Monday, 7 November 2016

Doon the Toon

A little change for me this week instead of heading up the Dale on my regular Sunday jaunt, I had arranged to meet up again with my longtime fishing, float making & fly tying mate Martin and because I had hosted him on our last meeting he insisted he return the favour so at the risk of loosing out on said promised handmade pork pies for lunch how could I refuse.

So today we went Doon the Toon as us Scots say and fished an urban river in the centre of what used to be the centre of the Industrial revolution in this part of Yorkshire, with machine shops, chemical manufacturing and steam power all contributing towards the large textiles Industry which dominated the area, sadly all but gone nowadays and after years of the small urban rivers being polluted and lifeless, I can thankfully say that is not the case nowadays. What used to be polluted and foul smelling is now home to Trout & Grayling which thrive in the clean waters that flow between the factories and building's in the centre of the town.

I met up with Martin at our agreed spot and we walked the 10 minutes downstream past the Cafe's and factories to where he had suggested we start, we slipped into the river just before 10am.

I wanted to try an indicator system which Martin had kindly made and passed to me on our last get together and put off from using it before as I felt it was a strain on my eyes, (Not a young spring chicken nowadays).  But with the closeness of the fishing today it would be fine so after a short change over I opted for the new indicator, Martin on the other hand was off and running almost from the word go.

Due to the narrow confined river we had to follow each other up through the pools, but this in no way effected any of the fishing as Martin would pull fish from a run and move on and I would move in and seconds later....well maybe minutes later another fish would appear, thats if he was gracious enough to leave me any as Im certain he could pull fish from an empty sink!
Leaves a plenty for both of us as the riverbed lay several inches thick with them waiting to be washed downstream in the next bit of high water.

Needless to say the banter was flowing and the fish were coming plenty, with Martin soon into double figures and we had only been fishing a matter of a half hour or so.

I was slowly getting to grips with the indicator and after a few lost nymphs to the bottom I started to connect with the fish.

Im still sure this Grayling was actually laughing at me with the smirk on its face!

For such a small river it certainly produced some lovely fish.

As well as the Grayling the trout were plentiful with quite a few showing signs of being ready to spawn, all of course were returned immediately but some of the variation of colours from green's to deep brown with bright red spots was a sight to behold.

Most of the locals were friendly enough with factory workers looking over the fence and asking how we were getting on to the ducks congregating for a photo opportunity, or maybe hopeful in some feed from us.

The kingfishers and dippers whizzing past us as they went in search of food.

Both the trout & Grayling kept coming and I was amazed at some of the depths that could creep up on you quite literally, thankfully I took the time to fix my waders from my last outing and the barb wire incident.

The flat capped angler in the background blending in, just needed the whippet for the full package.

The variety of marking of each Grayling totally different to the one before, with some having more black spots along the flanks than silver to a few having a couple of dark spots along the cheeks.

Of all the fish I caught today this one for me was by far the prettiest, with the small dots just below the eyes.

I couldn't fully comprehend where Martin was pulling some of his fish from, a run which most anglers, myself included would walk by, not Martin he would flick a small nymph in and within seconds have a trout or Grayling on, needless to say the banter was flowing well.

A quick stop for lunch with a lovely handmade pork pie washed down by some piping hot coffee as we stood and watched Grayling rise to some olives that were hatching off.

As we moved upstream I had really got the hang of the indicator and was connecting with far more fish than earlier so much so that I got my revenge when Martin hooked up a big broad leaf tree, the best tree of the day for sure and we had done that a few times between us, I had 4 fish out as he fought that massive tree, which I thought wasnt a too bad seeing as he was into fish from the moment we started.

Time had marched on as we had been enjoying ourselves and it was time for us both to leave and get back to the real world, just before 3pm we climbed out...literally on my part with a helping hand from Martin and the short walk back over the bridge as we peered over before arriving back at the cars.

a thoroughly enjoyable few hours and a total change of scenery with dry trousers for me today, but the same cant be said for Martin who opted for a wet left leg due to his brand new waders leaking! 

Another enjoyable session with  good company and fish a plenty, certainly between us almost into treble figures, but not that the amount cared to either of us, good banter, good friends and great fishing what more could an angler ask for.


  1. A very enjoyable read.
    George what is the fly pictured on the reel in your header photo?

  2. Thanks Alan, The fly in the picture is one I made up a shade darker than a normal blue dun when large dark olives are on the water the trout & Grayling go mental for them, this was a darker shade than normal which worked well for me.


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