Wild trout fishing in the Dambuster’s playground

11:54 am
Fly fishing lovers everywhere will be keen to hook up with a new club offering wild brown trout in the heart of the Peak District National Park for the first time ever.
Members of Birchinlee Fly Fishing Club which is run in association with Ladybower Fisheries, have access to the Derwent and Howden Reservoirs as well as a stunning stretch of the River Derwent where deep pools house trout weighing up to 2lb. The Derwent itself is an excellent location for river fishing with an abundance of natural insect life providing a rich diet for the resident trout.
The area is also a well-known beauty spot and famed for its solitude, pastures and woodland– to the extent it has become a firm favourite of film producers both in the UK and internationally.
Both the Derwent and Howden reservoirs – the National Park celebrated the latter’s 100th anniversary last year – were made famous by the Dambusters (617 flying squadron) who used the water as a practice area for their World War Two bombing raids. Today, thanks to new management, the water is to be used for the more gentle pastime of fly fishing.
In the interests of conservation numbers those permitted to fish at the reservoirs and river are to be restricted to club members only.
Birchinlee Fly Fishing Club chairman David Johnson said: “This really is a beautiful spot to cast off from. It’s not just the scenery but the solitude and, of course, there’s something magical about fishing mid-stream and listening to nothing but the rushing of the river and cry of a bird or other wildlife.”
Anglers would also be hard-pushed to find such stunning surroundings in which to fish thanks to the area’s wild and untamed moorland, green grazing pastures and deep woodland – all of which are visible at one glance.
Fly fishing for indigenous wild brown trout in the Peak District has been likened to casting off in Scottish hill lochs or the tarns of Cumbria. Situated near the villages of Bamford, Hathersage and Hope, the reservoirs and river are the only spots to fish for wild brown trout on still water within hours of the Peak District. So popular is the Peak District National Park for fishing that members of the Birchinlee Club are used to regularly meeting anglers up from Herfordshire and other London counties.
“The reservoirs aren’t uniform in shape so while there are vast expanses of open water there are also lots of little nooks and crannies,” added David. “This is where rivers and small feeder streams have entered the water and where it’s possible to use light three or four weight rods rather than the heavier tackle which is necessary for the bigger sections of water.”
To find out more about wild brown trout in the Peak District or to join the club see www.birchinlee.co.uk