Fishing - Reports and Prospects
IZAAK WALTON HOTEL FLY FISHING
Reports and Prospects
This page provides updates on the Hotel’s fishing and is a forum for syndicate members and hotel fishing guests. For further information or to submit an article for consideration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
August to September 2012
More varied water levels as summer continued with a definite emphasis on ´higher than usual´.
Many anglers have shunned the daytime fishing due to the high numbers of visiting day trippers, and have been concentrating more on the early mornings and late evenings. Sedge hatches have remained very good and good falls of sherry spinners have been there for those lucky enough to be on the water in precisely the right conditions.
Grayling will be our sole quarry from 8 October and we should all resist the possible temptation to cast at the rising trout which will undoubtedly be feeding heavily prior to spawning. Prospects for October are good and I´m delighted to report that grayling of four distinct year classes have been reported. Fishing right at the end of September, Glen Pointon had 5 lovely fish over 1.5lbs and I myself had a trio of 2lb plus fish as well.
John Tyzack - 1 October
May to July 2012
It´s quite incredible how diametrically opposite two consecutive years can be on the same river. Last year the river remained incredibly low throughout the summer while this year it doesn´t seem to have ever stopped raining. No sooner has the Dove fined down and cleared from a summer flood when along comes the next spate and we are back to high and coloured water.
Despite these regular lifts the fishing has remained surprisingly consistent with good hatches of mayflies through June and sedges galore throughout July. One of the tricks is to stay as late as possible, into darkness if you can. As the day trippers vacate Dovedale the dry fly fishing can be quite superb.
Prospects for August look encouraging with fairly high but clear water to start the month and some good catches reported by day ticket and syndicate rods alike. Trout numbers seem to be up on last season while the huge grayling have yet to figure significantly in this year´s catches.
John Tyzack - 1 August
April 2012 – Summary
Intermittent heavy rain throughout April made sport patchy at best with the Dove unfishable on many days. Those lucky anglers who were on the river as it fined down enjoyed some wonderful sport with fighting fit early season brownies very eager to feed. Dry flies and nymphs worked equally well during good hatches of large dark olives and stoneflies. As I write this, the hawthorn flies are about and their clumsy attempts at flying over the river produce many a splash-landing making them an easy target for the fish. Towards the end of the month we should see the first of the mayflies making an appearance. Let´s hope for a good, more consistent water level from now on! Tight lines to anyone who is fishing this month.
John Tyzack - 1 May 2012
March 2012 – Summary
March is always a bit of an enigma, (on most rivers, not just the Dove), with grayling going off the feed as they prepare for spawning and the trout not quite getting going. Anglers out in search of an end of season grayling caught a few fish, but most of the better fish could be easily seen paired up, and were disinterested in the flies which were cast their way. One end of season belter of 51cm was reported, and Ian Ritchie - new to the syndicate – kicked off his membership with the four biggest grayling of his life!
The trout season opened on 18th March and a few brave souls were out on the banks. Fishing was generally slow with a few notable exceptions. A cracking wild brownie of 46cm was taken during the first few days of the season and several anglers – both day ticket and syndicate rods – had good catches of trout into double figures. Fly life is always a little behind other rivers due to the steep sided nature of Dovedale, but LDOs are now putting in an appearance. There are also some big stoneflies and the occasional sedge kicking about. As we head through next month, look for the olive hatches to intensify and the trout to become more active at the surface. I for one, can’t wait!
John Tyzack – 1 April 2012
November 2011 to February 2011 - Summary
First update for a while, so apologies for the delay. The winter just gone has epitomised the phrase ‘be careful what you wish for’. All season long we have been crying out for rain and in the last report (October) I was able to say that we’d finally had some. That was by no means the end of it though and the entire winter was characterised by massive flash floods and then mini-droughts. These flash floods do us no lasting good. The river becomes unfishable but the water then drains away too quickly. So I should really have been crying out for sustained rainfall rather than heavy rainfall – I think!
During the periods the river was fishable, some very good quality grayling continued to feed. Several were reported in the 3lb class to a variety of nymphs and shrimps. All in all, throughout the winter, for those lucky to be on at the right time, grayling fishing was very good. One by-product of the heavy rains is a really well-scoured river bed and all the gravel is clean and in top quality spawning condition for our grayling.
John Tyzack - 1 March 2012
October 2011 - Summary
Well it a long time that I´ve been saying we need some rain, and in early October we finally got it! Four days and nights of deluge pushed the river up 16" above it´s summer low level. Fishing was impossible in the flood although some excellent hatches of large dark olives and stonesflies were observed. I was lucky enough to get out on the river as the last of the floodwater was draining away with the water level still up but with the water clear. The big grayling were feeding really well and I landed four fish between 2lb 14oz and 3lb 1oz over the course of a four hour session. Richie Morris and Glen Pointon were also out at the same time, losing a couple of really big fish, landing several others and then (Richie) falling in! Steve Nikolich had a productive session with 8 grayling all around the pound mark, although the unseasonably warm afternoons have brought incredible hatches of LDO, BWO and stoneflies - all serving to keep the trout feeding on the top in earnest. Many anglers have been catching more trout than grayling and I believe they may spawn late this year. Be careful when handling these wild fish as they are still out of season!
