Thursday, 1 May 2014


Well i must be doing something right at the moment as all my luck seems to be flowing in!!
There are many reasons for my good fortune but i think the most important one hs to be that i have started to hunt down big trophy trout...i have done it in the past but for years now i have spent my beloved fly fishing for big grayling..even out season grayling i have just walked the banks spotting grayling spawning and noted there location for when they do come into season, this has however been a downfall in catching some huge wild browns.
I had decided last year i was going to hunt down trout early season and started to search around my rivers for these elusive 'horses'
At grayling time last year i saw a huge trout leep out the water in the depths of winter, why it did this i was unsure but one thing i noticed was the sheer size of this fish, it had me thinking it was a salmon but i made a mental note of its location.
Another reason is that i am prepared to fish the hardest type of venue you could imagine, i will go places that are totally unfished, believe me there are lots around!!
But i really think the main reason behind my fortune is the sheer hard work and effort and time spent on the water..i try to fish as much as possible, i work as a self employed electrician and i will work hard to get finished as soon as possible and get a few hours after work on the river, this has proved deadly and time spent on the water is priceless..most of my mates are hitting the pub before they go home for tea..there is no comparison, i am on the river!
I had spotted a huge 55cm plus trout by spooking it weeks back, i studied the pool it lived in, when i had spooked it i realised that it had shown itself for one reason, it was on the feed, a trout will not hang near the surface if its not on the feed, so i knew where it feeding lane was, it was on a bend with the flow hitting the tree face on causing a huge back eddy the size of a car..i threw a dandelion onto the food lane that circled and noticed it continued to circle around without going down the main flow, this fish was living in a zone that spun everything around the eddy and it stayed there for a long time so it was obviously a fish that had a ideal spot to get huge!!
Now where did the fish live? i have learnt over the years that a brown will have a spot that is his home and it will have depth as to not see the fish and a overhang of some description, this one had it all, it was obvious a huge tree root tail was its home.
This is a great tip for anyone stalking big fish in small stream, feeding lane and its hide out..from working this out i had my next step..i wanted to take this huge fish on a dry! not being a dry fly elitist but i new this was the cream..i could  easier tease it out of its trees root with a streamer or some nymphs..
So my found info had taught me to get into a position to see the fish in the feeding eddy and then most important to be able to cast a line without drag. I also new that if i hooked this fish it would instantly bolt for the safety of its home, this was going to be a huge problem, 5ft from the eddy there was a fast flow with depth and then the tree root on the slacker side! if it got in the flow i would be fucked...the plan was to hit it hard with a 4lb line, but would this thicker line mess my presentation up?

I had arrived at the river mid afternoon and there were hawthorne and black gnats in the air, i had seen them days earlier but hoped for them to be on the surface...
I walked to a known spot and saw a 2lb plus fish rising, a buttercup beauty, i spent 20 mins getting into position, the fish was casually taking black gnats off the surface, i raised my rod to put a cast in the lane and the flash off my rod bloted the fish!! great start !!
The river was low and clear and i feared this upper reach stream would be a no go, when it gets like this not even a marine siper could get into position without spooking a trout.
i walked upto my trophy trout pool with little hope of seeing the fish, as i walked through the overgrown vegitation i peeked through a elberry tree and like a child opening the living room door on xmas day there he was, with the sun lighting the whole fish up in 2foot of water!!
This is when my heart started to thump, you makes mistakes when you get nervous but i have sort of learned to curb this, i crept into a position upstresm of the fish and sighed with relief, only for the trout twitch its fins as though it new something was not circled around the eddy and then disaapeeredd to its hide out...bastard!! Well i thought there is always another time but i was in no rush, you can spook a grayling and it will be back after a minuite or so but trout take at least 10 mins..
I waited and waited then sure enough he came back out again cautioulsy circling the pool for any danger.. i froze!!
I was now within 15 ft from the fish and could see its every move, it was absoutley huge, i sat for 20 mins watching how it would come towards me up the side of a fast flow and then drift off away from me into the eddy looking around the circling food did not rise for 5 mins until i saw it come into the centre of the eddy and take a dead hawthrone in no flow whatso ever, a fish of this size rising is something to be seen and just shot my nerves to hell..
I now knew i was introuble, how could i present a dead fly in the middle of the eddy with no flow, i would get around a second of drag free then it would rip off the surface..
i would have do a big mend as i cast, this might get me around 3 seconds before it ripped off..
I put on a jingler and waited for it to enter the centre of the pool, the fish was circling around the eddy and then coming through to rise..
as it come through i cast into the zone sweet, the fish looked at the fly and then totally ignored it...this happened twice, the fish was not spooked it just carried on feeding away..
The jingker had nailed me some many fish, it them became very obvious it was totally preocupied with the Hawthorns..
I am not one with a posh fly box with rows of flys in perfection, i tye flys to go fishing and my box is full of ones and twos of my river flys, i was looking for something black, at the bottom of my simms rucksack i had my scottish lochs fly box, i opened it up and found one bibio snatcher type was black and bushy surely this would do the job..
a slight ginking, not too much, i wanted it to go into the surface film like the dead natural..
There i was again waiting for the brown to enter the dead spot of the eddy..
i had three seconds as it hit the hit the water, the fish saw it, one second two seconds, the huge kype come out the water in slow motion, engulfed the fly (time goes in slow motion with a feeling of euphoria) i surprisingly calmly wait for the fish to drop its head then i strike with sheers power straight up to set the hook in its boney kype...
Bang am on!!!
from such a quite scenic setting, birds singing and flys buzzing, river bumbling i wreck the whole scene as i stand up jump into 3ft over water to get away from a tree the fish does what i knew it would, it bolts for the tree roots and i give it full beans and have no chance of stopping it, i decided i got to go after it!!
The fish bolts straight under the roots that are visible to me, i pray they don't go to the bottom.
I have lost the fish am sure, the dreaded feeling when the movement of the rod tip stops bouncing, i run down to it hole and my my line screams through my hands, he has bolted out and heading for the next pool downstream...  my line going under the root... i chuck my whole rod under the trailing roots and grab it out the other side! i am still into the fish somehow!!
I then get some form of control and run downstream following the fish with a good loop in the rod...i get a glimpse of this trophy as it goes through the shallow gravel at the back of the pool, its horrendously big...
The fish goes two pools down using the flow, i have no chance of bullying this fish but i know for sure the fish is hooked very well...
two pools down i am into a slack bend with a good depth and no flow, i am now on top of this fight as i side strain the fish both ways and start to make progress..
The fish makes one more bolt but my 5 weight rod turns him and i know its time to net the fish
Now seeing a fish of this size and beauty hit the net is something that will stay with me forever, a 10 year old fish 60 cm in length, a true wild fish from a small derbyshire stream, on a dry fly!!
I made a hash of weighing the fish and wanted to get it back in the water, at first my scales said 2lb then  3lb 14 and i decided to leave it...i get asked what weight and am unsure, it looked 5lb but who cares really its a fish of a lifetime
 who needs New Zealand? we have trophy trout in the uk, you just got to open your eyes..
who said fishing is boring
'living the dream'
60cm it dont get no better