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First Trout!

Fishing began early this month on 3 February at Findern, with my Mitchell 300 reel and Daiwa Matchman MKII rod, I fished the waggler with a size 16 hook just on the deck. At the beginning of the session I thought the weather felt almost spring-like, as temperatures were around nine degrees. However, as the cloud and wind increased the day felt more like winter again. Bait for the session was hemp, red maggots and some worms and I was into the small Perch quickly and they came regularly during the session, along with just one Skimmer.

On 17 February I was on the River Derwent, with my Mitchell 410 and Daiwa ledger rod at a peg I'd not fished before. With maggots and worms for hook bait and hemp for loose feed, I fished a ledger with a size 12 hook loaded with reds. After a few hours of changing the hook bait from maggots to worms, worms to maggots and regularly feeding maggots and hemp, my spool screamed away. I'd been distracted by a Robin I was feeding and so after the initial shock of getting a bite, I began to reel in what I thought was a Chub. After reeling in some more I thought I'd hooked a Roach, but to my surprise there in my landing net was my first Trout. I put the little Brownie back and celebrated with a cup of tea before casting my line back out, and after few more hours without another bite it was time to pack up. My Nephew lives nearby and kindly brought me a nice mug of tea to end a great river session on a still, mild day with temperatures reaching double figures. Thanks fro the brew Dave!

A few days later on 20 February after doing some work, I had an afternoon session on the canal at Swakestone. I ledgered leftover maggots and worms and after a very slow start, managed a few small Perch and Roach. Although temperatures reached a very mild 15 degrees, the wind picked up and as the fishing was slow for me and two other anglers nearby, I packed up and went to have a look at where the old Derby Canal once was.

A signpost near to what was the entrance to the Derby Canal.

The first bridge over the Derby Canal at Swakestone, you can see boats in the marina on the other side of the bridge and this side, where the canal would have been is now sadly overgrown.

This picture shows Swakestone Marina and what would have been the entrance to Derby Canal.

A picture of Swakestone Lock and the old lock keepers cottage.

Swakestone Lock.

The day after storm Doris brought wind and rain I went to Birch House Lakes for the first time in about two years. I fished Lake 2, not sure what it's called but it's the lake next to Doughnut Lake! It was a mild day with temperatures around 10 degrees and felt quite warm when the sun was out as the wind had dropped from the day before. I fished worm and reds over some breadcrumb groundbait and it wasn't long before I landed several descent size Gudgeon. Some nice Perch graced my landing net and then a good condition Roach. The session continued with more Perch, a few Bream and more Gudgeon. A good days fishing and I even saw some fish topping for the first time this year which is a good sign that spring is on its way!

A Birch House Bream.

This video includes some of the vintage rods I've collected and enjoyed using.

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