River Derwent flooding at Belper – November 2019

After several weeks of sustained wet weather, with barely any dry days to speak of, it was perhaps inevitable that when heavy rains fell in our region the Derwent rose quickly and with devastating effect.

The floods of early November 2019 have set new river level records at Chatsworth House and Derby City measuring stations, whilst the flow rate at Derby City peaked at over 300m³ per SECOND!

Water levels and flow rates such as these have caused widespread damage to homes, businesses and property throughout our region. Sadly, there was also the tragic death of a woman who drowned in a raging flooded Derwent upstream of us at Rowsley.

Belper and Ambergate have not been immune to the destruction, and we have seen flooding to a greater extent in both places than has been seen for decades.

Our own Wyver Lane Pond became part of the Derwent for a few hours and our otter fence there (only erected in 2017) has sustained widespread damage. Committee members were quick to act, and as soon as water levels had receded sufficiently a small group set about re-erecting the fence and making it secure. Further work to fully repair the fence is still necessary and the club will be investigating this over the coming days. Incidentally, otter footprints were spotted in the silt around the pond less than 24 hours after the floodwater had flattened parts of the fence! This highliughts the need for the otter fence and the importance of anglers closing the gates behind them every time.

The Club has taken the decision to close Wyver Lane Pond to fishing until at least the end of November 2019. This decision has been made on safety grounds and the situation will be reassessed at the end of the month and a decision made on whether or not to reopen the pond.

Some of the pegs have been damaged and a large amount of silt was deposited on the path around the pond – six to eight inches in most places! It will be an ongoing task to clear this away and restore the path, so the club are requesting the help of any members who have a spare hour or two. Please visit the pond and clear a small section of the path. This work will all add up and, along with the work parties arranged for later in November, we should soon have the pond back to its best.

Committee member & bailiff Andy Bennett was out around Belper on Friday morning, November 8th, and shot the following pictures of the floods around our usual fishing areas…

Wyver Lane Pond (viewed from A6 – looking across the Derwent):

Belper River Gardens:

End of Derwent Street:

Behind Morrisons Superstore & B&M Bargains, Belper:

Sewerage Works Bridge:

Milford Weir:

The following video is some dramatic drone footage of Belper, shot on the morning of Nov 8th, showing the extent of the flooding from Strutts North Mill downstream:

Posted by Wesley Burton on Thursday, 7 November 2019

The following video shows the sheer force of the Derwent flowing past Strutts North Mill, over Belper Weir and through the River Gardens:

Brace of 4lb River Derwent chub

2 x 4lb chub caught on legered luncheon meat from the River Derwent at Belper - July 2019

This beautiful pair of Derwent chub were caught from our stretch of river near Belper.

Both fish weighed around the 4lb mark and were caught on legered luncheon meat by David Steed, who emailed us the details and photo via our catch report submission page.

2 x 4lb chub caught on legered luncheon meat from the River Derwent at Belper - July 2019
A brace of 4lb Bepler chub with a liking for luncheon meat.

Congratulations David and thank you for sharing the details with us!

River Derwent fishing peg improvements – new platforms installed on Sewerage Works section at Belper

Stepped fishing pegs created at Belper on the River Derwent

This year, and particularly over the river close season, a small group of committee and club members have been extremely busy on our stretch of the Derbyshire Derwent; particularly the area known as the “Sewerage Works” section – downstream of Morrisons & the rubgy club in Belper. View a slideshow carousel of photos of the work.

Thanks to the hard work of these volunteers, new fishing pegs have been created and several existing pegs have been vastly improved – both upstream & downstream of the famous pipe bridge/foot bridge which crosses out stretch here. These fishing pegs will benefit match anglers, pleasure anglers and specialists alike – making it more comfortable to fish some of our most popular and productive swims; noted for chub, bream, perch and barbel.

Please visit these pegs, fish from them and let us know what you catch using our online catch report form.

