Darley Dale Fly Fishing Club - Derbyshire
About The Club
The Darely Dale Fy Fishing club was formed in Derbyshire in 1862, which makes it one of the oldest fly fishing clubs, not just in Derbyshire, but in the country. We own or rent some three miles of fishing on the River Derwent upstream and downstream of the main road bridge at Rowsley in Derbyshire (The Peacock Hotel), together with the last 3 - 400 yards of the River Wye before it flows into the Derwent. The water is only open to club members and their guests.
The River Derwent in Derbyshire is a rain fed river, which has its sources on moorland above the Ladybower, Derwent and Howden dams. However this acid origin is offset by the fact that at least in part it flows through limestone country, as do its two principal tributaries, the Noe and the Wye. The river therefore has good weed growth and a diverse population of invertebrates which makes for excellent fly fishing. Unfortunately, once common creatures like the crayfish and the water vole have become rarities, but the Mayfly hatch, subject to typical, if mysterious, seasonal variations is still a regular feature.
The normal quarry fish in the river are brown trout, grayling and rainbow trout. The brown trout are a mixture of wild and stockfish. Whilst the river can and does provide suitable conditions for the wild population to breed, the Darley Dale Fly Fishing Club have, in recent years, helped the wild population in their work by hatching eyed ova in deep substrate boxes which means that the fry release themselves directly into the river as soon as they wish. The outcome of this is that the fisherman can expect to encounter brown trout of any size up to, exceptionally, 4 6 lbs although these are rare. The river can grow reasonable numbers of fish up to, say, 1½ to 2 Ibs but above this the chances are very much that the fish is a stockie. The stockfish that are put in vary but are typically 11 - 15" and make for good fly fishing in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside.
The rainbows in the river are a mix of two strains. The spring spawning fish, which were originally stocked in the Wye in the 19th century, and where they became acclimatised, are still the most numerous. There is some evidence that these fish are spawning in the Derwent as well as the Wye. The 'normal" autumn spawning rainbow and indeed their sterile derivatives are to be found as a consequence of fish dropping down from other clubs waters (and Ladybower) upstream. These fish do not spawn in the Club's waters, nor are they normally stocked.
The stretch has an excellent head of grayling although, while the average size varies from season to season, a fish over a pound is regarded as good and one over two pounds would be exceptional. They provide good sport to the fly through the summer and more especially the autumn, and are popular with some members for offering an opportunity to fish throughout the winter when the trout are out of season.
Fishing the river Derwent, an experts view: Some thoughts from Philip White APGAI
Of the rivers I have fly fished so far in my 50 plus years of fishing life I would say the Derwent, here in Derbyshire, takes some beating. It has a wide range of habitats along its length, from hard running shallows through to deep, slow mystic pools. Along its tree lined length there is a wealth of fly life coming from the gravels, rocks and weed beds as well as regular falls of all manner of terrestrials, either dropping off the trees or just blowing in from the surrounding farmland.
The Derwent has a good head of natural fish, wild browns and grayling in particular as well as the wild breeding rainbows that are found in parts of the river. Over the years I have fished and guided on various parts of the river. I really enjoy being in it - and yes, I do mean in it, as it is really necessary to wade.
The river Derwent offers fishing for all interests with super hatches of fly right through the season. A full day on the river can require a deep, searching nymph one minute; targeting ‘sipping’ fish on a tiny dry fly minutes later; and moving quickly to fishing a daddy long legs the next. Keep your eyes open and you can have a very full and eventful day on the river at any time of year.
Although I am best known for my time on dry fly only streams where there is no wading, one of the delights for me is being up to my waist, working a team of traditional spiders in the glides as I fish down the river, waiting for the ‘winking’ turn of a fish, or the movement of the leader that signifies a take. There is something timeless in this style of fishing. If I stay late I will fish the spinner fall and then, if it is late April/May onwards, I will hang on for that mad 10 minutes just on dark when the females of many species of sedges are egg laying. As the light goes they come skittering across the water from their hiding places in the bushes before diving/crawling down in the shallows to attach their eggs to the stones and underwater mosses, before they die and drift downstream. Some really good fish can be caught at that time, fishing a diving caddis at the tails of the riffles. These fish are often bigger than usual fish that hide away from the prying eyes and searching casts of keen fishermen during the day.
The club operates a waiting list system. If you would like to know more about the The Darley Dale Fly Fishing Club, its fly fishing in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside and membership opportunities please complete the contact us form.
|©Darley Dale Fly Fishing Club 2007|