Another major lift in water level came long towards the end of the month and the same thing happened again. Good numbers of the larger grayling out and feeding hard. Anglers who are in the right place at the right time are catching well.
Despite the huge hatches of fly, our grayling are very slow to rise to the surface and a quick kick sample reveals why. The annual shrimp population explosion is underway and they are feeding down deep on this abundant protein source. Maybe this is why they get so big? I´m no expert, but I wouldn´t be surprised to see a fish well over 3lbs come out this winter.
John Tyzack - 1 November 2011
September 2011 - Summary
With the Dove remaining low and clear for the whole of September, fishing has remained rather tricky. Sight fishing for the big grayling is one excellent way of continuing to catch in these awkward conditions.
Ian from Norfolk paid us a return visit and we had an exciting couple of days stalking throughout the whole beat. He had 15 big fish over the two days culminating in a new personal best of 2.5lbs.
Hatches of fly are starting to intensify once more and there is the possibility of good surface action from about midday onwards. BWO and pale wateries are on the menu but I would also recommend some small terrestrials and aphids be carried along.
The trout season ends on 7 October and then we will be concentrating all our efforts on the Lady of the Stream.
John Tyzack - 1 October 2011
Summer 2011 - Summary
DROUGHT...in a word.
Dovedale has been dry for virtually the whole summer and river levels have remained obstinately low throughout. Fishing pressure has reduced with many anglers either waiting for the water which must surely come ... sometime, or only venturing out in the evenings. Whilst conditions remain tough, there is still some quality sport to enjoy, Sheena Goode, Glen Pointon and Andy Wareham have all enjoyed successful outings with dries or small nymphs coupled with French leaders doing most of the damage. I managed a short session myself in mid-August after a heavy shower. The level had not altered but there was a tinge of colour, and the big grayling were out feeding. I landed four fish all between two and three pounds. TV´s Matthew Wright of ´The Wright Stuff´ fame paid us a visit and had good sport up the top end of the beat on a variety of sedge patterns.
As I write this, the weather is more unsettled than it has been for months and there are even occasional bursts of rainfall, although the Dove remains low for the time being. If you´re planning a trip to the river in the near future, be prepared for some improved hatches of Large Dark Olives and Pale Wateries. There are still odd sedges about and small terrestrial patterns will also score. Subsurface, shrimps and beadheads will pick out the better grayling, which will become the sole focus of our attentions from 8 October once the trout season has ended.
John Tyzack - 1 September 2011
June 2011 - Summary
Well the mayfly hatch came and went in what can only be described as a damp squib. Flies trickled off (indeed some spinners are even now, still about) but there never seemed to be a good sustained hatch. Good results came from those anglers lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Blue winged olives provided sport through the day and their "sherry" spinners were about in good numbers in the evenings. Caddis hatches have also been good and a tweaked Orange Ar*e or LTD sedge have accounted for many a trout in the margins and under the trees as the light fades.
Fly life then has been relatively good; unfortunately water levels and flow rates have not. The Dove has been at ´drought´ levels throughout the entire month and the whole catchment is desperate for some rainfall. Every cloud has a silver lining and the low clear water has made for some superb stalking. Many rods have been trying for the huge grayling lying in the usual places. I had a report of a fish in excess of three pounds being caught just before the season began and I myself hooked a brace of fish I´d estimate at 3lbs+ recently (losing them both unfortunately, but that´s fishing!)
Prospects for July would appear to be very similar, especially if the lack of meaningful rainfall continues. Late evening fishing will bring the best results on the spinners or sedges.
John Tyzack - 1 July 2011
May 2011 - Summary
The Dove has remained obstinately low for the entire month and fish have been exceptionally wary in the clear bright conditions. Successful anglers were those who adopted good rivercraft and a stealthy approach. Andy Wareham had an incredible day from Bone´s Pool upwards with more fish than he can remember to careful stalking tactics.
Hawthorn flies and black gnats were common at the start of the month with the residual hatches of LDOs and quite a few medium olives about as well. The first of the mayflies appeared about mid month and are in full swing now as I write. Truth be told, the fishing is sensational just now with some really good quality wild trout showing up. I have had several fish in the 16-17 inch range and one of my clients, Colin Brown from Lowestoft fishing at the beginning of May, bettered that with a gorgeous 20 inch brownie from Ilam Rock.
I took a walk down by the river last night with Glen Pointon and the air was full of sedges and spinners: mayflies, olive uprights and sherry spinners by the million. Prospects for evening fishing look extremely promising indeed.
The grayling season starts again on 16 June and there have been some stunning fish sighted through the closed season. Watch out for someone breaking the British record; it could just happen!
John Tyzack - 1 June 2011
April 2011 - Summary
April has been an excellent month on the Izaak Walton Hotel water on the Dove. Hatches of Large Dark Olives began sparsely and have intensified throughout the month. Trout are really hitting them in earnest now. As I write this, the hawthorn flies are swarming and a well presented black fly will usually score well. In between the hatches of olives and fall of hawthorn, there are very small midges a-plenty and most of the Dovedale trout are looking up for their food now.