Particular thanks must be given to Adi, Martin and Peter, who attended all or most of the work parties. This work would not have happened without them and the club is extremely grateful for their efforts. Other special mentions must go to Phil, Phil’s wife, Robert , Martin and Wayne; who each helped out at one or more of the peg improvement working parties.

This is a continuation of work undertaken in 2018 to replace and improve the fishing platforms on our members-only stretch of the Derwent beside Wyver Lane Pond.

If you would like to help with future working parties, please get in touch via our Facebook page or our contact form. We are always in need of extra pairs of hands and we encourage all members who have the time and are physically able, to help at as many work parties as possible. Great work, which benefits all members, is done during these days and we are always grateful for any help we receive.

The club plans to continue this work to increase and improve the pegs on our stretch of the Derwent. Much of which is under-fished, partly due to its “wild” nature. We’re hopeful that this programme of peg creation will increase the number of anglers wanting to fish the stretch and improve match turnout for any future events held on the river.

With the 2019/20 river season about to start, why not get down to fish the Derwent and try out our improved pegs, which can be fished on day ticket or season permit (all tickets must be purchased in advance – no tickets are sold on the bank).

2019 River Season Reopens on June 16th!

River Derwent chub fish at Belper

This is a reminder to all anglers who wish to coarse fish the Belper section of the River Derwent, either as a club member or on day ticket, that rivers in England & Wales reopen to coarse angling on The Glorious 16th – Sunday June 16th. That’s just a month away!

You can fish the majority of our stretch of the Derwent around Belper on a day ticket, although the small length around Wyver Lane Pond is available exclusively to club members with season permits.

If you would like to join our club there is still time to purchase an annual ticket. Please view our Membership & Day Ticket Info page for further details.

The club would like to wish “Tight lines” to all anglers fishing our waters.

Please remember to take photos of your captures and send them to us via our online catch report.

Angling Trust Midlands Fisheries Forum (Belper)

Angling Trust Midlands Region

Wednesday 1st May 2019 – Makeney Hall Hotel, Makeney Road, Milford, Derbyshire DE56 0RS

Tea and Coffee from 6:40pm – meeting begins 7:00pm (9:15pm close)

In association with the Environment Agency


This is an open meeting aimed at all freshwater anglers, fishery owners and club officials in the Midlands Region. Hear updates on key campaigns from guest speakers, meet other like-minded anglers, and have YOUR say on the issues that matter. If you would like to attend, please register by clicking the following link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/angling-trust-midlands-fisheries-forum-belper-tickets-59945171622.

Draft Agenda

Film Premier: Jack Perks presents 2 brand new short films, featuring underwater footage of  the rivers Derwent and Ecclesbourne

Fly Fishing Participation: How do we get more people into Fly Fishing? James Roche discusses how the Angling Trust can help

Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme: How we can help keep our rivers clean

Fishing on Derbyshire Rivers: A discussion about the issues facing river fishing in Derbyshire

More items TBC…

Your questions, ideas and opinions! During the meeting there will be plenty of time to ask the speakers questions, suggest ideas and make your opinion known. If you have a specific question to ask or would like to raise an issue, please contact us and let us know ahead of the meeting via alex.clegg@anglingtrust.net.

To register, just click this link.

2018/19 River Coarse Fishing Season Now Closed!

Milford top weir

All members & day ticket anglers should be aware that the annual river close season is now in force, from midnight March 14th until June 16th.

The only way you can now fish our stretch of the Derbyshire Derwent is to fly fish for the trout.  Local byelaws apply.

Of course, our members can still coarse fish Wyver Lane Pond and our stretch of the Erewash Canal whilst the rivers are closed, for our stocks of carp, silver fish, bream & tench.

Also, don’t forget to renew your EA Rod Licence, which may expire during the close season. It is a condition of fishing club waters that all anglers are in posession of a valid rod licence.

Pike Fishing Hots Up on the Derwent!

River Derwent pike from Belper & District Angling Club waters for Jonah Cooper

The 2018 pike angling season is underway at Belper

October 1st marks the beginning of the traditional pike fishing season for anglers around the country. The beginning of October has this year coincided with dropping temperatures, after the long, hot summer of 2018.

