Press beats freezing conditions

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With the fly rod stowed safely in the back of the car, last weekend saw me on the road to Press Manor Fisheries just off the A632 Chesterfield to Matlock Road.

The fishery is around four miles from Chesterfield town centre with a sat nav code of S45 0LQ getting you to the trout lake on Birkin Lane, but it’s well signposted from the main road and easily found.

Situated deep in a picturesque valley with trout, carp and coarse lakes, Press is owned by Bernie Maher who used to be the wicket keeper for Derbyshire until he retired from cricket and hung up the sign: ‘Gone Fishing!’

‘Retired’ is not really in Bernie’s vocabulary as he went on to represent the England Fly Fishing Team, gaining international honours and is now an advanced professional game angling instructor, teaching at Press and guiding on the River Wye in conjunction with the Peacock Hotel at Rowsley.

On the bank, the five-acre trout lake was frozen along the caravan side, so anglers were on the far bank casting to the remaining open water. Despite the freezing conditions, everyone was catching with a couple of the locals doing extremely well.

Buzzers fished on the bung around four to five foot deep doing the business, but bloodworm and damsel nymphs were getting takes. Floating, intermediate and sinking lines were all in evidence.

Resident bailiff Brian Kirkman (mobile: 07968 504909) informed me the lake is well stocked with rainbows, browns, brookies, tigers, blues and even golden trout. Opening times are: Thursday to Sunday until March and then it’s back to seven days a week.

Day tickets available on the bank are priced at £18 for three fish, then catch and release the next dozen. All day catch and release is £11.50. Evening tickets and OAP concessions are available. There are three boats available for hire, phone to book a place.

The 32-peg, three-acre coarse fishing lake (sat nav S42 6AZ) is well stocked with roach, rudd, carp, bream, barbel and tench. Last year a stunning 4lb 8oz perch made an appearance - that’s not far off the current UK record, held by Les Brown. The carp lake is closed at the moment, hopefully re-opening later this year.

Telephone Bernie Maher, 07976 306073 or click to www.pressmanorfishery.com for further details.