The Derbyshire Peak District is a very beautiful scenic part of England and the River Wye is one of my very favourite Trout fly fishing rivers.  I have just returned from a family holiday week in Derbyshire (based near to Bakewell) and I had two superb mid-afternoon to mid-evening sessions on the Haddon Estate day permit beats of the river.  The rules here are dry fly only, catch & release and no wading. 

The Derbyshire Wye is unique in the UK for having a successful breeding population of Rainbow Trout.  They have been there for 125 years.  It also contains lots of wild Brown Trout and Grayling.  On my two fishing days most of the time there were few rising fish as the early-season fly hatches were sparse.  But on the Wednesday evening (15th April) there were lots of tiny black and sandy coloured flies on the water and lots of rising fish.  That evening I must have caught a dozen fish in the last hour of daylight – mostly Browns up to about 2lbs with the odd Rainbow.  My most successful fly was a size 18 sparsely tied dry with a thin sandy coloured body and a red post, so that I could see it. 

I love catching wild Rainbows.  I guess it’s because I’ve caught mostly Brown’s for the last 40 years!  There are large numbers of wild Rainbows in the Wye.  I love to catch the little ones – some of which are only 4 or 5 inches and like jewels!

Wye Rainbow

When the flies were not on the water – which was most of the time – I fished ‘stimulator’ patterns like a Humpy or a Grey or Royal Wulff.  These worked well with the smaller Rainbows and the odd Brown by ‘fishing the water’. 

Over the two days I landed well over thirty Trout – about 20 being Rainbows, most under 12” but a few 15”-20” fish.  It’s my kind of river – very varied and interesting fly water – and in picture postcard perfect scenery.  Over the years I have fished the Derbyshire Wye quite a few times with the best fly hatches I‘ve seen being in early-May and late-September.   I’ll be back!