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

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Howden / Derwent

Today I fished Howden/Derwent Reservoirs and although I'd had some information off the infamous Richard Ward, I was definitely in for a few suprises. The 1st shock was when I received a can of WD-40 along with a bunch of keys - to free off the padlocks that need to be opened as I made my way around the ressies! Not a single brother of the wangle had fished there this year, which was like arriving at the final frontier! The scenery was breathtaking as I made the long journey up to Howden, and the power and size of the dams was really impressive, and combined with the 1st real day of summer I was already half way to heaven.

On studying the water, I quickly realised that these lovely wild browns I'd heard about were happily rising all around. Forget the nymphs, it was going to be a traditional dry fly day - and finding what they were taking wasn't going to be easy. After whipping through a dozen flies I was becoming frustrated, and although I managed a couple of half takes, these were few and far between and I felt miles away from matching the hatch. One problem about fishing a venue like this was holding concentration, especially when you feel there's a remote chance that you might spot a Yeti or a bear sneaking up on you! The fact that I forgot I was supposed to be fishing now and then was very rare for me ,which proved what a fantastic place I was lucky enough to be in. With my mind wondering I spotted a few beetle like creatures and it occured to me that in flight they appeared to have huge ginger wings. "What the hell" I thought, and tried a ginger hackled traditional - which proved the key to my success. Almost instantly these immaculate browns were snatching with some real conviction, and I was proud to have unlocked the door and bring these wild browns to my net.

These browns were not only among the best looking fish I had ever caught, but their power for their size was unbelievable, and I was truly in stillwater heaven. I clearly remember telling myself every time they crashed on the surface and my line tightened, that flyfishing cannot get much better than this. The water has a peaty brown tinge but I would still recommend using stealthy tactics, which brings me to my health warning: As I crept my way through some reeds to reach some rising trout, I got a surprise greeting of a couple of geese, the mother jumped to attention, opened her wings and hissed in a threatening manner, I froze long enough to notice her eggs in the nest below. I slowly started my retreat only to be swooped on by the male - who was close by, on the 2nd swoop - probably 12inches above my bonce, the daddy explained very clearly that my retreat wasn't fast enough, this resulted in me running for my life!

Anyway back to the fishing, if you want easy fishing, where you fall out of your car, onto the bank and then spend hours pulling huge stockies on your 8# rod, then this isn't the place for you, especially with all the hiking involved. On the other hand, if you like walking in the wilderness, getting away from civilisation, and can fish delicately on a lightweight setup while catching small wild brownies using traditional methods - welcome to paradise.

I should mention that this was the 1st venue that I nearly kept from my blog, due to a selfish desire to keep it for myself and the other lucky few that fish there, but I decided its just not me.


adsense said...

Great Stuff. I was going to fish it on Thursday this week and was all ready and packed then I realised that all the roads were shut off because of the Dambusters fly past! Great article and pictures. I can't wait to fish it this year.

Dave Johnson said...

Sorry I was logged in with another ID when I left that comment!

Mr.Kleeg said...

where do you get the tickets from? I've found this link
which looks as though you get them
from a machine at Ladybower. Is this
correct? and do you ever do any work I wonder? thanks for sharing what
sounds like a great place.