DER­BYSHIRE WA­TERS

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - FISHING REPORTS -

ROAD and agri­cul­tural land run-off re­sult­ing from re­cent heavy rain­storms, have had the net ef­fect of turn­ing our rivers into coloured and rag­ing tor­rents, thereby cur­tail­ing what had been a good start to the win­ter grayling sea­son. John Pass of Crom­ford Fly Fish­ers re­ports that warmer con­di­tions than pre­vi­ous years re­sulted in the dry-fly be­ing es­pe­cially pro­duc­tive as the grayling were con­tin­u­ing to rise freely well into late-novem­ber, with catches of 20-plus grayling be­ing re­ported. Fish caught ranged from 4oz ju­ve­niles up to adults of 1lb 12oz and a few nudg­ing 2lb. Fish­ing the nymph into the cooler evenings also proved to be very ef­fec­tive. The fact that an­glers were achiev­ing such re­sults with­out hav­ing to move from the same spot, in­di­cated that the grayling were al­ready be­gin­ning to shoal up. At the time of writ­ing in early De­cem­ber, river lev­els and flows are cur­rently fall­ing and are now close to their sea­sonal means so it is to be hoped that con­di­tions more con­ducive to suc­cess­ful an­gling will once again pre­vail in the near fu­ture. Ac­cess to win­ter grayling fish­ing is read­ily avail­able

via the Peak An­gling Pass­port Scheme (see www.peakan­glng­pass­port.co.uk) or al­ter­na­tively via mem­ber­ship of one or more of the var­i­ous clubs that man­age and con­trol wa­ters in our re­gion. Crom­ford Fly Fish­ers are cur­rently of­fer­ing a sea­sonal pro rata mem­ber­ship in­cen­tive that of­fers ac­cess to three miles of ex­cel­lent dou­ble bank fish­ing on the mag­nif­i­cent Der­byshire Der­went on 362 days of the year (see www. crom­ford­fly­fish­ers.co.uk). The present low wa­ter lev­els in all of our ma­jor wa­ter sup­ply reser­voirs are a very real con­cern given that they are still fall­ing and ex­pert opin­ion is that we need ex­cep­tion­ally wet win­ter weather to have any chance of restor­ing them to nor­mal lev­els be­fore next sum­mer. This year’s 40ft-plus re­duc­tion in level at Lady­bower, that has re­vealed by­gone vil­lages and fea­tures that were flooded and have re­mained largely hid­den since its con­struc­tion over 73 years ago, must surely now be seen as an omi­nous por­tent in terms of years to come. Com­pla­cency re­gard­ing the prob­lem of wa­ter sup­ply sys­tem leaks and in­creased reservoir ca­pac­ity is no longer an op­tion. Al­though most of our ma­jor reser­voirs will re­main closed un­til early March or there­abouts, it is worth re­mem­ber­ing that in neigh­bour­ing coun­ties, Thorn­ton Fly Fish­ery and Toft New­ton Trout Fish­ery will be among the first to re­open for busi­ness on Fe­bru­ary 1 to sup­ple­ment venues such as Press Manor Fish­ery and Bar­low Lakes that re­main open al­most all year round. As the day­light hours get no­tice­ably longer, there is much to look for­ward to but please re­mem­ber that de­spite its ob­vi­ous at­trac­tions and al­lure, the Der­byshire Peak Dis­trict, to­gether with its sur­rounds, can be a de­cep­tive and un­remit­ting place in win­ter. Make sure that you take all nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions to re­main safe while en­joy­ing the fan­tas­tic sport it has to of­fer the in­trepid an­gler. – DAVID M THELWALL.

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