Friday, 27 August 2010

Heading north.. Middlewood Road Don

The advantage of working shifts is that I get occasional days where I can get out fishing during the week - today was one such day (though it does mean I'm working nights over the bank holiday..).

I decided to venture a little further north out of Sheffield, and parked up on Middlewood Road, not far past the ambulance station, next to the speed camera. There is free roadside parking here, and as it is on a main road, I suspect the car is safer left here rather than some of the more secluded spots you end up parking for the other spots I've previously visited on this blog.

I entered the Don, and fished up to the weir, managing to tempt out a small brown trout on a gold head PTN fished underneath a balloon caddis.

The true right stream up to the weir.

Small Brownie taken on the goldhead PTN in the area shown above.
I fished the weirpool for a while, not catching anything. I then walked another couple of hundred yard upstream to where the footpath crosses the river. I entered the river just below the bridge, and fished all the small riffles. I caught 2 tiny grayling - and I mean REALLY tiny! Just upstream was a professional fisherman, probably having more success than me! (the heron at the top right of pic)

Fishing up under the bridge I was soon fishing the faster moving water, and hit into something BIG. It tore around the river, and was a good fight, especially in the fast moving water. I soon brought it to the bank and netted it - a decent sized brownie well over a pound, maybe just making 2 pounds? It certainly only just fitted in my net.

A good fighter!

and back into the river...
I had caught this one on a goldhead PTN, and carried on fishing this set up - a PTN beneath a Royal Wulff. In the fast flowing water, the Wulff flies are excellent, being nice and buoyant and floating through all the choppy riffles.
There was lots of evidence of fish here - rises all around, and some really nice deep runs.
Fishing a little further up the run, I soon was into another fish.
Moving a little further up the run, another take!
All really good fighting fish, beautifully marked and of course wild.

The fishing here was fantastic, good fish in fast water.
The productive area today - a mix of fast runs and deep eddys

I moved a little further up and fished the pool beneath the bend in the footpath. There were plenty of fish rising here, but I didn't manage to tempt any of them onto my fly.

Another great few hours fishing, all for free on the Sheffield Don.

Definitely worth a visit here! I would like to explore further downstream from where I started, the section between here and Winn Gardens. For another day perhaps....

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Hillfoot again...

Popped out for and hours fishing between chores today. Having enjoyed the fishing here yesterday, and the convenience, I opted for more of the same today.

There were 2 lads feeder fishing from the opposite bank, and a bloke feeder fishing from the near bank. I got in the river upstream of both of them, and started fishing.
The riffle - productive yesterday but not today

My Sawyers flies arrived yesterday, and I tied a foam backed caddis  on to start with. The flies are very nicely tied, on really good quality sharp hooks.
Within 2 casts, I had lost the fly, caught up in snags on the riverbed ( I know - it was supposed to be a dry fly! - it sunk). I then opted for a Royal wulff, with a killer bug nymph underneath.

There was a take on the dry fly which I missed, and then the productive area from yesterday produced nothing today. I moved up further, and fished the weir pool. There was more water in the river today, and overnight rains had coloured the water as well. I soon had a small chub, and 2 small browns out from various spots in the weir pool.

Looking upstream to the weir pool - todays hot spot

A tight cast under the overhanging bushes opposite the weir produced a positive take on the nymph. I hooked into a solid feeling fish, which charged all over the weir pool. I was standing in a fast flowing bit of water, and as I brought the 1 lb + brownie to the net, it came off (probably due to my inexpert attempts at coaxing it into the net). When playing the fish, a 4lb leader suddenly seemed really light!

Time up, I walked back down and packed up. Another nice hours fishing.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Hillfoot Bridge

So, whilst mrs sheffieldonthefly was sleeping after working a night shift, I kindly went out fishing. So as not to make noise in the house you see.....

I originally intended to head towards hillsborough, but turned off the dual carriageway at Hillfoot bridge. Having not fished there before, I thought it worth investigating. I parked up amidst the broken glass and bin bags - you wouldn't come here for the bankside scenery!
I'm sure my car will be fine here....
I started fishing a small riffle, using a duo set up - copper john beneath a klinkhammer. However, the klink was not behaving very buoyantly, despite a good "gink"ing, so I changed to a foam backed caddis as the floating fly. The foam is yellow, so can be seen easily amongst the white foam and bubbles. After about 5 minutes and one lost fish, I landed a small grayling.

There was plenty of fish action as I cast up above the riffle, with several splashy rises in the mid current. A few more casts and I had 2 consecutive takes on the foam backed caddis. As is becoming an increasingly regular occurrence, I failed to hook either fish.

