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

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Urban River Champions Conclave & Fishing the Don

I spent the weekend attending the Urban River Champions Conclave set up by the WTT -Trout in the Town Project and held in Sheffield to benefit rivers involved. I was representing the River Erewash Foundation along with other UK river projects such as the Colne, Wandle, Goyt, Cray, Glazert and the Sheffield Don all of which made presentations on their local rivers explaining their future intentions for improvements/progress and experiences along the way. We all received useful coaching on Funding, Land drainage Consent, Trout in the Classroom, Successful Working Parties and many other things including an excellent presentation from Mike Clough from Japanese Knot weed Solutions on invasive plants. I met with many similar people sharing the same boat as me so sharing experiences and ideas proved invaluable and will benefit our foundation in the future I'm sure.

After a few site visits along the Don in Sheffield Centre on Sunday morning we set about fishing this once heavily polluted river. One interesting fact I noticed instantly was how this little river was fenced in with large steel fencing, obviously a major keep away form the river sign and an obstacle for access. After talking to locals I was informed of the few reasons for the fencing being erected which were the Don was so heavily polluted this barrier not only kept people out of the water reducing any risk of harm, but hid the embarrassing situation created running through the heart of this proud mans City. The good news is the Dons improvements in recent years with Industries/Mills/Steelworks all but closing leaving this river to heal itself with a helping hand from a few local heroes.

Down to Fishing

Eventually walking downstream I left the all my river champion companions behind as many were angling coaches and I assumed nobody would need any help from me. Once under the canopy I found peace and solitude in the middle of this huge city with just the odd dog bark, kids playing/screaming and an ice cream van to remind me where I was. Meeting up with a fine shoal of ladies I persuaded them to try my wares - size 18 F fly, JT Olive and I began to get amongst this large pocket of grayling ending with a dozen beauties in my hand. I kid you not these fish are like lightening and you quickly have to find the zone to connect with them after being left with egg on yer face for a few takes.

Eventually I reached a canal type section where to my surprise I caught 2 chub and this perfect little perch who snatched my sunken F-fly which I have to say pleased me immensely, just making things even more interesting.

I turned about face and with my Larry's Pride I made my way back upstream picking of a few trout on the way, all small but perfectly formed and a joy to inspect like the grayling. This bit of free fishing is superb for locals, especially for the kids and I did pass a few along my travels who proved courteous and sociable which made a refreshing change.

City Life

This picture I took below of a local into a trout speaks volumes for Sheffield, showing folk, should you wish to get away from it all, excellent fly fishing is really just a hop, skip and a jump away from the hustle and bustle of City life. Just in case you river fanatics are screaming about that that huge weir named Niagara by the locals, plans have been made for a new fish pass to be built soon, so breath again.


David said...

Hi Mick,

Brilliant post...thats what fishing is all about, be good if they can get more kids from Sheffield city centre fishing.


mrkleeg said...

Agree - this is a great post Mick, well done for your continued devotion to the cause.