The Thrill Of Shrunken Rivers, one, 50-yard stretch

The heatwave has been long, longer than we’ve seen for some time now, and by the looks of things, it may well continue.

People mump and moan, “it’s too hot!” These are the same people that have a moan at the weather when it’s, wet, cold, windy, muggy, overcast, snowing, bright etc etc, in fact these are often the same people that spend most of the time in the house sitting on their arse! The ‘do nothings’ , however come work on Monday they moan about the rubbish weather, despite the fact they spent the weekend looking out the window at it!

I’m loving the heat, although, admittedly a lot of small waters are suffering, the larger waters, too have become rather tricky, which I like as the BLOB brigade are toiling trying to nail the stockies. I’ve found the best methods to be a di8 and buzzers over 40ft of water as the fish are about 30ft down, still there, just deeper!

The rivers can be a tough and challenging place when we’re suffering in the heat, but the grayling and trout will stay play ball, just tailor your tactics and you’ll have a good time catching both.

A recent trip saw me on a very low Derbyshire Derwent, the regulars were struggling, in fact most were spending their evenings on the water, rather than enduring the slow fishing that was being experienced during the day.

However, having fished this river for several years now I know that the river can be exceptional during a heat wave, you just need to know where to look, the fish can be in very localised areas.

When it’s hot and bright, and the water temperature is up, then you’ll find lots of grayling and trout in fastish, shallow water.

My starting point was slightly deeper water that came off very shallow rapids, dropping from a foot to two and finally into about three foot, not fast water and not slack, just right.

The key here was small CDC flies 19’s and 21’s just bits of fluff really, fished up and across, with maximum drag free drift, on 0.08 point with the aid of a 9ft tapered leader.

This first section resulted in several nice grayling, five, none big but good for this part of the river, 12 inches to around a pound and a bit, awesome, super-fast action.

Once i’d fish it up, I quickly swapped the tippet to 0.12 and the fly to a huge, size 10 sedgey thing, all foam, deer hair and hackle.

I fish this across the ripply water, high sticking and then, keeping the rod high, kind of make my arm jiggle, like having a small seizure, so that the fly skitters across the surface. this technique can be devastating on this type of water and even more so on slow on dead, lifeless summer pools, fish seemingly just can’t help themselves!

It proved to be te case here to, four more grayling and a trout, lovely.

Next step. Walk back to the top of the run, same leader, change the dry fly to a 3mm tungsten beaded PTN, size 12, with a bit of funky, Spectra as a thorax.

Up and across casting try tracking the flies back and then letting them swing to the vertical, and then fanning to casting down and across. None of this needs and indicator, on the upstream, track the fly faster than the current, takes will be felt, also keep an eye on the minicon leader, it helps register anything.

On the downstream to vertical, flick the wrist so the rod tip rises six-inches to a foot every now and again, basically you’re doing induced takes throughout the retrieve.

By the time I have finished with this small stretch, I’ve taken another two grayling and a staggering, seven trout, two wild and five that probably went in at the start of the year.

An amazing few hours fishing, and all that in a 50-yard stretch of water.

Awesome fishing, and in a summer low, all very surprising.

Fancy a day out:

A lovely brown, high-sticked on the numf



They love a teeny dry fly

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