I moved on up the river, and before long was into a small brown trout. Despite the Loxley having joined the don a few hundred yards upstream, the river here was low and clear.

Released into the shallows, he soon darted off into the main flow.

A pretty Don brownie

Moving up still further towards the weir, and casting under the vegetation on the far bank, I was soon into another small brownie. This one moved into the main flow and put up a scrappy little battle, but was soon in the net, and seconds later back in the river.

An almost golden little fish

Back in the river, and soon to swim away under an old tyre!

I moved up further, fishing under the weir. There was no sign of rising fish here, and I had no takes. I think I was perhaps fishing too shallow, as the weir pool looked quite deep.
Looking up to the weir

I walked up on top of the weir, and waded the slower water above it. I could see fish moving ahead of me, and had several takes close to the true left bank, under some overhanging vegetation.
It was obvious that this area is a dumping ground, and there were numerous bin bags in the river, as well as a comfy looking chair!
Urban - in the worst way...
It had taken me over an hour to fish about 300 yds of river, but great fishing! When you are down there in the river the derelict surroundings are not so visible, and you will certainly get no better value fishing!

I arrived home to find some new flies had arrived from Sawyer nymphs - they certainly look the part - I will see how they fish later on in the week, hopefully.

As I have said before, I have been fly fishing now for less than a year, and almost every trip discovering interesting and fun fishing. Looking at the map, there are still loads of sections of river I have yet to explore. I shall update you on what I find!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

A quick cast

Half an hour as the light was fading. So I went back to the pool I fished on friday, on the Sheaf. There were trout rising again, but the water was a little clearer, so I could see the trout cruising round below the surface.
Taken on fridays trip, but shows the pool I was fishing tonight

A few cast over likely spots with a size 14 black klinkhammer saw no action, though I did see a few fish turn away from it at the last minute. I changed to a size 16 CDC F fly, and extended the leader with a 3 foot tippet of frogs hair. This stuff is ultra supple, and really makes for delicate presentations. It's pretty pricey though, so I only really use it for dry fly fishing, using flourocarbon or "sub-surface" type mono for wet or duo rigs.

Soon after changing over to the F fly i had a take and hit into a decent fish. After charging around the pool for minute, as I went to land it, it came off the hook. Yet again a failed catch! I think the trout round here must have metal mouths!

The fish charging round the pool put the other fish down, and as the light was fading and I couldn't see the fly any more, I packed up and returned home.
Perhaps will try the Don tomorrow morning, if the weather holds.....

Friday, 13 August 2010

Where shopping trolleys go to die...

An hour of rain free time on an otherwise dreary day meant we could get out and try some very local water.... and very "urban" it was too.

We started out from the boardwalk in tescos car park on the Sheaf. After clambering over a fence and through the undergrowth, we got to the Sheaf, The water was low, but quite coloured due to the heavy rain throughout the day. We were sharing a rod (7ft 2/3wt), and fishing a duo set up.
Some really tight casting under the trees

Almost immediately I had a take on the duo, but failed to land the fish. Then it happened again. And again. Hmmm, i had a size 14 Pheasant tail nymph on, and the hook seemed sharp. After a couple more failed hook ups, I changed the nymph to a size 16 copper john.

We fished on up the stream, getting plenty of takes but again failing to land any fish. There was evidence of fish rising, but we were unable to tempt any off the top initially.

There were a some nice fast runs, interspersed with slow pools. There were, of course, the obligatory shopping trolleys everywhere!

At one of the larger pools, there were plenty of fish rising, but being a bit new to this game, I couldn't really work out what they were taking. At the large pool, I had a small brownie on the copper john tight up to the far bank.
A little brownie

We carried on up the stream, and just before leaving the stream, I had a take on the Klinkhammer but again failed to hook the fish.
"Sheffieldonthefly" fishing the far bank of the big pool- if you've fished here before you'll recognise the mud feature!

It was a good trip - we explored some stream which is pretty much on my doorstep, and will provide some good fishing. The frustrating thing was the inability to hook into much - suggestions please! Perhaps a smaller nymph? Better hooks?(the ones i used were sharp I think)
Anyway, a worthwhile little trip.
Making our way up from the big pool into the final stretch before the Sheaf comes in from the park.
Urban fly fishing - watch out for the shopping trolleys!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Barlow Brook

Not far from Sheffield, in the little village of Barlow near Chesterfield is a trout and coarse fishery. There are 4 trout ponds and 4 coarse ponds. Currently, a day ticket is £12 for the trout fishery.

Whilst not really having much success on the still waters there, there is a small brook that flows through the fishery, and that can be fished on the same ticket.

