11/06/2014 - Rain doesn't stop play
Had booked some time off a while ago with a view to heading back to Derbyshire. However, heavy, localised rain on Monday had sent the river level shooting up, resulting in an anxious wait to see if it'd be back down in time. A quick check of the graph last thing on Tuesday revealed that it was still up a bit, but the trend was downwards, so I headed off as planned this morning. Got to the venue to find that the river was indeed carrying a bit of extra water, but also a bit of colour. The combination of conditions was just enough to cast doubt in my mind, but I carried on and just the second cast up the first run resulted in a fish.
Quick off the mark
Was not so easy after this though as the extra water had changed the character of a lot of the swims I had fished before, so it was a question of working out where the fish were lying up now and a change to a black goldhead nymph in the coloured water resulted in a two takes in quick succession from a couple of smaller fish.
The effects of the high water were much in evidence with channels carved through the bank side stands of Himalyan Balsam. For a small river there was also a lot of wood debris, including whole tree trunks, that had appeared from nowhere.
Carried on up the river to find that most of the colour was coming in from one tributary in particular. Upstream of this point the clarity was much better, so I fished on with renewed enthusiasm, bumping a couple and losing one to a hook pull, before landing a better fish that had strange blue highlights on its cheeks.
Dropped my net in some mud at the side of the river and when I came to snap the magnet release back together I found it covered little grains of apparently metallic sediment. Something I've seen pictures of in urban rivers where there used to be heavy industry. Can only assume in this case that it's due to the natural mineral veins in the catchment.
Had ventured into unknown territory by now, almost reaching the upstream limit of the fishery, when I came to the largest pool on the section. Spent quite a bit of time working the crease along the far bank and eventually had a take from a fish that just plodded around a bit before giving up. Turned out to be the best fish of the morning.
More like it
Lost another to a hook pull (aargh!) in a fast run before reaching the road bridge and the boundary with the next club's water. Had learned a bit more about the river whilst sharing it with the dippers, kingfishers, wagtails and possibly an otter judging by the footprints in the mud under the bridge. Also decided after this session that a collapsible wading stick would be a good investment after a) falling on my arse tripping over hidden debris and b) stepping off a ledge into a coloured pool and finding the water a bit too close to the top of my chesties for comfort. Oh yeah, and a hook sharpener! Will have to get my order in quick for Fathers' Day......