River Dove – Dovedale

Having joined Leek and District Fly Fishing Association earlier this year. I had been patiently waiting for the Derbyshire Peaks to show their early signs of spring so I could head onto the club waters for the first time. Knowing Dovedale from my childhood, I was keen to rekindle some of my pre-teen footsteps along the River Dove on what was then, our annual School sponsored walk. Dovedale holds a special place in my heart and i still today have such fond memories of the River. Nature, general scenery and the meandering on route through the valley made me feel like a kid. (showing to some high degrees of unnecessary excitement.)

Izaak Walton GaugeWe accessed the River at around 10.30am, the sun already breaking through the remnants of cloud – by fishing standards, it was destined to be a tough day, very bright with very little in the way of cloud cover. Up stream fishing on a River of this nature is a must so although the conditions were not ideal, optimism prevailed.

The River in this part of the world has been epitomised by Izaak Walton and his book ‘The Compleat Angler‘. Charles Cotton the English poet was also known to have a fishing cottage on the Dove in the village of Hartington

After sitting on the bank observing the river for 15 to 20 minutes, I decided to opt for a Gold Head Pheasant Tail on the point and two spiders on the droppers. Gradually working my way up the River, covering each bank and the margins I eventually hooked into my first fish about 20 minutes later – elation!


A Productive Days Fishing

The Day continued to produce fish, well into the double figures but you had to work for them. Pulling them from each bank, the glides and the slower runs, under the overhanging trees with some creative casts.. what more can an angler ask – fantastic.



This for me was not only about the fishing but the generally scenery of the Dovedale Vally. It really is sublime and whether you are an angler or rambles, i would recommend that you plan a visit.

A note of caution – sunny weekends are generally best avoided – the masses are out with their families and it gets pretty tough. If you prefer the more tranquil experience, i would be selective on the day you select.

If you tie your own flies then our shop has all the necessary materials and hooks to tie up pheasant tails and spiders. For me, they are two flies I always have to hand in my box.

Thanks James

River Dove – Dovedale
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