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, 4 October 2009

Manif "Old Majestick"

Well where do I start with such a fantastic day to finish the trout season on, blue skies above and the damn wind dropped. Well I can tell you that I experimented on different sections of the Manifold today in preparation for next year, the fish were rising all over to mainly sedge and a few olives and I caught plenty of trout and even some manifold ladies put on a show for me.
Now I have declined from giving my full post for the 1st time since I began blogging, this is my attempt to protect a small piece of heaven from poachers as you never know where they get their information from and have been out in force lately so I do hope you can respect my decision without giving me too much grief.

Today I got the shock of my fishing career when after catching plenty of fish, small, medium and a couple of lunkers, I got a savage pull from an old Derbyshire gladiator. Instantly I knew this wasn't within the usual realms of small stream fishing, well not mine anyway. In all honesty I nearly cacked my pants at the first run this trout made, shooting off upstream like a torpedo.
I began to strip line off my reel instantly knowing there was no holding this brute, not with my "Old Majestick" bamboo rod and 2lb line. If I was too win this battle today I knew I'd need to draw on all my skill, experience and then some. I gently turned the fish around and gingerly played the beast all over the river, then all of a sudden it took off again tugging down on my rod almost straightening the angle once again. Instinct began to kick in, and on every surge both up and downstream I ran a few steps towards the fish, trying to keep that angle in the rod.

I contended with huge boulders and tree's resting within the surface as he did his utmost to snag me anywhere he could, he'd obviously been around the block a few times but then so have I.
Obviously I began talking to myself like you do in total concentration, similar to praying, almost trying to talk the beast into the net. My arms began to ache and I steadily applied a little more pressure on the rod and tippet turning him around after every run only to be pulled downstream again by what felt like a large German Shepard on the other end. Eventually I knew as he tired that I had a solid hook up and he was mine - ah ah ah!
Jesus Christ! I had a job scooping this 22 inch long, with a 14 inch girth specimen into my pan net, boy the sense of fulfillment as the 20 min epic battle came to an end. I carefully lay the beefcake on the bank next to Old Majestick and quickly as possible fumbled for my camera.
I unhooked him and took a few shots, lowering him slowly back to the river for a much earned rest. I whispered my sweet nothings in his ear for a while before he slipped away ready to fulfill the next mans dream. The picture below shows his huge shoulders, a bit like George foreman.

The whole experience was surreal, as I staggered out of the river like I'd been in the ring for a few rounds. I plonked my big butt down and stared quietly at the river, suffering some unusual kind of shock or maybe savouring the moment while also thinking, how can that giant live in such a small stream. My attempt to describe today's experience was like arriving somewhere very special, and out of respect for the trout I cut the line, deciding I'd taken enough from this precious little stream for one day and walked slowly back to my car revelling in my satisfaction.
Today I shared an experience with many excellent Derbyshire anglers that have gone before me, such as Cotton and some still alive such as Richard Ward - Get in there my son!

1 comment:

FishCake said...


Great fish and a great bit of fishing! Well done.

As for keeping some things a bit of a secret....I agree, 100% !!!