2022 started with a bang, stillwater trout fishing was superb and clients caught some stunning fish during and post lessons, mainly held at Loynton Lakes. Quality fishing continued from winter and through spring and early summer. During this time we shared fly fishing with many people both new to the sport and those of you wanting to know more. There was plenty of opportunity to learn a variety of techniques from streamers to small nymphs and dry flies. All worked their magic, when used at the right time and place.
The extreme heat of summer made trout fishing lakes a non starter by August. However, carp love the warmer water and pursuing them with fly gear is gaining momentum. Steve has been involved with this for 30 years now, having landed carp to 24lbs on fly. So it was fun too share this experience with anglers keen to know more and experience the thrill, power and challenge of carp fly fishing.
The very mild autumn then continued to offer fabulous conditions for carp, while sport with trout took much longer to pick up as water temperatures remained elevated well into October. Once lakes cooled, it flipped the on button for feeding, we’ve been chasing fry feeding browns and rainbows ever since. Also responding to fly hatches which switched trout onto nymphs and emergers well into December. Winter is the new autumn as far as stillwater trout fishing goes it seems!
2022 will be remembered for low water levels throughout the whole season pretty much UK wide. While we were no different, we did have an ace up our sleeve!
A few days were spent guiding clients for grayling at the start of the year. This is typically focused on nymph fishing techniques, ensuring flies trundle along the riverbed, where grayling feed mostly. Plenty of you joined us for casting lessons to sharpen skills needed for the river trout season ahead. This opened mid March, with cold easterly winds and water absolutely crystal clear, in a way I’ve never seen so early on Derbyshire streams. Nymph fishing remained our main line of attack with clients until late April, much later than normal. Once trout started looking at the surface more, dry fly fishing was fabulous, right through the remainder of spring, summer and autumn to the trout season’s end in October.
Yes water levels were low and clear. On the Dove we stopped fishing in July to protect the fish as water levels and temperatures were not conducive to fishing. The Wye however remained cool and free flowing, enabling us to share this magical river with many people once more. We take the view that lower, clear water is an advantage, helping us locate and observe trout before attempting to catch them. Sharing this knowledge and experience with people is always a huge thrill, as anglers light up with excitement on spotting fish, watching them react to their fly and when the big fish takes your dry, well! That continued from May to October and we look forward to doing it all again with you during 2023!
Once our river trout season closed, we headed to Scotland in pursuit of autumn salmon. Ironically we experienced rain the whole time, often it came during the night and we had dry fishing days. Other days it blew a bit. The rivers remained fishable, just. While we saw few fish, our efforts were not in vain, several beautiful fish were caught and released. Reward for fishing hard and a nice way to end a tough season for salmon anglers. It’s also good to demonstrate we practice what we preach. When coming to us for coaching on salmon fly fishing, most people only get to see the spey casting and tackle management side of things in preparation for a trip. There are not many salmon in the Midlands after all!😏
The remainder of the year sees us as we started coaching clients in techniques for grayling, the main difference being pre Christmas enables dry fly success much more than January.
Wishing you all the best for 2023, when we look forward to seeing you waterside. Meantime remember, when we go fishing it is to live life not escape it!!