Of Piscator and Viator

So, here I am. Sat in the bar of the Izaak Walton Hotel in Dovedale on something of a fly fishing pilgrimage. It’s one of those places I have read of in magazines but never thought I would find myself here in pursuit of my favourite fish, the Grayling.

Stepping stones on the Dove

The stepping stones on the River Dove

I come to be here by way of the anglers charity, Let’s Tackle Cancer and its main man Jon Kerr. Jon posted a competition on Facebook a few months back and via my Angling club’s Facebook page Stirling Castle AC we won. I was it seems the only person keen (stupid enough?) to make the 300 mile trip down here to spend a day on the Leek and District Fly Fishing Club’s water in the Peak District. The section of river that has a recreational fishing history that is at least as old as the first book on the sport of Angling by Izaak Walton, “The Compleat Angler”.

Well, I have not cast a line at all yet and I don’t regret coming for one second. I took a walk as light faded, up the bottom of the river here by the hotel and it is gobsmacking. I have never seen such clear water. It is actually clear with a blue tinge I have only ever seen in travel articles about angling exotica like Czech Republic, Slovenia or New Zealand.

Dove fly angler

An angler on the Dove- three to his rod so far

While I never spotted any I can almost imagine that you don’t really cast a line until you see a fish. There was one angler out in the grey overcast conditions and he told me he had managed three fish on nymphs fished in conventional fly casting fashion.

I can tell this is going to be something totally new for me tomorrow. Tomorrow I am Viator and Jon will most definitely be Piscator.

Hopefully, the trip helps publicise LTC too and help it on its great fundraising journey that has raised so much already.