brown tinge to the water, which I'm told is not unusual for the Churnet, especially after serious flooding. It wasn't long before I started to imagine the sound of banjo's as I slowly followed the winding river into the wilderness. Peace and tranquility is reached instantly, even before Eastwall Farm is out of sight the silence really strikes you, so finding the zone was really easy. I thoroughly enjoyed my days fishing, and although no grayling showed, I would imagine the trout fishing in summer is spectacular. I have spoken to LADFFA members who tend to avoid this venue out of trout season, but I couldn't wait that long to explore this stretch of the Churnet, I fancied a new venue today and at least I'm better prepared for next time - in the spring. I used a 9ft rod and managed fine, but I wouldn't recommend anything longer than that, anything shorter (7-9ft) would be fine. Although the banks are very high in places, there are many places to get in and out of the river. I should also mention that you will definately need waders to cross over banks at certain spots, and also to get into prefered positions, that's if you want to get the best from fishing the Churnet.

A good way down the stretch, a chunk of bank containing a tree had fallen across the river and created a damn of LWD (large woody debris) with only a little waste (plastic bags and bottles). This Damn seriously killed the flow of the river, and the silt seemed to be settling downstream of it, although I'm no expert, I think it will need addressing so I'll contact someone at LADFFA. Roll on summer, as with plenty of upwings on the breeze, this stretch could be close to paradise for me.

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