Sunday, 8 August 2010

Commo's Highland Dram

Woody got in touch earlier in the week asking if I fancied a day out on Errwood reservoir which is in the upper Goyt valley just outside Buxton. I couldn’t make the Wye on Thursday because of the dreaded dentists. So we arranged to meet up today to try the place out.

It is £15 for the day and you are allowed to take 3 fish inclusive of the price. You can practise catch and release when you like but if you kill three fish you have to stop fishing. This seems excellent value when compared to many other stillwaters. Tickets are available from Woody’s wine shop in Leek. A fine selection of top quality wines, and all sorts of whisky are offered at this fine establishment. He also has a bogof on white lightning at the moment if you are quick!

I had tied up some Ltd sedges for Woody as his stocks were seriously depleted and he fancied giving them a go on the reservoir. I was also looking forward to the bottle of rare vatted malt scotch he had ready for me in appreciation for the Avatar and the sedges.

We met up at his shop. Bone and I had arrived in style. His escort van was so full of grout and tile cement, I was wondering how it would cope with the hills we were about to traverse.

I think Woody realised this and offered to take us in his van but we weren’t sure as to what time we would be leaving so didn’t want to restrict Woody to our timetable.

We did eventually manage to get there. I was shouting encouragement to the over worked escort diesel as it screamed up the hill towards the Winking Man in second gear. Bone wanted to take a run at it  but with Sunday drivers in front we had to go all the way up at 10mph. I think Woody, following behind must have wondered what was going on when Bone held back to accelarate down hill before hitting the climb to Ramshaw Rocks as to gain as much momentem as possible.

We tackled up, Dave presented me with my own personalised whisky, complete with glass, I presented him with the Ltds and we discussed tactics.

It does not get better than this! My very own personalised whisky.
Commo's Highland Dram. Number 1 of 1. Top Bloke.

To be honest we didn’t really have a clue. When you fish somewhere for the first time you usually have to experiment. So sensibly we went for different options. The weather was overcast with only a slight breeze. The reservoir was low.

I decided on a nymph underneath a suspender.

Bone went straight for the suspender only.

Dave (Woody) went for a team of three wets.

As we left the brothel we decided to fish.


We wandered down the ‘bank’; I say ‘bank’ because it would normally be the reservoir bed. It got very muddy at the water’s edge and wellies are a must. We soon understood why wading was not allowed. No not your usual H+S but the drop offs are bloody lethal. It can drop 80' in one step. A very sensible rule by the club. The water was clear with a moorland peaty tinge.

After about an hour of no action, the odd rise here and there, Dave and me witnessed a fish take a feather way out in the middle of the lake. I said that I thought a big terrestrial might tempt one, so on went a daddy.

I nailed one only a few minutes later. Yes! No blank for me today.

I lost another shortly later and missed a few. Top tactics, I thought.

Woody showing off his long rod while cursing my flies.

It went dead. I thought they might be circling so after a change to a suspender with no success I tied on a big black daddy. Even a Stevie Wonder rainbow would see this! This was snaffled and I landed another. Dave then landed his first on a cdc and then consulted ‘the oracle’ (Glen by phone) and was told to try an F fly. He had a take almost immediately but missed it.

One of the club committee lads joined us for a chat as I was just into my third. I put it back as I wanted to fish on for a while. Bone said, ‘you would have knocked that if the bailiff wasn’t looking.’ I’ll get him back.

Dave was taking advice off the committee bloke and put on a horrible looking lure he had cadged off him. Can you believe it?

He even borrowed a rod off me to punch it out, and 16 foot of my fluorocarbon for his leader. (Ha Ha). Has this man got any of his own tackle! He even moaned at me that the leader would not sink, the rod was not suited to his line and that my flies were crap. He even used my mud even though he only had to look down!

Well something must have worked because his lure got hit and he soon had a nice rainbow in the net. I was so impressed with his skill at catching a trout on a pike lure.

Woody 'selling out' and stripping lures. Can he really be trusted on The Hadden Estate?

We wanted Bone to catch. For some reason, and it is down to luck on a place like this, Bone hadn’t had a take. On went one of my suspenders, in black. In the sludge it took me ages to get them off! I don’t know why he chose this but after missing a beauty he soon broke his duck and hooked his first of these hard fighting fish, which I landed for him.

The evidence of many a 'Commo Shuffle'

It was nearly time to go home and although I had caught three, I had put one back and so needed another to complete my limit. A take missed while shouting abuse at Woody for using lures and how I was proud to have taken mine off the top, cheesed me off... A couple of minutes later I didn’t miss and I had to stop fishing. My three in an identical Morrison’s bag as Woody’s.

Bone borrowed my rod as it still had the deadly Commo daddy attached and he proceeded to land two in the next half hour. I had to sit and watch.

Bone casually playing a rainbow. "Don't bother getting up, Bone. I'll land it."

 We eventually called it a day with the freezer awaiting our catches.

We had the usual pee take and other great banter.


If you want to fish a Stillwater in superb scenery, with the chance of a really good fish, they run to high double figures, at a very fair price, get on up there!

Thanks Woody and Bone for a great day.
River for us next time though!

Where's your keepnet? Bonehead!

PS Have gutted my fish. Nothing in one, a cased caddis in another and  crushed kitchen foil in the other. That one would have never have digested that, surely?
So much for 'matching the hatch'.