If you are an afficionado of small stream trouting, this is worth a visit. There is a healthy brown trout population in the brook, as well as a few escaped rainbow stockies.
Tiny waters, but some fun fishing

The fishing is best approached with a small light rod - 7 ft 3wt being ideal. It is virtually impossible to fish the brook from the bank, so wading tactics are required. I have visited the brook a number of times, and always had great fun - there are some sizeable trout in there for the size of the brook, and on a light rod hooking into one of these fish is good sport.
This brownie was caught just under the tree roots to the left of the above picture - in about 8 inches of water!
There is enough fishing on the brook to keep me occupied for a few hours, and whilst it is next to a sewage treatment plant, don't let that put you off!
Another good wild brownie, probably about a pound or so.

Monday, 9 August 2010


Today we spent a few hours behind the Trebor Bassetts factory, fishing the Don.

The weather was a bit changeable, from bright sunshine to drenching downpours. We started by walking down to the weir, and fishing up to it and then up river from there. 
Walking in

We fished one rod, sharing the casts, each taking a run or pool each before swapping over.

Fishing was slow, with us both losing a couple of fish and landing one each, all brown trout. I was first to land a fish, a brownie just over a pound.

Matt soon after landed another brownie, a little smaller. Both fish took a copper john fished beneath a klinkhammer.
A sneaky cast - it was from around here I got the decent sized brownie

We worked our way back up, to near the scrap yard, where we both managed to not tempt the rising trout in the pool beneath the bridge.
A nice cast under the willow

A good few hours fishing, in some nice urban surroundings. 
You can smell the allsorts!
Just up from Matt in the picture above, I lost a fish taken on a balloon caddis - after a ferocious take, it managed to get the line round a snag and snap me off. Disappointing, as it was a big splashy take and felt like a decent fish.

There is evidence of the recent balsam bash here - and there are small native species starting to sprout where the Himalayan balsam was.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Why blog?

Why bother posting a blog? 

Following the article by Jon Beer in Trout and Salmon last month giving away some of the secrets of the Don, I decided to share what is some excellent and very accessible fishing.

Being a recent convert to fly fishing, it seems that many of the places to fish are either very expensive, or have long waiting lists. Whilst they are well managed rivers, for a couple of hours dabbling a resource such as the Don is invaluable, and for a newby to the sport, doesn't cost much to get started, get fishing and catch some fish.
Casting in the heart of the City, on SPRITEs waters

The people I have met so far through fly fishing all seem friendly folk willing to share where they fish, and even invite you to share a rod at some of the venues they are members of. However, for a newcomer without these connections, the internet is an invaluable way of "fact finding".

So, that's one of the reasons I'm writing this blog. It's also a good place to share photos, stories and news about the rivers.

I am not aiming to write a guidebook or give away all the "secret spots", but share some of my trips to the river......

A Don Brownie

A Don Brownie, originally uploaded by Kangaroosteve.

From the STAs river fishing day in may.

Fishing the Upper Don

IMG_2872, originally uploaded by Kangaroosteve.

On the 22nd of May the Salmon and Trout Association ran a "river fishing day", hosted by the Upper Don Fly Fishers, on their waters on the Upper Don near Oughtibridge.

For 40 quid, we got 2 to 1 guiding for the day, expert instruction, and a pub meal afterwards, along with membership of the STA which cost £40 on its own!

It was a fantastic day, with everyone catching something. I was lucky enough to catch 3 brown trout and 3 grayling. I would thoroughly recommend this day to anyone new to fly fishing, new to river fly fishing or new to Sheffield who fishes already.
Thanks to all those who organised the day.

Sheffield on the fly on holiday

Whilst staying with family in the west country, I couldn't help but fish a local stream, 2 minutes walk from where we were staying. After enquiring around, no one seemed to know who owned the fishing rights, and the ground that the stream flows through is common ground belonging to the town. Based on that, I thought it was definitely worth a cast or two!

I was up early and fishing as the first of the dog walkers started their laps around the area.

Once in the stream and fishing, I was able to access areas that were inaccessible by other means, being buried in deep deep gorse on both sides. I was using my 7ft 3wt greys rod, and fishing the duo, with a tiny PTN below a sedge with a foam back. 
This one took the sedge

It was like fishing in a tunnel of vegetation in some places, with only small glimpses of the sky through the dense trees overhead. I think I spent as much time untangling the line from trees as I did fishing!
The stream "tunnel"

Never the less, it was an idyllic setting, and produced some really fun fishing. This is fishing how I like it best!

Some of the trout I caught were barely bigger than the fly, but what a way to spend a couple of hours.

A proper tiddler!

I shall definitely be returning to fish here again, and in the meantime have set my local family down there to find out who does own the rights (if anyone).

Overgrown but great fun