All that way for a Steak Sandwich…. and Let’s Tackle Cancer

………..but WHAT a steak sandwich!

If you follow my facebook page you will be aware already that my Dove adventure didn’t quite go according to plan. This was already a plan-B outing as I was arranged to fish the week before but for unavoidable reasons it was cancelled and we had to bump it back a week. The trip down was largely uneventful though if someone can tell me how the young lass managed to get what I think was a Vauxhall Corsa through a fence and at least 40 meters into a muddy field off the M74, I would love to know. Didn’t look like anyone was hurt but the airbags had deployed!

It did though rain in biblical proportions from around the southern end of Dumfriesshire down to about Warrington and though the forecast for Dovedale had stated a couple of hours of light rain overnight, it shouldn’t have been anything to worry about. I had not anticipated this volume of precipitation in the North of England and was fearful it made it’s way southward.

 

The Izaak Walton Hotel

The Izaak Walton Hotel in Dovedale

Those fears were to prove well founded. I arrived at the Izaak Walton Hotel in Dovedale mid-afternoon, it’s a lovely spot and the hotel was really good, I recommend it. Very good food, friendly staff and a lovely location.

 

The River Dove

The gin Clear Dove…before the rain

I took a wander down across a very muddy field to the riverside and what I saw was amazing. Never have I seen such a clear river, the water even had that blue tinge you see in spring-fed headwaters pictures from exotic locations like New Zealand or places like Slovenia and Croatia. I had a wander, took a few pictures and blethered to an angler who was out and fishing with some success.

As it turned dark and got a little squally I decided it was time to head for my room and get prepared for tomorrow.

The Stepping stones the evening before

The Dove at the Stepping stones before the rain

 

While it’s not the most exciting fishing related video you will ever see I urge you to watch the film below and do what you can to support Let’s Tackle Cancer. It’s a great cause that has raised a lot of money by anglers over several years and is worthy of your support.

After tying some flies and having a bite to eat I turned in but became acutely aware of the torrential rain that was by now falling outside my room window for a couple of hours.

When I got up in the morning the ground outside the hotel was actually dry. Maybe it had sounded worse than it actually was?  I was hoping against hope. I had a few problems with my phone charger and as a result a few comms issues but when I got my phone working on the hotel wifi again I had a message from Jon who had “put up” the outing in support of LTC, that the river was showing higher than would be regarded fishable on the gauge, that rainfall had been worse than we both anticipated and right enough when we got down there, it was the colour of drinking chocolate and thundering through in the narrower sections.

Jon Kerr and Me

Chewin’ the fat. Jon and myself enjoying the sunshine which was pleasant, even if the river conditions weren’t

Ordinarily, I would have just got in the car and gone home. But it’s a long way and I was here with a rod and thought “sod it”, it would be stupid not to have a walk, and even if all the fishing amounts to is running a squirmy wormy down the bank side at least I had wet a line.

Crossing the stepping stones

So nearly in! The wind caught me as I crossed the stepping stones and I was so nearly taking a bath!

We gave it a go and though the sun did come out, turning it quite pleasant in its full glory, a horrible wind got up and it became a total waste of time.

Pave rump steak

THAT steak sandwich

As I was getting my stuff in the car, Jon ( a chef by trade) offered me a steak sandwich before the drive home. How could I refuse and I am glad I didn’t as it was possibly the best I have ever had! I think eating outside heightens the taste experience anyway and something hot on a cold day is always good but this was five-star cuisine. Apparently, it was a “Pavé” cut of rump steak and it was amazing.

Scenery of the Peak District

The Peak District

So a wasted trip? Not really, I have a lot of driving to do in the Summer and it was a good dry run for me to see how I will be with a few long hours at the wheel, as I have not done any distance driving for a while. I also had a glimpse of what is a beautiful and unknown area to me, of England, and I would like to return ( maybe in better weather). Hopefully, the wee box of flies raises a few quid for LTC, ( so keep an eye on the fB page and make a bid) and I think I made a new mate in fly fishing which is never a bad thing, Jon was a total gent and a great host on the river.