Derbyshire Wye - 27th August 2009

I had read with interest posts by fellow bloggers Glen & Mick on their days out fishing the Derbyshire Wye, I thought I fancy a bit of that !!. I booked a day off work and had two places sorted on the Wye. Me and my old man arrived at the Peacock at Rowsley after a full english early doors about 9 and were made very welcome by Jan.

The dry flies had been stocked up prior to the vist but the temptation was just too great as the hotels fly patterns were brought before us, Sedges, BWO, Griffiths Gnats. That will do, fully loaded and ready to hit the Wye. We were taken through the sections of river and given a map, not having fished it before we were both itching to get to the river. We decided to try the lower stretch in the morning to get a feel for the river then move up river for the afternoon.

We both set up with a 9ft 5# for the day, on reflection a nice 7ft would be ideal as there are so many runs and riffles that would benefit from use of a smaller set up. A 9ft tapered leader with 3ft tippet was set up, degreased and I was ready to take my first cast on this legendary river. I presentend a small olive on the far bank, mending line to stop any drag. A fish slowly came up and rolled at the fly in the faster water, I made a School boy error and struck too early, the excitement of the day must have got to me. Opportunity over for this fish, but what a start!

We made or way along the river, my dad spotting a nice brown rising and after several changes of flies the fish came up and nailed a tiny bwo, advise from the Peacock was spot on, a small brown on for a few moments and a shake of the head saw the fly make its way loose and out. Barbless only on the Wye, not a problem at all its all part and parcel of this magnificant river.

The morning continued in much the same vein, the sun warming up the day nicely. We had never fished the Wye before and a stealthy approach and presentation of the fly is critical. Drag free, sight free leader (constantly degreasing the leader) and the right fly need to be perfect for these wild Rainbows Browns and Grayling to take a shine to your fly.

The afternoon we moved to The Fishermans carpark, a more popular stretch of the river and I can see why. Its just glorious here with fish rising in the most awekward spots making it a really good challenge. Thats why they get so big. Jan met up with us on one bend where a few fish were sipping in the Olives, I had just lost a nice fish taking my fly cast under a tree whilst standing on tip toe to cast over a few reeds that lined the bank. Jan kindly passed on a few smaller olives to try and could obviously tell that both of us were buzzing to be fishing this river. A great bloke and full of advise, "Get moving through the woods " plenty to go at lads !!, we were tranfixed with the trout infront of us and they did'nt take a liking to the flies we put infront of them. "Clever Fish on this bend" Jan told us , he wasn't wrong.

We moved on and fished through, both of us catching Grayling and losing smaller trout, we covered miles and stopping at every opportunity casting to a rise, the trout seemed fussy today just one Brown or Rainbow would be good. Fishing up to the town, we spent a good hour sat on the benches eating Pork pies and having a drink. We were both knackered, the park was packed with familys and the large trout on the bridge were sipping in 'Warburtons Gnat !" and "The Wholemeal olive" not a chance we could have a go at them maybe on the next visit when its less crowded and at last knockings. They are Massive !!!!

Fishing back to Fishermans carpark we had a brief chat with two other anglers, both finding it difficult going, accounting for one or two trout during the day. We had faired ok with several Grayling between us. The late afternoon and early evening saw the cloud cover come in and a strong wind hit the water so any chance of more fly activity was reduced.

We got back to the car about 8ish and took the short trip back to the Hotel to fill in the catch returns book. A fantastic day from start to finish, talk of the days events and lost trout on the way home reflecting on what a majestic river this is.

I now know why fellow anglers speak so highly of it, we both cant wait to get back now we know what its all about. Next time getting stuck into those trout or at least hanging onto them for longer than we did. Our Wye experience has only just started and long may it continue, it really does test the angler. Combined 60+ fishing years experince between us and still learning !!!!!

Until Next Time........................Tight Lines


  1. Phil

    Nice post mate...
    That place just gets hold of you, i dont think there is much more a testing river in derbyshire, sounds like you enjoyed yourself mate..
    Nice one


  2. Cheers Glen,
    Would be good to meet up on the Wye sometime?, you can show me how you catch them Lunkers !!