Pike anglers have been out in force on our stretch of the River Derwent, with captures reported up & down our stretch, including double figure pike being caught as far upstream as Ambergate, and a true river specimen pike of 20lb+ reported from nearer to Belper town centre!

Pike can be fished for with a day ticket (must be purchased in advance) on our stretch of the Derwent and season ticket holders may also pike fish at Wyver Lane Pond and the Erewash Canal.

Venue regular, Jonah Cooper, was into some pike action earlier in the season. He reported the capture of the three pike below, up to 14lb, using our catch report page. Jonah landed the larger 2 pike on lure and the smallest fish on herring deadbait.

Three pike up to 14lb caught near Belper on the Derbyshire River Derwent
River Derwent regular, Jonah Cooper, with three pike up to 14lb

With large shoals of roach, dace, perch, chub and bream showing all along our stretch of the Derwent, the pike have plenty to feed on! They are therefore spread right along our length for the majority of the year, then during the colder months the predators will never stray too far from the large shoals of bait fish. Find these and you’ll find some hard-fighting Derwent pike. Anglers who are happy to put in some “leg-work” can be rewarded by finding large pike in some of the areas few other anglers ever visit.

Please remember to complete out catch report form, to send details and/or photos of your captures from Belper & District AC, directly to the club.

We recommend that anglers visiting the River Derwent to fish for pike, ensure that they are confident and competent at unhooking these delicate fish. Ensure you have adequate unhooking gear (e.g. long-nosed forceps, needle-nosed pliers and side-cutters), as well as a large landing net and unhooking mat. Please always use a wire trace, strike quickly and return all pike to the river as soon as possible. If you are inexperienced at pike fishing, please take an experienced pike angler along with you. If you’d like to try your hand at pike fishing, but don’t have anyone to show you the basics, please contact the club (we may be able to put you in touch with a pike angling member).

For more information & advice about pike fishing and pike welfare, please visit the Pike Angler’s Club of Great Britain website at:  https://pacgb.com

You can also find more information & tips on pike safety, safe handling and unhooking, in the video below and at the following link: https://www.just-fish.co.uk/wp/pike-unhooking-video-safe-tutorial/

There are also many informative videos available to view online, giving good fish care & unhooking advice, such as this one:

River Derwent Barbel Capture for Jonah

Jonah Cooper with a River Derwent barbel, near Belper

Member and venue regular, Jonah Cooper, sent us details of a superb River Derwent barbel he caught recently, close to Belper.

Jonah regularly send us details & photos of his catches using our online catch report form. He kindly grants his permission for us to publish them on the site.

Here’s what Jonah had to say about the capture:

“[The barbel] took a piece of Luncheon Meat just before 9:45pm. I’d been fishing from about 4-ish and I was going to pack up for home in about 5 minutes before it took a huge run downstream. Cracking fish, returned safely.”

Well done Jonah! That looks a superb barbel; please keep the catch reports coming.

River Derwent – new season captures June 2018

River Derwent Chub caught at Belper

Alfreton-based angler and BDAC member, Andrew Kennedy, enjoyed a great early morning float fishing session on our stretch of the River Derwent near Belper last week, showing the river’s potential for both coarse and game species.

He sent us details of his session using our catch report & photo form and had the following to say:

“I had a really enjoyable session on the Derwent last Saturday morning, before work. I got off the mark for the season with no less than 5 species! With chub, trout, barbel, perch and grayling all caught. I landed a total of 4 chub, ranging from 3lb to a specimen chub just shy of 5lb; all on the float. Most fish took trotted caster or worm, with the barbel taking a banded pellet on swimfeeder. Great fun and just reward for a dawn start!”

You can fish our length of the Derbyshire Derwent on both season permit and day ticket.

Have you been catching on BDAC waters? Please send us details of your captures, with photos too if possible. You can choose whether the information you send us is kept private by the club, or made public on our website.

Information on all captures is helpful to the club because it helps us to monitor fish stocks and growth rates on our venues.