Dovedale - In the footsteps of Izaak Walton & Charles Cotton - 23/11/08

It was an early start on a cold November morning and I had been invited by Kev as a guest on the famous River Dove at Dovedale courtesy of The Leek & District Fly Fishing Association. The river looked in fine form after a bad spell of weather and as we checked it out at Milldale the sleet was falling hard but it was a quick change into the fishing gear and a short trip to the bottom of the beat.

I tackled up with my 9ft 5#, Kev had opted for a lighter set up 8ft6" 3/4#, we were after the 'Lady of the stream' today so at least one of the flies in both setups would be a small pink nymph. We walked across to the river and it was truly a sight to behold a cold crisp November morning a majestic river running through Dovedale.

It wasn't long before we had got into fish, unfortunatly an out of season brownie but a fish at least to get the day off to a cracking start. As we headed up river Kev took me to fish various pools as depicted in 'The Complete Angler'
this truly added another dimension to the day.

We fished through the various pools, I lost a nice Grayling but Kev had better luck his local knowledge really shone through when he fished through the Nursery pool he hit into a number of fish.....great fishing Kev!. The weather took a turn for the worse and I only managed to contact another spotty which took a sedge pattern I use as an indicater fished with a couple of small nymphs tied beneath. A great scrap none the less.

The Grayling had certainly gone off feed, the water level rising and more wind and rain. We had a break in one of the caves at Doveholes which was great to get out of the biting wind & driving rain. Another member of Leek & District, Alex was fishing a run below us and managed to winkle out another out of season brownie, but no luck with the Grayling. He joined us for a brew and the decision was made that the river was rising and colouring up so we called it a day.

A walk back to the car along this wonderful river chatting about lost fish & looking through fly boxes was a great end to the day.

I have to thank Kev once again for allowing me to fish this stretch I do hope that I can return in more favourable weather conditions. Cheers for such a great day !!

Until next Time
Tight Lines


  1. You're very welcome Phil. We'll have another go in the Summer, and perhaps a session on the Dee before then.

    Shame about the conditions, and bigger shame the large grayling didn't show. There are some big ladies in the Dove - see my blog entry for 16.12.07 for the type of grayling Dovedale can produce this time of year.

    My local river (The Penk) had burst its banks by the time I got home. It's no wonder the Dove came up so quick.


  2. Was a cold, wet, miserable day in the NorthWest. I admire you for getting out there on a day when i wimped out.
    I enjoyed reading your blog, and have added you to my blogroll (if you dont mind).
    I have never walked the banks of the Dove, but it seems like a lovely place to fish.
    Tight lines