Some very large trout have been spotted in the clear stubbornly shallow water and in addition, there have been big numbers of small yearling trout showing up throughout the river. The new no-stocking policy seems to be having an early positive effect as these babies are the first ones to be eaten or displaced by larger stocked fish. Let´s keep it wild!
LTD syndicate rods enjoying the April bonanza have included Henry and Steve - out on the river for the first time with me and sharing 30-odd trout between them, Richie and Johnny (aka "The Geordies") also sharing a fine 30 trout session with me, Mick "Bone" Kent whose fishing is ´on fire´ at the moment, Tony "Commo" Comerford, Bernard and Rick from Manchester, the ever present Glen Pointon and almost certainly others who have yet to report in.
Prospects for May look superb. There have been reports of mayfly already on other Derbyshire rivers, so perhaps our mayfly season will come earlier than usual?
John Tyzack - 1 May 2011
March 2011 – Summary
With practically no rain for the entire month, the Dove remained stubbornly low and crystal clear throughout the entire month. The 2010-11 grayling season closed on 14th March with some lovely fish being caught in the final fortnight. David Wood, Sheena Goode, Glen Pointon and Phil Ratcliffe all getting amongst the fish. The grayling are spawning now so please keep your wading boots off the fast shallow gravel areas.
After a short closed season, the river opened again on 16th March and the trout seemed to just know it was their turn! Sparse hatches of Large Dark Olives have been trickling off for a few weeks now and on occasions, (usually when there´s plenty of cloud cover), we´ve had a proper hatch. In these circumstances, the fish are straight up on the top and if you´re lucky enough to be on the river at the right time, some frantic dry fly sport can be enjoyed. Sheena had a cracking day on the dries just before month end.....the day after I´d gone home! ;-(
Expect to see the LDO hatches intensify as April progresses and watch out for the Hawthorn flies which should put in an appearance around St Mark’s Day, 25 April.
Tight Lines to one and all...
John Tyzack - 1 April 2011
February 2011 - Summary
Wow! What a month February proved to be! Conditions were different almost every day and fishing seemed to go up and down to match the river levels. The big news from the month was the flood at the end of the first week which brought huge tree trunks down the river and smashed the Stepping Stones (since repaired by the authorities). Prior to that flood I had a lovely sweet session with 6 nice grayling to about 1.5lbs. Guiding for Ian Mann from Norfolk a week later with the river still high we had 19 fish over a two-day period. Good angling Ian!
Phil Ratcliffe´s inaugural visit went well and despite the high coloured water he landed a dozen ´ladies´ to 1.5lbs. Adam Booth and Sheena Goode both found the going tough but were rewarded with some nice fish when they finally located them. This is what it´s going to be like from now to the end of the season. Locating fish is the key, and preferably while they´re in a feeding mood. Remember that they will be pairing up prior to spawning very soon. This was illustrated brilliantly when towards the end of the month I spent a few hours on the river with Steve Cullen. I landed a lovely hen fish of about 2 pounds from a nice run and we joked about getting her mate on the next cast... Next cast? A 2.5lb cock fish! Glen Pointon has been fitting in plenty of short sessions (he´s lucky to live so close and work in the area!) and recently lost a HUGE grayling... There is a report on his blog apparently. Nice one Glen!
Prospects for March are encouraging. We have seen ever increasing hatches of LDO in the early afternoon and occasional fish taking them. Tight Lines for the remainder of our grayling fishing and let´s start looking forward to catching some trout now!
John Tyzack - 1 March 2011
January 2011 - Summary
Further cold weather and unsettled water levels made fishing something of a lottery during January, but for those anglers tough enough to brave the elements, there were some really good grayling to be found. I took Dave Bowen and Michael Clarkson from Cambridgeshire out for their first ever day of river fishing mid-month and the guys landed a total of nine grayling, two of which were over a pound and a half. Two days prior to this the river was running high and coloured and there were more blanks than catches reported! A few anglers ventured out during the second half of the month, but fish remained tricky to locate in the extreme cold. Glen Pointon fished with David Wood and Andy Wareham a few days ago and they had four nice fish, but reported that they all fell to the point fly, a sure sign that the fish were hard on the bottom and not really in a feeding mood.
A river walk up and down the entire fishery’s length last week showed up quite a few large grayling and some beautiful fully-finned trout. The grayling are nowhere near to spawning yet, so should provide a few more bent rods before the end of the season.
As I write this, prospects would appear to be similar for the forthcoming month. Weather in the Peak District is rarely too settled in the winter and despite the spring-fed nature of the Dove, heavy rains on saturated ground can colour it up quite quickly. Those heading for a day on the banks this month need to choose carefully, because a clear river and settled above-freezing temperatures could result in one of our really large grayling being landed.
One final word of warning: for the next few weeks, please try to avoid wading on any areas of gravel which are clean and free of moss as these will be trout redds. The eggs and alevins (baby trout) need time to get of the gravel so keep your eyes open and your boots away from such areas!
John Tyzack - 1 February 2011