After suffering a stinking cold all week I was struggling to prevent myself from jumping under a train so I packed my Old Majestick (bamboo) and searched the Derbyshire Wye for a much needed fix of flyfishing heaven. I arrived at Cauldwell Mill to set my sights and although a harsh wind blowing and rather cool temperature I was full of anticipation while spotting a few fish below a crystal clear river. Obviously today wouldn't be easy and the trout seemed to be holding bottom without even a glance skywards, a little disheartening but eventually with the odd flash off sunshine I knew this glorious river would offer me something.
I quickly got the hang of my new Expert Line and paired with my Old Majestick I was writing my name in no time, suprising myself with some very tasty casting. Early afternoon sure enough a trickle of LDO's began exposing the odd fish scattered about resulting in a few fish including my first river trout of 2013, and what a wild cracker indeed.
Moving up to the pumping station there was another half decent hatch around 2.30pm where me and Dave a new member took advantage where for some strange reason he only caught rainbows and me browns. In the blink of an eye it was evening so I beefed up my tackle with the 9ft TCR and 6lb tippet and went for round 2 in town with some of our larger residents, but not before a quick heart attack fearing I'd locked my keys in the boot, but I'd only dropped them and kicked them under the car, thank God! Apologies to Mr Slaney who was already charging to my aid after creasing up his finest shirt on my request for a wire coat hanger to break into Mrs Truggs car.
Moving on the fish weren't that interested at first if I'm honest, not there usual predatory selves but my pink cdc Ruff Sedge with a dose of Froggs Fanny began to take fish eventually, including the stonker above which completed my excellent 1st days adventure and I decided all was done. I'd had my spring handshake with the Dryfly Expert, along with a memorable meeting with another fine local gentleman who wished to have some more Larry's Pride flies which had totally worked for him - Job Done!.
Well actually the fun hadn't begun until I found myself while walking past the secret garden taking a mosy at Colin stood to attention and looking very active. For those who don't know Colin is a monster rainbow into double figures, Bakewells own Grenadier Guard whos box guards a round pillar under a bridge in town. Many anglers have a cast at Colin but trust me he's not fooled that easily as some of you will know, in fact sometimes he makes you feel an ill equipped, dozy, time waster. The rest is now history as with a flick of the rod Wrestlemania had begun!
Jesus! Mother Of Mary shot out of my mouth as colin smashed the surface, the splash had the effect of a bag of cement hitting the water from a great height sending a small sunami moving upstream. This epic took some time to eventually get the upper hand, in fact I'd jumped into the river by now deciding this was my best way to return him safely without harm. Once I got over the shock of his weight I placed him onto my changing mat using a type of headlock followed by my bear hug before eventually being able to retrieve my hook from that huuuuuuuuuge gob.
Looking at the picture above I have to admit theres not many fish that can make me look that small and he wrapped himself around me with amazing strength for that shot.
Needless to say I eventually pinned him for ten minutes, water upto my elbows (freezing) until he went away safely and no doubt he was back on station while I was left running to the warmth of my car with freezing sleeves. That's it folks, what a fantastic 1st day and may there be many more.
Top Tip ; On speaking to the local traffic warden he works until 9pm so don't be tempted into a false sense of security early evening, or it will cost you dearly while spoiling your days fishing.