17/08/2010 - River Derwent

Headed down to Borrowash again for few hours. Tried different swim to last time, but still in same area. Initially found it hard to catch any bits. Had only had two perch and a gudgeon in the first hour. Light finally dawned that the fish were up in the water, so shallowed up the float, started spraying maggots and soon started catching bleak, roach and chub. First go with the perch paternoster saw a very positive take. Wound down to feel a very heavy fish that didn't seem very perch-like at all! Confirmed when it drew opposite me, then took off like the green, spotty missile that it was, smashing the hooklink in the process. Don't usually suffer from pike trouble on this section of the river, but had another hang onto a roach I was bringing in a bit later. On the perch front, the biggest one of the night at about half a pound had come to the float and it was getting just dark before I had another take on the paternoster. This turned out to be a small perch that had ideas far above it's station. Luckily the chub livebait had been blown up the line and was still ok, so it went straight out into the area where I had been trotting through a few minutes earlier. Didn't even get the line in the bobbin before it was off. This definitely felt like a perch and was soon confirmed to be a specimen of 2lb 3oz. Unfortunately, my first mistake of the night had been to leave the camera at home, so had to make do with a quick piccie on the Blackberry. At least it was enough to show that it was a different fish to last week.

Last gasp 2lber

Was pretty dark by then, so soon discovered my second mistake of the night - my head torch was on the passenger seat of the car having stopped to speak to another angler as he was leaving (he'd had one barbel all day). Eventually made it back to the carpark to find the only other angler on section packing his gear into his boot. He'd fished since 3 o'clock for one bite - a barbel that came off! Seems things aren't getting any easier on the river for the barbs and probably won't do until we get a good flush through.

11/08/10 - River Derwent

First trip after a week down at the in-laws in Pembrokeshire. Didn't have chance to go fishing while we were down there, but did go otter spotting (successfully!) with my lad and helped the father-in-law with the family falconry business (http://www.pembrokeshire-falconry.co.uk/). Was therefore glad to get out on the river again and even more pleased to arrive at Borrowash and find the car park empty. Walked downstream to the section where I'd had a few perch to 2lb 10oz last season. River was low, with gravel bars sticking out that I hadn't seen before and more weed growth than usual. Settled for a swim with lots of marginal vegetation where I thought the perch might be lurking, but with a nice crease at a couple of rod lengths to trot down for bits.

Big perch country?

Soon started catching small chub, bleak and gudgeon on the float, so was able to put a perch paternoster out fairly quickly. Had first take on a small bleak. Felt a smallish fish on the end before it came off. Put the rod out again and didn't have to wait very long before the bait was taken by a perch of about half a pound. Out again with a small roach and this time it was taken by something a bit more substantial. A big clump of blanket weed around the lead made it feel a bit heavier than it actually was, but I was pleased (although I don't look it!) to subsequently land a perch of 2lb 2oz.

Must remember to look at the camera and smile!

Had a couple more takes before the light went. One that came off and another around the half pound mark. Had kept the trotting rod going throughout and ended up with a mixed bag of chub, roach, dace, bleak, gudgeon, skimmers and minnows on the float. Also hooked into something a lot bigger that put a real bend in the rod as it shot off downstream. Unfortunately the size 20 couldn't hold on and the line came back covered in slime suggesting a big bream, or even a tench (had one while fishing lobs for perch last winter!).